Having low levels of progesterone is becoming increasingly common in women today. There are many reasons for this, one of which is xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are “foreign” estrogens often widely used industrial compounds such as PCB, BPA and Phthalates. They have estrogen-like effects on living organisms, even though they differ chemically from the naturally occurring estrogenic substances internally produced by the endocrine system.
Xenoestrogens Wreck Havoc With Natural Hormones
Xenoestrogens have been introduced into the environment by industrial, agricultural and chemical companies and consumers only in the last 70 years or so. One source of xenoestrogens are the hormones given to animals to encourage them to fatten up and grow faster. Hormonal residues remain in the meat when butchered and sold, causing hormone imbalances when ingested.
Another source is the Bisphenol A (BPA) that leaches from plastic bottles and container. The problem with BPA is that it mimics estrogens quite well. Once in the body, it binds to the female hormone receptors throughout the body. Studies have shown that BPA promotes human breast cancer cell growth, decreased sperm count in rats, and has many other deleterious effects.
BPA is used to line cans for canned foods, for plastic juice, soda and water bottles, and for plastic containers of any kind. It is very hard to avoid. In fact, traces of BPA were found in virtually all the urine samples collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2004.
Another reason is the prevalence of birth control pills. Studies show that taking even one birth control pill (not one year’s worth, only one pill), increases your risk of breast cancer by 10 or more years. Birth control pills impose an artificial regulation of hormones on a woman’s system. Over time, they impact a woman’s body’s ability to keep her hormones balanced.
Estrogen Dominance Or Low Progesterone?
Most often, the imbalance caused by all the above is a “progesterone deficiency.” There is an ongoing debate whether to call it estrogen dominance or low progesterone. Both estrogen and progesterone decline as women age, but progesterone declines about 120 times more rapidly than estrogen, creating a condition estrogen dominance or low progesterone. This is why many experts choose to call it a low progesterone condition.
Progesterone begins to decline when a woman is 32 or 35, although because of the reasons mentioned above, it often begins to decline much earlier in many women.
The imbalance between estrogen and progesterone causes many symptoms that can be debilitating. Here is a list of common symptoms:
Symptoms of Low Progesterone:
- irregular menstrual cycles
- strong cramps during menstruation
- higher incidences of PMS
- premenstrual headaches
- more blood clots during menstruation
- heavy, painful periods (menorrhagia)
- low libido
- low bone density
- anxiety, depression
- memory loss
- difficulty handling stress
- elevated cortisol levels
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- ovarian cysts
- uterine fibroids
- fibrocystic breasts
- breast and uterine cancer
- thickening of the uterine lining
- functional hypothyroidism
- complications in pregnancy
- recurring miscarriage
- water retention
- belly fat
What is Normal?
You may be wondering what normal levels of progesterone are. There are many tests to determine blood serum progesterone and other hormonal levels. Some doctors say that saliva tests are more than acurate, while other doctors say only blood tests will do. Should you take a blood test, normal serum (blood) levels of progesterone should be >2.0 ng/ml. Serum levels below 1 (<1.0 ng/ml are too low.
If you should find yourself with low progesterone, all is not lost. Progessence Plus Serum™ provides USP grade P4 natural progesterone in easy-to-apply liquid form and is an excellent way to help your body out. Watch the video on ProgesteroneSerum.com for more information.