What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is an essential substance from which our body makes many of the other hormones vital for good health. Interestingly, progesterone is made in your body from cholesterol and the progesterone your body produces has an identical molecular structure to the compounded natural bioidentical progesterone. First, your body turns cholesterol into pregnenolone. The Pregnenolone is then converted into progesterone and then your body then makes a cascade of other hormones that it needs from progesterone.
Progesterone serves as a precursor not only to DHEA, testosterone and estrogen, but also to cortisol, the stress hormone. It is also the precursor to the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone and is secreted primarily by the ovaries in females and by the testes in men. Smaller amounts are produced by the adrenal glands and in the brain cells of both women and men. This makes it instrumental in many core biologic functions.
Progesterone is not exclusively a female hormone nor is it a 'sex' hormone. It plays no part in the secondary sexual characteristics that develop during puberty.
What does Progesterone do?
Progesterone plays a major role in the body and has many functions in both males and females of all ages. Progesterone is responsible for regulating blood sugar, developing intelligence, building bones, brain activity and many more. Additionally, progesterone plays an important role in concerting fat into energy, regulating thyroid hormone production, and helping to reboot libido. It is also a natural antidepressant, aids in normalizing blood clotting, helps to initiate sleep and is a natural diuretic along with many other vital functions.
Progesterone has a calming effect by activating the GABA receptor sites. GABA is our most calming, inhibitory neurotransmitter and effective against some forms of epilepsy. Progesterone also boosts the immune system. Our bodies make it all the time.
Since the natural bioidentical progesterone has the same structure as the progesterone hormones your body produces, it is able to fit on all of the progesterone receptors and create the other hormones along the hormone pathway.
Progesterone Replacement Therapy
Progesterone replacement therapy is perhaps one of the most effective methods of restoring progesterone levels in the body. Progesterone therapy boosts low progesterone levels by supplementing progesterone either synthetically or naturally. Most women opt for natural bioidentical progesterone as safer alternative to synthetic progesterone to minimize the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Progesterone therapy is either administered by cream, gel, patch or pellet insertion, usually depending on availability, cost and convenience of use. Some physicians may decide to combine the progesterone with estrogen, and in some cases, testosterone to help women and men regain overall balance.