Progesterone Level and Women's Health
While it is common for progesterone levels to fluctuate during a menstrual cycle, low progesterone levels have been linked to endometriosis, thyroid dysfunction, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, mood swings and depression, and uterine fibroids, even cancer.
A symptom of low progesterone can include a decreased sex drive. Other symptoms are insomnia, bloating, fatigue, and memory loss or cloudy thinking. These symptoms are caused by a condition called estrogen dominance. When a woman has a normal progesterone level , the estrogen and progesterone levels even each other out. However, progesterone levels drop during certain times in every woman's life, as in menopause or after the birth of a child.Luckily, there are many treatments for low progesterone levels, such as progesterone suppositories or natural progesterone creams . Also, women going through menopause often choose to participate in hormone replacement therapy, commonly called HRT, which involves taking doses of progesterone, sometimes in conjunction with other hormones, such as estrogen or DHEA.
Many women complain less about progesterone side effects when taking natural progesterone. There is also virtually no possibility of overdose with natural progesterone. Still, some doctors suggest that natural progesterone creams do not increase progesterone levels in the blood, and based on this evidence believe that they do not work.
Normal progesterone levels can vary from woman to woman, so it is difficult to say what a normal level should be. During a woman's menstrual cycle, progesterone levels may go from less than one ng/ml, then increase to more than 20 ng/ml by the time of ovulation. Many believe that this wild fluctuation of progesterone during a menstrual cycle is one of the causes of PMS.
During certain times in a woman's life when progesterone drops naturally, it can still cause physical and emotional problems. Scientists have found a connection between low levels of progesterone to some post-menopausal cancers, as well as post-partum depression.
If you are perimenopausal, menopausal, or have just had a baby, or perhaps suffer from irregular periods or PMS, maybe you should consult your doctor about your progesterone level.