36 mins read

Progesterone is a steroid hormonal agent coming from a class of hormonal agents called progestogens. It is secreted by the corpus luteum, a short-term endocrine gland that the female body produces after ovulation during the 2nd half of the menstruation.

Synthetic steroid hormonal agents with progesterone-like properties are called progestins. Progestin is frequently combined with estrogen, another hormonal agent, to develop contraceptives such as birth control pills and skin patches. Progestin is also beneficial in dealing with common menopausal symptoms. Understanding progesterone and progestins will help females make notified options about their reproductive health. [1]

Where It’s Made

In males and women, a percentage of progesterone is made in the adrenal glands, which release hormones for a range of bodily functions.

In females, progesterone is mostly produced by the corpus luteum, a part of the ovary. The corpus luteum develops from the follicle that releases an egg from the ovary for ovulation.

In females, progesterone is also made by the placenta, an organ that develops during pregnancy to assist support the fetus.

It’s made to a lesser degree by the testes of those designated male a birth.


Progesterone is produced primarily by the ovary after ovulation and the placenta during pregnancy. It’s likewise made in lower amounts by the adrenal glands and the testes. [2]

Progesterone Levels, Fertility, and Pregnancy

Progesterone is required for pregnancy because it gets the uterus ready to accept, implant, and preserve a fertilized egg. The hormonal agent prevents contraction from happening in the uterus that would trigger a female’s body to turn down an egg.

If you conceive, the hormonal agent assists create an environment that supports the developing child.

Your progesterone level will slowly increase in between your 9th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy.

The Function of the Placenta in Progesterone Production

The placenta (the structure inside the uterus that supplies oxygen and nutrients to an establishing child) will begin to produce progesterone after 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy to assist keep a healthy environment for the baby. At this point, the placenta increases progesterone production to a greater rate than your ovaries were producing. These high levels of progesterone throughout your pregnancy trigger the body to stop producing more eggs, in addition to prepare your breasts to produce milk.

Fertility Issues and Progesterone Tests

If you’re having a difficult time getting pregnant, your medical professional may recommend a blood test for progesterone to see if you’re ovulating or if your ovaries are healthy.

If your progesterone level is low however you are pregnant, your medical professional may suggest a blood test to examine whether your pregnancy is at threat for issues, such as miscarriage or preterm shipment.

Signs and symptoms that indicate you might have a low progesterone level consist of the following:.

  • Uterine bleeding
  • Missing your durations or having irregular durations
  • Finding and discomfort while pregnant
  • Repetitive miscarriages

Not having enough progesterone can also cause you to have excessive estrogen. A high level of estrogen can decrease your sexual desire, cause weight gain, and impact your gallbladder.

Progesterone as a Medication and Treatment

Progesterone becomes part of a class of medications called progestins.

If you’re having problem getting pregnant, or if you’re undergoing fertility treatments, your doctor might advise that you take progesterone hormonal agent therapy.

This can be done for any of the following reasons:.

  • To bring on menstruation
  • Since your ovaries don’t produce adequate progesterone
  • Since medications you take are reducing your progesterone level
  • To replace progesterone that’s removed from your ovaries by specific treatments
  • There are several various forms of progesterone offered, so speak with your doctor about which type is best for you.

Progesterone Treatment Shipment Systems

Progesterone treatments come in the following types:.

  • Vaginal gel that’s usually utilized once daily
  • Vaginal suppository, which can be intensified at specialty pharmacies but is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Vaginal inserts, which the FDA has authorized for progesterone supplements, not replacement
  • Oral capsule that’s placed vaginally (not authorized by the FDA)
  • Injection, the most frequently used technique, which needs day-to-day injections in the butt [3]


Progesterone compounds utilized for medical usages are called progestogens. They are readily available in two forms: artificial variations (progestins) and another version stemmed from plant sources, which is nearly identical to the body’s own hormone and is frequently called “natural progesterone.”.

In addition to being consisted of in birth control pills and hormonal agent replacement treatment, progestogens might be utilized to treat a range of conditions, including:.

  • menstrual or bleeding issues
  • endometriosis
  • breast, kidney or uterine cancer
  • hunger and weight-loss in AIDS and cancer patients

They are also utilized as a diagnostic aid to measure estrogen’s result in the uterine lining, and in their natural state may be used to deal with infertility.

If you are considering a progestogen product, discuss with your health care professional any medical conditions you may have, specifically asthma, epilepsy, cardiovascular or bleeding disorders, high cholesterol, history of embolism or stroke, kidney or liver conditions, migraines, breast issues, depression or diabetes. Also share details about any medications you are taking.

