The unsung hero – progesterone.
I feel like estrogen gets majority of the spotlight with respect to our female hormones, with words like “estrogen dominance” “estrogen imbalance” “estrogen replacement therapy” being tossed around in mainstream conversation. But today I want to talk about the importance of progesterone
Yes, progesterone helps maintain the uterine lining in preparation for pregnancy each cycle – but it does so much more for you.
Progesterone helps decrease fluid retention caused by excess estrogen (balancing out the action of estrogen), prevents endometrial cancer and endometrial hyperplasia, normalizes libido and sexual function, improves blood lipid profiles, improves sleep patterns (progesterone metabolizes into 17-OH progesteronewhich interacts with GABA – A to promote sleep) and has a role to play in bone mineralization (see my previous post on the impact of Combined Hormonal Contraceptives on Bone mineralization)
Our main source of progesterone is produced by the Corpus Luteum– this is what is left of the follicle in our ovary after we ovulate. Therefore, No ovulation = No progesterone produced by the ovary. (not sure if you’re ovulating? Check out my post on ovulation) VERY small amounts of progesterone can be produced in the adrenal gland, but It is nowhere near the amount a woman needs physiologically to perform all those functions listed above.
I wanted to highlight some of the biochemical functions of progesterone to emphasize the importance of ovulating each (or most) of your cycles!
Want to learn more about progesterone? Check out my Video!