Effects of progesterone often depends on the type of progesterone. Synthetic progesterone (producing the hormone in a lab) is much different than natural progesterone (hormone that has the same chemical structure as the human body).
Progesterone is one of the primary hormones made by the ovaries in menstruating women. Progesterone is made by the corpus luteum of the ovary, starting just before ovulation and increasing rapidly after ovulation.
Progesterone is important because it's necessary for the survival the fertilized ovum, the resulting embryo, and the fetus throughout gestation, when progesterone production is controlled by the placenta.
Progesterone is made from the sterol pregnenolone (made from cholesterol), which comes from the breakdown of sugar and fat in the body. In the ovaries, progesterone is the precursor of estrogen, testosterone, and all the important adrenal cortical hormones.
Progesterone being a precursor to so many other hormones, it's easy to see whyprogesterone deficiency can cause such a wide range of problems.
Natural progesterone has many beneficial actions on the body. Progesterone protects against undesirable side effects of estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance allows the influx of water and sodium into cells, causing water retention and high blood pressure. Estrogen dominance also reduces the amount of oxygen present in the cells and opposes the thyroid action.
Also, high estrogen levels and estrogen unopposed by progesterone decreases sex drive, increases the likelihood of fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, uterine (endometrial) cancer, and breast cancer. All these undesirable effects of estrogen are countered by effects of progesterone.
Restoring progesterone to appropriate levels via natural progesterone is known as natural hormone replacement.
The following are effects of progesterone...
Many people, even doctors, don't consider progesterone to be a male hormone even though it is. Some also don't consider that men produce estrogen, even though they do. Both men and women produce the same hormones, just in different amounts.
Progesterone in men is synthesized by their testes to produce testosterone and in their adrenals to produce corticosteroids. Progesterone levels in men are naturally much lower than the levels in women. However, after menopause, a women's level of progesterone falls lower than men of the same age.
Many premenopausal women complain of not being interested in sex. Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) became popular because early supporters of estrogen replacement created a myth promising that estrogen keeps women feminine and sexually attractive.
Many premenopausal and menopausal women that have lost the desire for sex also have water retention, fibrocystic breasts, depression, dry wrinkling skin, irregular and sometimes heavy periods. These are signs and symptoms of progesterone deficiency caused by a failure to ovulate while estrogen continues to produce. This is to say loss of sex drive may correlate with progesterone deficiency, not estrogen deficiency.
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