|Molar mass||Molar mass::314.46|
|CAS number||CAS number::53-87-0|
| Except where noted otherwise, data are given for|
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references
Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is secreted in the ovaries along with estrogen to regulate the menstrual cycle and aid in many various aspects of pregnancy. It is very common for women to have either a progesterone excess or deficiency, especially during the years before menopause; therefore drug therapy helps to regulate progesterone production.
The most common location of progesterone production is in “granulosa cells” within the corpus luteum (also called the “yellow body”) of the ovaries. Levels of progesterone are highest during ovulation and drop after about ten days, prompting menstruation.  On average, the corpus luteum produces about 15-20 mg of progesterone each day during ovulation.  During pregnancy, the placenta also produces progesterone. The brain and peripheral nerves make small amounts of progesterone as well (Northrup, p146). There are a few sources of progesterone, other than those in the human body. One is animal milk, most commonly cow's milk. In addition, there are several species of yams that are found in the wild that contain progesterone or diosgenin, which can be used to create progesterone.
The level of progesterone in a woman’s body during pregnancy is much higher than normal. The amount of progesterone being produced increases as pregnancy continues, right up until birth. Progesterone works together with estrogen during pregnancy to do many various jobs, such as helping the placenta perform it’s many tasks, fighting off unwanted cells, keeping the uterus from moving around too much, stimulating breast tissue growth, preventing the breasts from lactating until after birth, stopping uterus contractions, and building muscle on the pelvic walls in preparation for birth.  Progesterone is essential to the survival of the fetus. Blood vessels that travel to and from the womb are developed by progesterone. Since progesterone levels need to be high during pregnancy, there can be as much as 400 mg being produced each day. Low progesterone levels during pregnancy can cause miscarriages or premature births. 
Because progesterone is the body’s natural calming hormone, excessive amounts of it can cause sleepiness, depression, and fatigue. Other symptoms include moodiness, muscles aches and irritability. Too much progesterone can actually block the formation of testosterone as well as increased bloating and water retention. 
Symptoms of an insufficient amount of progesterone are dizziness, muscle aches, and insomnia. In extreme cases, weight gain can occur as a direct result. It is very typical for premenopausal women to have very low levels of progesterone, because their bodies are adjusting to new, lesser hormone levels everywhere. Stress can be another underlying cause of progesterone insufficiency. Low progesterone levels could also be the cause of a skipped period. 
Progesterone, when taken as a supplement or injection, has many uses and benefits. The most common use is probably to treat premenstrual symptoms, or PMS, and infertility treatment. One common drug that has almost the same chemical makeup as progesterone is progestogen. It does basically the same thing as progesterone, but can be taken in pill form to be absorbed into blood. Medroxyprogesterone acetate is a progesterone replacement that is found in common hormone therapy drugs, but has worse side effects than the real thing. Several effective ways to take progesterone are:
- Pills- absorption takes place within 1-4 hours, and stays in the system for up to 24 hours, so this is a daily routine.
- Shots- given as shots of progesterone in oil. Doses are most effective 12 hours after first given, and last for up to 48 hours. Some prescription forms can last 12 weeks, and is used as a contraceptive.
- Vaginal Cream- peaks after 4 hours and is effective for 24 hours. This is very similar to pill form, however, creams are sold commercially.
- Skin Creams- creams take a while longer to work, but they are effective within 24 hours, so they have to be applied once a day.
- Contraceptives- some birth controls, such as wild carrot root, block progesterone formation, therefore preventing ovulation, and avoiding the possibility of pregnancy.
- The Role of Progesterone Author Unknown. Paternity Angel.
- Progesterone Levels Author Unknown. Safe Menopause Solutions.
- Northrup, Christiane. The Wisdom of Menopause. New York: Bantam Dell, 2003.
- Progesterone Side Effects Author Unknown. BHRT Resource.
- Symptoms of Low Progesterone Author Unknown. ChristiaNet.
- Progesterone- Its Uses and Effects Frederick R. Jelovsek MD. Women's Health Resource.