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Progesterone is a steroid hormonal agent coming from a class of hormonal agents called progestogens. It is secreted by the corpus luteum, a short-lived endocrine gland that the female body produces after ovulation throughout the 2nd half of the menstruation.

Synthetic steroid hormones with progesterone-like homes are called progestins. Progestin is often integrated with estrogen, another hormonal agent, to develop contraceptives such as contraceptive pill and skin spots. Progestin is likewise helpful in treating typical menopausal signs. Comprehending progesterone and progestins will assist ladies make notified options about their reproductive health. [1]

Where It’s Made

In males and women, a percentage of progesterone is made in the adrenal glands, which release hormonal agents for a range of physical functions.

In females, progesterone is mainly produced by the corpus luteum, a part of the ovary. The corpus luteum establishes from the hair follicle that releases an egg from the ovary for ovulation.

In females, progesterone is likewise made by the placenta, an organ that develops during pregnancy to help support the fetus.

It’s made to a lower degree by the testes of those designated male a birth.


Progesterone is produced mainly by the ovary after ovulation and the placenta during pregnancy. It’s likewise made in lower quantities by the adrenal glands and the testes. [2]

Progesterone Levels, Fertility, and Pregnancy

Progesterone is necessary for pregnancy due to the fact that it gets the uterus all set to accept, implant, and keep a fertilized egg. The hormone avoids contraction from occurring in the uterus that would trigger a lady’s body to turn down an egg.

If you conceive, the hormone helps develop an environment that supports the developing child.

Your progesterone level will gradually increase between your 9th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy.

The Function of the Placenta in Progesterone Production

The placenta (the structure inside the uterus that provides oxygen and nutrients to a developing child) will begin to produce progesterone after 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy to help keep a healthy environment for the child. At this point, the placenta increases progesterone production to a higher rate than your ovaries were producing. These high levels of progesterone throughout your pregnancy cause the body to stop producing more eggs, along with prepare your breasts to produce milk.

Fertility Issues and Progesterone Tests

If you’re having a difficult time getting pregnant, your medical professional may recommend a blood test for progesterone to see if you’re ovulating or if your ovaries are healthy.

If your progesterone level is low but you are pregnant, your physician might suggest a blood test to examine whether your pregnancy is at danger for complications, such as miscarriage or preterm delivery.

Signs and symptoms that suggest you might have a low progesterone level include the following:.

  • Uterine bleeding
  • Missing your durations or having abnormal durations
  • Finding and pain while pregnant
  • Repeated miscarriages

Not having enough progesterone can likewise trigger you to have too much estrogen. A high level of estrogen can reduce your sexual desire, cause weight gain, and impact your gallbladder.

Progesterone as a Medication and Treatment

Progesterone becomes part of a class of medications called progestins.

If you’re having problem getting pregnant, or if you’re undergoing fertility treatments, your medical professional may recommend that you take progesterone hormone therapy.

This can be provided for any of the following reasons:.

  • To bring on menstruation
  • Due to the fact that your ovaries do not produce enough progesterone
  • Since medications you take are lowering your progesterone level
  • To change progesterone that’s gotten rid of from your ovaries by particular procedures
  • There are a number of different types of progesterone offered, so talk with your medical professional about which form is best for you.

Progesterone Treatment Delivery Systems

Progesterone treatments come in the following kinds:.

  • Vaginal gel that’s typically used once daily
  • Vaginal suppository, which can be intensified at specialized drug stores but is not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Vaginal inserts, which the FDA has authorized for progesterone supplements, not replacement
  • Oral capsule that’s placed vaginally (not approved by the FDA)
  • Injection, the most frequently used method, which needs daily injections in the butt [3]


Progesterone substances utilized for medical uses are called progestogens. They are readily available in 2 types: synthetic versions (progestins) and another version stemmed from plant sources, which is almost identical to the body’s own hormone and is often called “natural progesterone.”.

In addition to being included in birth control pills and hormonal agent replacement therapy, progestogens might be used to deal with a range of conditions, consisting of:.

  • menstrual or bleeding problems
  • endometriosis
  • breast, kidney or uterine cancer
  • hunger and weight-loss in AIDS and cancer clients

They are also used as a diagnostic aid to determine estrogen’s impact in the uterine lining, and in their natural state might be utilized to treat infertility.

If you are considering a progestogen product, discuss with your healthcare expert any medical conditions you might have, particularly asthma, epilepsy, cardiovascular or bleeding disorders, high cholesterol, history of embolism or stroke, kidney or liver conditions, migraines, breast issues, anxiety or diabetes. Likewise share details about any medications you are taking.

