This is progesterone. It is different than progestin, its synthetic look alike, and today I am going to explain why that difference is so important to me. Both progesterone and progestin are critical hormones in the ovulation process, if there is no fertilization these hormones kick in and activate the period.
Progesterone has many health benefits that are worth mentioning. Some of the more notable affects are that progesterone is a feel good hormone, it improves sleep, it has antidepressant qualities and is mood enhancing. It keeps the brain healthy and alert and has been known to protect the brain from damage after traumatic brain injury or PTSD. Progesterone is known to have a sedative and hypnotic effect which eases anxiety and facilitates memory. It also can improve fat metabolism and bone formation, especially important for young women.
To summarize these benefits, progesterone is a powerful hormone that does more than regulate a womens monthly cycle, but contributes to mental and emotional stability. Progestin on the other hand does not have these amazing benefits. It merely prevents fertilization by creating hormonal imbalance. If anything the synthetic hormones have negative effects such as leading to higher cases of reproductive cancers. These synthetic hormones are found in more than just the birth control pill but also in tap water and plastic bottles and containers. It is also important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain healthy hormone levels such as avoiding foods with sugar and salt. Also by eating less meat and incorporating more fiber into the diet will help to maintain balance.
::This chart gives us an idea of the average hormone changes in a monthly cycle. ::
When a women takes birth control two things happen: estrogen is increased and progesterone is decreased (no need to produce it when taking a synthetic). This is a recipe for anxiety. Without progesterone, a constant flow of estrogen can irritate the nervous system creating a feeling of being in a constant state of drive. Estrogen can bring creativity and calm when balanced in a natural state, but when there is an imbalance problems may arise. It is also important to note that synthetic estrogen is four times stronger than naturally produced estrogen.
The passion behind my research lies in my choice to cease taking birth control. Initially I didn’t know that birth control had any risks, but three years into taking it I realized that I knew it was not healthy and there was no reason to wait to quit. After I stopped taking the pill I began researching what transitioning off can be like when I learned how important progesterone is. As someone who has struggled with anxiety, depression, and PTSD I want all the happy and helpful hormones as possible! I didn’t know that in taking hormonal birth control that I was blocking the natural production of my much needed mood lifter. In my research I learned that right after ovulation is when progesterone levels rise dramatically, a time typically when women say they suffer from PMS. When hormone levels are natural and balanced, women actually have the potential to experience a natural high as a rush of positivity laced hormones enter our system. This is a magical time of our cycle when we can reap the benefits of mature my experiencing lifted moods and more energy and alertness. This is critical! With mood disorders and depression abounding in our society I want to educate uterus owners that taking synthetic hormonal birth control prevents you from ever experiencing the natural highs of progesterone!
Whatever reasons there are to take birth control there are counter points for why our body can naturally take care itself. Part of loving myself included letting my body sync to the natural rhythm of nature. Since quitting birth control I find myself more aware of my body and more in tune with my intuition. With the right awareness, unwanted pregnancy isn’t even a worry in my mind. I have taken back control of my body and it’s systems, and it feels wonderful. 💜
Progesterone and the Nervous System/Brain