P is for Progesterone, Pregnancy and Protection
I think of it as a gift from Mother Nature to remind us that we are incredible.
Progesterone is wonderfully protective and is only present in the 2nd part of your monthly cycle just after ovulation, this would be around day 17 of a typical 28 day cycle. It is not a coincidence that it peaks at this time, when you would likely be starting a pregnancy. For this reason it is known as the pro-gestation hormone and is produced in your ovaries. It’s needed to help maintain the pregnancy.
Aside from pregnancy, progesterone protects you by helping to support your thyroid hormones that in turn regulates your metabolism. It also has a protective role with your stress cortisol levels. Progesterone is very much needed by your thymus gland, which has a pivotal role in your immune and endocrine system health. Lastly progesterone is needed to help keep your Oestrogen levels balanced and prevent ‘oestrogen dominance’.
So what is the bad news??
Progesterone has two weaknesses, or conditions that it struggles with.
Stress and Blood sugar imbalances.
Both of these make it hard work for progesterone to do it’s job. Not a huge surprise as we now see a very clear pattern with our hormones, they are delicate and react to the smallest of change, often the two biggest offenders are stress and blood sugar imbalances.
The other concern is that our diet and lifestyle has tipped us into a more oestrogen dominant state. This in itself is another area of focus entirely but something that needs to be considered in your overall hormone health profile.
What does all this mean for you?
That you should start to think how you are helping to support adequate progesterone levels regardless of your age.
If you are in your child baring years you need to focus on the Progesterone & Oestrogen balance.
If you are heading into menopause or you are post menopausal you need to think of ways to support the areas that are not benefitting from the protective aspect of progesterone. Once ovulation has ceased your ovaries will no longer be supplying you with the high levels of progesterone instead your adrenal glands will be providing a much lower reduced amount.
As you can see Progesterone is a big player in your hormone health. Make sure you have a good understanding of your own hormones to optimise your health and get the best outcome for whatever stage of life you are at.