Progesterone is a female hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation, C-21 steroid hormone, which takes part in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy and embryogenesis of humans and other species. Progesterone belongs to a class of hormones called progestogens, and is the major naturally occurring human progestogen.
Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands, and, during pregnancy, in the placenta. Progesterone is also stored in adipose tissue. It is used to treat secondary amenorrhea. This is when a woman stops getting menstrual periods due to low levels of progesterone.
Progesterone is commonly manufactured from the yam family, Dioscorea. Dioscorea produces large amounts of a steroid called diosgenin, which can be converted into progesterone in the laboratory.