If you use the pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the symptoms of menopause, you may be asking if progesterone causes weight gain. Do not worry; we will walk you through the specifics.
The remarkable unsung heroes who keep so many of our body’s systems functioning are our hormones.
Sometimes, we’re unsure of what their intentions are for us or the extent to which they are affecting our bodies, thoughts, and emotions.
What, if any, a link exists between progesterone and weight gain? Let’s start now.
Why Is Progesterone Important, and What Does It Do?
Progesterone is both a hormone that your body naturally produces and a drug that can be administered to support your body when it needs a hormonal boost.
The artificial version is known as progestin.
Progesterone is a hormone that naturally occurs in human systems and is mostly accountable for:
- preparing the uterine lining to accept a fertilized egg, and
- encouraging pregnancy, if it occurs.
Throughout your menstrual cycle, your progesterone levels rise and fall; they are at their lowest when your period is actively bleeding.
Your hormone production varies significantly as you approach perimenopause and your period prepares to say goodbye.
You might then transition to HRT.
This implies that you take medication to replace the estrogen and progesterone that your body no longer produces in sufficient amounts.
You can choose between estrogen-only HRT or combination HRT (progestin and estrogen), though the latter is not advised unless you have undergone a hysterectomy. (Reducing the combination’s risk of endometrial cancer.)
Progestin may also be present in your body prior to perimenopause for another cause. That is in terms of a contraceptive. Progestin-only birth control tablets or combinations of oestrogen and progestin are both available.
Progestin-only contraception, sometimes known as the “mini-pill,” deceives your body into believing that you are already pregnant and prevents it from releasing an egg.
By thickening the mucus in your vagina, it also makes the opening to your uterus a little bit more difficult to pass through.
Progestin may also be used if you have severe PMS, atypical vaginal bleeding, or a medical issue that interferes with your period.
This is the short version of why you might take it. And now for the crucial query:
Can progesterone cause weight gain? Here is the skinny.
How Can I Stop Progesterone from Making Me Gain Weight?
The moral of the story is that progesterone does not, by itself, lead to weight gain.
That holds true regardless of whether you’re using it as a form of contraception or HRT for perimenopause.
But there might be a cause if you’re gaining weight while taking progesterone.
What Makes Progesterone a Weight-Gaining Hormone?
According to the data, progesterone makes us feel more hungry than estrogen does.
You may have noticed this during your monthly cycle, where bouts of the munchies directly coincide with the increase in progesterone levels a week or so before the start of your period. (You weren’t dreaming, I assure you.)
Increased hunger might encourage eating more, which might result in weight gain.
Do Progesterone-Related Belly Fats Exist?
Not exactly, but if you’ve observed weight redistribution during perimenopause, your changing hormone levels may be to blame.
As we become older, our bodies alter their shape.
Our lean body mass is declining, but the fat around our abdomens is increasing.
We’re not exactly clear if or why this has to do with the way our hormones alter as we enter this critical life stage.
Our metabolisms also become slower as we become older.
We might need to increase our exercise and watch what we eat if we want to maintain our weight.
Can Progesterone Help You Lose Weight?
Progesterone can help you lose weight if you work at it, but it generally won’t be the main factor in your weight loss.
However, some evidence points to a different connection between our hormones and weight loss.
This is important since having more hormones can make us more likely to get breast cancer.
Losing weight may cause your hormone levels, particularly those of estrogen and testosterone, to drop if you are overweight.