Low Progesterone Levels
Progesterone is among the most primary of female reproductive health. Women who suffer from low progesterone levels often struggle to conceive. This is usually regarded as the inability to 'maintain pregnancy'. This is because progesterone plays an important role in the various metabolic processes that are required for the establishment of the fertilized female egg and its development into the placenta.
Women who are suffering from low progesterone levels tend to have repeated incidences of miscarriages. Further, progesterone is needed for regulation changes like the development of the uterine tissue and the regulation of estrogen hormone levels that are needed for a successful pregnancy. This includes the role of progesterone in the development of a breastfeeding mother's lactation-related development. Thus, women suffering from low progesterone levels struggle to conceive and with their post-partum health.
Common Causes of Low Progesterone
Women who have a history of menstrual problems or those that are using birth control pills on a regular basis are more prone to developing low progesterone levels. However, these are not the only causes of low progesterone levels. Some of the other causes include:
1. Women suffering from an extremely potent and excessive form of estrogen-this is essentially a problem of hormonal regulation. Among women, estrogen and progesterone need to be present in a proportion. When the estrogen levels rise, there is a severe deficiency in other female hormones, including the trace amounts of testosterone and progesterone. This is often found among women who are suffering from a serious kind of liver infection or those who have other, chronic metabolic problems.
2. Other factors like resistance to insulin that plays a vital role in the overall regulation of female hormones, chronic stress, long term dependency on diets that are loaded with synthetic sugar or those that lack basic nutrients. Women suffering from side-effects of narcotics or dependent upon potent drugs/medications also develop low progesterone levels.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone Levels
It should be noted that low progesterone levels may not surface immediately once progesterone level start to dip. It can take years or just a few days for such symptoms to develop, i.e. symptoms arising from low progesterone levels don't have a fixed pattern. Some of the most commonly-acknowledged symptoms of low progesterone levels include:
- Unusual tenderness in the breasts
- Unexplained weight gain
- Sweating during the night
- Cravings for sweet foods or carbohydrates
- Unexplained mood changes or depression-like mood swings
- Development of repeated cysts in the breast tissue
- Excessive amount of uterine or vaginal bleeding
- Extremely reduced libido levels
- Irregular or bloody menstruation
- Unexplained infertility that indicates hormonal imbalance
- Excessive blood clotting leading to high blood pressure
- Repeated cycles of PMS even after taking medications for the same
- Bloating due to excessive water retention
- Insomnia or continued phase of disturbed sleeping
- Migraine-like headaches
- Excessive dryness in the vaginal area
It should be noted that many symptoms of low progesterone levels are often confused with symptoms of PMS and are commonly ignored. Thus, seeking regular clinical examination for the progesterone levels is vital. Further, women who are trying to conceive after the age of 35 years and are using non-prescribed medicinal or herbal supplements for the same are more prone to developing disturbed/low progesterone levels.