Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone crucial for the female reproductive system, mainly produced in the ovaries after ovulation. It prepares the uterus for potential pregnancy and maintains it if pregnancy occurs; if not, its levels drop to trigger menstruation. Progesterone also affects sexual desire, mood regulation, and bone strength. In pregnancy, it's produced by the placenta to support the pregnancy and prepare for breastfeeding. Men have lower levels of progesterone, involved in sperm development.

Progesterone

Who would benefit from testing their progesterone levels?

Testing progesterone levels can be particularly beneficial for women experiencing infertility or recurrent miscarriages, as it’s crucial for maintaining early pregnancy. It’s also helpful for diagnosing conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or luteal phase defects in women with irregular menstrual cycles. Those undergoing hormone replacement therapy, including menopausal women and transgender individuals, may need their progesterone levels monitored to adjust treatment. Additionally, testing can aid in identifying the causes of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menstrual irregularities. In pregnant women, progesterone levels can sometimes indicate the health of the placenta.

What is the difference between natural progesterone and progestins?

Natural progesterone, identical to the hormone produced by the human body, is often used in hormone replacement therapy and for menstrual and fertility issues, with fewer side effects compared to synthetic versions. Synthetic progestins, man-made to mimic natural progesterone but with different chemical structures, are commonly found in hormonal contraceptives and some HRT types.

What are symptoms of low progesterone?

  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage or preterm birth
  • Mood changes
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Spotting between periods
  • Breast tenderness

Test(s) that measure/test for Progesterone

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