Progesterone is a female hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation. It is also present in men in smaller concentrations. Progesterone is a steroid hormone that plays numerous roles within the human body. It is crucial to the production of sex hormones and corticosteroids, as well as playing a role as a neuro-steroid (brain function).
Progesterone in Men and Women - Everything You Need to Know
Progesterone is an essential female sex hormone that can significantly influence your health and well-being. This hormone is present in men's and women's bodies, but men produce much less.
Table of Contents
- Progesterone in Men and Women - Everything You Need to Know
- How Does Progesterone Work in the Body?
- Symptoms of Low Progesterone in Men
- Symptoms of Low Progesterone in Women
- The Effects of Too Much Progesterone on Men
- Treatment Options to Normalize Progesterone Levels
- Check Your Progesterone Level Today!
Testing your progesterone levels often is highly recommended. A progesterone test is inexpensive and could reveal why you're dealing with muscle loss or abdominal pain. You can just dive into this article and learn more about progesterone.
How Does Progesterone Work in the Body?
Progesterone is produced in high quantities in women to prepare for getting pregnant. If this doesn't happen, progesterone production decreases, and menstruation begins for women.
If the woman gets pregnant, this hormone is produced constantly throughout pregnancy to help develop the baby. Women have the most progesterone in their last semester of pregnancy.
For example, average progesterone production is between 10 and 45 ng/mL of blood in the first semester of pregnancy. The last one can reach up to 290 ng/mL as the woman prepares to give birth.
On the other hand, men produce up to 15 ng/mL of blood every day. As you can tell, men have much less progesterone in their bodies than women, which is normal. However, this hormone is still essential for men, as seen in the following paragraphs.
Progesterone levels can drop too low for various reasons. For example, chronic stress, especially in women, might affect progesterone production. Thyroid problems can also interfere with the release of this hormone since the thyroid gland controls most of the hormonal processes in the body.
Obesity in both men and women might lead to a decrease in progesterone. This condition is associated with many other problems, so losing weight as soon as possible naturally cures progesterone deficiency.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone in Men
Although men produce between 5 and 15 ng of progesterone per mL of blood daily, this hormone can sometimes get too low. Progesterone production decreases with age, but other factors, such as an unhealthy lifestyle, might affect it.
When this happens, specific symptoms will appear. For example, depression is one of the most common symptoms. The depressive episodes can be long and last for several days or weeks. At the same time, erectile dysfunction might also occur in specific individuals.
That's because progesterone helps with achieving an erection and the maturation of sperm. In some cases, muscle loss can also happen. Other common symptom is excessive fatigue and brain fog or the impossibility of concentrating on daily tasks.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone in Women
Women also develop symptoms if progesterone levels fall below a certain threshold. For example, anxiety and depression are common symptoms, mood changes, and memory problems.
At the same time, too little progesterone for women might make it difficult for them to sustain a pregnancy. Even if they get pregnant, insufficient progesterone might lead to a miscarriage. That's why it's essential to check your progesterone levels often if you're thinking about conceiving a baby.
Other symptoms of insufficient progesterone in women include sore breasts and abdominal pain. These symptoms can persist for weeks and disturb the quality of your life. Unexplained weight gain can also occur due to too little progesterone.
The Effects of Too Much Progesterone on Men
You'll find elevated progesterone levels at the other end of the spectrum, particularly in men. This is also possible for various reasons. If you have too much of this hormone in your bloodstream, your body might develop too much estrogen, another female sex hormone.
Estrogen is required for men, but not if it gets too high. When this happens, you might see symptoms such as fatigue, lack of concentration, and an accumulation of fatty tissue around the belly. This could also lead to heart problems if left untreated for long periods.
Another symptom of having too much progesterone/estrogen in your body is gynecomastia.It develops due to accumulating too much fatty tissue in the chest area. This is also known as "man boobs," which can profoundly affect your image and self-confidence.
Some men also deal with decreased facial hair growth due to too much progesterone in the body.
Treatment Options to Normalize Progesterone Levels
If a woman approaches menopause, it's normal to expect a significant drop in progesterone levels. However, this can be mitigated with hormone replacement therapy similar to testosterone replacement therapy men benefit from.
HRT consists of supplementing the body with additional progesterone in pills or creams. This can be done for a couple of years under a doctor's supervision. There are some risks, but they can be outweighed by the benefits of having more progesterone in the body.
If a man has low progesterone levels, there are options here too. For example, doctors might recommend switching to a healthier lifestyle. This involves doing physical exercise for at least 30 minutes a few times a week, getting rid of junk food, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake.
As a rule of thumb, hormones can be balanced with a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and a nutritious diet. The progesterone levels can be assessed every few weeks or months, and adjustments can be made to restore their normal levels.
Normalizing progesterone levels also have positive effects on an emotional level. It has been discovered that an increase in progesterone in men can reduce anxiety and depression in both the short termand long-term.
Check Your Progesterone Level Today!
Most men don't necessarily think about their progesterone levels too often, but this is an important hormone. It tends to drop with age, and it's recommended to check it often to prevent some of the symptoms mentioned above.
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