Oestrogen and progesterone work together in a woman’s body, what could be called a sort of “ying” and “yang” relationship. There is a delicate balance that exists between these two in the body of a healthy woman.
In the months making up a woman’s reproductive years, oestrogen is produced in higher levels during the first 14 days of her 28-day menstrual cycle (Note: Not every woman’s cycle is exactly 28 days). Its job is to cause the thickening of the lining of the uterus and a change in the cervical mucus in preparation for a pregnancy.
In the second 14 days of the menstrual cycle, progesterone is secreted from within the womb itself, causing the endometrium (surface of the lining of the uterus) to be thick with mucous. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone further causes the unfertilized egg and thickened lining to be sloughed off in the menstrual period.
If either oestrogen or progesterone becomes imbalanced within their relationship to one another, the timing of the entire menstrual cycle can be thrown off or completely disrupted. In addition to that, a number of other problems or symptoms occur including weight gain, water retention, anxiety and depression, mood swings, unclear thinking, low blood sugar levels, fatigue, sleeplessness, night sweats, headaches and more.
The amount of oestrogen and progesterone produced in the body fluctuates from month to month and is affected by various factors including overall health, differing stress levels, environmental factors which can cause “oestrogen dominance”, diet and physical activity. The goal for enjoying optimum health is to maintain the bodies hormonal balance through attention to diet and exercise, diminishing sources of stress and anxiety, and protection from harmful environmental circumstance so that the body’s systems, including the production of hormones oestrogen and progesterone operate harmoniously.
Supplementing with natural progesterone during the second part of the cycle can reduce the nasty symptoms and bring the balance between oestrogen and progesterone back to a more normal level. Once normal hormone balance is restored you should feel much, much better within yourself in the days leading up to the start of your period.