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Progesterone... the forgotten hormone

I'm thrilled to talk about a crucial hormone, often not given enough credit: progesterone. It's key for women's health, bone health and having babies. Its jobs are many, from making the menstrual cycle work right to helping during pregnancy.

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We will see why progesterone matters so much for women and even men. You'll learn about its hidden part before a woman releases an egg each month. By the end, you'll understand how vital this hormone is for our health.

Illustration of hands holding period items

Introduction to Progesterone

Progesterone is a key hormone important for women's health. It comes from the ovaries, adrenal glands, and the placenta when pregnant. It does more than help in the female reproductive system. It affects many parts of the body for both women and men.

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is a vital hormone and a type of steroid hormone. It is crucial in the menstrual cycle and gets the uterus ready for pregnancy. But, its jobs are not only in women. It also helps out in male physiology. It does things like making sperm, helping with making testosterone, and keeping the brain working well.

Progesterone's Role in Women's Health

In women, progesterone helps keep the menstrual cycle in check along with other hormones. It makes the womb ready for pregnancy and stops early contractions. If progesterone levels are off, it might cause problems. This shows how crucial it is for women's health.

Pomegranate and seeds

Progesterone and Male Physiology

Did you know progesterone is also important in men? Yes, it is. It helps in making mature sperm and in producing testosterone. Plus, progesterone affects the brain for both males and females. It shows progesterone really does a lot in the body.

The Preovulatory Surge: Progesterone's Hidden Role

The preovulatory surge involves key hormones like luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These kickstart ovulation. Often, progesterone is not given much credit in this stage. We used to think estradiol was the key, but now we know progesterone has a big role too.

Estradiol's Influence on the Preovulatory Surge

Estradiol, a main oestrogen, starts the preovulatory surge. This surge helps the egg mature and leave the follicle. But, we need to talk about how estradiol and progesterone work together. They're both essential for this major step.

Evidence of Progesterone's Role in the Surge

Recent studies highlight progesterone's part in the surge. Progesterone helps the other hormones work well together. This teamwork is critical for a successful ovulation.

two hands holding period cups

Progesterone and the Menstrual Cycle

As the menstrual cycle unfolds, progesterone changes a lot. In the follicular phase, it's low, helping prepare for ovulation. But, after ovulation, progesterone levels quickly rise.

Progesterone Levels During the Follicular Phase

At the cycle's start, progesterone is low in the follicular phase. This helps the ovaries and the womb get ready. While estradiol increases, progesterone waits its turn, ready after ovulation.

Progesterone and the Luteal Phase

After ovulation, progesterone jumps up for the luteal phase. It helps the womb’s lining get ready for a baby. If pregnancy doesn't happen, progesterone drops. This makes the lining shed, and the period starts.

Menstrual Cycle Phase

Progesterone Levels

Follicular Phase

Relatively low

Luteal Phase

Significantly elevated, peaking in mid-luteal phase

Therapeutic Implications of Progesterone

Progesterone is a very important hormone. It is key in helping with fertility treatments and hormone replacement therapy. Apart from helping in the female reproductive system, it is also vital in healthcare overall.

Chicken egg with drawn footprints

Progesterone and Fertility Treatments

For those needing fertility treatment, adding progesterone is key. It makes the uterus ready for pregnancy by ensuring a good environment. This increases the chance of pregnancy by helping the embryo to implant well.

Progesterone in Hormone Replacement Therapy

In hormone replacement therapy, progesterone is also essential. It works together with oestrogen to lessen menopause symptoms.

While oestrogen works on the hot flashes, progesterone takes care of the uterus and keeps hormones balanced.

Progesterone and Neurological Effects

Progesterone is not just for the babies; it helps our brains too. It works with our nervous system, changing how we sleep and keep our brain healthy. This makes it an important part of life beyond just the baby-making process.

Progesterone and Sleep

Progesteroone is key for good sleep. It helps our brain sleep better, which means we get restful, deep sleep. Its calming effects help us fall asleep and stay asleep.

Progesterone and Brain Health

It's also great for our brain health. Studies show it might help us remember things and learn better. It can even shield our brain from harm.

These facts show how important progesterone is for our health. It's not just about making babies. It affects how we think, feel, and sleep. And there is still a lot to learn about its power.

Progesterone and Other Physiological Effects

Progesterone does a lot more than just work in the body's reproductive and nervous systems. It's really important for the heart and the way we fight off sickness.

model of a heart

Progesterone and Cardiovascular Health

Scientists think progesterone is good for the heart. It seems to lower the chances of heart problems. It might make blood pressure and cholesterol better. This could really help keep the heart and body’s blood flow system safe.

Progesterone and the Immune System

Progesterone helps the immune system too. It does things like control how we react to things that make us sick. This could be key in keeping us healthy from fighting off sickness to keeping the body in good shape overall.

Physiological Effect

Impact of Progesterone

Cardiovascular Health

Progesterone has been shown to have beneficial effects on blood pressure and cholesterol levels, potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Immune System

Progesterone plays a role in modulating the immune system, helping to regulate inflammatory responses and support overall immune function.

Progesterone: The Future of Research

I'm learning more and more about progesterone. This hormone is vital, and research on it is growing. We're studying how progesterone affects our brains, bodies, and helps many health issues. The goal is to make better healthcare for people, mainly women, who need what progesterone does.

I think progesterone studies will really help women's health. Understanding it can lead to better treatments for many health problems. This means we can help not just women, but learn more about how our bodies work.

I'm happy to work in this field. Teamwork and new science are taking us far. I believe progesterone's future is bright, and we will help many with our research.


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Dr Milli Raizada

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If you would like to work with me on your thyroid health and supporting your lifestyle contact me today to see how my bespoke packages can help you become the best version of yourself.


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