Progesterone is a hormone that has been around for about 500 million years. That makes it the oldest hormone around.
It’s essential to all vertebrates: fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals – including humans. It has countless functions in both sexes and all ages.
This vital hormone plays a major role in the body. It is not exclusively a female sex hormone .
It plays no part in the secondary sexual characteristics which develop at puberty. It is the precursor to the hormones oestrogen and testosterone.
It is secreted primarily by the ovaries in females and the testes in men.
Smaller amounts are produced by the adrenal glands, the brain and glial cells in both sexes.
It helps produce other steroid hormones.
Why Does the Body Need Progesterone
The level of progesterone is considered critically important to a woman’s health.
Progesterone production prior to ovulation by the corpus luteum prepares the uterus to accept a fertilized egg.
Each month, during a woman’s childbearing years, amounts of progesterone are secreted from within the ovaries.
This signals the body to thicken the lining of the uterus, so that a fertilized egg may attach and develop.
If a woman becomes pregnant, progesterone is produced by the placenta.
This is to maintainand prevent rejection (spontaneous abortion) of the embryo.
When pregnancy does not occur, the levels decrease. The uterine lining and unfertilized egg is shed during the menstrual period.
The role relative to a woman’s general health, is to keep the level of oestrogen balanced.
Unchecked oestrogen can lead to very serious medical issues.
These include high risk for breast cancer or increased risk of cancer of the reproductive organs.
It helps thyroid activity, reduces inflammation, helps with immunity, blood-clotting abilities and other functions.
It is also used to help with treatment of menstrual cycle problems such as abnormal uterine bleeding due to uterine fibroids.
It can help prevent miscarriages when progesterone production is low.
Bio-Identical Progesterone can be used as a hormonal therapy as an alternative to synthetic hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopause symptoms.
It is therefore important that a woman’s body continues to receive progesterone even in the post-menopausal years. It can help to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.