“The linchpin of the family is the mother, so when her life becomes a misery each month, and the disturbances of the premenstrual syndrome recur, the consequences affect the whole family.”
Part I: What is Progesterone
Progesterone is the hormone produced at the time of ovulation to prepare the uterine cavity for implantation of an embryo (the pregnancy hormone). Progesterone deficiencies and imbalances are common and can occur from the day a young lady has her first period. Progesterone deficiencies at an early age tend to be passed down from mother to daughter. At our Natural Bio Health clinics in Austin, San Antonio and College Station clinics, we frequently treat a wide range of female health problems with progesterone.
Heavy menstrual flow. Without progesterone, the effects of the estrogen hormone will cause the lining of the uterus to become very thick. This can result in very heavy menstrual flows. Sometimes, the result is irregular menstrual flows or cycles. Heavy flow is a common sign of progesterone deficiency. So is not having a period in young ladies. Note that there are other causes of heavy bleeding including cysts. Consult with your physician for any heavy or frequent bleeding.
Cramping & Headaches. Other possible symptoms of low progesterone are cramping, headaches (including migraines) and irritability. Low levels of progesterone also can result in PMS, infertility, ovulation dysfunction, increased risk of breast cancer, endometriosis or fibroid tumors of the uterus, weight gain and postmenopausal symptoms.
Pregnancy Hormone. Progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum which is formed from the small follicle cyst that contains estrogen. This follicle is first stimulated by FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) from the pituitary gland. The follicle then matures the egg. The increased level of estrogen then causes the release of LH (luteinizing hormone) from the pituitary gland.
The egg is then released and the follicle cyst wall is sealed off. The cyst then becomes known as the corpus luteum and produces progesterone. Should the egg not be fertilized, the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone and the menstrual cycle begins, sloughing the entire endometrial lining to start over again the next cycle (bleeding).
The many benefits of Progesterone (only a few are listed here)
Prevention of Preterm Births and Miscarriages, One of the primary treatments for women who are at risk for preterm delivery is progesterone. Just as progesterone in the first trimester can reduce the incidence of early termination of pregnancy (miscarriages) progesterone during the later trimesters can reduce the rate of preterm deliveries.
Prevention or reduction of Sleep Disturbances. Progesterone modulates growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone and melatonin secretion in postmenopausal women. This all helps sleep.
Breast Cancer Protection. Progesterone inhibits the growth of human breast cancer cells due to P13-kinase/AKT pathway causing apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Progesterone was shown to inhibit proliferation of normal breast epithelial cells as well as breast cancer cells.
Sleep and Depression. Progesterone at optimal levels tends to improve the quality of sleep and is often described as a “feel good” hormone.
Over the next several weeks, in my blog series, “Progesterone: Why you can’t live without it!!, I will discuss the use of progesterone in each of the different conditions mentioned above. I will start with one of the more common one, PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
If you want to know how this incredible hormone affects almost every aspect of a woman’s life (and her family), and how our medical system makes so many mistakes through its ignorance of progesterone, look for my continuing series. A life may be saved with this knowledge.
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Disclaimer: There is no single scholarly journal article on this topic. Instead, the information was gleaned from several sources and is believed to be factually correct.