What is progesterone?
It is a hormone produced in the ovaries of women.
It is also produced by men, but in small amounts.
It is a fundamental hormone and is the forerunner for the production of additional, important hormones includingand cortisone. Progesterone, in conjunction with oestrogen, works to regulate a woman’s reproductive cycle.
Why Does the Body Need Progesterone
Progesterone is considered critically important to a woman’s health. It is produced prior to ovulation to prepare a woman’s uterus for accepting a fertilized egg. Each month, during a woman’s childbearing years, progesterone is secreted from within the ovaries signaling the body to thicken the lining of the uterus, so that a fertilized egg may attach and begin to develop.
If a woman becomes pregnant, progesterone is then produced by the placenta to maintainand prevent rejection (spontaneous abortion) of the embryo. When pregnancy does not occur, the levels of progesterone decrease, and the thickened uterine lining along with the unfertilized egg is shed in the menstrual period.
The most important role relative to a woman’s general health, is to keep the level of oestrogen in a woman’s body in a balanced state. Unchecked oestrogen can lead to very serious medical issues including increased risk for breast cancer or cancer of the reproductive organs.
In addition to the reproductive system, it also stimulates thyroid activity, reduces inflammation, helps with immunity, blood-clotting abilities and other functions of the body. It is also used in synthetic (man-made) form to help with treatment of menstrual problems, prevent miscarriages and for birth control.
The body requires progesterone during all of the different phases of a woman’s life. It is therefore important that a woman’s body continues to generate progesterone even in the post-menopausal years, especially to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.