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Premier Women's Health Obstetrics and Gynecology
How do the physiological effects of estrogen and progesterone compare to each other?

Estrogen Effects

Creates proliferative endometrium
Breast stimulation
Increased body fat
Salt and fluid retention
Depression and headaches
Interferes with thyroid hormone
Increased blood clotting
Decreases libido
Impairs blood sugar control
Loss of zinc and retention of copper
Reduced oxygen levels in all cells
Increased risk of endometrial cancer
Increased risk of breast cancer (when used with synthetic progestins)
Reduces vascular tone
Slightly restrains osteoclast function (osteoclasts are the bone cells that cause bone resorption)

Progesterone Effects

Maintains secretory endometrium (keeps the lining from getting too thick)
Protects against fibrocystic breasts
Helps use fat for energy
Natural diuretic
Natural anti-depressant
Facilitates thyroid hormone action
Normalizes blood clotting
Restores libido
Normalizes blood sugar levels
Normalizes zinc and copper levels
Restores proper cell oxygen levels
Prevents endometrial cancer
Breast protective
Precursor of corticosterone production
Stimulates osteoblast bone building

It is clear that no matter how valuable estrogen is, when unopposed by progesterone it can have undesirable side effects. That is, many of estrogen’s undesirable side effects are effectively prevented by progesterone. Remember, hormones themselves are not bad. Unequal balance of hormones is what can cause problems. BALANCE is key!

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