Normal negative effects of progestins include:

  • breakthrough bleeding
  • menstrual cramps
  • bloating caused by water weight gain
  • dizziness
  • bad moods
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • exhaustion
  • irritability

A lot of these negative effects imitate PMS, which is not unexpected considering that PMS usually happens when progesterone levels peak. Some females experience rarer side effects like anxiety, fainting, breast tenderness, difficulty sleeping, severe headaches or vision problems.

Speak with your health care professional if you experience adverse effects. A lot of these side effects diminish with continued use. If not, changing to a various progestin-based product might assist.

Uses of Progestin Products

Irregular uterine bleeding: Because of their ability to prevent bleeding, progestins are often utilized to handle excessive or irregular uterine bleeding (AUB).

Endometriosis: Endometriosis might be treated with a progestin or with an estrogen-progestin contraceptive pill. The objective is to lower estrogen production, thus keeping endometrial tissue from growing.

Irregular durations and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): The shedding of the uterine lining that accompanies menstruation monthly reduces the danger of endometrial cancer; thus, maintaining menstrual cycles is important during childbearing years. If you regularly avoid periods due to PCOS, being obese or underweight, or because of another disorder, your healthcare professional might advise contraceptive pill consisting of estrogen and progestin to guarantee routine cycles. If you can’t or won’t take contraceptive pill, you might require a periodic prescription for an oral progestin to help you stabilize unopposed estrogen and shed the uterine lining.

Contraception: Contraceptive pills typically include estrogen and progestin. Mix tablets suppress ovulation (the release of an egg) monthly. The progestin in these tablets also lowers the threat of pregnancy by modifying the mucus in your cervix, making it harder for the sperm to move and connect with an egg. Continuous progestins in combination contraceptive pill likewise avoid the development of the endometrium and modify uterine secretions to minimize the opportunity that a fertilized egg might implant in the uterine lining.

Combination tablets been available in different formulas. Some are based on a 28-day routine (21 days of active tablets that contain the same amount of estrogen and progestin followed by 7 days of placebo tablets or no tablets at all), called monophasic birth control pills. Others differ the dosage of estrogen and/or progestin that a lady gets throughout her cycle and are called multiphasic birth control pills.

There is a 91-day oral contraceptive program (Seasonale and generics) that, supplies females with contraception and less periods each year. Tablets containing the active hormones progestin (levonorgestrel) and an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) are taken for 12 weeks (84 days), followed by one week of placebo tablets, so you just have 4 durations a year.

The FDA likewise has authorized continuous-use birth control pills which contain ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Brand names include Lybrel, Alesse, Lessina, Nordette, Triphasil-28, Triphasil-21, and others. These are monophasic pill (including the same levels of estrogen and progestin throughout the entire pill-taking schedule) that can be found in a 28- or 21-day pack and are designed to be taken constantly, with no break in between tablet packets. That suggests you won’t have a duration. You might have some identifying or development bleeding, especially when you initially start using constant birth control pills. However many females will have no bleeding (or hardly any) by the end of a year.

Estrogen-progestin birth control pills have some anti-cancer advantages in addition to contraception. They may decrease ovarian cancer threat, along with uterine and colon cancer danger. Nevertheless, combination pills are not suggested for females who have had breast cancer.

It is very important to comprehend that not all of the questions surrounding combined HRT and breast cancer threat have been responded to. If you have actually had breast cancer or have a history of it in your family, discuss your threat with your health care expert.

These products likewise have negative effects, the most common of which are nausea, breast inflammation and development bleeding. Many negative effects decrease or disappear after 3 months of constant usage. Changing to another type of birth control pill can also ease side effects. Nausea might vary depending on when you take the pills and whether you take them on a complete or empty stomach.

Mix birth control pills are normally not an appropriate treatment choice if you are over 35 and smoke, have high blood pressure, have a history of migraine with aura or blood clots in your lungs or you are highly conscious negative effects of this medication, such as headaches. Smoking while taking combination birth control pills considerably increases your danger of heart attack and stroke.

Estrogen-progestin contraceptives are offered as a spot (Ortho Evra) and as a ring (Nuvaring).

Ortho Evra is a weekly prescription spot that launches norelgestromin (a progestin hormonal agent) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen hormone) through the skin into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy. Each spot is worn for one week. On the exact same day of the week you start the spot, change it with another. After 3 weeks (and 3 new spots) you have a week that is patch-free, throughout which you get your period. Ortho Evra consists of higher levels of estrogen than lower dosage birth control pills, and the FDA authorized additions to the spot’s label attending to an increased danger of blood clots related to its use. You ought to discuss this and other possible dangers with your health care specialist.

