Progesterone is a steroid hormone belonging to a class of hormonal agents called progestogens. It is produced by the corpus luteum, a short-lived endocrine gland that the female body produces after ovulation during the 2nd half of the menstruation.

Artificial steroid hormonal agents with progesterone-like properties are called progestins. Progestin is frequently integrated with estrogen, another hormone, to establish contraceptives such as contraceptive pill and skin spots. Progestin is likewise helpful in treating 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 launch hormones for a range of bodily functions.

In women, progesterone is primarily produced by the corpus luteum, a part of the ovary. The corpus luteum develops from the roots that releases an egg from the ovary for ovulation.

In women, progesterone is likewise 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 assigned male a birth.


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

Progesterone Levels, Fertility, and Pregnancy

Progesterone is required for pregnancy since it gets the uterus ready to accept, implant, and maintain a fertilized egg. The hormone avoids muscle contractions from taking place in the uterus that would cause a lady’s body to reject an egg.

If you become pregnant, the hormone assists create an environment that nurtures the developing baby.

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

The Function of the Placenta in Progesterone Production

The placenta (the structure inside the uterus that provides oxygen and nutrients to a developing infant) will begin to produce progesterone after 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy to assist keep a healthy environment for the infant. At this moment, the placenta increases progesterone production to a higher 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 doctor might advise a blood test for progesterone to see if you’re ovulating or if your ovaries are healthy.

If your progesterone level is low but you are pregnant, your medical professional may advise a blood test to examine whether your pregnancy is at risk for complications, such as miscarriage or preterm delivery.

Symptoms and signs that suggest you might have a low progesterone level include the following:.

  • Uterine bleeding
  • Missing your durations or having irregular periods
  • Spotting and pain while pregnant
  • Repeated miscarriages

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

Progesterone as a Medication and Treatment

Progesterone becomes part of a class of medications called progestins.

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, or if you’re going through fertility treatments, your doctor may advise that you take progesterone hormonal agent treatment.

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

  • To bring on menstruation
  • Because your ovaries do not produce enough progesterone
  • Because medications you take are decreasing your progesterone level
  • To replace progesterone that’s gotten rid of from your ovaries by particular procedures
  • There are numerous various kinds of progesterone offered, so speak with your physician about which type is best for you.

Progesterone Treatment Delivery Systems

Progesterone treatments come in the following types:.

  • Vaginal gel that’s usually used once each day
  • Vaginal suppository, which can be compounded at specialty drug stores but is not authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Vaginal inserts, which the FDA has actually authorized for progesterone supplements, not replacement
  • Oral capsule that’s inserted vaginally (not authorized by the FDA)
  • Injection, the most commonly utilized approach, which requires everyday injections in the butt [3]


Progesterone substances utilized for medical uses are called progestogens. They are offered in two kinds: synthetic versions (progestins) and another version originated from plant sources, which is almost similar to the body’s own hormone and is often called “natural progesterone.”.

In addition to being consisted of in contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy, progestogens might be used to deal with a range of conditions, including:.

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

They are also used as a diagnostic help to determine estrogen’s result in the uterine lining, and in their natural state may be used to treat infertility.

If you are thinking about a progestogen product, discuss with your health care professional any medical conditions you might have, especially asthma, epilepsy, cardiovascular or bleeding conditions, high cholesterol, history of blood clots or stroke, kidney or liver conditions, migraines, breast issues, anxiety or diabetes. Likewise share details about any medications you are taking.

Typical negative effects of progestins include:

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

A number of these side effects simulate PMS, which is not unexpected because PMS usually occurs when progesterone levels peak. Some females experience rarer negative effects like anxiety, fainting, breast inflammation, problem sleeping, severe headaches or vision problems.

Speak to your healthcare professional if you experience negative effects. Much of these negative effects subside with continued use. If not, switching to a various progestin-based product might help.

Uses of Progestin Products

Unusual uterine bleeding: Because of their capability to inhibit bleeding, progestins are frequently used to manage excessive or unusual uterine bleeding (AUB).

Endometriosis: Endometriosis may be treated with a progestin or with an estrogen-progestin birth control pill. The goal is to decrease estrogen production, thus keeping endometrial tissue from growing.

Irregular durations and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): The shedding of the uterine lining that accompanies menstruation monthly reduces the danger of endometrial cancer; therefore, maintaining menstrual cycles is essential throughout childbearing years. If you often avoid durations due to PCOS, being overweight or underweight, or because of another disorder, your healthcare expert might advise birth control pills consisting of estrogen and progestin to make sure regular cycles. If you can’t or will not take contraceptive pill, you might need an occasional prescription for an oral progestin to help you balance unopposed estrogen and shed the uterine lining.