Typical adverse effects of progestins consist of:

  • breakthrough bleeding
  • menstrual cramps
  • bloating brought on by water weight gain
  • lightheadedness
  • bad moods
  • dry mouth
  • queasiness
  • exhaustion
  • irritation

Much of these negative effects imitate PMS, which is not unexpected because PMS typically occurs when progesterone levels peak. Some ladies experience rarer side effects like anxiety, fainting, breast tenderness, problem sleeping, severe headaches or vision issues.

Speak with your health care professional if you experience side effects. A lot of these adverse effects diminish with continued use. If not, changing to a different progestin-based product might help.

Uses of Progestin Products

Irregular uterine bleeding: Because of their ability to prevent bleeding, progestins are often utilized to manage excessive or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).

Endometriosis: Endometriosis might be treated with a progestin or with an estrogen-progestin contraceptive pill. The objective is to minimize estrogen production, thus keeping endometrial tissue from growing.

Irregular periods and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): The shedding of the uterine lining that accompanies menstruation each month minimizes the threat of endometrial cancer; therefore, maintaining menstrual cycles is very important during childbearing years. If you often skip durations due to PCOS, being obese or underweight, or because of another condition, your health care professional might advise birth control pills consisting of estrogen and progestin to ensure regular cycles. If you can’t or won’t take birth control pills, you may require an occasional prescription for an oral progestin to assist you balance unopposed estrogen and shed the uterine lining.

Birth control: Oral contraceptives generally consist of estrogen and progestin. Combination pills suppress ovulation (the release of an egg) each month. The progestin in these pills also decreases the threat of pregnancy by altering the mucous in your cervix, making it harder for the sperm to move and connect with an egg. Continuous progestins in combination contraceptive pill likewise prevent the development of the endometrium and modify uterine secretions to lower the chance that a fertilized egg could implant in the uterine lining.

Combination pills can be found in various formulas. Some are based on a 28-day routine (21 days of active tablets that contain the same quantity of estrogen and progestin followed by 7 days of placebo tablets or no tablets at all), called monophasic birth control pills. Others differ the dosage of estrogen and/or progestin that a lady gets throughout her cycle and are called multiphasic birth control pills.

There is a 91-day contraceptive pill routine (Seasonale and generics) that, offers women with contraception and less periods each year. Tablets containing the active hormones progestin (levonorgestrel) and an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) are considered 12 weeks (84 days), followed by one week of placebo tablets, so you just have 4 durations a year.

The FDA likewise has authorized continuous-use birth control pills that contain ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Brand consist of Lybrel, Alesse, Lessina, Nordette, Triphasil-28, Triphasil-21, and others. These are monophasic tablet (including the very same levels of estrogen and progestin throughout the entire pill-taking schedule) that are available in a 28- or 21-day pack and are designed to be taken constantly, without any break between tablet packets. That indicates you won’t have a duration. You might have some finding or breakthrough bleeding, particularly when you first begin utilizing constant contraceptive pill. However a lot of women will have no bleeding (or hardly any) by the end of a year.

Estrogen-progestin birth control pills have some anti-cancer benefits in addition to birth control. They might reduce ovarian cancer threat, in addition to uterine and colon cancer risk. Nevertheless, combination tablets are not suggested for females who have actually had breast cancer.

It is necessary to understand that not all of the questions surrounding combined HRT and breast cancer threat have actually been responded to. If you have actually had breast cancer or have a history of it in your family, discuss your risk with your healthcare specialist.

These items likewise have adverse effects, the most typical of which are nausea, breast inflammation and breakthrough bleeding. A lot of negative effects decrease or disappear after 3 months of constant usage. Changing to another type of birth control pill can likewise ease negative effects. Nausea may vary depending upon when you take the pills and whether you take them on a complete or empty stomach.

Mix birth control pills are normally not a proper treatment option if you are over 35 and smoke, have hypertension, have a history of migraine with aura or embolism in your lungs or you are highly sensitive to adverse effects of this medication, such as headaches. Cigarette smoking while taking combination contraceptive pill significantly increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Estrogen-progestin contraceptives are offered as a patch (Ortho Evra) and as a ring (Nuvaring).

Ortho Evra is a weekly prescription spot that releases norelgestromin (a progestin hormonal agent) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen hormonal agent) through the skin into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy. Each spot is worn for one week. On the exact same day of the week you begin the spot, change it with another. After 3 weeks (and 3 new spots) you have a week that is patch-free, during which you get your period. Ortho Evra includes higher levels of estrogen than lower dosage contraceptive pill, and the FDA approved additions to the patch’s label resolving an increased threat of embolism associated with its use. You ought to discuss this and other possible dangers with your health care specialist.

