Hormones are chemical messengers in the body which influence several bodily functions, from our digestion to the sleep-wake cycle.
Progesterone is one of the two female sex hormones. The other is estrogen. The main functions are the regulation of menstruation and the support of pregnancy in the female body.
Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, and in the corpus luteum. This temporary gland is produced after the release of an egg from the ovary.
The placenta and the adrenal glands can also produce this hormone.
Progesterone also prepares the body for pregnancy by enabling a suitable environment for implantation by a fertilized egg. In the case of pregnancy and egg fertilization, the corpus luteum keeps producing progesterone.
Males also have this hormone-it’s produced in the adrenal glands and it’s involved in the development of sperm. The levels of this progesterone vary throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. They’re measured in nanograms per milliliter.
In males, the levels of progesterone are much lower. It’s not usually tested unless there’s a suspicion of adrenal gland dysfunction. High levels of this hormone don’t usually cause negative side effects, but there are some unpleasant symptoms linked with it.
Below, check out some of the major reasons why your progesterone levels could be higher than normal.
Reasons for High Progesterone Levels
In pregnancy, progesterone levels can go as high as 290 ng/mL and this is considered normal.
Abnormal progesterone levels in early pregnancy may be checked out with the help of a blood test. Higher levels may mean a healthy pregnancy while very low progesterone levels may indicate a higher risk of miscarriage.
Sometimes, very high levels of this hormone may signal twins.
- DHEA supplements
These supplements may increase progesterone levels to very high levels.
This supplement is taken for a higher sex drive, building muscle mass, or lowering the risk of some diseases.
This supplement, according to some data available, may influence the adrenal glands, resulting in higher levels of progesterone, and have a negative effect on the ovaries’ functioning.
- Menstrual cycle changes
Abnormalities and changes in the menstrual cycle may be the cause of high progesterone levels.
In one research, it was found that the levels may increase in case of a late period.
And, they also found that insufficient ovulation in the menstrual cycle may increase progesterone levels.
Excessive stress exposure may cause hormonal imbalance and crease progesterone dominance.
Clinical studies have found that stress influences the renal glands and the secretion of progesterone.
Stress is also associated with higher levels of cortisol and progesterone.
The levels of progesterone began increasing some 40 minutes after the exposure of the subjects to stress in that study.
- Adrenal gland dysfunction
Adrenal gland dysfunction affects hormone levels and may result in progesterone dominance.
In a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, it was found that the silent nodules on the adrenal glands may result in a higher release of progesterone.
Other studies have linked adrenal gland abnormalities with high levels of progesterone and difficulty conceiving.
Potential Indicators of High Levels of Progesterone
- Excessive and constant tiredness
- Inability to shed pounds
- Unexplained anger or severe frustration
- Mood changes that worsen before or after the menstrual bleeding
- Reduction in sex drive
- High appetite
- Emotional eating
- Higher levels of anxiety
- Higher sensitivity to pain
How Is the High Level of Progesterone Treated?
- Stopping or reducing the use of progesterone supplements
- Effective stress management
- Higher intake of chamomile, ginger, and bergamot
- Regulation of the menstrual cycle
- Checking the thyroid function