Infertility, miscarriage and C-sections are fast becoming important topics of discussion for anyone wanting to become pregnant. The rate of infertility, miscarriages and C-sections are at an all time high. Add everyday worry and anxiety to the equation and you will easily see how stress can contribute to these problems.
Stress interferes with your reproductive hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) and therefore interferes with the reproductive process and is a major cause for infertility and miscarriages. The reason is simple...stress depletes your progesterone, which throws everything out of balance.
The word ‘progesterone' means "for gestation." This means the good Lord designed this hormones to help us become pregnant and stay pregnant. Progesterone nourishes the uterine lining in preparation for the implanted, fertilized egg. It is progesterone that continually feeds and nourishes the uterus during pregnancy. Unfortunately, constant stress gradually 'steals' what progesterone you have and need for pregnancy or any other female need and uses it to make cortisol, your stress hormone. This causes a decrease in your progesterone levels and is associated with infertility and miscarriages.
When you are constantly in that "fight or flight" mode, your adrenal glands will produce additional cortisol and adrenaline. This is a normal process. The problem is -- in order to make cortisol, your stress hormone, your adrenal glands need progesterone. This causes your progesterone to be used to make your stress hormones, as opposed to what it is primarily designed for, which is to support your pregnancy. This is commonly referred to as the "progesterone steal."
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. He made it where the body is designed for survival and when you are steadily in the "fight or flight" mode, it is more important for the body to run away from the threat than it is to have a baby. The constant demand for cortisol is going to reduce your levels of progesterone. Inadequate levels of progesterone strongly interfere with the reproductive process. Additionally, low progesterone is another reason why so many women struggle with PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, etc. Progesterone is being stolen to make cortisol! This whole ‘progesterone steal' process causes a deficiency and ultimately affects the balance of progesterone to estrogen and testosterone.
Supplementing with progesterone (I prefer sublingual progesterone over topical creams) can do wonders for so many women who are struggling with infertility, miscarriages, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats and other hormonal imbalances. Yet I always encourage my patients to address the reason for the lack of progesterone. If it is due to stress, you need to support those exhausted adrenal glands with a good adrenal supplement.
Progesterone creams are good, but they do have their downside. One of the drawbacks of the progesterone creams is that they begin to accumulate in your adipose (fat) tissue as it penetrates your skin. This makes it very easy to quickly have too much progesterone in your system and cause all types of hormonal problems. The sublinguals enter your bloodstream without the risk of accumulating in your adipose tissue.
If we merely add progesterone, without properly nourishing our depleted adrenal glands, we are always going to have to supplement with progesterone. But if we strengthen our adrenal glands and manage our stress, we won't be stealing all our progesterone. The most important thing you need to realize is that - you can never get your progesterone levels back to normal if your adrenal glands are fatigued and exhausted due to constant stress. If you are not sure if stress is part of the problem, use the 'online health quizzes' and take the Stress Test.
Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert, as well as, author and developer of the Work Horse Trainer. His goal is to help people who are looking for answers on how to stay healthy and fit. To learn more or join his bi-weekly teleseminars visit www.DrLenLopez.com and follow his daily Blog or simply use the online health quizzes.