Have you thought about taking progesterone to get pregnant? If you did, then you most definitely need to know as much as you can about it.
Table of Contents
Progesterone is a steroid hormone with a role of equilibrium of the estrogen`s action, being the precursor from which other hormones derive (cortisol, androstenedione, testosterone, estrogen).
Progesterone is present at men and women, whether in childhood or old age. Children and postmenopausal women have the lowest level of progesterone, and men have the same level as women in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. After ovulation, this level doubles, and if the conception takes place, the progesterone level from the woman`s organism reaches its maximum levels.
How Is Progesterone Produced?
Progesterone is a hormone produced by the woman`s ovaries and man`s testicles, and to a lesser extent by the adrenal glands of both genders. In women, there are other 2 sources which produce this hormone: the corpus luteum in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and placenta (in case of pregnancy).
In the second part of the menstrual cycle, more exactly after ovulation, progesterone is produced in a much larger amount. The egg is released from the follicle in which has developed, and the follicle is transformed into a formation called “the yellow body” (corpus luteum), which starts to secrete progesterone for around 12 – 16 days (the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle). If the fecundation doesn`t take place, the progesterone level decreases because the corpus luteum dies. Because there isn`t any progesterone produced to maintain the uterus`s mucosa thickened, this will disintegrate and will be eliminated through menstruation.
However, in case of a pregnancy, the corpus luteum will continue producing progesterone until the placenta forms (around week 10 – 12). Starting with that particular moment, the placenta will be the one which will ensure enough progesterone until birth. If normally there are around 2 – 4mg of progesterone produced in the body, during pregnancy the quantity reaches 200 – 400mg.
The Role & Importance of Progesterone
Progesterone stimulates the thickening of the internal walls of the uterus through the development of blood vessels which supply this area, thus preparing the way for a possible pregnancy. Also, under the action of this hormone, the endometrium those nutritional substances which will feed the embryo. If the conception will take place, progesterone supports the pregnancy throughout its entire duration, increasing its level gradually until the birth takes place. This hormone prevents another ovulation, strengthens the pelvic muscles, preparing them for labor, stimulates the development of breast glands which will produce milk and prevent lactation during pregnancy. Lastly, progesterone plays an important role In fetal development.
If the conception doesn`t take place, the corpus luteum dies, which means that the production of progesterone stops. As a result, the thickened uterine mucosa will be removed, setting off a new menstrual cycle.
Additionally to regulating the menstrual cycle and supporting the pregnancy, progesterone has other important action in the organism, valid for both sexes, such as normalizing the blood sugar level, assisting the thyroid hormone, decreasing water retention in the organism (diuretic), increasing of libido and relaxing the smooth muscles and blood vessels.
Another major role of progesterone is to regulate the activity of estrogen, both women and men: intensifies the positive effects of estrogen and counterbalance its effect when its level is to increased (decreases cell multiplication induced by estrogen, decreases the number of receptors of estrogen). This way, progesterone protects the organism from cancer of the uterus or breasts induced by estrogen.
Progesterone also has an important role on brain functioning, considering that 66% from the quantity of progesterone produced daily reaches the brain. Its role is to contribute in the myelination of nerve cells and acting on GABA receptors (responsible for our disposal) and behaving as a natural antidepressant. – Read about this!
Progesterone enters in the composition of oral contraceptives (birth control pills), either alone or along with estrogen, , having the role of preventing ovulation. Also, it`s used in hormone replacement therapy practiced in counteracting the effects of menopause.
Mode of Action
- Inhibits the secretion of pituitary gonadotropins which prevents follicular maturation (ovulation);
- Stimulates breast tissue growth;
- It has an antineoplastic action on endometrial cancer;
- It`s a product based on progesterone, secreted by the corpus luteum during the second phase of the menstrual cycle, by the placenta during pregnancy and, to a lesser extent, by the adrenal glands and ovaries;
- An insufficiency of the progesterone secretion causes an infertility treated through the administration of Utrogestan during the second phase of the menstrual cycle;
- Takeing progesterone during pregnancy (utrogestan) has the role of preventing a premature birth and doesn`t affect the fetus`s immunity; progesterone is a hormone which is secreted normally in the organism; the necessity for progesterone in the organism increases during pregnancy, especially when there`s a risk of miscarriage;
- It`s necessary during pregnancy for a healthy development; it can only be administrated until the week 12 when the placenta is finalized, only in cases of luteal deficiency which can lead to miscarriage;
- It has other actions besides pregnancy: sedative effect on the central nervous system and is responsible for the thermal lag after ovulation;
- Preventing endometrial hyperplasia;
- Secondary amenorrhea;
- Disorders caused by an insufficiency of progesterone secretion;
- Irregular cycles due to ovulation disorders;
- Premenstrual syndrome, pains or benign breast disease;
- Bleedings (due to some fibroids); menopause (associated to estrogen therapy);
- Progesterone substitution in an insufficiency of ovarian secretion or in total insufficiency of progesterone secretion;
- Luteal phase supplementation in cycles of IVF, luteal phase supplementation of spontaneous or induced cycles, in case of reduced fertility, or primary or secondary sterility, especially by anovulatory cycles;
- In case of threat of miscarriage or prevention of habitual abortion by luteal insufficiency secretion, until the week 12 of pregnancy.
- Hypersensitivity to progesterone or excipients;
- Severe hepatic impairment (oral administration);
- Breast cancer, reproductive system cancer;
- Thromboembolic disorders, abnormal genital bleeding, undiagnosed;
- Cerebral hemorrhage, hematuria of unspecified cause.
- Soft capsule: 100mg, 200mg;
- Excipients: the capsule content – peanut oil, soybean lecithin, the capsule – gelatine, glycerol, titanium dioxide (E 171).