Progesterone deficiency in menopausal women is a critical part that every woman needs to know off so that they are better equipped to handle their menopausal period. To many women, menopause is caused by the hormonal imbalance in the body, many do not know what causes the hormonal imbalance in the body. This article seeks to shade more light on what exactly is progesterone, what are its functions in the body, low progesterone levels in the body with relation to menopause, symptoms of deficiency in progesterone, and how to know whether one has a progesterone deficiency.
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a hormone that is found in everybody-men, women, and children. This hormone is essential for longevity and good health. Especially for women at reproductive age, their body needs a lot of progesterone hormone and the body produces large amounts of progesterone during the pregnancy period. Natural progesterone is produced during a woman’s monthly cycle by the ovaries. It affects a woman’s reproductive cycle and her ability to have children.
Functions of Progesterone
The progesterone hormone plays the critical role of balancing and neutralizing the powerful effect of excess estrogen in the body. In the event of estrogen having dominance in the body, an individual stands to suffer from the harmful effects of estrogen and it is getting out of control. In the body, progesterone is a thousand times more than estrogen. It helps in the building of other hormones like estrogen, corticosteroids and glucocorticoids among others. In the absence of progesterone, there would be no reproduction. Estrogen stimulates cell growth while progesterone works to ensure growth is maintained at healthy levels. It ensures the development and survival of the embryo.
Here are a few facts about progesterone:
- Progesterone is not exclusively a female hormone
- It is the precursor to estrogen and testosterone
- It is not a sex hormone
- It is secreted by ovaries
Low Progesterone Levels and Menopause
Low progesterone levels in the body leads to uncontrolled estrogen which leads to hormonal imbalance that is often cited as the cause of menopause. The production of less estrogen starts in an individual’s 30’s and progresses on with increased age periods. This lack of progesterone and consequent hormonal imbalance is what causes menopausal symptoms and other health issues for menopausal women and even men in their 30s and 40s. When there are missed ovulations and periods, natural progesterone is not produced. The periods during which there is no ovulation or reduced ovulation is during peri-menopause and menopause.
Symptoms of Deficiency in Progesterone
There are many symptoms of deficiency in progesterone. They include but are not limited to the following;
- Bloating and excess water retention
- Anxiety disorders
- growth of facial hair
- Hair loss
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Thyroid imbalance and
- Brain fog among others
The use of natural progesterone is used to treat the above-mentioned symptoms. For instance, the third trimester for a pregnant woman demands lots of progesterone amounts. The body has to produce 300-400mg of progesterone. This high demand leads to a deficiency after the child is born. Such a case leaves the woman the condition commonly known as post-partum depression
Currently, women are now faced with the challenge of synthetic progesterone hormones that are available in the market to treat the above conditions. The use of natural progesterone is greatly encouraged and is now gaining popularity. The easiest way to treat these symptoms would be through the use of natural progesterone cream. It is even safe with children, unlike the synthetic progesterone treatment.
How to Know When One Is Deficient In Progesterone
For one to know whether they are deficient in progesterone, they would have to do a blood test. A blood sample is taken and used to check of certain hormones. They include; estrogens (estriol, estradiol, and estrone), progesterone and two androgens.
The second option would be to do a salivary hormone analysis. A salivary hormone analysis is also used to check for the health of women for such conditions as fibrocystic breast cancer, breast cancer,osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, dementia, heart disease, peri-menopause, painful cramps and polycystic ovary syndrome.
While progesterone plays a critical role in the woman’s body, it decline and deficiency can carry very drastic consequences for a woman. The good news is that for the symptoms of deficiency of progesterone, there is the remedy of natural progesterone that could be obtained by the woman suffering from progesterone deficiency. It is important to not only rely on the symptoms of progesterone but also to seek the proper diagnosis of the deficiency so that proper treatment is administered.