Progesterone is considered an endogenous steroid and a sex hormone. It is heavily involved in the Reproductive System, during Pregnancy, and during the early stages of human embryo development.
Progesterone – similar to other steroid hormones – is derived from cholesterol. Overall, progesterone has many important functions in the body.
It’s action is closely related to another sexual hormone – Estrogen.
Progesterone can be used as a medication, such as in menopausal hormone therapry and more.
This steroid is produced in several areas within the body:
– Placenta (during pregnancy)
Production is initially in the corpus luteum of the ovary. One the embryo begins to development the production will switch to the placenta. This occurs around the 8th week.
The level of progesterone typically found in women changes during the month
1.) Relatively low prior to Menstruation
2.) Relatively low during the Follicular Phases
3.) Increases following ovulation the Luteal Phase
4.) If pregnancy is not achieved then progesterone levels will decrease.
5.) If pregnancy is achieved – progesterone levels will be maintained
Functions of Progesterone:
– Allows the conversion on endometrium so that implantation of the embryo may take place
– Affects the mucus in vaginal region to become thick
– Causes the decrease of contractions of the uterine smooth muscle
– Inhibits lactation during pregnancy
– May inhibit labor
– May prevent endometrial cancer
Progesterone itself is often synthesized in the form of medications for:
1.) In-Vitro Fertilization
2.) Birth control
3.) To help with bleeding