Balance is everything when it comes to the level of a woman’s hormones throughout her cycle. At the beginning of menses, both hormones are at their cycle low. As time goes by the estrogen rises to its high and maintains at a high level while progesterone stays very low. This is called the follicular phase and it is priming the uterus to carry the egg. Ovulation begins at about 14 days before the next menses and then the luteal phase begins. At this point, estrogen immediately drops to about half and the progesterone rises from negligible levels to the level that the estrogen was at during the follicular phase. This goes on until they both bottom out with the onset of menses. And that is a normal female sexual hormone cycle.
However, if there is any deviation from this pattern then things can go wrong. There can be a big problem if progesterone is too low in the second half of the cycle. It should spike up to where estrogen was but if it doesn’t, that can cause infertility and other bad problems. Sometimes estrogen doesn’t get high enough in the first half of the cycle. This can cause symptoms coming on or getting much work around the time of menses. At any point in the cycle, a hormone might not rise enough or go down far enough and either way, this can be a problem. What makes this even more challenging is that it is not enough for someone to look at your levels on one day of your cycle and say, “Oh look at that. That’s pretty low so you need more of that.” Estrogen and progesterone work on a ‘teeter totter’ of sorts. It might not be that the progesterone is low. Sometimes these individuals have too much estrogen so the BALANCE is off. Sometime In these cases, it is a mistake to give the lower hormone since it is not the cause.
Even when giving hormones is called for, how do you know WHEN to give them in the cycle? If you have an increase in symptoms around your menses, infertility, or any other female hormone problems, it is so important not treat it like either one is just low. The hormones must be balanced and you need a practitioner who understands that this is how it works and how and when to administer treatment.
At Prosper, we can find out how the hormones are behaving through blood, urine, and saliva testing. If you absolutely need hormone replacement therapy then you will be referred out to the best medical doctor or osteopath that we know who does these things. If the problem is still a lifestyle and nutrition problem then we can start there, but if a medical opinion is needed, then you will absolutely be referred out. The point is to find out what the cause is and address that by getting you exactly what you need, whether it is something we do at Prosper Health Clinics or at another provider’s office.