While Progesterone is found in both men and women, it is most important to women’s health and is one of critical hormones for the female reproductive system. Maintaining healthy, balanced Progesterone levels can improve your health in many different areas. Paired with Estrogen, these two hormones regulate some of the body’s most important parts and functions.
Progesterone is most widely knows for its effect on the uterus, playing a key role in preparing your body for the wonder of pregnancy. When a fertilized egg reaches the uterus, it needs a healthy, thick uterus lining to latch onto and grow. It controls the growth of this lining, with higher levels increasing the thickness of the lining of your uterus. Hormonal levels rise in the first half of the menstrual cycle as the body prepares for potential pregnancy and stays elevated during pregnancy to promote a healthy pregnancy. When Progesterone levels are low, this can result in PMS, heavy periods, and infertility.
One of Progesterone’s important functions is to support the balance of your body’s Estrogen levels. If levels are too low, Estrogen dominance can occur, allowing this hormone to build up in your body and cause many issues. This can even lead to breast cancer or uterine cancer, among other issues. Having a healthy hormone balance of Estrogen and Progesterone is critical for the optimal functioning of the female body.
An optimal Progesterone level is vital for many other bodily functions. Every cell in your body has a receptor for Progesterone, not just the uterus. This means that Progesterone affects the entire body. Progesterone affects the amount of fluid that you retain, helps to keep bones strong, keeps skin from wrinkling and looking older, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, can increase libido, etc. One of the overlooked functions of Progesterone is that it promotes healthy nerve cell growth and can create a calming effect, relieving stress and promoting brain health which improves focus and memory.
Low levels, or hormone imbalance, can cause many symptoms. Some women may experience:
When an imbalance between Progesterone and Estrogen occurs, many other problems can arise. If you have such a hormonal imbalance, you may experience:
For non-pregnant women or women in menopause, progesterone balancing is also critical to keeping your Estrogen levels under control. High Estrogen levels can cause many issues, some even life-threatening. It is common for women in perimenopause or menopause to have very low levels of Progesterone, which can cause the negative effects of Estrogen to occur more often. High Estrogen levels can even lead to breast cancer, which is why hormone balancing is often used to treat perimenopause and menopause.
Progesterone also helps support a healthy pregnancy. When a fertilized egg is successfully implanted into the uterus lining, levels elevate to promote the growth of dilated blood vessels. These blood vessels are critical to feeding the growing embryo with nutrient-carrying blood until the placenta is formed, usually around week 10. It also helps prevent uterus contractions that could otherwise expel the egg.
Since it is so critical to a healthy pregnancy, Progesterone imbalance can have catastrophic effects if you are looking to become pregnant or maintain your pregnancy. If the lining of your uterus is not thick and healthy, the fertilized egg will not be able to implant within the uterus and grow. Without enough blood supply, even a successfully implanted embryo can fail. Spotting and ectopic pregnancies are not uncommon for women with low Progesterone.
Depending on your individual needs, Progesterone hormonal balancing is treated in a wide variety of ways. We have found that treatments taken orally are particularly effective for treating the effects of mood and sleep problems in women with hormone imbalance. Creams are another option, available in both topical and vaginal forms. Bioidentical Progesterone is the form of Progesterone that is utilized in your treatment regime. You may also need other supplements to optimize your hormonal balance.
Our team at An Optimal You will work with you closely to ensure your treatment plan is perfectly tailored to your individual needs. We are here to help, every step of the way