During the first 10-12 weeks of pregnancy, the ovary's corpus luteum produces most of the progesterone. After this time, the placenta produces enough progesterone, allowing the corpus luteum to decrease production.

The precursors of progesterone do not come from the fetus, as they do with estrogen. The precursors are synthesized from maternal cholesterol.

Some of the actions of progesterone can be thought of as:

For example, progesterone balances estrogen when:

Related to this action, progesterone

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Progesterone is responsible for making uterine muscle more contractile, while estrogen causes it to relax.


Together with estrogen, progesterone:

Progesterone can be thought of as the hormone responsible for many of the body tissues to "relax" or decrease tone. It is responsible for the decrease in tone of the:

Much of these actions will be explained in detail in later modules, but other activities that progesterone is involved with include:


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Progesterone is responsible for a decreased amount of carbon dioxide in the blood of pregnant women.


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