What Is Progesterone?
Progesterone is an essential hormone for fertility and menstruation. It is secreted by the corpus luteum which is a temporary endocrine gland that is produced during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Thoroughly understanding its functions will help women make informed choices about their reproductive health.
What Does Progesterone Do?
Progesterone prepares the endometrium, the thick mucous membrane that lines the inside of the uterus, for a potential pregnancy after ovulation. This triggers the lining to thicken and accept the fertilized egg. Additionally, progesterone prevents muscle contractions in the uterus which would lead to a rejection of the egg.
If the woman does not become pregnant, the corpus luteum breaks down which ends up lowering the progesterone level in the body, initiating menstruation. If the woman does conceive, progesterone continues to stimulate the body to provide blood vessels in the endometrium which will feed the growing fetus. It also prepares the uterus further to accept the fertilized egg. After the placenta develops, progesterone is once again secreted to support the corpus luteum. High levels of progesterone during pregnancy prohibit further eggs from being produced in the body. Furthermore, the hormone helps prepare the breasts for milk production.
What Are the Risks?
Low levels of progesterone can often lead to abnormal menstrual cycles or a struggle to conceive a baby because a proper environment to help the egg grow is not triggered by a sufficient amount of progesterone. If a woman with low levels of progesterone is successfully able to conceive, she may later face a risk of miscarriage or preterm delivery.
Some common signs that indicate a low level of progesterone are abnormal uterine bleeding, irregular periods, and abdominal pain during pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone may also cause gallbladder problems or weight gains.
If you feel that are you are experiencing any of these issues, consult a board-certified doctor as soon as possible to find the ideal solution for you.
Dr. Susan K. Linder is a Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, Functional & Regenerative Medicine. She is also board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, with a subspecialty board certification in Pain Management. Dr. Linder is the Medical Director of HealthSpringMD conveniently located in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on nutritional health, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and overall Optimal Wellness, visit Dr. Linder’s website or call today to reserve a seat at one of her free educational seminars 817-926- 7671.