Pro-gest-er-one! One of my favourite hormones that is often overlooked in the menstrual cycle. One of the most common patterns of hormonal imbalance we see in clinic is low progesterone. Progesterone is an important hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle, is crucial for maintaining early stages of pregnancy and the length of the cervix during pregnancy,
Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced by the ovaries and secreted by the corpus luteum a temporary endocrine gland that is produced after ovulation during the second half of the menstrual cycle. *Progesterone can only be measured and tested once you’ve ovulated.
Low Progesterone can lead to:
⚠️ Irregular periods: (luteal phase defect, changes to length of cycle, amenorrhea)
⚠️ Miscarriage and early labour: (low levels of progesterone, shortening of cervix)
⚠️ Breast Cancer: (estrogen and progesterone proliferation receptors)
⚠️ Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: (estrogen metabolism, endometrial hyperlasia)
⚠️ Spotting before your period starts: (due to low levels progesterone and unstable luteal phase)
⚠️ Headaches & mood swings: (estrogen metabolism issues)
⚠️ Low Basal Body Temp: (the basal temp rises due to the thermal rise in progesterone)
⚠️ Anovulatory Cycles: (PCOS)
Progesterone should be tested * 7 days from your ovulation. A Progesterone test measure the level of progesterone in your blood and confirms ovulation has occurred. In clinic we love to see healthy progesterone levels >45nmol/L to support implantation and pregnancy.
The role of progesterone prepare the endometrium for potential implantation. It triggers the endometrial lining to thicken (secretory), if implantation doesn’t occur, the corpus luteum breaks down lowering progesterone levels and the period arrives.
Progesterone can be measured in the serum or its metabolite can be measured in urine through the Dutch Test.
In Yesterday’s news a recent research paper finally recommended progesterone pessaries in the treatment of repeated miscarriages!
At Angea, part of our fertility package and assessment includes hormonal profiling and blood work! We will always ask to see your progesterone levels alongside your other blood work.
Amanda is the founder of Angea and has over 12 years of experience working with women to support their health journey. In addition to being a registered doctor of Chinese medicine, Amanda is a yoga teacher and founder of Mindful Pregnancy Yoga Training. Amanda offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and womb healing treatments at Angea.