Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Natural Progesterone Replacement – Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency

Women’s bodies have two of the major sex hormones- estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is naturally occurring and is secreted by the ovaries during the menstrual cycle. In essence, progesterone is vital for the growth and the development of the secondary sexual characteristics of the female. The levels of natural progesterone in the body vary during the menstrual cycle and help counter the excessive growth of cells as a result of the effects of estrogen. Progesterone is also frequently used in combination with estrogen in birth control pills.

Symptoms of low progesterone generally start to appear at the time of premenopause and then in menopause. At around the age of 45, many women experience symptoms of tiredness, fatigue, mood changes, anxiety, apathy, headaches, facial flushing and skin dryness. Many of these effects are due to progesterone deficiency.

All women should know that natural progesterone is not the same as progestin. Progestins are synthetic progesterone made by pharmaceutical companies. Natural progesterone is found in high quantities in certain plants (Yams) found in the West Indies and Asia. The progesterone is then synthesized in the laboratory. Other sources of progesterone are dairy products. When cows are milked during pregnancy, levels of progesterone in the milk have been found to be high. There is some concern that these levels of progesterone may be excessively high for some individuals.

Progesterone is vital for the maintenance of pregnancy. It prepares the uterus to accept the ova and allows the sperm to fertile the egg. Progesterone also decreases contractility of the muscles in the uterus to allow the ova to implant. After child birth, levels of progesterone decrease and this allows the breast to produce milk.

Over the years, it has been found that natural progesterone has many other functions including regulation of body temperature, maintenance of body‘s coagulation parameters and enhancing the immune system.

When progesterone deficiency is diagnosed, the health care worker may write a prescription for natural progesterone creams or gels according to the patient’s deficiency. Progesterone is also available in various formulations including pill and suppositories. Talk to your doctor about what he thinks is best for you,

The natural progesterone found in yams can be bought from any health food store and does not require a prescription. However, these creams often do not contain enough progesterone to do much good.

Today progesterone is widely used to treat women who are unable to conceive as well as progesterone deficiency in premenopause and menopausal women. Progesterone is also used to control bleeding which occurs in-between the cycles and has also been used to treat women who have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss. It has many health benefits and women feel better physically and mentally when progesterone deficiency is treated with natural progesterone.

All women who wish to take progesterone must discuss the issue with their health care professional. Before one takes progesterone, it is important to ensure that one has progesterone deficiency. The levels of hormones and progesterone is measured by either a blood test or a saliva test. One never wants to have too much progesterone because too much can have the opposite effect. What you are trying to achieve is hormone balance and this is why you need to have a follow up appointment to re-check your hormone levels again after two to three months to be sure you have corrected the progesterone deficiency in your body. You will also probably be able to tell the doctor how you are feeling and it is most likely if you have the correct dosage, you will feel relief from all of your symptoms.

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