What Causes of Low Progesterone Levels in PCOS?
Progesterone is a female sex hormone that plays an important role as it's the most crucial hormone in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. Also, its main job is to get your uterus ready for pregnancy.
Progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation occurs. The corpus luteum is the follicle that is left over after it releases its egg for ovulation. This means that if you're not ovulating, you will not be producing a corpus luteum, and therefore, progesterone, leading to low progesterone levels.
Symptoms of low progesterone include;
👉 Fertility problems
👉 Abnormal uterine bleeding
👉 Headaches or migraines
👉 Mood changes, including anxiety or depression
👉 Skin and hair problems
So, progesterone is vital for the menstrual cycle but it is also relying on a healthy menstrual cycle to be produced. So, when you have imbalances such as insulin resistance, androgen excess, high LH levels that cause menstrual regulates, this causes issues with progesterone levels.
Obviously, not all women with PCOS will experience all of these symptoms or issues with low progesterone. If you are concerned you can get your progesterone levels checked, levels are usually checked about 7 days after it is thought that ovulation occurred.
If the Progesterone level is high (usually greater than 14 ng/ml) this means that ovulation did indeed occur and the egg was released from the ovary. If the progesterone level is low the egg was probably not released.
With PCOS, it's important to get tested as sometimes you can have signs that ovulation is happened however, when the progesterone test is done, it shows ovulation did not happen.
What you can do for low progesterone;
✅ Get tested by your doc
✅ Treat the underlying, root hormonal causes (often insulin resistance) through lifestyle behaviors
✅ Progesterone creams
✅ Oral medications
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