Give advice on women's health concerns.

Progesterone Allergy

Strange as it might sound, there are women out there who suffer from progesterone allergy! Although uncommon in women, allergy to progesterone can occur due to an autoimmune condition or an allergic response by progesterone receptors. Read all about it in the following article.
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
As a country becomes more developed, allergy rises and rises. And the notion there is that in the more-developed countries, you may be getting less exposure to infections and germs and other things that may stimulate your immune system in a direction other than allergy, ... The more your immune system is kept busy by exposure to germs and infections early in life, the less time it can devote to things like allergy.
~ Robert Wood
Imagine being allergic to something that your own body produces which is physiologically crucial for your health and well-being! I mean, it does make sense that your immune defenses go on a paranoid shooting spree when a foreign substance that it does not understand enters the body such as an external allergen (food, pollens, paint, drugs, alcohol, dust, metals...... the list goes on!). However, logic goes out of the window and a rational reason is hard to come by to explain how a person's immune system can be allergic to a biological enzyme that is produced in a normal physiological process that is necessary for the body and is an essential part of that person's biological sexuality! It sounds sick!
However, that seems to be the ugly truth some women are condemned to live with for as long as they are capable of reproduction, which is a good part of their lives! That's right, I am talking about progesterone allergy. As the name suggests, allergy to progesterone is the condition when a woman exhibits allergic reactions towards medicines, medical procedures and supplements that contain progesterone as well as towards the progesterone that is produced by their bodies. The latter causes harrowing outbreaks during peak progesterone production periods of menstrual cycles. Come, let's take a closer look at this situation.
What is Progesterone Allergy?
Although not very common, allergy to progesterone is not a complete rarity in women. Similar to most cases of allergies, what causes allergies to progesterone is not very clear. However, medical professionals and researchers have come up with two suspects that could be the causative agents that trigger an allergic response to progesterone - an autoimmune condition and allergic trigger caused by effect of progesterone receptors on the immune system. An autoimmune condition is one in which the immune system fails to identify a chemical or enzyme produced by the body as an integral part of its internal physiology, misidentifying it as an invasion of the physical citadel by foreign particle or pathogen. This causes the immune system to launch its immune defenses against the body itself, triggering allergic reactions. In fact, most forms of allergies to otherwise harmless objects are autoimmune issues.
In case of the second cause, the progesterone receptors that are present in leukocytes may cause the immune system to become more sensitive to other objects and can lead the immune system to confuse a familiar particle with something foreign or harmful. Being a steroid hormone, progesterone has the potential of influencing the body's immune responses to various objects. This can also lead to an allergy like condition in the subject, though it is rare.
Progesterone Allergic Reaction
The most common reaction exhibited by persons suffering from progesterone allergy is an inflammatory condition of the skin. Experiencing dermal rashes and breakouts during peak progesterone production periods of a menstrual cycle are common in women who are allergic to progesterone. Such women would also exhibit similar reactions when undergoing medication, procedures or therapy that involves the administration of progesterone.
Administration of Danazol which is derived from a synthetic, modified version of the male hormone testosterone, is believed to reduce and even prevent the allergic dermal outbreaks that occur as an immune response to progesterone. Some women may also be allergic to estrogen but such a case is rarer than allergic reactions to progesterone, which is not very common itself. An intolerance or allergy to both these hormones often manifest as frequent, usually cyclical, episodes of adverse symptoms such as menstrual migraines, various skin issues (such as eczema, folliculitis, rashes, blisters, hives, etc.), asthma attacks (in people who already suffer from chronic asthma), water retention, etc. Allergy to progesterone or estrogen is often a huge obstacle for women wanting to undergo hormone or fertilization therapies.