It turns out progesterone is a truly remarkable hormone. Progesterone is necessary for the creation of all the other hormones - the precursor function and it is necessary for pregnancy and the survival of the fetus - the procreation function. Then progesterone has numerous intrinsic effects - things we know are benefits of progesterone even though we don't know how it happens.
Up in your hypothalamus in your brain you have controllers, you have nifty little computers up there that are keeping track of the bodies need and the production of all the hormones. It tells the pituitary we need a little bit more progesterone, we need a little bit less of this and a little bit more of that and all of these things can happen. And the ovary carries them out and the adrenal glands carry them out and the pituitary does it's show and it is a constant shifting changing scene and the progesterone is at the bottom of it all. Imagine if the progesterone is gone, these things can't happen. So all sorts of things can happen when progesterone is deficient.
Progesterone is necessary to for the uterus to develop a nice bloody lining as a nest to be able to nourish the fertilized egg and to sustain it. If you have a fall off of progesterone at that point you will initiate a shedding, like a monthly shedding, and you will lose the pregnancy. So the ovary is very important, it has to make more progesterone at that point. By the 3rd month the placenta is making the majority of the progesterone, as much as 400mg per day. So progesterone is critical for the survival and development of the embryo, development of the fetus throughout gestation and it restores libido. Those are the procreation effects. One of them borders on the magic. I want to tell you a little bit about it. If the mom say had a skin burn and needed a skin graft and the dad said take mine. I have some extra skin here, use that. It probably wouldn't work. You have to have a complete match. All the chromosomes have to be the same, all the blood types have to be the same, the tissue typing has to be the same otherwise the body has a rejection phenomenon, it rejects things that are not identical to the body. Everybody knows this. The fertilized egg has the chromosomes of mom and the chromosomes of dad. The fertilized egg is no longer the same as mom. If the rejection phenomenon cannot be suppressed the embryo that develops will be rejected as being a foreign body. And this is what happens unless you have progesterone. Nothing else will do it for that (progestins-counterfeit progesterone won't work). The people that do invitro fertilizations when they implant that fertilized egg in the womb they have to prepare the womb with natural progesterone or the fertilized egg will be rejected.
Androstenedione, testosterone, estrone, estradiol, estriol, cortical steroids, and aldosterone. Those are steroid hormones that we make and every one of them is made from progesterone. The change of one atom in a molecule like this totally changes it's function. It changes it from being a progesterone to being a cortisone. Isn't that amazing. One atom in that molecule, you change that and you change the function. Now they can be made also by the body in extreme situations by the adrenal gland making more of the male like hormone androstenedione, but it is not as good and not as effective and is not enough. Imagine a women who is deficient in progesterone and she has a surgery coming up. She needs those cortical steroids. That's why , I have some older women go through minor surgery and their out of it for 3-4 months. Their brains can't work right, they can't get their strength back, it is amazing.
These are readily observed, these are benefits of progesterone and we don't even know how progesterone does it. Here are some we know about. Progesterone, counteracts estrogen side effects, it helps the thyroid gland, it's a mild diuretic, it helps use fat for energy, it's a natural antidepressant, it normalizes blood clotting, normalizes zinc and copper levels (reducing moodiness), and maintains cell oxygen levels. Protects against breast cancer, breast fibrocysts, coronary spasms, endometrial cancer - cancer of the uterus, muscular aches and pains, ovarian cancer, and water retention/ edema. Progesterone restores libido and normal sleep patterns. It sensitizes estrogen receptors, is a great skin moisturizer, and it is necessary to stimulate new bone formation.
Much More on Progesterone
These pages are provided for information only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, sickness or condition. If you require medical assistance please see a nutritionally wise and progesterone friendly health practitioner.