Estrogen is arguably the most well-known female hormone but it’s lesser-known sister - progesterone, plays just as much of a crucial role in every woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility and emotional wellbeing.
If you find yourself experiencing low progesterone symptoms, you may be experiencing a whole host of physical and emotional side effects. Let’s delve further into what you need to know about low progesterone including the symptoms and how you can check your progesterone levels from home.
- What Is Progesterone?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Low Progesterone?
- How Can I Check My Progesterone Levels At Home?
What Is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a female sex hormone that belongs to a group of hormones called progestins.
Often referred to as the ‘pregnancy hormone’, progesterone is essentially the ‘chemical messenger’ that travels through the blood and helps prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy after ovulation, among other functions.
What does progesterone do to a woman’s body?
Progesterone plays a wide range of vital roles in a woman’s body, these roles include :
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
- Thickening the lining of the uterus to prepare for a fertilized egg
- Maintaining uterine lining throughout pregnancy
- Breast development and breastfeeding
- Regulating mood, weight, sex drive, and water-salt balance
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Progesterone?
The symptoms associated with low progesterone are magnified by high levels of estrogen; this often occurs in the absence of sufficient progesterone levels.
Low progesterone levels coupled with higher estrogen levels may lead to :
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased sex drive/libido
- Increased intensity of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
How Can I Check My Progesterone Levels At Home?
You can test your progesterone levels from home with a simple blood test.
The LetsGetChecked Progesterone test monitors progesterone levels on Day 21 of your menstrual cycle. By examining progesterone in the blood, the test can indicate whether you’re ovulating normally.
You should consider testing your progesterone levels at home if:
- You are trying to get pregnant
- You have irregular or painful periods
- You have been diagnosed with endometriosis
- You have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- You are going through menopause
Written by Hannah Kingston | Medically Approved by Dr. Susan O' Sullivan | Edited by Dani Roche