Progesterone plays a matchless role in the female organism. It’s produced by the ovaries and partially by the placenta. Its key functions are regulation of menstruation and preparing the body’s mechanisms to the impregnation. The normal limits of the substance are one of the marks of the proper state of health. It should be regularly checked before and during pregnancy. Below we will tell you about signs and symptoms of progesterone insufficiency, its causes, and treatment methods.
Signs & Symptoms of Low Progesterone
A symptom is a phenomenon that is experienced by the person having a certain condition. A sign is an outwardly visible indication that can be observed by someone other than the individual having the ailment or disease. Thus, symptoms of poor progesterone in non-pregnant women include:
- low sex drive (libido);
- various menstrual disorders, in particular,
delayed menstruation, oligomenorrhea, polymenorrhea, amenorrhea.
Women, facing such distinction are less likely to become pregnant. After the conception, the risk of
In those cases, when the pregnancy is achieved, the insufficiency of this hormone increases the probability of spontaneous abortion. Not pregnant women also experience mood changes, anxiety and depression. However, the terms “sign” and “symptom” are often interchanged.
During pregnancy females suffer from:
- permanent breast tenderness;
- frequent decreased blood glucose;
- dryness in the vagina;
- brain fog;
- sagging skin.
Causes of Low Progesterone in Women
What causes low progesterone in females? It’s one of the most widespread question, asked on specialized forums and on doctor’s consultation. The rapid decline of the progesterone concentration in the blood can be triggered by the following conditions:
- emotional respond to stress, fatigue, etc.;
- genetic vulnerability;
- deterioration of the menstrual cycle;
- estrogen dominance, which is manifested in cellulite, varicose veins, bloating, ets.
Pathological causes of the disorder:
- problems with the pituitary gland, inducing a lack of luteinizing hormone;
- improper functioning of the thyroid gland;
- disfunctions of ovaries;
- severe infectious and chronic diseases, affecting ovarian tissues.
Progesterone’s Role in A Conceiving Process
This hormonal substance plays a crucial role for a pregnancy planning. The fluctuation of its amount isn’t recommended during this period. Ideally, it must stay stable and in a normal frames.
This hormone is so necessary for the reproductive system because progesterone:
- a strict diet, which doesn’t supply with vital nutrients, especially fats;
- is involved in creation of a favorable conditions, in which the egg can fertilize in the uterus, the viability of the fetal egg rises substantially;
- provides uterine contractions, excluding the risk of spontaneous miscarriage;
- helps to strengthen the endometrium, which is very important for maintaining the embryo;
- controls the proliferation of minor blood vessels in the endometrium.
During ovulation estrogens and other hormonal substances’ influence contributes to the creation of the pituitary body, a yellow body (also called corpus luteum). This is the gland that appears on the site of the burst follicle after ovulation. A follicle synthesizes special substance agents, which facilitate its growth. These agents that form the necessary conditions for the endometrium to attach the egg and increase the sensitivity of the inner membranes of the uterus to progesterone.
As soon as ovulation ends, the process of intense progesterone manufacturing is provided by the yellow body. Under its influence, the decidual membrane of the endometrium, which is vital for implantation of the foetus, grows and stores useful components and nutrients. What does a low level mean? In the period of planning pregnancy the migration of the fertilized egg through the Fallopian tube is affected. Besides, an unimpeded attachment of the egg to the uterus’s walls is impacted. Such condition can induce difficulties in conceiving a newborn and temporary infertility.
How to Diagnose Low Progesterone Quantity?
The abovementioned signs and symptoms are reasons to visit a doctor in order to conduct a lab test, aimed at revealing the hormonal level. Diagnosis is performed by measuring progesterone quantity in the patient’s blood.
This checking is a simple test that doesn’t require certain preparation. For non-pregnant women the most suitable time for its conduction is end of the first week of the luteinizing phase. On the 7th day the highest development of the yellow body in the ovary is observed. Patients may submit to this test on the 21st day of the menstrual cycle only if she has a regular cycle, lasting 28 days. For others, a doctor’s determination of the optimal time, made with an individual approach, is compulsory. Only this way the results will be precise.
This test, detecting the progesterone amount, is also applied for controlling HRT and the woman’s state of health if the risk of premature delivery and other threats is observed.
How to Treat the Condition?
After diagnosing progesterone in a woman, intending to conceive, a physician prescribes drugs, based on this hormone, for instanceDuphaston, which is very popular in gynecological practice and proves its efficiency. This synthesized analogue, copying the effect of the natural women’s progesterone is a powerful remedy for combating infertility, spontaneous abortions, possible abortion, dysmenorrhea (menstrual diorders), endometriosis. It’s effectiveness allows to use it for treating women pathological absence of menstruation (having a pathological nature) and curing uterine bleeding. Only the licenced specialist can decide what therapy to follow and what dosage of Duphaston to take. Other medications for low progesterone treatment include:
- An oral medicine called Provera (medroxyprogesterone C22H32O3). It is also marketed as Livomedrox, Embryogen, Medrocil, Medrone, Depofemme, Depocon, Depotrim, Provenor, Sayana, Solutres, Triclofem, Veraplex, and Deponeo in different countries.
- Creams & gels, which may be administered topically or vaginally.
- Suppositories, which are typically used when treating low hormone levels causing infertility.
- Vaginal rings, which provide slower releases of active substances than oral preparations. The ring is a novel system for luteal support with high efficiency. However, large trials are needed to determine optimal protocols for their use (Laurel Stadtmauer and Kay Waud, Norfolk [USA], 2015).
Some females find that the drugs cause side effects that may include heart palpitations, sleepiness or nausea, so the proper dosage should be prescribed by a healthcare expert.
In case of the absence of pregnancy (confirmed by the results of hCG blood test) the med can be withheld on the 12th or 13th day, which triggers a menstrual bleeding. If pregnancy takes place, the continuance of the treatment should last until the 16th week of gestation (early pregnancy), until the placenta is completely formed so as to be able to emit the hormone.
During menopause, combined hormonal drugs containing 2 hormones, namely estrogens and progesterone (the so called combined estrogen progesterone hormone replacement therapy) can be prescribed; by the way, you can read about testosterone replacement therapy). It prevents the development of the uterine cancer, osteoporosis, removes obnoxious attributes of menopause and enhances skin condition.
How to Increase Progesterone Levels Naturally?
It’s possible to boost its level by consuming such products as sweet pepper, camu camu or Peruvian berry, beans, oranges, asparagus, papaya, spinach, greens, mustard greens, prunes, carrots, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, Swiss chard), fiber foods (teff, quinoa, millet, gluten-free oats, amaranth).
You may prepare a vegetable salad and dress it heavily with a healthy topping (olive, sunflower or soybean oils). The diet should contain protein-rich foods, including fish (rich in Omega-3), various meats, cottage cheese. These products are essential for the function of the whole body.
For a dessert opt for fresh berries and different fruits like raspberry, strawberry, currant, mulberry, dog rose, blackberry, raisins, persimmon, assai berry, gooseberry, boysenberry, cranberry, elderberry, Goji berry, huckleberry, lingonberry, and apples. The production of hormones dramatically improves after eating walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistache, chestnuts, cashew, other edible nuts, and sunflower seeds. Fats contained in them are the building compounds for the progesterone’s and other sex hormones’ synthesis.
There are some methods of folk medicine. To raise the hormone’s level, you can daily drink herb tea on the basis of fresh raspberry leaves, lady’s mantle, pasque flower, and some other herbs. The use of these methods should be discussed with your doctor. Even herbs may cause adverse events, also they may interact with medicines. The same goes for remedies allowing to boost testosterone levels naturally.