Adverse effects may include breast inflammation, headache, a response at the application site, queasiness and emotional changes. Other dangers resemble those from utilizing contraceptive pill, such as an increased threat of cardiac arrest, embolism and stroke, particularly in women who smoke and/or have a history of these conditions.

Another contraceptive which contains progesterone is Nuvaring, which consists of a soft, versatile, transparent, ring about 2 inches in diameter. It includes a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel). After it is inserted into the vagina, these hormonal agents are slowly released on a continuous basis. You need to insert a brand-new ring monthly for continuous birth control, removing it after three weeks, at which time you have your duration.

Adverse effects are very little however might consist of vaginal discharge, vaginitis and irritation. Like contraceptive pills, Nuvaring may increase the danger of blood clots, cardiac arrest and stroke. Ladies who utilize Nuvaring are strongly encouraged not to smoke, as it may increase the threat of heart-related negative effects.

Some ladies choose to take a progestin-only pill. Called the “mini-pill,” progestin-only pills allow ladies to avoid some of the worst adverse effects of estrogen, while improving routine menstruations and avoiding pregnancy. If you are breast-feeding, you might wish to think about the mini-pill, because mix products might dry up your milk supply.

Progestin-based mini-pills are highly effective for preventing pregnancy (about 97 percent), however missing out on a tablet or taking it at a various time of day is riskier than with combination estrogen-progestin pills. That’s since the mini-pill’s results can disappear after a day, making you vulnerable to pregnancy. Females on mini-pills may also ovulate, even when they take the pills correctly. And if you miss out on a day, the prospective accessibility of an egg makes getting pregnant more likely.

Longer-acting progestins may be an excellent contraception option if you desire reputable defense without needing to keep in mind to take a tablet each day. Injected medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) lasts three months. The Mirena IUD, which provides progesterone straight and constantly into the uterine lining for as much as 5 years, is an additional longer-term alternative. Both are extremely reliable. Discuss the risks and advantages with your medical professional prior to choosing the technique that’s finest for you.

Progestin-Only Contraceptive Products At-A-Glance

Levonorgestrel (tablets and implants); marketed as emergency situation birth control tablets (Plan B One-Step and Next Choice) and the Mirena levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system.

Ulipristal acetate; a progesterone agonist/antagonist that is marketed as the “ella” tablet.

Medroxyprogesterone (injected); marketed as Depo-Provera contraceptive injection.

Norethindrone (tablets); marketed as Ortho Micronor and Nor-Q-D.

Emergency situation birth control: Tablets containing levonorgestrel (Fallback One-Step and Next Choice) can be used for emergency situation birth control within 72 to 120 hours of unprotected sex. With Fallback One-Step, you take one tablet within 72 hours after unguarded sex to help avoid pregnancy. It can be used up to 120 hours after sex however is less efficient the more time lapses. Next Choice works likewise however includes taking one pill within 72 hours of unguarded sex and another 12 hours later. ella tablets cut the opportunities of conceiving by about two-thirds for a minimum of 120 hours after vulnerable sex by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. You can buy the levonorgestrel emergency birth control pills nonprescription without a prescription. You should request them at the drug store counter. ella is offered just by prescription, but you might keep a supply at home.

Ask your healthcare expert or pharmacist to find out more about how and when to utilize these products, if you want to keep them on hand. Combination birth control pills can likewise be utilized for emergency situation contraception if you currently have a prescription for them, but speak with your healthcare company about appropriate dose and timing for usage as an emergency situation contraceptive.

Perimenopause and menopause: For perimenopausal women with irregular or missing periods, the low-dose estrogen/progestin combination found in oral contraceptives frequently eases symptoms and assists maintain regular menstrual cycles.

Furthermore, postmenopausal hormonal agent therapy utilizing either estrogen alone (ET) or an estrogen-progestin mix (HT) is sometimes suggested to treat moderate to extreme perimenopausal or postmenopausal symptoms. Estrogen-only therapy is prescribed only if you’ve had a hysterectomy. If you still have your uterus, you’ll require to take some progestin with the estrogen (unless you utilize the estrogen-SERM combination, Duavee) due to the fact that the progestin assists balance out estrogen’s revitalizing results on the endometrium, which could increase your threat of endometrial cancer.

Some postmenopausal hormone treatment products supply the exact same dosage of progestin in each daily dose (called continuous therapy). Others are designed with progestin included throughout part of a month-to-month cycle and after that stopped (called cyclic treatment). Ladies on the intermittent-progestin routine report more bleeding problems than females on constant therapy programs.

