This hormone is also important for a woman's health during and after menopause. As explain, progesterone influences your mood and protects against several serious health problems. Your menstrual cycle, skin and breasts together with estrogen, progesterone regulates your menstrual cycle. Estrogen stimulates the uterine lining to grow while progesterone ensures that it sheds in monthly periods (if no conception occurs, that is).
If you're familiar with hormone replacement therapy, you know that taking estrogen can increase your risk for uterine cancer, unless you also take progesterone (or another progesterone, that is a substance with a similar effect) to protect you against a potentially harmful build up of tissue in the uterine lining.
One sign that your progesterone levels are too low during menopause is that you begin to have more painful menstrual periods, with uterine cramps. Low progesterone-to-estrogen ratios may in some cases be associated with a serious medical condition known as dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), which is characterized by heavy, erratic bleeding. Progesterone doesn't actually seem to play a direct role in preventing vaginal dryness or pain, despite the claims of some health professionals.
Progesterone prevent vaginal dryness and pain
When women take progesterone, their bodies convert some of it to estrogen, which does have a protective effect against vaginal dryness and pain. While estrogen makes women feel sexier, progesterone is likely to have the opposite effect. It tends to moderate the effects of estrogen and testosterone.
In fact, progesterone is given to sex offenders to decrease their sexual thoughts, desires, and satisfaction. This loss of libido may be accompanied by depression. This is why some women with low estrogen but adequate progesterone feel depressed and have decreased libido.
Progesterone increases your body's metabolic rate and literally warms your body.
The higher metabolism and body temperature are accompanied by more blood flow to the skin, and an increased ability to sweat and lose the extra heat through the skin. Although it is under debate, progesterone's effects on skin may be partly responsible for hot flashes. Also, this is why some women who experience low progesterone menopause types have cool skin.
If your progesterone levels fall too far during menopause, you can feel anxious and irritable, have trouble sleeping, or suffer from feelings of confusion, depression, or mood swings. These feelings can become exhausting if the imbalance goes on too long. A drop in your progesterone level can actually cause you to go through symptoms that are similar to those experienced in withdrawal from sedatives or alcohol. Progesterone is also involved in the regulation of appetite.
Low progesterone menopause
Types can have a decreased appetite. Your bones, although its effects are not as well-known as estrogen, progesterone protects against osteoporosis. Like estrogen, progesterone protects bone, but in a different way. Estrogen restricts the breakdown of old bone cells while progesterone stimulates the growth of new ones.
Some animal studies suggest that high progesterone levels are able to maintain or increase bone formation even when there is low estrogen. However, other researchers have found that progesterone alone does not have a positive effect on bone mineral density and bone volume, two measures of bone strength and health. There is also evidence that estrogen enhances progesterone's bone-building power.