Your Hormones – What Is Progesterone?

The word

When you hear talk of hormones, it's oestrogen that tends to get all of the attention.  It's the hormone that people think of as “the female hormone”, but it's not the only one that is important for our health.  There are over 50 hormones in the body, and four of these are directly related to the menstrual cycle as well as playing other roles.  We've all heard of oestrogen, but there's follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which stimulates the ovaries, luteinising hormone which triggers the release of an egg, and progesterone, which is what we're exploring today.

Progesterone is made primarily by the empty follicle after an egg is released, and it prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation, as well as maintaining that lining throughout a pregnancy should one occur.  A small amount of progesterone is made in the adrenal glands, but the reproductive system is the main source of it. 

Aside from its role in pregnancy progesterone aids sleep when it is metabolised.  Progesterone is turned into allopregnanolone which promotes sleep and helps regulate mood.  It is used to treat post-partum depression, but is also vital for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and regulating mood in women of all ages, which is why it is part of the bio-identical HRT package in many cases.

Progesterone has a stimulating effect on the thyroid which in turn supports the production of other vital hormones that are used in the many processes in the body that we're not even aware of.  Progesterone helps stimulate the metabolism, which is important for maintaining weight and gut health.  A slow metabolism leads not only to weight gain, but it can also lead to other digestive problems like constipation, leaky gut and even IBS if it is not addressed.  A stimulated metabolism also raises our energy levels and libido, giving us that mojo.

A problem that many women face in later life is thinning bones – osteopenia and osteoporosis are common after the menopause.  Progesterone is really important in the formation of osteoblasts, the cells that are used to build bone, and it helps in the building of muscle too.  With strong muscles and bones we can exercise regularly and effectively, which in turn boosts our mood, helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and keeps the pounds off our waistlines.

Progesterone is the hormone responsible for the pregnancy glow as it makes your skin and hair clear and shiny by reducing androgens, the “male” hormones which can contribute to thinning hair and oily skin.  If you're struggling with hair loss and skin problems, progesterone can be the answer and now that it is available in bio-identical forms (and not just the synthetic forms which have been advised against after clinical trial results) it is an option in a complete HRT package.

We think it is so important to know what else progesterone is responsible for, as it's not just a hormone for people who are still menstruating.  Whether it is suitable for you as part of an HRT package should be discussed with your doctor or menopause specialist, but now you're better informed about the roles this hormone plays.  Whether you use bio-identical progesterone (or indeed any HRT) or not, supplements like the MenoShake are safe and helpful for relieving many of the symptoms of menopause so you can enjoy living your life.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published