Side effects may consist of breast inflammation, headache, a reaction at the application website, nausea and emotional changes. Other threats resemble those from using birth control pills, such as an increased threat of heart attack, embolism and stroke, especially in women who smoke and/or have a history of these conditions.

Another contraceptive that contains progesterone is Nuvaring, which consists of a soft, versatile, transparent, ring about 2 inches in size. It contains a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel). After it is placed into the vaginal area, these hormones are gradually released on a consistent basis. You require to insert a new ring monthly for constant birth control, removing it after 3 weeks, at which time you have your duration.

Negative effects are very little but might include vaginal discharge, vaginitis and irritation. Like contraceptive pills, Nuvaring may increase the danger of blood clots, cardiac arrest and stroke. Ladies who use Nuvaring are highly encouraged not to smoke, as it might increase the threat of heart-related negative effects.

Some females pick to take a progestin-only tablet. Called the “mini-pill,” progestin-only pills permit women to avoid some of the worst side effects of estrogen, while enhancing regular menstruations and avoiding pregnancy. If you are breast-feeding, you may want to consider the mini-pill, considering that mix products may dry up your milk supply.

Progestin-based mini-pills are extremely efficient for preventing pregnancy (about 97 percent), however missing out on a pill or taking it at a different time of day is riskier than with combination estrogen-progestin pills. That’s since the mini-pill’s effects can wear off after a day, making you vulnerable to pregnancy. Females on mini-pills may likewise ovulate, even when they take the pills properly. And if you miss a day, the possible accessibility of an egg makes getting pregnant most likely.

Longer-acting progestins may be a good birth control option if you desire trusted defense without having to remember to take a pill each day. Injected medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) lasts three months. The Mirena IUD, which delivers progesterone directly and continuously into the uterine lining for up to five years, is an extra longer-term alternative. Both are highly effective. Discuss the threats and advantages with your doctor prior to picking the technique that’s best for you.

Progestin-Only Contraceptive Products At-A-Glance

Levonorgestrel (tablets and implants); marketed as emergency situation birth control tablets (Fallback One-Step and Next Option) and the Mirena levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system.

Ulipristal acetate; a progesterone agonist/antagonist that is marketed as the “ella” tablet.

Medroxyprogesterone (injected); marketed as Depo-Provera contraceptive injection.

Norethindrone (tablets); marketed as Ortho Micronor and Nor-Q-D.

Emergency situation contraception: Tablets containing levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step and Next Option) can be utilized for emergency situation birth control within 72 to 120 hours of vulnerable sex. With Fallback One-Step, you take one tablet within 72 hours after vulnerable sex to assist prevent pregnancy. It can be used up to 120 hours after sex however is less efficient the more time lapses. Next Choice works likewise but includes taking one tablet within 72 hours of vulnerable sex and another 12 hours later on. ella tablets cut the opportunities of becoming pregnant by about two-thirds for a minimum of 120 hours after unguarded sex by delaying or hindering ovulation. You can purchase the levonorgestrel emergency situation birth control pills over the counter without a prescription. You need to request for them at the pharmacy counter. ella is offered only by prescription, however you could keep a supply at home.

Ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist for more information about how and when to utilize these items, if you wish to keep them on hand. Mix birth control pills can likewise be used for emergency situation contraception if you currently have a prescription for them, but speak to your healthcare provider about appropriate dosage and timing for use as an emergency situation contraceptive.

Perimenopause and menopause: For perimenopausal females with irregular or absent durations, the low-dose estrogen/progestin combination discovered in oral contraceptives often reduces symptoms and assists maintain regular menstrual cycles.

Additionally, postmenopausal hormone treatment using either estrogen alone (ET) or an estrogen-progestin combination (HT) is often suggested to treat moderate to serious perimenopausal or postmenopausal signs. Estrogen-only therapy is recommended just if you have actually had a hysterectomy. If you still have your uterus, you’ll require to take some progestin with the estrogen (unless you use the estrogen-SERM mix, Duavee) since the progestin helps balance out estrogen’s revitalizing results on the endometrium, which could increase your danger of endometrial cancer.

Some postmenopausal hormonal therapy products offer the very same dosage of progestin in each everyday dose (called constant therapy). Others are developed with progestin added during part of a regular monthly cycle and then stopped (called cyclic treatment). Women on the intermittent-progestin routine report more bleeding problems than women on continuous treatment routines.

