Progesterone is the main progestogenic steroid hormone secreted by the female reproductive system and is connected with the female menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Progesterone’s Role in Lactation
The ovaries release a single egg each month (ovulation). The egg migrates down the fallopian tube in order to potentially be fertilized by sperm. The corpus luteum forms from the empty follicle and is a temporary endocrine gland that develops after ovulation during the luteal phase (latter phase of the menstrual cycle). The hypothalamus signals to the pituitary gland to stimulate the follicle (corpus luteum), which becomes the main source of progesterone required to maintain a pregnancy.
If conception occurs, progesterone causes changes in breast tissue to prepare for producing milk.
While the body is producing high levels of progesterone, the body will not ovulate.
Natural remedies for raising low progesterone levels include:
- increasing your intake of vitamins B and C, which are necessary for maintaining progesterone levels
- eating more foods with zinc, like shellfish
- controlling stress levels, as cortisol is released instead of progesterone in high periods of stress and it reduces progesterone levels