Progesterone is a steroid hormone secreted by the ovaries in women. It is a very important reproductive hormone which performs various vital reproductive functions in the female body. Along with estrogen, it helps in regulating the female menstrual cycle. Progesterone levels start dropping around menopause and become zero thereafter.
Of late, many women of reproductive age are diagnosed with progesterone deficiency. Progesterone deficiency can cause a plethora of problems for such women, the most severe being infertility. Natural progesterone, which is often derived from wild yams and other plant sources is effective in treating this disorder.
Natural Progesterone Uses
Progesterone becomes active in the female body during the luteal phase (after ovulation). Progesterone signals the uterus to thicken the endometrium so that a fertilized egg can implant itself. If no successful fertilization has occurred, the uterine lining is shed during the menstrual cycle. Thus, progesterone is required for conception and retention of pregnancy. Women who cannot produce sufficient progesterone on their own, are often advised to undergo treatment using natural progesterone sources.
Regulation of Menstrual Cycle
As mentioned above, progesterone and estrogen regulate the menstrual cycle in women. If either of these hormones becomes dominant, the whole menstrual cycle may get disrupted. Estrogen dominance is a very common condition in women suffering from progesterone deficiency. Natural progesterone supplies the body with the requisite amount of progesterone, so that it can function normally.
Increasing Chances of Conception
Although, progesterone deficiency is often the cause of female infertility, the inability to conceive is not due to lack of ovulation or successful fertilization as commonly believed. Women with progesterone deficiency often ovulate normally. In most cases, there is successful fertilization. However, the reason why she fails to conceive is that there is no thick enough endometrial lining for the fertilized egg to implant.
As a result, the fertilized egg gets flushed away along with menstrual flow. However, when you use natural progesterone, the uterus fills the lining with blood and tissue up to the desired thickness. Thus, the chances of a fertilized egg getting implanted there are greatly elevated.
Sufficient levels of progesterone are required to carry pregnancy to term. During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, progesterone prepares the body for pregnancy and childbirth. It also develops the breasts for milk production. During this period, it is the sole provider of nutrition for the baby. After 12 weeks, the placenta takes over the function of progesterone. Women suffering from persistent miscarriages due to progesterone deficiency are often prescribed natural progesterone supplements.
Reducing the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Menopausal women are more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. Lack of progesterone can be one of the reasons for this. As progesterone is solely produced by ovaries, which become dysfunctional after menopause, the body suffers from acute progesterone deficiency. A hormone replacement therapy using natural progesterone can help the body maintain the estrogen progesterone balance. This in turn reduces possible risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Natural Progesterone Side Effects
As natural progesterone is natural in origin, it does not usually produce any harmful effects. It is available in various forms such as topical creams, skin patches and suppositories. Of these, topical creams and skin patches are the most preferred forms as they release progesterone through the skin slowly and steadily.
This mechanism closely resembles the natural mechanism of progesterone production and absorption in the body. Undesirable side effects, though rare, may surface if you exceed the dosage limit. Also, your body may take some time to get used to external progesterone, during which you may experience some undesirable side effects. Dizziness, tender breasts, nausea are common side effects of progesterone overdose.
If you stick to the recommended dosage of natural progesterone, you will most likely benefit from it. In case you experience any of the above mentioned side effects for a prolonged period, you must seek medical help.