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Most women know more about estrogen than they do progesterone because estrogen seems to get more of the spotlight. However, the hormone progesterone serves an equally important job in a woman’s body.
If this hormone isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to infertility. Produced in the ovaries, this hormone is vital to reproductive health. But the benefits of this hormone aren’t limited to being something that works in connection with estrogen.
Throughout a pregnancy, this hormone works to help protect the growing baby – especially the developing brain. Progesterone is also vital to your brain’s ability to function well.
One of the jobs of progesterone is to keep your brain as safe as possible. Life is full of hard hits and anyone who gets whacked upside the head knows how quickly you can sustain an injury such as a concussion.
Progesterone is the hormone that works to restore your brain to optimal health when it’s been hurt. Studies done on patients who experienced traumatic brain injuries were shown to prove that when given soon after the injury, the hormone stops the death of brain cells that commonly occurs after a brain injury.
More studies are in progress to determine how this hormone can also be beneficial to people who’ve experienced a stroke. A benefit that the hormone can help with is that it promotes cognitive function such as memory – but it can also help to relieve anxiety as well as worry.
That’s because the hormone functions as the body’s own antidepressant. It causes the brain to produce the feel good hormones, which in turn has a soothing effect on your mood.
When this hormone is within the correct levels, it can also help to prevent the mood swings associated with PMS. When your progesterone isn’t balanced, it can cause insomnia, but when it’s at the correct levels, it can improve sleep – even during the times when other hormones are out of balance.
There are other benefits to making sure that this hormone is level. It has a stimulating effect on your metabolism. If you struggle to lose weight, the problem could be that your progesterone level isn’t where it should be.
In addition to working to protect your brain, this hormone also works to protect your adrenal glands and keep them functioning normally. It also helps to keep your skin clear and works to try to prevent your monthly cycles from becoming too heavy.
The body does have certain symptoms that are recognized as signs of a progesterone imbalance. These are gaining weight, anxiety, irregular menstruation, the development of fibroids, thyroid problems or gallbladder malfunction.