How to treat progesterone deficiency
Humans are indeed a complex organism. The many organs and systems enable humans to live and survive. The complexity of the human body is shown through the many ongoing research and studies despite humans having existed on this earth for thousands of years. One of the many body systems that plays a role in a human life is hormones. This small yet powerful substance in the human body can either or break a human health. One of the medicines used to treat hormone issues such as duphaston 10 mg is common to be seen in treating progesterone deficiency.
To understand what is progesterone deficiency, we must know what is actually progesterone. Progesterone is a natural hormone that plays a role in the female reproductive system. Progesterone is produced by the ovaries, placenta and the adrenal glands. It plays an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle and maintaining early pregnancy. Hence, a person with a progesterone deficiency can be simply said to have problems with menstrual cycle and ability to get pregnant or maintain pregnancy.
Progesterone deficiency is defined as low progesterone levels at a constant level with the presence of high estrogen levels. It is important to understand that low progesterone level does not literally mean progesterone deficiency as it could be temporary but progesterone deficiency definitely means low progesterone level for a long period of constant. For example, low progesterone level naturally occurs during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle but progesterone deficiency occurs outside of this normal menstrual cycle.
There are many causes behind progesterone deficiency with the most common one is due to the ovulation cycle not occurring or also known as anovulatory cycle. This is common in those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and women using certain types of birth control. Other causes include low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), chronic stress, women with low body fat and overweight or obesity. Apart from these common causes, other causes such as inflammation, auto-immune diseases, undernutrition and certain cancer can potentially lead to progesterone deficiency.
To know if a person has progesterone deficiency, blood tests can give insight on the level of the progesterone hormone in the body. In general, normal serum progesterone test results shows 1ng/mL for postmenopausal women and women at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, 5 to 20 ng/mL for women in the middle of menstrual cycle and pregnant women with 11.2 to 90 ng/mL. Hence, the number below of the normal ranges means low level of progesterone. It is worth noting that the normal range for progesterone can slightly differ according to the women’s menstrual cycle and the test done. Apart from blood tests, saliva tests and urine tests can give insight on a woman’s progesterone level and can be done easily at home.
Symptoms such as mood swings, difficulty concentrating, abdominal cramp and irregular periods are considered normal symptoms during naturally occurring low progesterone level. However, progesterone deficiency symptoms may seem similar but it typically evolves into critical symptoms such as memory loss, weight gain, extreme mood changes such as anxiety or depression, breast tenderness, low libido, vaginal dryness, low blood sugar and hot flashes. Since symptoms of low progesterone and progesterone deficiency seem similar, it would be best for people who experience any of these symptoms, especially frequently or beginning to interfere with their life, to get checked by a doctor. Progesterone deficiency often get significant in women trying to get pregnant as the risk of pregnancy loss is high and pregnant women with progesterone deficiency usually have symptoms of abnormal uterine bleeding, spotting and abdominal pain during pregnancy, early labour, ectopic pregnancy and recurrent pregnancy loss.
Treating progesterone deficiency does not only alleviate the symptoms but also be beneficial for women looking forward to pregnancies. Treatment in general involves prescription of progesterone in the form of oral but patients may also receive topical cream or gel containing progesterone in case oral progesterone is not well-tolerated. Vaginal or progesterone injection may be recommended to prevent preterm birth in pregnant women. Some doctors may prescribe vitamin supplements to help improve progesterone level.
It is important to treat progesterone deficiency as the symptoms itself can cause great discomfort and affect a person’s ability to have a productive life. Treating progesterone deficiency can help women to improve fertility and have a good chance for pregnancy. It also helps pregnant women to have healthy and safe pregnancies.
In essence, progesterone deficiency needs to be treated. Treatments available help to improve progesterone level. It is important for women suspected of low progesterone levels to get treatment by doctors and to not self-treat. Hormone issues are quite complicated and only medical professionals understand it best. Hormone therapy can be terrifying but understanding how it works and the ability to counter side effects by taking precaution can be a great relief. Thus, always talk to a healthcare provider whenever you think you have medical conditions affecting menstruation or pregnancy.