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.
Symptoms Of Low ProgesteroneLow progesterone levels can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as insomnia, dizziness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, extreme changes in mood, bloating, weight gain, muscle pain, joint pain, and urinary incontinence. Other possible symptoms of low progesterone may include frequent urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis, changes in appetite, hot flashes, cold chills, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Symptoms in hormone fluctuations should be brought to a doctor's attention for treatment. Most doctors will not recommend self-treatment for women who are having discomfort because many things should be taken into consideration before using hormone replacement therapy. Other health conditions and even family history will play a part in how a doctor will go about prescribing treatment for fluctuating hormones.
Hormones levels can have a profound effect on emotions and may lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Some women may start experiencing the symptoms of low progesterone in the beginning stage of menopause, known as perimenopause. Extreme stress over a prolonged period of time can also affect hormone levels. Women who are still having a menstrual cycle may benefit from a low dose birth control pill. Those who are no longer having a cycle are in menopause and may possibly benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Women who are experiencing depression because of hormone fluctuations should consult with a physician about the possibility of treatment for the depression through a prescription for anti-depressants. It is believed that anti-depressants affect neurotransmitter levels such as serotonin and that neurotransmitter levels affect hormone levels.
During perimenopause a woman may start experiencing symptoms of low estrogen and low progesterone levels. Hot flashes are usually indicative of decreased estrogen and can become very bothersome. Some of the common triggers that may bring on a hot flash include changes in weather especially hot weather, spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, and caffeine. Some women experience cold chills immediately after a hot flash. Normally during a hot flash a women may have sudden heat to the upper body and her face may even turn red. It is not uncommon for there to be sweating during an episode as well. To minimize the discomfort doctors recommend wearing cool cotton fabrics and avoiding triggers.
There are other health conditions that can cause the same type of symptoms that are indicative of menopausal symptoms. A doctor will want to rule out other possible causes before making a sound diagnosis. Thyroid problems can cause symptoms that mimic the same as ones associated with symptoms of low progesterone. An underactive thyroid can cause a decrease in hormone levels and an overactive thyroid can cause an increase in hormone levels. Other types of illnesses that can affect hormone levels include adrenal gland disorders or diseases. Women going through hormonal changes can be helped tremendously through active fellowship with other Christians, joining a prayer group, and meditating on God's word. "My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh" (Proverbs 4: 20-22).
Women who experience an imbalance of hormones may experience symptoms of premenstrual disorder which over a prolonged period of time can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, tender breasts, endometriosis, fibroids, heavy menstrual bleeding, and other symptoms associated with low progesterone levels. Hormone replacement therapy can help to bring levels in balance so that the discomfort is diminished and cycles will become normal with minimal irritability. A doctor can prescribe a synthetic product or recommend a bioidentical source. A bioidentical hormone is made from plant sources so they closely resemble the natural hormones found in the body. These substances are also known as phytoestrogens and are found in soy products.
Hormone replacement therapy can help to relieve hormone fluctuation discomfort and help to prevent osteoporosis and delay some of the conditions associated with low estrogen. Low hormones have been linked to increased risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Hormone replacement therapy is usually recommended mostly for short-term treatment. Prolonged treatment has been linked to an increased risk for breast and uterine cancer. Other risks associated with hormone replacement therapy may include the development of blood clots, heart attack, gallbladder disease, and stroke. Side effects of taking hormone therapy may include breast pain, nausea, fluid retention, and mood disorders. Some women experience spotting or bleeding when taking estrogen and progesterone therapy. Treatment for symptoms of low progesterone is usually not recommended for women who have a family or personal history of breast cancer, liver disease, or a family or personal history of diseases associated with the heart and blood vessels.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be an alternative to women who can not take hormone replacement therapy or who choose not to do so. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables along with low fat meat and dairy choices can help with the symptoms caused from low progesterone levels. Along with eating healthy a woman should consider taking supplements especially with adequate amounts of calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and omega 3 fatty acids. Regular exercise can help to promote healthy hormone levels. Most doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Before starting an exercise program a woman should consult with a physician especially if there are other health concerns that should be considered beforehand such as lung or heart problems.