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Progesterone

The female body requires an optimal balance of progesterone and the estrogen hormones (a trio of related hormones called estradiol, estrone and estriol). Progesterone Deficiency occurs when the hormonal balance is shifted in favor of the estrogens. This condition is also referred to as estrogen dominance.

Signs and Symptoms


Millions of women suffer from Progesterone Deficiency and the following are the Premenstrual Signs and Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency:
•    Breast Tenderness
•    Mood Swings
•    Fluid Retention and Weight Gain
•    Headaches
•    Cramps
•    Clotting
•    Irregular Cycles

In addition, here are some other Signs and Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency:
•    Uterine Fibroids
•    Breast Disease
•    Endometriosis
•    Infertility
•    Miscarriage
•    Joint Pain
•    Muscle Pain
•    Decreased Libido
•    Panic Attacks

How Does Progesterone Deficiency Occur?

Mostly it is the inevitable result of the aging process.  A woman’s ovaries generally function best between a few years after puberty until around age thirty.  However, as a woman ages, so do her ovaries.

By the time a woman reaches thirty-five years of age she is over halfway through her menstrual life and her ovarian function begins to falter.

The ovaries are the primary site for the production of both the estrogens and progesterone.  But while both estrogen and progesterone levels decline with age, progesterone declines much more dramatically.

By menopause, a woman’s progesterone level is likely to be a mere 1/120 of the level she experienced in her early twenties.  In contrast, her postmenopausal estrogen level may remain at 40% of the level she experienced in early adulthood, because even when her ovaries no longer produce estrogen, her fat cells continue to do so.

Thanks to this additional source of estrogen, an obese postmenopausal woman may have higher estrogen levels than a thin premenopausal woman.

Another reason why Progesterone Deficiency becomes more common with age is that as a woman ages she begins to have anovulatory cycles, menstrual cycles during which her ovaries do not release eggs.  When a woman does not ovulate, her ovaries produce NO PROGESTERONE AT ALL.

The stimulatory effects of estrogen unopposed by progesterone can cause the endometrial lining to become abnormally thickened, resulting in heavier periods, clotting, and painful menstrual cramps.  As women enter their thirties, anovulatory cycles become more common, and symptoms of estrogen dominance become progressively more severe.

In addition, other causes of Progesterone Deficiency are:
•    Hysterectomy
•    Bilateral Tubal Ligation
•    Childbirth
•    Oral Contraceptives
•    XenoEsrogens (Petrochemical products found in plastics, herbicides and pesticides)

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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.