PCOS and Progesterone- What You Need to Know
Guest Post by Dr. Tami Meraglia, MD
Did you know that you have a natural helper for PCOS in your body?
Women have a hormone that is produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands that is like valium bathing the female mind. It helps reduce anxiety and is known as the peaceful hormone. It also helps us sleep soundly through the entire night and combats the excess androgenic hormones that are found in women who have PCOS.
What is this amazing hormone? Progesterone.
Progesterone acts on the gamma amino butyric (GABA) receptors in the brain (the same receptors sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and even alcohols act upon), producing a calming effect. GABA is the primary inhibitory transmitter in the brain. If you wake between 2am and 4 am wide awake, you likely have a progesterone deficiency. Women with PCOS almost always have low progesterone.
Progesterone also affects the elasticity of our skin, memory, is anti-inflammatory, is a natural diuretic and helps normalize blood sugar. It also stimulates the cells that make new bone called osteoblasts.
There is a unique benefit of progesterone for women with PCOS. I use topical progesterone in my practice to block the enzyme 5-alph-reductase, which is involved in the metabolism of testosterone. Additionally, progesterone is the hormone to help regulate your monthly cycle and help ovulation to occur. Many women think that their increased irritability, los of enjoyment of life and trouble sleeping if from their 24/7 lifestyle, but it is likely more often due to a progesterone deficiency.
Here are 7 common symptoms associated with low progesterone:
- Waking at night
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Bone loss
- Low libido
- Infertility or irregular periods.
Here are 2 simple and natural things you can do to help your own body produce more progesterone:
- Vitamin C. A dose of 750-1000 mg has been shown in studies to raise progesterone in women.
- The spices turmeric, thyme and oregano are also useful for progesterone. Use in cooking whenever you can.
Topical progesterone is also available over-the-counter.
If you find that it takes a bit more energy to keep your cool or that you are no longer sleeping through the night I encourage you to look to progesterone as a way to help.
Remember, “fine” is a four letter word. You deserve to feel FABULOUS!
Dr. Tami is a double board certified MD in both Aesthetic Medicine and Integrative Naturopathic Medicine and the author of The Hormone Secret. She is on the faculty of the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and a key note speaker for the American Academy of Anti-aging. As a leading expert in the cosmetic and natural medicine industry, she speaks nationally and internationally and has appeared on Good Morning America, Fox National News and has hosted multiple radio shows. She is the author of “The Hormone Secret” published by Simon and Schuster and currently available for pre-order on her website drtami.com. She lives in Seattle and is the owner and Medical Director of Vitality Medispa and Medical Clinic.
As someone who is going through infertility treatment, I would be interested to know the “numbers” here. What progesterone ranges are considered low and what ranges are considered normal, particularly at 7 dpo?
how about progesterone BC, will that also be effective?