We have tackled that hormones such as estrogen, androgens, progestin, and progesterone have a lot to do with how our body reacts and how it responds to some changes. You might wonder why you get so irritable so fast or why you’re suddenly craving for a sweet cake after having that period. These are all the doings of your hormones. It has a lot to do with what you do and the changes in your body.
Hormones are called chemical messengers because they send out instructions or messages to the different cell parts of the body, which are responsible for the dominance of how we feel and react. Changes could come in many ways, and it could be in the form of physical, mental, and even emotional facts. And yes, your hormones are one of the main culprits.
It’s not very common knowledge, but both men and women release estrogen and testosterone. It’s just that women produce more estrogen to carry out female characteristics and other reproductive changes, while men produce more testosterone than support male characteristics. Estrogen and testosterone are the most common hormones that could ring a bell anytime, anywhere. But are you aware that there are other hormones out there that also impact the changes happening in our bodies? Yes, there are several. But today, we will know more about progestin, what it does, and how it affects the body.
What is Progestin?
The synthetic version of the hormone progesterone is what we call a progestin. It is formulated synthetically to control and prevent pregnancies, and it’s most commonly known as a hormonal birth pill. What it does is that it lessens the cervical mucus stretch, which makes it hostile for sperm. Thus, prevents pregnancy.
Aside from the reproductive system, progestin can also affect other systems, such as the cardiovascular system, brain, blood cell generation, and the immune system. These effects could happen for a certain time or could be retained for a lifetime.
Progestins, when utilized as a contraceptive, are added with estrogen to control the menstrual cycle. It also allows the maturation of eggs while also preventing ovulation. Without ovulation, there could be no pregnancy. The contraceptive with the use of progestin could be via the sprays, vaginal rings, and transdermal gels, but the most widely used are the pills and the injections.
Aside from it being an effective birth control method, it can be a hormonal therapy during menopause. As women age, the endometrium thickens, which exposes females to endometrial cancer. Progestin prevents the endometrium from growing too much and lowers the chances of getting pregnant. It is also used for those who do not have periods, pelvic pain treatment, menstrual cramps, and heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding.
Progestin Pill and Injection Benefits
There are many ways on how the birth control hormone is used, but the most common is the intake of pill and injection. Why is it commonly used, and what are its benefits, and how do you use it?
A progestin pill would come in 28 pills in a pack. You must take one pill per day. To maximize its effectiveness, take it at the same time each day and do not skip a pill. If you forgot to take it, it’s safe to use another method of contraception for the following days. It’s hassle-free, and you can just take the pill religiously, and there is a 99% chance of effectiveness if taken correctly.
There is also the injection method. The pill is taken every day, while the injection is only given once and would be effective for the next 3 months. You must visit your doctor to administer this contraceptive for you since they need to give advice and could also assure you that you will not be pregnant if you’re on the injection. After 13 weeks or roughly three months, visit your doctor again. Here are some benefits as to why injections are ideal and are used widely.
- It does not affect your daily activities or sex drive.
- Health benefits like a decrease in fibroids and lower the risk of cancer.
- You cannot miss it as it doesn’t need to be taken every day.
- No one can judge your contraceptive choice.
Side Effects and Health Downside
When you flip a coin, you either get the heads or the tails. But when it comes to this progestin hormone in contraception, the benefits come hand in hand with the side effects. The hormone is synthetically made, and since it is not produced naturally by the body, side effects could occur. Here are some of the effects it could bring.
- Weight gain. Some women reported that they gained at least 5 pounds when they started using the progestin-only contraceptive. That is because of water retention, that’s why there is a feeling of weight gain.
- Risk of heart disease. This could happen right after the woman stops taking the pill or injection and those who are already in the risk of high blood pressure, it’s important to visit your doctor first.
- Irregular bleeding. Hormones are disrupted, and the cycle is messed up for the first three months of use. It will go back to normal right after.
- Bloating. Water and salt balance in the body is interrupted while on the progestin-pill or injection that’s why bloating could be a common side effect that you can feel.
- Feeling Sleepy or tired. While the hormones are working, the work needed to be done by the chemical messengers is not carried out that’s why you may feel being so tired or sleepy all the time.
Progestin is used in both hormonal therapies as well as contraceptive methods and its use carries positive and negative effects. Never be afraid to consult your doctor to weigh the pros and cons of using it. It’s better to be informed than to notice the changes late.