Estrogen-progestin mixes may need cyclic therapy, during which you take different tablets on different days, leading to regular monthly bleeding comparable to menstruation, or constant treatment, during which you take estrogen and progestin together every day. Numerous females choose the constant combination therapy so they can avoid regular monthly bleeding. If bleeding persists more than 3 months, consult your health care specialist.

Progestin-Only Products at a Glance


Types of progestins available consist of intramuscular, oral, and cream. They include:.

Hydroxyprogesterone (injected); marketed under the names Hylutin, Makena and Prodrox. It is prescribed for irregular uterine bleeding, amenorrhea and preparing the uterus for menstruation.

Medroxyprogesterone (tablets and injection); marketed under the names Curretab, Depo-Provera (injection) and Provera. Tablets are recommended for irregular uterine bleeding, amenorrhea, to get the uterus prepared for menstruation and as part of menopausal hormone treatment with estrogen. Injections are prescribed for kidney or uterine cancer.

Megestrol (liquid and tablets); marketed as Megace. Liquid is recommended for appetite or weight reduction related to AIDS. Tablets are prescribed for breast or uterine cancer or for appetite or weight-loss related to cancer.

Norethisterone acetate (tablets); marketed as Nor– Q-D and Aygestin. It is prescribed for irregular uterine bleeding, amenorrhea or endometriosis.


Progesterone products consist of:.

Micronized oral progesterone (Prometrium). It is recommended for menopausal symptoms, infertility, irregular uterine bleeding, endometriosis and amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual duration).

Progesterone vaginal gel (Crinone). It is used to treat infertility and amenorrhea.


Lots of conditions for which progestin or progestin-estrogen combinations are prescribed can not be avoided. Menopause, for instance, is a typical phase of life. However while the changes in hormonal agent levels can not be avoided, the intense signs these modifications may cause can often be eased through medication and/or lifestyle modifications.

As your body modifications, it is really crucial to communicate honestly with both your partner and your healthcare expert. Inform both about your symptoms and the physical and emotional modifications you might experience. Your health care professional will be able to help you find how to better manage and deal with those signs, including how to maintain a healthy sex life. And your partner needs to know what’s occurring to you, especially if the symptoms are triggering distress and are impacting your sex life.

Facts To Know

  • Progestogen describes any hormone replacement product that produces comparable results on the uterus as progesterone, the naturally happening type of the hormonal agent produced in a lady’s body. Progestins are synthetic versions of progesterone.
  • Progesterone helps secure the lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium.
  • Progestogens are included in combination hormonal treatments with estrogen to prevent endometrial buildup, which can lead to cancer.
  • After menopause, you will not produce any appreciable progesterone.
  • Progesterone is believed to be partly responsible for signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as breast tenderness, feeling puffed up and mood swings.
  • In addition to menopausal hormone treatment and contraception, progestogens might be utilized to treat a variety of conditions, consisting of menstrual irregularities and endometriosis; breast, kidney or uterine cancer; and hunger and weight reduction in help clients. Progesterone, the natural hormonal agent, might also be used to prevent pregnancy loss and preterm labor.
  • Progestin-only contraceptive items might be an excellent option if you are unable to take a combination product with estrogen or are concerned about estrogen’s adverse effects. They are appropriate for older women, specifically smokers who want to utilize an oral hormone contraceptive method, and postpartum and/or breast-feeding ladies.
  • Progestin-only mini-pills are extremely reliable for preventing pregnancy (about 97 percent) if taken correctly. They need to be taken at the same time every day to be effective.
  • Progestogens are sometimes utilized as a diagnostic aid to figure out whether estrogen is being produced. In a “progestin challenge” test, a woman takes progestin tablets for five or more days. When the progestin is stopped, bleeding ensues if enough estrogen exists.
  • Hormone-based therapies are not the only alternative for contraception or for relieving menopausal signs. Inquire about and go over all the alternatives with your health care service provider. [3]

How is progesterone controlled?

The development of the corpus luteum (which produces most of progesterone) is activated by a rise in luteinising hormonal agent production by the anterior pituitary gland. This usually occurs at around day 14 of the menstrual cycle and it promotes the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation) and the formation of the corpus luteum from the remnant of the roots. The corpus luteum then produces progesterone, which prepares the body for pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilised and no embryo is conceived, the corpus luteum breaks down and the production of progesterone declines. As the lining of the womb is no longer maintained by progesterone from the corpus luteum, it breaks away and menstrual bleeding happens, marking the start of a brand-new menstruation.

