Progesterone has anti-androgen benefits and can promote ovulation. That makes progesterone therapeutic for polycystic ovary syndrome, as described in my recent paper The central role of ovulatory disturbances in the etiology of androgenic polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)—Evidence for treatment with cyclic progesterone.
There can be a strong hormonal component to abdominal weight gain. And in most people, that hormone is insulin.
In episode six of my podcast/YouTube video, I discuss insulin resistance, including why you could have insulin resistance even if your blood sugar is normal, the role of mitochondria, and all the ways to lower insulin and improve metabolism.
Ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone are beneficial for health. That means natural ovulatory menstrual cycles are beneficial for health because ovulation is how women make hormones.
Does that surprise you? Men make testosterone every day, so you might think women do something similar, but we don’t. Instead, women make hormones as a surge of estradiol leading up to ovulation and an even bigger surge of progesterone after ovulation.
In women, too much testosterone can cause insulin resistance and abdominal weight gain.
That’s why androgen excess is a factor in the weight gain associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menopause, and some types of birth control.