What does Progesterone Do?
Progesterone is a hormone that helps regulate several different functions in a woman’s body, chief among them her reproductive capability. When it is working at normal levels, progesterone helps regulate menstrual cycles, blood clotting, immunity, building up muscles and bones, produces collagen, regulates nerve function and thyroid function.
What Causes High Levels of Progesterone?
• Multiple Pregnancies: When a woman is carrying more than one child, her progesterone levels will typically tend to increase. As progesterone is necessary to help the body take care of a baby it only makes sense that the body would increase production during a multiple pregnancy.
• Uterine Cancer: In some forms of uterine cancer, progesterone levels are higher than normal. It could be a result of an estrogen-progesterone treatment in a woman who still has an intact uterus.
• Menopause: The onset of menopause at about age 52 produces an aberration in progesterone production, making
the levels fluctuate between too high and too low. These fluctuations in progesterone levels cause the irregular periods and hot flashes that are typically associated with menopause. This is the point at which doctors tend to recommend hormone therapy, which helps to increase levels of Progesterone hormone in women.
• Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Fluctuations in a woman’s emotional and mental stability a few weeks before
their menstrual cycle begins can be caused by fluctuations in progesterone levels.
• Adrenal Hyperplasia: This disorder is described as a deficient or excessive level of sex hormones being
produced, which brings on high levels of progesterone production. This is caused due to abnormal functioning of the adrenal gland which causes the side-effect of pre-menstrual syndrome.
• Mood Swings: Sudden tears, irritability, emotional changes, sadness, these are all symptoms of high Progesterone levels usually during menopause.
• Breast Sensitivity: High levels of progesterone hormone can cause your breasts to become ultra sensitive and hurt when pressure is put on them.
• Restless Sleep: Even though you may be sleeping more than normal, you feel tired when you wake up.
• Bloating: Menstrual bloat is brought on by high levels of progesterone.
• Vaginal Dryness: By counteracting the lubricating effects of estrogen high levels of progesterone can dry your vagina and make sex uncomfortable.
• Lack of Libido: Your interest in sex is decreased and you may become depressed.
If more than one or two if these symptoms seems familiar and occur at the same time you need to get a test for hormonal imbalances. High Progesterone levels were once treated with hormone therapy. Now they are generally treated with changes in diet as well as a few lifestyle changes. Certain foods such as soy, cherries, apples, and yams can help promote your body’s production of estrogen to bring things into proper balance. Exercise and stress management also help; hormone imbalances can be brought on my lack of exercise and excessive levels of stress in your life. Some herbs can also help you to produce more estrogen and bring your hormones into balance or nourish you glands to bring about the same effect. If you’d like to explore these options it is best to ask your doctor’s advice and follow the safe dose guidelines he/she gives you for their use.