Birth control: Contraceptive pills typically contain estrogen and progestin. Mix tablets suppress ovulation (the release of an egg) each month. The progestin in these tablets likewise reduces the risk of pregnancy by modifying the mucus in your cervix, making it harder for the sperm to move and connect with an egg. Continuous progestins in mix contraceptive pill also prevent the growth of the endometrium and modify uterine secretions to lower the chance that a fertilized egg might implant in the uterine lining.

Mix tablets can be found in different solutions. Some are based upon a 28-day program (21 days of active tablets which contain the very same amount of estrogen and progestin followed by 7 days of placebo tablets or no tablets at all), called monophasic contraceptive pill. Others differ the dosage of estrogen and/or progestin that a female gets throughout her cycle and are called multiphasic birth control pills.

There is a 91-day oral contraceptive program (Seasonale and generics) that, supplies women with contraception and less durations each year. Tablets containing the active hormonal agents 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 periods a year.

The FDA likewise has actually approved continuous-use birth control pills which contain ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. Brand include Lybrel, Alesse, Lessina, Nordette, Triphasil-28, Triphasil-21, and others. These are monophasic tablet (containing the same levels of estrogen and progestin throughout the entire pill-taking schedule) that come in a 28- or 21-day pack and are designed to be taken continuously, with no break between tablet packages. That means you won’t have a period. You might have some identifying or development bleeding, especially when you first start using continuous contraceptive pill. However many females will have no bleeding (or hardly any) by the end of a year.

Estrogen-progestin contraceptive pill have some anti-cancer benefits in addition to birth control. They might minimize ovarian cancer danger, as well as uterine and colon cancer danger. However, combination tablets are not suggested for women who have actually had breast cancer.

It’s important to understand that not all of the concerns surrounding combined HRT and breast cancer danger have actually been responded to. If you have actually had breast cancer or have a history of it in your household, discuss your danger with your health care specialist.

These items also have negative effects, the most typical of which are nausea, breast tenderness and advancement bleeding. Most side effects decrease or disappear after 3 months of constant use. Changing to another kind of birth control pill can also ease adverse effects. Queasiness may differ depending on when you take the pills and whether you take them on a full or empty stomach.

Mix birth control pills are typically not a proper treatment choice if you are over 35 and smoke, have high blood pressure, have a history of migraine with aura or blood clots in your lungs or you are extremely conscious negative effects of this medication, such as headaches. Smoking while taking combination contraceptive pill significantly increases your danger of heart attack and stroke.

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

Ortho Evra is a weekly prescription spot that releases norelgestromin (a progestin hormone) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen hormone) through the skin into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy. Each spot is used for one week. On the exact same day of the week you start the patch, change it with another. After three weeks (and three brand-new spots) you have a week that is patch-free, throughout which you get your period. Ortho Evra includes higher levels of estrogen than lower dosage birth control pills, and the FDA approved additions to the spot’s label attending to an increased threat of blood clots related to its usage. You ought to discuss this and other prospective threats with your health care professional.

Negative effects may include breast inflammation, headache, a reaction at the application website, queasiness and emotional modifications. Other dangers are similar to those from using contraceptive pill, such as an increased danger of cardiovascular disease, blood clots and stroke, especially in ladies who smoke and/or have a history of these conditions.

Another contraceptive which contains progesterone is Nuvaring, which consists of a soft, flexible, transparent, ring about 2 inches in size. It consists of a mix of estrogen and progestin hormones (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel). After it is inserted into the vagina, these hormonal agents are gradually released on a consistent basis. You need to place a brand-new ring monthly for constant contraception, removing it after 3 weeks, at which time you have your period.

Side effects are minimal however may include vaginal discharge, vaginitis and irritation. Like oral contraceptives, Nuvaring might increase the threat of blood clots, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Ladies who utilize Nuvaring are highly advised not to smoke, as it might increase the threat of heart-related negative effects.

Some women choose to take a progestin-only pill. Called the “mini-pill,” progestin-only tablets permit ladies to avoid some of the worst adverse effects of estrogen, while enhancing routine menstrual cycles and preventing pregnancy. If you are breast-feeding, you might wish to think about the mini-pill, since mix items may dry up your milk supply.

Progestin-based mini-pills are highly reliable for avoiding pregnancy (about 97 percent), but missing out on a pill or taking it at a different time of day is riskier than with mix estrogen-progestin tablets. That’s because the mini-pill’s effects can diminish after a day, making you susceptible to pregnancy. Women on mini-pills may likewise ovulate, even when they take the pills correctly. And if you miss a day, the potential availability of an egg makes getting pregnant more likely.

