Progesterone is one of the naturally occurring hormones. It plays a vital role in a woman’s body. Apart from helping in maintaining pregnancy, it also plays a role in your sex life. It can also be made synthetically in laboratories and finds extensive uses in oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Women can consume this orally for stirring up their menstrual period. In addition to this it is used to treat the abnormal uterine bleeding associated with the hormonal imbalance. It also helps in fighting the symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is used with the hormone estrogen as a part of hormone replacement therapy.
How Does It Work?
Progesterone is the hormone released by ovaries. Any changes in their levels lead to abnormal menstrual periods and menopause symptoms. Progesterone is critical for the implantation of fertilized egg in the uterus to maintain the pregnancy. The laboratory made form, called progestogen, imitates the functions of natural progesterone released by the ovaries.
Benefits of Progesterone
Women are familiar with this as a hormone that is vital for fertility and to sustain the pregnancy. However, apart from these advantages, progesterone offers many other health benefits as well. It plays a major role in determining your cardiovascular health, nervous system health, breast health, brain functioning and the likes.
It is also used to treat the withdrawal symptoms of certain drugs like benzodiazepines. Progesterone cream, further, is utilized in the hormone replacement therapy. The hormone is also essential for treating the menopausal symptoms such as the hot flashes. The topical progesterone has its applications in treating the allergies where the hormones play a significant role. It is also used in treating the bloating, impotence or decreased sex and breast tenderness. Apart from these, it also used for curing lumpy breasts, low blood sugar, infertility, miscarriages, memory loss, bone loss in the young women, brittle bones, increased blood clotting, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, weight gain, and water retention. Also this can be used intravaginally or as the injection to treat infertility and PMS symptoms.
Progesterone as a Neurosteroid
This hormone protects the brain from the damages and repairs the brain after the injury. In-fact it is an important hormone that circulates in the bloodstreams. It has the direct access to the brain and nerves. It also promotes the growth and repair of myelin sheath which protects the nerve fibers. It protects your brain from the damages that are caused by the traumatic brain injury. It is not only used to treat the brain injuries, but it is also used to cure the stroke. Progesterone has substantial protective effects on the tissues of the brain.
Progesterone And The Brain Development
Women who intake this hormone during their pregnancy show an enhanced development during the infancy. If their consumption levels are too low, it affects the normal brain development and puts the infant at risk.
Progesterone Treats The Anxiety And Facilitates Memory
It metabolizes the brain tissues naturally to metabolize the allopregnanolone. Also it has calming and enhanced memory effects on your body.
Progesterone As A Sleeping Aid
Women who use the oral form may experience the calming effects. Most doctors suggest consuming progesterone at the bedtime. It is because the absorption of oral progesterone by intestine leads to the production of large quantity of the metabolites in the liver. These metabolites have sedative and hypnotic effects.
On the other hand, the women using the progesterone cream do not produce the metabolites in large quantities because progesterone gets absorbed through the skin and bypasses liver metabolism.
Side Effects Of Progesterone
It is considerably notified that prescription products are likely safe when used orally through or applied to the skin or vagina or injected into muscle under the guidance of the health care professionals. However, progesterone causes various side effects including:
- Weight gain
- Drowsiness or insomnia
- Change in appetite
- Fluid retention
- Discomfort of breast
- Irregular bleeding
- Altered menstrual cycles or irregular menstrual cycles
- Premenstrual syndrome
Special Precautions And Warnings
Intravaginal progesterone gel is safe when it is applied as a part of infertility treatment. Using progesterone during pregnancy is unsafe for other purposes. There is no any proper evidence about the safety of consuming the hormone if you are a lactating mother. However, stay on the safer side and avoid using this if you are a breastfeeding mother.
- Arterial disease – Do not use this if you have the arterial disease.
- Breast cancer – Avoid the usage of hormone unless if your doctor has advised you to consume
- Depression – Consult your health care professional before consuming especially if you have major depression.
- Liver disease – Consuming this hormone if you have the liver disease will make the situation worse
- Vaginal bleeding – If you have the undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, do not use this hormone.
Estrogen Interaction With Progesterone
Estrogen, like progesterone, is a hormone. It is highly suggested to intake these hormones together daily. Progesterone has the great capacity to counter the side effects of the estrogen. However, consuming this along with estrogen also decreases the benefits of the estrogen. Consuming the progesterone along with estrogen also causes breast tenderness.
For hormone replacement therapy, it is highly recommended to intake 200 mg of micronized hormone per day. It is highly recommended to continue this dosage for 12 days of the 25 days cycle with 0.625 mg conjugated estrogen.
- Skin application
For the hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, apply 20 mg progesterone cream on the body including thighs, breasts or upper arms.
- Vaginal use
Breast pain linked with the non-cancerous breast diseases the typical dose is 4 grams of vaginal cream that contain 2.5% of the natural progesterone. It is placed inside the vagina starting from 19th day to 25th day of the menstrual cycle.