Estrogen-progestin mixes may need cyclic treatment, during which you take different pills on various days, resulting in month-to-month bleeding comparable to menstruation, or constant treatment, during which you take estrogen and progestin together every day. Numerous females choose the constant combination therapy so they can prevent month-to-month bleeding. If bleeding persists more than 3 months, consult your healthcare expert.

Progestin-Only Products at a Look


Types of progestins available include intramuscular, oral, and cream. They consist of:.

Hydroxyprogesterone (injected); marketed under the names Hylutin, Makena and Prodrox. It is recommended for irregular uterine bleeding, amenorrhea and preparing the uterus for menstruation.

Medroxyprogesterone (tablets and injection); marketed under the names Curretab, Depo-Provera (injection) and Provera. Tablets are prescribed for abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea, to get the uterus prepared for menstruation and as part of menopausal hormone treatment with estrogen. Injections are prescribed for kidney or uterine cancer.

Megestrol (liquid and tablets); marketed as Megace. Liquid is recommended for appetite or weight loss related to AIDS. Tablets are prescribed for breast or uterine cancer or for hunger or weight loss associated with cancer.

Norethisterone acetate (tablets); marketed as Nor– Q-D and Aygestin. It is recommended for abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea or endometriosis.


Progesterone items include:.

Micronized oral progesterone (Prometrium). It is prescribed for menopausal symptoms, infertility, irregular uterine bleeding, endometriosis and amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual duration).

Progesterone vaginal gel (Crinone). It is used to deal with infertility and amenorrhea.


Lots of conditions for which progestin or progestin-estrogen mixes are prescribed can not be avoided. Menopause, for instance, is a normal stage of life. But while the modifications in hormonal agent levels can not be avoided, the intense symptoms these changes may cause can frequently be eased through medication and/or lifestyle changes.

As your body modifications, it is very essential to communicate honestly with both your partner and your healthcare expert. Inform both about your signs and the physical and emotional modifications you may experience. Your healthcare professional will be able to assist you find how to much better manage and treat those symptoms, consisting of how to maintain a healthy sex life. And your partner must know what’s occurring to you, particularly if the symptoms are causing distress and are affecting your sex life.

Facts To Know

  • Progestogen refers to any hormonal agent replacement product that produces similar impacts on the uterus as progesterone, the naturally happening type of the hormone produced in a female’s body. Progestins are artificial versions of progesterone.
  • Progesterone assists protect the lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium.
  • Progestogens are included in mix hormonal treatments with estrogen to prevent endometrial buildup, which can cause cancer.
  • After menopause, you will not produce any considerable progesterone.
  • Progesterone is believed to be partly responsible for signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as breast inflammation, feeling bloated and mood swings.
  • In addition to menopausal hormonal agent treatment and birth control, progestogens might be utilized to deal with a range of conditions, consisting of menstrual abnormalities and endometriosis; breast, kidney or uterine cancer; and cravings and weight loss in AIDS patients. Progesterone, the natural hormonal agent, might also be used to prevent pregnancy loss and preterm labor.
  • Progestin-only contraceptive items may be a great alternative if you are unable to take a mix product with estrogen or are concerned about estrogen’s side effects. They are appropriate for older females, particularly smokers who want to utilize an oral hormone contraceptive method, and postpartum and/or breast-feeding ladies.
  • Progestin-only mini-pills are highly effective for avoiding pregnancy (about 97 percent) if taken correctly. They must be taken at the same time every day to be effective.
  • Progestogens are in some cases used as a diagnostic aid to determine whether estrogen is being produced. In a “progestin obstacle” test, a lady takes progestin tablets for five or more days. When the progestin is stopped, bleeding ensues if sufficient estrogen exists.
  • Hormone-based treatments are not the only option for contraception or for easing menopausal signs. Inquire about and go over all the alternatives with your healthcare provider. [3]

How is progesterone controlled?

The formation of the corpus luteum (which produces most of progesterone) is set off by a surge in luteinising hormone production by the anterior pituitary gland. This generally occurs at roughly day 14 of the menstrual cycle and it stimulates the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation) and the formation of the corpus luteum from the remnant of the roots. The corpus luteum then secretes progesterone, which prepares the body for pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilised and no embryo is conceived, the corpus luteum breaks down and the production of progesterone decreases. As the lining of the womb is no longer maintained by progesterone from the corpus luteum, it breaks away and menstrual bleeding occurs, marking the start of a new menstruation.