Longer-acting progestins might be a good birth control option if you desire reliable protection without needing to keep in mind to take a pill each day. Injected medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) lasts 3 months. The Mirena IUD, which provides progesterone straight and continuously into the uterine lining for approximately five years, is an additional longer-term option. Both are extremely reliable. Talk about the risks and benefits with your physician before picking the approach that’s finest for you.

Progestin-Only Contraceptive Products At-A-Glance

Levonorgestrel (tablets and implants); marketed as emergency contraception tablets (Plan B 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 contraception: Pills consisting of levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step and Next Option) can be utilized for emergency birth control within 72 to 120 hours of vulnerable sex. With Plan B One-Step, you take one pill within 72 hours after vulnerable sex to help prevent pregnancy. It can be taken up to 120 hours after sex however is less effective the more time lapses. Next Option works similarly however involves taking one pill within 72 hours of vulnerable sex and another 12 hours later. ella tablets cut the opportunities of becoming pregnant by about two-thirds for at least 120 hours after vulnerable sex by delaying or inhibiting ovulation. You can purchase the levonorgestrel emergency situation contraceptive pills over the counter without a prescription. You should request for them at the drug store counter. ella is available only by prescription, but you might keep a supply at home.

Ask your health care professional or pharmacist to learn more about how and when to utilize these products, if you want to keep them on hand. Combination contraceptive pill can likewise be utilized for emergency situation birth control if you already have a prescription for them, but talk with your healthcare company about proper dosage and timing for use as an emergency situation contraceptive.

Perimenopause and menopause: For perimenopausal ladies with irregular or missing durations, the low-dose estrogen/progestin mix discovered in oral contraceptives frequently minimizes symptoms and helps maintain regular menstruations.

Additionally, postmenopausal hormone treatment utilizing either estrogen alone (ET) or an estrogen-progestin mix (HT) is in some cases suggested to deal with moderate to serious perimenopausal or postmenopausal signs. Estrogen-only treatment is prescribed 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 utilize the estrogen-SERM combination, Duavee) because the progestin helps offset estrogen’s stimulating impacts on the endometrium, which could increase your threat of endometrial cancer.

Some postmenopausal hormonal therapy products supply the same dosage of progestin in each day-to-day dosage (called continuous treatment). Others are designed with progestin included during part of a regular monthly cycle and after that stopped (called cyclic therapy). Women on the intermittent-progestin program report more bleeding problems than females on continuous treatment programs.

Estrogen-progestin combinations may require cyclic treatment, during which you take different tablets on various days, resulting in regular monthly bleeding comparable to menstruation, or continuous therapy, throughout which you take estrogen and progestin together every day. Many ladies prefer the constant combination therapy so they can prevent regular monthly bleeding. If bleeding continues more than 3 months, consult your health care expert.

Progestin-Only Products at a Glance


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

Hydroxyprogesterone (injected); marketed under the names Hylutin, Makena and Prodrox. It is recommended for irregular uterine bleeding, amenorrhea and readying 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 therapy with estrogen. Injections are prescribed for kidney or uterine cancer.

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

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


Progesterone products include:.

Micronized oral progesterone (Prometrium). It is recommended for menopausal symptoms, infertility, unusual uterine bleeding, endometriosis and amenorrhea (absence of a menstrual period).

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


Numerous conditions for which progestin or progestin-estrogen combinations are prescribed can not be prevented. Menopause, for example, is a typical phase of life. However while the changes in hormone levels can not be prevented, the extreme symptoms these changes might trigger can frequently be relieved through medication and/or lifestyle changes.

As your body modifications, it is very essential to interact openly with both your partner and your health care specialist. Tell both about your signs and the physical and emotional changes you may experience. Your health care expert will be able to assist you find how to much better manage and deal with those symptoms, including how to maintain a healthy sex life. And your partner should understand what’s happening to you, specifically if the signs are triggering distress and are affecting your sex life.

