“I sleep like I never slept before… The things that used to make me crazy, (traffic, kids, job..), now make me smile. I understand and appreciate why they call it the happy hormone”. Jim C.
Progesterone is made from pregnenolone (which is made from cholesterol) in the body. We tend to think of this as a “female” hormone, yet it is important in men, just like testosterone is important in women. Progesterone is the balance for estrogen. All things need to be in balance, including hormones. Progesterone for men is an important part of our hormone replacement therapy.
Excess estrogen in men could cause higher risk for blood clots (including heart attack), BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy-enlargement of prostate) and prostate cancer. Progesterone also keeps DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which is the downstream metabolite of testosterone, in check. DHT can contribute to male pattern baldness.
Estrogen effects on prostate
Progesterone keeps estradiol, the most potent estrogen, in check by converting it to estrone. Excess estradiol can increase a hard, fibrous tissue in the prostate called stroma. In addition, there is good evidence that estrogen may be the main culprit in increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Many falsely believe that testosterone is the problem when in fact, it is estradiol.
Estrogen and heart attacks:
Why progesterone for men is so important
- In looking at heart attack victims, they have the highest levels of estradiol and the severity of the heart attack seems proportional to the amount of this hormone in the blood.
- Progesterone serves as the precursor to the adrenal hormones cortisol and cortisone, as well as the androgens androstenedione and testosterone.
- Progesterone deficiency is often accompanied by decreased levels of cortisol and androgens.
- Progesterone reduces fluid build-up.
- Progesterone also keeps aldosterone in check by partially blocking receptors. Aldosterone is made in the adrenals, and when in excess, causes fluid build up and possibly high blood pressure.
- Progesterone acts like a diuretic.
- Progesterone as a calming agent, reducing anxiety.
- Progesterone calms down nerves and muscles due to its conversion to the sleep-inducing and relaxing metabolites, pregnanolone and allo-pregnanolone. This is helpful for men who are tense or anxious.
- Progesterone may improve fertility.
- Progesterone stimulates the motility of sperm and may be important in fertility.
- Levels decline with age.
- Progesterone production diminishes with age, much like the other steroid hormones. Fortunately, it doesn’t decrease as fast as DHEA or pregnenolone.
Symptoms and Signs of insufficient Progesterone
- Tense or nervous behavior, anxiety and lack of peace, tense muscles
- Superficial, nervous sleep
- Reduced urine flow with increased time to urinate
- Constipation and swollen abdomen
- Male pattern baldness and excess body hair
- Enlargement of breasts (gynecomastia)
Let hormone replacement therapy be part of your life and let us include progesterone for men.