Progesterone, along with estrogen is a hormone responsible for the monthly menstrual cycle in women. Men do have this hormone yet is not responsible for its sexual growth and development. This hormone is produced mainly in the ovaries preceding the woman’s ovulation. The sign of its increased production is marked with a slight increase in the basal body temperature, increased vaginal mucus secretions, and makes muscles in the uterus to have fewer contractions. After ovulation, if the woman becomes pregnant, the progesterone now take its role over the developing placenta until the second month of pregnancy. Yet if the woman remained not pregnant, its peak levels of progesterone tone downs just adequate for the uterine lining to slough off.
There is also another important function progesterone has for the body. It assists in the body’s immunity, stimulates the production of thyroid hormones, helps in the reduction of inflammation and swelling, and maintains normal levels of blood-clotting factors. It is also known to be an anti-aging hormone that secretes collagen for the skin, produced to keep the bones tough, and makes the nerves to be functioning at its optimum level. As the woman ages, its levels of estrogen and progesterone is decreased resulting in menopause. When there are lower levels of progesterone, it leads to higher risks of bone fragility resulting in osteoporosis.
Oral progesterone pills are also prescribed for women who have irregular monthly menstrual cycles. This allows the endometrial lining to shed thus regulating and correcting monthly menstrual irregularities. It is also known to help in the infertility therapy and treats bleeding disorders unrelated to ovulation. Many women have used this contraceptive for its effectiveness in birth control method.
There is also a form prepared in vaginal suppositories to prevent preterm births. According to studies, women that have a short cervix are very at risk for preterm deliveries. It is said that vaginal suppositories are inserted daily during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Adequate production facilitates normal functioning of the neurons in the brain. This hormone specifically protects the damaged tissues from brain injuries. It also helps in the reduction of swelling and inflammation that follows a brain injury.