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Progesterone

Structural formula of Progesterone

What is progesterone?

Progesterone is one of the steroid hormones that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and early stages of pregnancy. It is secreted by the corpus luteum, a temporary endocrine gland that females produce in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone also plays a role in sexual desire. Low levels of progesterone can cause some serious difficulties in conception and during pregnancy. 

How does progesterone work?

During the menstrual cycle, when the egg is released during ovulation, the other ovarian follicles that enclosed a developing egg form a structure called the corpus luteum. This releases progesterone that prohibits muscle contraction in the uterus that would cause the body to reject an egg. High levels of progesterone prevents the body from ovulating. 

The uterine cycle and hormone levels of the menstrual cycle

If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum breaks down which lowers the progesterone levels in the body. In the case of pregnancy, progesterone stimulates the blood vessels in the endometrium that will feed the early embryo. Progesterone creates an environment for a fertilized egg and prepares the tissue lining of the uterus to allow the fertilized egg to implant. In the early stages of pregnancy, the corpus luteum continues to produce progesterone and establishes the placenta. Once the placenta is developed, it takes over the progesterone production around 8-12 weeks. Progesterone also prepares the breasts for lactation. 

Potential problems with progesterone production

Woman looking at a pregnancy test

High progesterone levels are believed to be partly responsible for PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, and feeling bloated*.

In pregnancy, the level of progesterone increases, therefore, low production of progesterone may cause complications. 

People with low levels of progesterone often have heavy menstrual bleeding or may face difficulties in conceiving as there is not an appropriate amount of progesterone to set the environment for a fertilized egg to grow. Low progesterone levels can cause a miscarriage or a preterm delivery*. 

Symptoms of Low Progesterone
  • Irregular periods
  • Abdominal pain during pregnancy
  • Frequent miscarriages
  • Spotting during pregnancy

Supplementation

Progesterone lab test

Progesterone products are available over the counter which women use to treat PMS symptoms or abnormal uterine bleeding*. Progesterone is also used in combination with estrogen as part of hormone replacement therapy and for treating menopausal symptoms

Progesterone injections are used to treat infertility*. Some people may experience side effects like loss of appetite, weight gain, upset stomach, water retention, headache, fever, allergies, drowsiness or insomnia. 

Hormone Testing Available

Fantastic affordable blood spot, saliva, and saliva + blood test kits

At Coast to Coast Compounding we can provide you with an at-home testing kit which allows you to test your own hormone levels. Speak with one of our knowledgeable pharmacists or your healthcare provider for more information on using one of these testing kits. Click here for more information on how to get your hormones tested.

What role does progesterone play in the female system?

Progesterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in the female reproductive system. It is produced by the ovaries, and is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for pregnancy. Here are the top 10 benefits of progesterone in the female body:

  1. Regulates the menstrual cycle: Progesterone helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, preparing the uterus for pregnancy and maintaining the thickened lining of the uterus.
  2. Helps to maintain pregnancy: Progesterone plays a vital role in maintaining pregnancy, supporting the growth and development of the fetus.
  3. Helps to prevent miscarriage: Progesterone helps to prevent miscarriage by maintaining the thickened lining of the uterus and supporting the growth and development of the fetus.
  4. Helps to prevent preterm labor: Progesterone helps to prevent preterm labor by relaxing the muscles of the uterus and maintaining the thickened lining of the uterus.
  5. Helps to balance estrogen levels: Progesterone helps to balance estrogen levels in the body, reducing the risk of estrogen dominance and its associated health concerns.
  6. Helps to maintain bone density: Progesterone plays a role in maintaining bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related health concerns.
  7. Helps to reduce anxiety and stress: Progesterone has a calming effect on the body and mind, helping to reduce anxiety and stress.
  8. Helps to improve sleep: Progesterone can help to improve sleep, allowing the body to rest and repair itself.
  9. Helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer: Progesterone has been shown to have a protective effect against breast cancer, reducing the risk of this disease.
  10. Helps to improve mood: Progesterone has a positive effect on mood, helping to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

FAQs About Bio-Identical Progesterone

  1. What is bio-identical progesterone? Bio-identical progesterone is a type of progesterone that is identical in structure to the progesterone produced by the body. It is often used as a hormone replacement therapy to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalances, such as menopause and perimenopause.
  2. Is bio-identical progesterone safe? Bio-identical progesterone is generally considered safe when used as directed. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any hormone replacement therapy to ensure it is appropriate for your individual health needs and concerns.
  3. How is bio-identical progesterone administered? Bio-identical progesterone can be administered in various ways, including oral, topical, and transdermal forms. The best form of administration depends on individual factors, such as the specific health condition being treated and the individual’s response to the therapy. It is recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriate form of administration for bio-identical progesterone.
  4. What are the potential side effects of bio-identical progesterone? The potential side effects of bio-identical progesterone vary depending on the form of administration and the individual’s response to the therapy. Some common side effects of bio-identical progesterone may include bloating, breast tenderness, and changes in libido.
  5. Can bio-identical progesterone be used in combination with other medications? Bio-identical progesterone can be used in combination with other medications, but it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your individual health needs and concerns.
  6. How does bio-identical progesterone differ from synthetic progesterone? Bio-identical progesterone is structurally identical to the progesterone produced by the body, whereas synthetic progesterone is a man-made version of the hormone that may not have the same effects as natural progesterone.
  7. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat menopause? Bio-identical progesterone can be used to treat menopause, helping to relieve symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
  8. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat PMS? Bio-identical progesterone can be used to treat PMS, helping to relieve symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, and mood changes.
  9. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to prevent osteoporosis? Bio-identical progesterone can be used to prevent osteoporosis, as it plays a role in maintaining bone density.
  10. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to improve mood? Bio-identical progesterone can be used to improve mood, as it has a positive effect on mood and may help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  11. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat infertility? Bio-identical progesterone may be used to treat infertility, as it plays a role in preparing the uterus for pregnancy and maintaining the thickened lining of the uterus. However, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriate use of bio-identical progesterone for treating infertility.
  12. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat acne? Bio-identical progesterone may be used to treat acne, as it can help to balance estrogen levels and reduce the risk of estrogen dominance. However, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriate use of bio-identical progesterone for treating acne.
  13. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat endometriosis? Bio-identical progesterone may be used to treat endometriosis, as it can help to reduce the growth of endometrial tissue and reduce the associated pain and discomfort. However, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriate use of bio-identical progesterone for treating endometriosis.
  14. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat PCOS? Bio-identical progesterone may be used to treat PCOS, as it can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the risk of hormonal imbalances. However, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriate use of bio-identical progesterone for treating PCOS.
  15. Can bio-identical progesterone be used to treat uterine fibroids? Bio-identical progesterone may be used to treat uterine fibroids, as it can help to reduce the growth of fibroid tissue and reduce the associated symptoms. However, it is important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriate use of bio-identical progesterone for treating uterine fibroids.

Disclaimers:

You should always consult your health care provider before starting any herbal supplements or products.   *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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