Truths To Know

  • Progestogen describes any hormonal agent replacement item that produces similar effects on the uterus as progesterone, the naturally taking place type of the hormone produced in a lady’s body. Progestins are artificial variations of progesterone.
  • Progesterone assists protect the lining of the uterus, also known as the endometrium.
  • Progestogens are consisted of in combination hormone 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 puffed up and state of mind swings.
  • In addition to menopausal hormone therapy and contraception, progestogens might be used to treat a variety of conditions, consisting of menstrual abnormalities and endometriosis; breast, kidney or uterine cancer; and cravings and weight loss in help clients. Progesterone, the natural hormone, might likewise be used to prevent pregnancy loss and preterm labor.
  • Progestin-only contraceptive items may be a good choice if you are unable to take a mix product with estrogen or are worried about estrogen’s side effects. They are appropriate for older ladies, specifically smokers who wish to use an oral hormonal contraceptive method, and postpartum and/or breast-feeding women.
  • Progestin-only mini-pills are extremely reliable for preventing pregnancy (about 97 percent) if taken properly. They should 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 difficulty” test, a female takes progestin tablets for five or more days. When the progestin is stopped, bleeding occurs if sufficient estrogen is present.
  • Hormone-based therapies are not the only option for contraception or for easing menopausal signs. Ask about and discuss all the choices with your healthcare supplier. [3]

How is progesterone managed?

The development 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 usually happens at around day 14 of the menstruation and it promotes 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 developed, the corpus luteum breaks down and the production of progesterone reductions. As the lining of the womb is no longer preserved by progesterone from the corpus luteum, it breaks away and menstrual bleeding takes place, marking the start of a new menstruation.

Nevertheless, if the ovulated egg is fertilised and generates an embryo, the cells that surround this early embryo (which are destined to form the placenta) will produce human chorionic gonadotrophin’ data-content=’ 1392′ >> human chorionic gonadotrophin. This hormonal agent has a very similar chemical structure to luteinising hormonal agent. This implies it can bind to and trigger the very same receptors as luteinising hormonal agent, suggesting that the corpus luteum does not break down and instead keeps producing progesterone till the placenta is developed. [4]

Progesterone in men

Progesterone is referred to as a female hormone, 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 women in the follicular phase of the menstruation, when the egg follicle on an ovary is preparing to launch an egg.

Signs of low progesterone in males consist of:.

  • Low progesterone levels in guys can lead to hair loss.
  • Low sex drive
  • Loss of hair
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness
  • Depression
  • Gynecomastia, which is breast advancement in males
  • Impotence
  • Impotence
  • Bone loss
  • Muscle loss

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

  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatism, an obstruction of the bladder neck, generally related to an enlarged prostate gland

As males age, testosterone starts to decrease, estrogen levels rise, and progesterone levels fall drastically. [5]

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: The progesterone prescription items that have actually been approved by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for most people when utilized by mouth with the suggestions and care of a healthcare expert.

When applied to the skin: The progesterone prescription products that have actually been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people when applied to the skin with the guidance and care of a healthcare expert.

When given as a shot: The progesterone prescription items that have actually been authorized by the Fda (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for many people when injected into the muscle with the guidance and care of a health care specialist.

When applied into the vaginal area: The progesterone prescription products that have actually been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for the majority of people when applied into the vaginal area with the recommendations and care of a health care expert.

However, progesterone can trigger many negative effects consisting of stomach upset, changes in cravings, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), fatigue, acne, drowsiness or sleeping disorders, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, depression, breast pain or enlargement, premenstrual syndrome (PMS)- like symptoms, transformed menstruations, irregular bleeding, and opposite results. [6]

Should I be concerned about low progesterone?

Progesterone is very important throughout childbearing years. If you don’t have enough progesterone, you may have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.

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

Symptoms of low progesterone in females who aren’t pregnant consist of:.

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

Low progesterone may trigger unusual uterine bleeding in women who aren’t pregnant. Irregular or absent durations might suggest badly functioning ovaries and low progesterone.

If you get pregnant, you still need progesterone to maintain your uterus until your infant is born. Your body will produce this boost 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 might not be able to bring the baby to term.

During pregnancy, signs of low progesterone include spotting and miscarriage.

Low progesterone might suggest ectopic pregnancy. This can result in miscarriage or fetal death.

Without progesterone to complement it, estrogen may end up being the dominant hormonal agent. This may trigger symptoms including:.

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

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines need to not be utilized together at all, in other cases two various medications might be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your physician might want to alter the dose, or other preventative measures may be needed. When you are taking this medication, it is specifically important that your healthcare professional understand if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their possible significance and are not always extensive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not advised, however may be required in many cases. If both medications are prescribed together, your doctor might alter the dosage or how often you use one or both of the medications.

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

This details should not be translated without the aid of a healthcare provider. If you think you are experiencing an interaction, call a healthcare provider instantly. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily imply no interactions exist. [9]


Keep all consultations with your doctor.

Prior to having any lab test or biopsy (removal of tissue for screening), inform your physician and the lab workers that you are taking progesterone.

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

It is essential for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (non-prescription) medications you are taking, in addition to any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you check out a doctor or if you are admitted to a medical facility. It is also crucial info to bring with you in case of emergency situations. [10]


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