Progesterone is a hormone produced in a woman’s ovaries. Men also produce progesterone but in much smaller amounts.
Progesterone is a fundamental hormone and it works with estrogen in regulating the reproductive cycle of a woman.
The ovaries produce progesterone which is used to make the uterus a perfect environment for accepting a fertilized egg. While a woman is in her child bearing years progesterone is produced by the ovaries every month together with estrogen. The hormones signal the body to thicken the lining of the uterus so it becomes easier for a fertilized egg to attach itself to the side wall to get nutrients and start to grow.
If the woman becomes pregnant then the body continues to produce progesterone in the placenta to maintain the pregnancy and prevent rejection of the embryo. If the woman does not fall pregnant then the levels of progesterone decrease again and the thickened lining of the uterus and the unfertilized egg are discarded in the menstural period.
Progesterone is also important for the general health of a woman. It helps to keep the level of estrogen in the body in a balanced state. When there is an imbalance in estrogen levels health deteriorates which can lead to serious issues, including breast cancer and cancer of the reproductive organs.
Progesterone also stimulates thyroid activity, reduces inflammation, helps build immunity, helps blood-clotting ability, and many other functions of the body. It is a part of the whole system, where one little imbalance effects many parts.
It is important that women continue to produce this hormone even after menopause as it helps protect women from many other ailments like osteoporosis.