Both men and women need progesterone
What is progesterone?
While much is known about the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, there seems to be a general lack of knowledge about progesterone – what it is and what it does.
Progesterone is a hormone that the body produces naturally. It is produced by both men and women but is better known for its role in female fertility and reproduction. In women, progesterone is produced by the ovaries, while in men it is produced in the testes. Both men and women can suffer from low progesterone levels, which may lead to health problems for both sexes.
Here is some useful information for you to note concerning the importance of progesterone for men and women. Problems can arise mainly when there is an issue of low progesterone which may cause symptoms to ebb and flow like the tide.
Low progesterone in women
Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy every month, and should pregnancy happen, it supports the pregnancy all the way and lowers the risk of miscarriage. Low progesterone makes the risk of a miscarriage much higher, and low amounts can also lead to too much estrogen, which may cause weight gain and loss of sex drive.
Some symptoms of low progesterone may include:
- Abdominal pain, sore breasts, headaches and migraines.
- Lack of energy, depression and anxiety.
- Low libido issues and low blood sugar.
The causes are mainly issues with ovulation or ovary problems, and definitely menopause. However, you might be given HRT treatment by your doctor that may include progesterone, which is especially beneficial for menopausal symptoms.
If you are pregnant and have had issues with low progesterone, ask the doctor to monitor your progesterone levels so that the uterus is well- supported during the pregnancy.
Low progesterone in men
Progesterone is produced in the testes and is very necessary for the production of testosterone. If a man has a low level of progesterone, he will also have low levels of testosterone, which may affect his fertility, as well as his sexual function.
Low progesterone in young men may have an underlying medical reason, which a doctor will be able to establish and suggest treatment to correct the hormonal imbalance. Note that as men age, so the progesterone levels decrease.
Here are some symptoms of low progesterone you may experience:
- Depression, anxiety, and irritability
- Low libido issues, and in some cases full-blown erectile dysfunction
- The co-morbid loss of testosterone may also lead to a loss of muscle mass
- Chronic fatigue
- Memory loss, or trouble with concentration
Leading a healthy lifestyle, a nutrient-rich diet, keeping your weight down, good sleep, and regular exercise can also help to keep your hormones in balance.
How are the progesterone levels tested?
Doctors measure the levels with a blood test. Whether your levels are normal depends on your age, sex and health history.
The levels of women can vary throughout the menstrual cycle, and once through menopause, progesterone production will cease after your final menstrual period.
Men, on the other hand, will just produce smaller and smaller amounts of this hormone as time goes by, which will help to keep you sexually active as you age.
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