Progesterone is an extremely important hormone. Most people know it as the pregnancy hormone, as we cannot get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy without an ample supply of this powerhouse hormone.
It actually does a lot more than simply help us get pregnant and stay pregnant.
It impacts our brain, immune systems, our detoxification processes, and even has cancer protective benefits!
The Powers Of Progesterone!
Progesterone stimulates the thyroid
This is why your temperature increases after ovulation, because progesterone is being produced by the corpus luteum (the follicular sac from which your egg was released). It heats up and speeds up your metabolism.
Progesterone aids in relaxation and enhances your sleep
A metabolite of progesterone directly interacts with the GABA receptors in our brain. GABA relaxes us, zaps anxiety, helps us feel at ease, and promotes sleep.
Progesterone reduces androgens
Androgens are sex hormones like testosterone, DHEA, and DHEA-S. They are technically male hormones, although women have them in smaller amounts. Excess androgens drive unwanted symptoms like hirsutism, breakouts, oily skin, hair loss, and are often accompanied by the hormonal imbalance PCOS. Progesterone inhibits the 5-alpha reductase enzymes, and the result is clearer skin, less oil, and faster growing hair.
Progesterone facilitates easier periods
When we have adequate progesterone in relation to estrogen, symptoms of PMS are lessened, our periods are better in general, and they may be lighter in flow, since progesterone opposes estrogen and its stimulating effects on the uterine lining. It may even protect against breast and uterine cancer since it counteracts estrogen's proliferative nature.
Progesterone builds bone
Progesterone stimulates osteoblasts (the cells necessary for bone building).
Progesterone enhances the immune system
It's naturally anti-inflammatory, and anything that reduces inflammation in the body is a good thing. Progesterone modulates immune function and upregulates the enzymes that have key roles in our body's detoxification processes.
We make progesterone by ovulating regularly. So, if you're not ovulating every month, consistently, odds are you don't have sufficient progesterone, which has negative implications for your fertility as well as your overall health.
The only way that we make progesterone is through ovulation, and our bodies ovulate when they are nourished in a place where they feel "safe" to do so.
Support ovulation by making sure you are eating enough (eating every 3-4 hours), by eating nutrient dense whole foods like grass-fed organ meats, pasture-raised eggs, sustainably sourced seafood, and whole fruits and veggies, by working to reduce body-wide inflammation, by managing your stress daily, and by prioritizing your nervous system.
Progesterone has implications far beyond baby-making. It's a deposit in the bank of long-term health with compound interest.
How are you going to support your body's progesterone production today?
Yours In Abundant Health!