Is often referred to as the hormone of development or maturation.
The primary source of progesterone in the body is from the corpus luteum. Small amounts are also produced in the adrenal glands.
It works with oestrogen in preparing the uterus for possible pregnancy.
It stimulates the lining of the fallopian tubes so they provide nutrition for the ovum as it travels to the uterus for implantation.
Increased progesterone levels in the post ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle causing enlargement in breast tissue – making them larger and firmer before your period.
This enlargement happens so that breasts are prepared for milk production but it is the hormone prolactin which causes breast milk to be produced in the breast – prolactin is usually only produced in pregnancy.
Progesterone can stimulate the appetite – which is why women are often hungrier in the post ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle.
Progesterone acts on the kidneys causing them to store more salt and water, which is why women often bloat and feel heavier in the second half of the cycle.
The increase in levels in progesterone after ovulation often causes many of the uncomfortable symptoms on PMS – go here for a guide on coping with PMS
In the post ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle, progesterone makes cervical mucus thicker and stickier making a natural plug for the cervix. This acts to seal the uterus and protect the possible embryo.
Progesterone has other actions in the body including improved fat metabolism, increasing bone density, mood-elevation, and it can also act as a natural diuretic. Progestogen helps prevent cancerous and benign breast and uterine changes.