Nevertheless, if the ovulated egg is fertilised and gives rise to an embryo, the cells that surround this early embryo (which are destined to form the placenta) will secrete human chorionic gonadotrophin’ data-content=’ 1392′ >> human chorionic gonadotrophin. This hormonal agent has an extremely similar chemical structure to luteinising hormone. This suggests it can bind to and trigger the same receptors as luteinising hormone, indicating that the corpus luteum does not break down and rather keeps producing progesterone till the placenta is established. [4]

Progesterone in guys

Progesterone is known as a female hormonal agent, but males require progesterone to produce testosterone. The adrenal glands and testes in males produce progesterone.

Progesterone levels in males are similar to those of women in the follicular stage of the menstruation, when the egg roots on an ovary is preparing to launch an egg.

Symptoms of low progesterone in males include:.

  • Low progesterone levels in guys can lead to loss of hair.
  • Low libido
  • Loss of hair
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Gynecomastia, which is breast development in males
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Impotence
  • Bone loss
  • Muscle loss

Male with low progesterone levels have a higher danger of establishing:.

  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatism, an obstruction of the bladder neck, usually related to an enlarged prostate gland

As males age, testosterone starts to decrease, estrogen levels rise, and progesterone levels fall drastically. [5]

Negative effects

When taken by mouth: The progesterone prescription products that have actually been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for many people when used by mouth with the suggestions and care of a health care expert.

When applied to the skin: The progesterone prescription items that have been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people when applied to the skin with the recommendations and care of a health care expert.

When given as a shot: The progesterone prescription products that have actually been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people when injected into the muscle with the recommendations and care of a health care professional.

When used into the vaginal area: The progesterone prescription products that have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for most people when used into the vaginal area with the suggestions and care of a health care expert.

Nevertheless, progesterone can cause lots of adverse effects consisting of indigestion, modifications in cravings, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), fatigue, acne, drowsiness or insomnia, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, anxiety, breast pain or enhancement, premenstrual syndrome (PMS)- like symptoms, modified menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding, and opposite effects. [6]

Should I be worried about low progesterone?

Progesterone is important throughout childbearing years. If you don’t have enough progesterone, you may have problem getting or staying pregnant.

After one of your ovaries releases an egg, your progesterone levels must increase. Progesterone helps the uterus thicken in anticipation of getting a fertilized egg. If it’s not thick enough, the egg will not implant.

Symptoms of low progesterone in ladies who aren’t pregnant include:.

  • headaches or migraines
  • state of mind modifications, consisting of stress and anxiety or depression
  • irregularity in menstruation

Low progesterone might cause abnormal uterine bleeding in women who aren’t pregnant. Irregular or absent durations may show badly operating ovaries and low progesterone.

If you get pregnant, you still need progesterone to preserve your uterus until your child is born. Your body will produce this boost in progesterone, which causes some of the signs of pregnancy, consisting of breast tenderness and nausea. If your progesterone levels are too low, your uterus may not be able to carry the infant to term.

During pregnancy, symptoms of low progesterone include finding and miscarriage.

Low progesterone may suggest ectopic pregnancy. This can result in miscarriage or fetal death.

Without progesterone to complement it, estrogen might end up being the dominant hormonal agent. This may cause signs consisting of:.

  • weight gain
  • reduced sex drive, mood swings, and anxiety
  • PMS, irregular menstrual cycle, heavy bleeding
  • breast inflammation, fibrocystic breasts
  • fibroids
  • gallbladder issues [7]

Drug Interactions

Although particular medicines must not be utilized together at all, in other cases 2 different medicines might be used together even if an interaction might happen. In these cases, your medical professional may wish to change the dosage, or other safety measures may be essential. When you are taking this medication, it is especially important that your health care expert know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been picked on the basis of their possible significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Utilizing this medication with any of the following medications is typically not recommended, but might be required in many cases. If both medications are recommended together, your doctor may alter the dose or how typically you utilize one or both of the medicines.

  • Abametapir
  • Conivaptan
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Fedratinib
  • Fexinidazole
  • Fosnetupitant
  • Netupitant [8]

This details should not be analyzed without the aid of a healthcare provider. If you think you are experiencing an interaction, get in touch with a doctor right away. The absence of an interaction does not always indicate no interactions exist. [9]


Keep all visits with your physician.

Prior to having any lab test or biopsy (elimination of tissue for screening), inform your physician and the laboratory workers that you are taking progesterone.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any concerns you have about refilling your prescription.

It is necessary for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over the counter) medicines you are taking, in addition to any items such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a medical professional or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is likewise crucial info to carry with you in case of emergencies. [10]


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