However, if the ovulated egg is fertilised and triggers an embryo, the cells that surround this early embryo (which are destined to form the placenta) will secrete human chorionic gonadotrophin’ data-content=’ 1392′ >> human chorionic gonadotrophin. This hormone has an extremely similar chemical structure to luteinising hormone. This means it can bind to and trigger the exact same receptors as luteinising hormone, suggesting that the corpus luteum does not break down and instead keeps producing progesterone up until the placenta is developed. [4]

Progesterone in males

Progesterone is called a female hormonal agent, however males require progesterone to produce testosterone. The adrenal glands and testes in males produce progesterone.

Progesterone levels in males are similar to those of females in the follicular stage of the menstrual cycle, when the egg roots on an ovary is preparing to launch an egg.

Symptoms of low progesterone in males include:.

  • Low progesterone levels in males can result in loss of hair.
  • Low libido
  • Loss of hair
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Gynecomastia, which is breast advancement in males
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Impotence
  • Bone loss
  • Muscle loss

Men with low progesterone levels have a higher danger of establishing:.

  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatism, a blockage of the bladder neck, usually connected with a bigger prostate gland

As males age, testosterone starts to decline, estrogen levels increase, and progesterone levels fall dramatically. [5]

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: The progesterone prescription items that have actually been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for many people when used by mouth with the advice and care of a healthcare professional.

When applied to the skin: The progesterone prescription items that have been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for many people when applied to the skin with the guidance and care of a health care professional.

When provided as a shot: The progesterone prescription products that have actually been approved by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people when injected into the muscle with the recommendations and care of a healthcare specialist.

When used into the vaginal area: The progesterone prescription products that have been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for many people when applied into the vaginal area with the suggestions and care of a health care professional.

Nevertheless, progesterone can trigger many negative effects including indigestion, changes in hunger, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), tiredness, acne, sleepiness or sleeping disorders, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, anxiety, breast pain or enlargement, premenstrual syndrome (PMS)- like signs, modified menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding, and other side results. [6]

Should I be worried about low progesterone?

Progesterone is essential during childbearing years. If you don’t have enough progesterone, you might have trouble getting or remaining pregnant.

After one of your ovaries releases an egg, your progesterone levels should increase. Progesterone helps the uterus thicken in anticipation of receiving a fertilized egg. If it’s not thick enough, the egg won’t implant.

Signs of low progesterone in females who aren’t pregnant include:.

  • headaches or migraines
  • state of mind modifications, including stress and anxiety or depression
  • irregularity in menstruation

Low progesterone might cause unusual uterine bleeding in females who aren’t pregnant. Irregular or missing durations might indicate poorly functioning ovaries and low progesterone.

If you get pregnant, you still require progesterone to preserve your uterus till your child is born. Your body will produce this increase in progesterone, which triggers a few of the signs of pregnancy, including breast inflammation and queasiness. If your progesterone levels are too low, your uterus may not be able to bring the infant to term.

During pregnancy, symptoms of low progesterone consist of identifying and miscarriage.

Low progesterone might indicate ectopic pregnancy. This can lead to miscarriage or fetal death.

Without progesterone to match it, estrogen may end up being the dominant hormone. This might trigger signs including:.

  • weight gain
  • decreased sex drive, mood swings, and anxiety
  • PMS, irregular menstruation, heavy bleeding
  • breast inflammation, fibrocystic breasts
  • fibroids
  • gallbladder problems [7]

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines must not be used together at all, in other cases two various medications may be used together even if an interaction may happen. In these cases, your physician may wish to alter the dose, or other precautions might be essential. When you are taking this medication, it is particularly crucial that your health care professional understand if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have actually been chosen on the basis of their possible significance and are not necessarily extensive.

Utilizing this medication with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, however might be needed in some cases. If both medications are recommended together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medications.

  • Abametapir
  • Conivaptan
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Fedratinib
  • Fexinidazole
  • Fosnetupitant
  • Netupitant [8]

This information should not be translated without the aid of a healthcare provider. If you think you are experiencing an interaction, get in touch with a doctor instantly. The lack of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. [9]


Keep all visits with your medical professional.

Prior to having any laboratory test or biopsy (elimination of tissue for testing), inform your medical professional and the laboratory personnel that you are taking progesterone.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any concerns you have about refilling your prescription.

It is necessary for you to keep a composed list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You must bring this list with you each time you go to a doctor or if you are confessed to a medical facility. It is likewise important details to bring with you in case of emergencies. [10]


Our Score

Latest from Blog


This short article talks about how federal governments look for public endorsement of their policies through