High Progesterone Levels

A woman's ovaries may produce high progesterone levels. This hormone is naturally secreted during the second week of her period in a woman who is in child-bearing age. The substances are called progestogens or progestins. They are also found in birth-control pills, in hormones given during menopause for replacement therapy, or in medications to correct abnormal bleeding problems during menses. These hormones are also used to counteract PMS syndrome, infertility, and pregnancy loss. Many women are aware of the effects of too little or too much estrogen, but have never looked up progesterone side effects.

The female's body produces this hormone to prepare the lining of the uterus to accept a fertilized egg. When no egg is fertilized, progestin falls and the lining is shed, which is what produces menstruation. These hormones are chemicals produced by the body, and travel through the blood to the reproductive system. Estrogen and androgen are related chemicals. Doctors can measure the amount of these substances in the body, especially when trying to find out why a woman is infertile. There are other times when this measure is important, such as in early pregnancy. Then it may help diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. At that point, the level will be low rather than high. The measure can also help evaluate placenta and fetal health. High progesterone levels will also be present when a woman is having more than one birth--twins, triplets, etc.--or sometimes in cases of luteal ovarian cysts, molar pregnancies, and some forms of ovarian cancer. Symptoms may include moodiness, irritably, breast tenderness, and muscle aches.

High progesterone levels may be determined for several reasons. These tests may be ordered to assess infertility. The test can determine if the woman is ovulating normally. If the ovulation is not normal, the test can tell what type of drug therapy may be helpful. If a woman has symptoms such as abdominal pain or spotting, the doctor may suspect an ectopic pregnancy or a possible miscarriage. For some women, injections of the hormone may help maintain a threatened pregnancy, so the test will show how much hormone she may need. When a doctor monitors a high-risk pregnancy, he may order one of these tests. And if a woman is experience progesterone side effects such as abnormal uterine bleeding, the test will confirm the diagnosis.

No one test result can determine is a woman has unhealthy amounts of progesterin. The hormone increases and decreases through numerous factors, such as age, test method, and the procedures of different labs. Also important is to know where the woman is in her menstrual cycle since the amount of the horome will change with the time of the month. There is more of the chemical when the egg is released from the ovary. The amount continues to rise if a pregnancy occurs or falls if menstruation begins. That's why serial measurements will be taken. Therefore, a woman will undergo numerous tests to determine what her cycle is doing.

Recently, much controversy has arisen about supplemental menopausal hormone therapy. It can either be administered with estrogen only (estrogen therapy or ET) or in a combination of estrogen-progestin therapy (HT). This treatment is used to alleviate progesterone side effects and to prevent bone loss. HT prevents build up of the uterus lining. ET stimulates growth of the lining. This is a possible risk for uterine cancer and should only be undertaken after a hysterectomy. What is advised for women is to receive the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time to correct the problems. More research is being done of the ramifications of this disease and the long-term effects on women. A woman should have a continuing conversation with her health professionals about the treatment she should be undergoing and the risks she faces with that treatment.

During childbearing years, progestin reduces the risk of endometrial cancer. Someone who has polycystic ovary syndrome or is over weight or under weight may need to take birth control pills to counteract the progression of the disease. On average, women enter menopause at age 52, at which time they may experience high progesterone levels. The progesterin may fluctuate wildly, increasing and decreasing. Periods become irregular and hot flashes may occur. That's a time when health professionals may recommend some type of therapy to counteract the progesterone side effects, whether it is low or elevated. The normal therapy is administering low doses of birth control pills. This is a time when the body produces only a fraction of the estrogen it once did. A balance between estrogen and progestin is necessary for good health. For women who have problems with these therapies, the medication may be administered only four times a year.

The Bible tells us, "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones," (Proverbs 3:7-8). Our health is determined first by our relationship to God, and then to how we take care of our bodies. High progesterone levels is a problem that women need to address by going to their health care professionals. Progesterone side effects are a warning sign that bones may be depleting, a silent disease that can have deep ramifications later on in life. A series of simple blood tests can give doctors a picture of how menses is occurring in the body and if there are problems with the reproductive system. Delaying contacting a doctor will only prolong the illness.

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