Progesterone Test
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What is Progesterone?

Here are 10 facts about Progesterone to help you understand what progesterone is and why we need it

  • Women produce sex hormones that enable our body’s to regulate menstruation, control levels of libido and enable reproduction.
  • Progesterone works alongside the Estrogen and Testosterone hormones that ciculate our blood stream creating hormonal balance
  • Progesterone is part of a group of hormones called Progestogen.
  • Without enough progesterone we cannot maintain hormonal balance
  • Progesterone is a crucial hormone in women as it calms the influence of Estrogen in our body. Estrogen is a stimulant, so the effects of Estrogen and Progesterone balance each other.
  • Progesterone is made in the ovaries by the Corpus Luteum. It’s then released along with the other hormones into the blood stream so it can travel around your body.
  • Progesterone is made on a monthly cycle, after you ovulate. This normally occurs during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
  • Not having enough progesterone is called low progesterone or progesterone deficiency.
  • Sometimes it can be referred to as Estrogen Dominance. This is when either your body does not make enough progesterone to calm the effects of Estrogen OR you have high levels of Estrogen alone and the progesterone is not enough to counter the effects of it.
  • Progesterone deficiency and Estrogen dominance result in physical and physiological side effects.

As you can see women really do need progesterone!

Levels of progesterone can affect endocrine disorders like breast disease, breast cancer, Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and infertility. Low progesterone levels are also essential for carrying a pregnancy full term. Without enough of it the pregnancy can result in miscarriage, especially in the first trimester before the placenta ups it’s production of progesterone to help maintain the pregnancy.

How is progesterone made?

Hormone generation starts out in the brain with the pituitary gland. This is where the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) get produced. These hormones are essential for the egg in the ovaries to mature and ripen. Every month during ovulation, this egg is released from the ovarian follicle ready for impregnation.

The ovarian follicle makes Estrogen and Progesterone as it develops. Estrogen works (before ovulation) to thicken the lining of the uterus and progesterone maintains the strength of the lining (after ovulation).

During the second half of the menstrual cycle, after the egg has been released, progesterone production levels increase. This is when the corpus luteum takes over and the production of progesterone and estrogen.

How does progesterone help fertility?

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Progesterone is needed by the endometrium so it can work to secrete special proteins during the second half of the menstrual cycle. These proteins are needed to the body can prepare itself to receive and nourish an implanted fertilized egg. If you have not conceived and there is no implantation to support, the progesterone levels drop and you get your period. If implantation does not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and the endometrium breaks down. When this happens you menstruate and the cycle starts again.

If you do conceive then progesterone and estrogen levels remain high throughout the pregnancy and after the first trimester the placenta also starts producing progesterone to help the pregnancy along and avoid bleeding.