Progesterone is the most important female hormone that controls the fertilization of the egg and the normal course of pregnancy. The substance is important not only in the fertile years but also after menopause when the reproductive ability has already died away. Progesterone supports the work of many-body structures, with its deficiency the physical condition noticeably worsens. What does it mean if progesterone after menopause is low or high? How to normalize the concentration of the hormone in the blood?
Why Progesterone After Menopause Is Important
In the female body, two types of the most important female hormones are produced: estrogen and progesterone. Each type performs its functions, is synthesized in the ovaries, and depends on the level of hormones secreted by the pituitary gland of the brain (luteinizing and follicle-stimulating). FSH activates activity with the advent of menstruation, provides estrogenic synthesis, helps mature follicles in the ovaries. And LH acts in the second half of the cycle, is responsible for the production of progesterone and ovulation. Activation of progesterone synthesis is observed after the rupturing of the follicle, the appearance of a mature egg, the formation of the corpus luteum.
There are periods in a woman’s life when progesterone deficiency is the norm. These are the first two years of puberty and menopausal hormonal changes. In addition to affecting the reproductive system, progesterone supports the functioning of many-body structures, normalizes the emotional and mental state. That is why progesterone after menopause level is of such great importance.
With the onset of the climacteric, the functions of the gonads are suppressed, a drop in the level of hormones in the blood leads to the gradual disappearance of ovulation. At the postmenopausal stage, the menstrual cycle stops, the eggs do not mature, do not leave the follicles. As a result, the corpus luteum, which provides the synthesis of most of the progesterone, ceases to form. Because of this, there is a sharp change in progesterone in the blood (progesterone deficiency). But the substance does not completely disappear from the body, in a small amount it is produced by the adrenal glands. For progesterone, the norm in menopausal women is from 0.32 to 0.64 nmol/L (from 0.09 to 0.21 ng/ml).
Progesterone Correction of Menopausal Syndrome
During the postmenopause, the menstrual cycle is absent, the maturation and release of eggs do not occur, therefore the corpus luteum, which is responsible for the synthesis of the vast amount of progesterone, is no longer formed. The level of “pregnancy hormone” drops sharply, but it does not disappear completely from the blood: in small doses, it continues to be produced in the adrenal cortex (progesterone production).
Hormone progesterone therapy is one of the methods for the correction of menopausal syndrome. Its goal is to partially compensate for the deficiency of sex hormones taking progesterone after menopause and improve the general condition of patients, provide prophylaxis for late metabolic disorders. Progesterone therapy is an effective tool to cope or alleviate the symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, night sweats, depression, irritability, dryness of the intimate area, painful sexual intercourse, decreased libido, and others.
Timely initiation of taking progesterone after menopause helps to avoid some late metabolic disorders, which may be associated with a long deficiency of sex hormones – obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), increased cholesterol and all its consequences, osteoporosis and bone fractures, decreased muscle mass, etc.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone After Menopause
The main symptoms of progesterone after menopause deficiency are:
- unreasonable fever and sweating (hot flashes);
- excessive hair growth (hirsutism);
- loss of elasticity of the skin;
- dry vagina, pain during sexual intercourse;
- mood swings, aggressiveness, irritability, poor sleep;
- sharp weight gain, swelling;
- headaches, dizziness;
- nausea, vomiting;
- lowering of blood pressure (hypotension).
Important! Progesterone hormone deficiency in postmenopausal women can trigger the development of serious gynecological diseases such as uterine myoma (benign tumor) and endometriosis (proliferation of endometrial cells). In a neglected form, these pathologies can degenerate into malignant formations.
It is urgent to be attentive to yourself, do not neglect by the systematic visits to the doctor and keep the track of progesterone after menopause.
How to Increase Progesterone Naturally After Menopause
To improve the progesterone levels after menopause, a woman needs to follow these 3 basic recommendations:
Watch your weight
Menopausal women should remember that the more fat in the body, the more estrogen is produced and the less progesterone. Adipose tissue is very hormone active, therefore, in addition to aesthetic problems, it also causes physiological ones. Observe the diet, do not snack, eat fewer sweets, fast food, and empty calories.
Keep track of health
Many diseases can reduce the production of sex hormones. Therefore, if you have a serious illness, do not be surprised that progesterone after menopause is at a very low level. Other hormones also strongly affect progesterone levels: pregnenolone, prolactin, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. Make sure they are all right. Optimization of the hormonal background will give you very tangible results both in terms of health and in terms of appearance.
Take vitamins to increase progesterone levels after menopause
For full work, the body needs all the vitamins and minerals. However, some of them are especially important for progesterone production.
- Vitamin C
The latest research works show that vitamin C enhances the production of progesterone after menopause. Sources: kiwi, wild rose, red pepper, citrus fruits, black currant, and other berries, especially sour ones.
It helps a person to relax and reduce stress. Due to this, it has a beneficial effect on the hormonal system. Sources: green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and cocoa.
- Vitamin B6
Known for the ability to reduce stress and restore the functioning of the nervous system. It assists the liver to break down and excrete estrogen degradation products. According to studies, it helps lower estrogen levels and increases progesterone levels after menopause. Sources: walnut, hazelnuts, spinach, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, salmon, tuna, bananas, beef, chicken, and legumes.