Anna Murphy, FCP
The deal with progesterone
We've had some awesome blogs as of late containing advice for marriage, relationships, FertilityCare, how to navigate a natural method, etc. This blog will be coming from a different angle-today is all about your hormones!
First, let's start with how your hormones work from a basic standpoint. Your hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, play a very important role in ovulation (necessary for conception to happen), pregnancy, and having a "normal" menses.
In our introductory session, we cover how the hormones impact your chart and what to look for, which I highly recommend scheduling. Pictured below you will find a picture of the rise and fall of estrogen beginning with the first day of bleeding, marking the start of menses until her next menses begins (if not pregnant).
After ovulation, progesterone is responsible for building up the lining of the uterus which will continue to thicken during pregnancy (and is responsible for helping the baby to implant in the uterus) or will thicken and eventually slough off during menses. Progesterone is necessary for the lining of the uterus to properly thicken, either during pregnancy or in preparation for menses to begin.
Photo from the Pope Paul VI Institute
So why is this important to you? Women with low progesterone are at a higher risk for miscarriage, infertility, and irregularities with menses (your period). This can result in repeated miscarriage, difficultly conceiving, heavy bleeding, etc.
Charting with the Creighton Model FertilityCare system can help you identify biomarkers that are indicators of low progesterone (such as many days of tail end brown bleeding) and can refer you to a Napro doctor who is trained to address these issues. If you are having severe PMS symptoms, abnormal bleeding, heavy bleeding, difficulties with infertility, miscarriage (or repeated miscarriage), charting with the Creighton Model System, especially to check for biomarkers for low progesterone, will be of benefit for you.
And, if you are struggling with any reproductive health issues and your chart does not identify any indicators of low progesterone, that is very helpful news for your doctors to know. It helps them to navigate your chart and provide good care for you.
So what will a Napro doctor do to help? They can recommend remedies such as bio identical hormones (more on this in my next blog), supplements such as Vitex, or other protocols to help you. Equally, if not as important to identifying low progesterone is identifying the dosage and form of progesterone that is best for you. More to come on the different kinds of progesterone in the next blog.