Diagnosing low progesterone can be done by a blood test that measures your level after ovulation and by ovulation charting. Progesterone is responsible for the spike in body temperature after ovulation. If there is no increase in body temperature, progesterone levels may be low. Women should never attempt to self diagnose or self treat a suspected hormonal imbalance as low progesterone symptoms mimic symptoms of other disorders.
In some cases, people who start using progesterone initially experience an increase in their symptoms. This usually occurs when they have a high level of estrogen, estrogen look-alikes, or toxic xenoestrogens in their body. This is explained in estrogen dominance. The key to avoiding an increase in your symptoms is to use sufficient progesterone initially, do not cut back. This applies to both men and women. So if any symptoms like hot flushes or night sweats appear, please persevere with high doses of the progesterone cream and these symptoms should clear up within a few days, usually less than a week.
Clinical research on the effects of weight gain and levels of progesterone have found that high levels increase weight. A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found subjects that were treated with progesterone alone to treat symptoms of menopause increased weight. Using a combination of both estrogen and progesterone didn’t result in any weight gain.15

But what about natural testosterone, made by our own bodies? Well, we know that one hormone doesn’t exist in isolation in the body. For example, in a study of breast cancer risk and natural hormone levels in postmenopausal women (J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95(16):1218-26) risk increased as body mass index increased. However, even though testosterone levels were higher in the obese women, their estrogen levels were higher still. Fatty tissue converts testosterone into estrogens, using an enzyme called aromatase, so obese postmenopausal women tend to have higher estrogen levels than lean women. The study found that it was the higher estrogen levels that accounted for the increased breast cancer risk while the higher testosterone levels had a negligible impact on risk. Another study of natural hormone levels and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women (Br J Cancer 1997; 76(3):401-5) also found that estradiol levels were more strongly associated with breast cancer risk than testosterone. The same investigators had similar results when they studied premenopausal women, in whom high estradiol (the most potent of the estrogens) and low progesterone levels were more often seen than high testosterone levels in women who developed breast cancer. In addition, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), who tend to have higher than normal testosterone levels, do not have a higher rate of breast cancer than women without PCOS. So the testosterone circulating naturally in our bodies certainly does not seem to be the prime culprit in breast cancer risk.
There have been studies which have suggested that testosterone treatment might be connected to increased breast cancer (Arch Intern Med 2006;166(14):1483-9.). However, on closer inspection the women in these studies were being treated with a synthetic testosterone, methyltestosterone, which is the kind of testosterone found in Estratest. Estratest is an HRT product and is prescribed to postmenopausal women with signs of testosterone deficiency. However, methyltestosterone is not the same as the testosterone produced by our bodies, and while it has some of the same actions as testosterone, it also has some very different actions.
Progesterone pills – doctor prescribed, these pills can be found as either bio-identical or synthetic, so talk to your doctor about the version they are writing a prescription for. In my own personal experience, as well as hearing from thousands of women throughout the years, I’ve found that pills are one of the least effective ways to take progesterone as the digestive system has to break it down and it gets processed by the liver before being used. It simply made me bloated and did nothing for hormone balance. Some women have had decent results with the pills, so if that’s all your doctor will do it may still be worth trying!

The consistently high physiological progesterone levels seen in pregnancy would indicate that progesterone is safe as a therapeutic agent. Progesterone therapy is commonly used in women with infertility problems due to luteal progesterone insufficiency in order to raise circulating and endometrial progesterone levels to those of the normal luteal phase.
If your cycles are healthy you can expect your luteal phase to be between 12-14 days. If you’ve recently come off hormonal contraceptives however, please keep in mind that it can take anywhere from 3-9 months (and in some cases 12 months to 2 years) for your cycle parameters to fall within normal ranges — especially if you aren’t getting the support you need to improve your menstrual cycle health naturally.

Hi, I’ve just been diagnosed with low progesterone after having the majority of these symptoms. At first I blamed it on coming off the pill last October but as time has gone on and no signs of pregnancy I knew something wasn’t right. I now have been referred on to the fertility clinic to see if I can balance it out! Feel relieved after reading this artical that I’m not the only one! Thanks 

If you have problems conceiving, there are many possible causes for your infertility. Low progesterone levels have different symptoms, but, many times, they are common to those of other medical conditions. Some of the symptoms of low progesterone are appetite changes, depression, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, weight changes, fatigue, irregular menstruation, headaches, low sex drive, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, polycystic ovarian syndrome, lack of concentration and insomnia. Most of the times, women do not suspect low progesterone levels until they encounter infertility issues. Testing remains the most accurate way of diagnosing low progesterone levels.
Low basal body temperature during the luteal phase is also another indication of low progesterone.  If you take your daily basal body temperature and your temperature does not go up and stay up until you start your period, this may indicate low progesterone levels. You will need to do this test for several months to determine a pattern. Note: this test has significant room for error and for many women, is cumbersome to do each day.
Often the first step to maintaining balance of hormones is to address one’s lifestyle and make appropriate changes. Exercising regularly and eating healthily, along with stress-reducing practices such as meditation and yoga, can help to not only reduce symptoms associated with high progesterone levels, but also improve overall health and well-being. Some studies suggest that symptoms pertaining to the imbalance of progesterone can be lessened by eating foods that work to promote a stable level of estrogen within the body, such as soy, cherries, potatoes, wheat, rice, alfalfa, apples and yams.

To add: Generally I'm very laid back and I eat decently well. I'm the right weight, exercise well and am happy. However, right now I'm going through one of the most emotional times of my life. My horse (whom I've had since I was a pre-teen) is failing and is going to be put down in the next few weeks. So, yes, my emotional state is less than ideal right now. However, these m/c were both very similar and one happened well before my boy was sick. That leads me to believe it did not cause the m/c.
I would read the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause by Dr. John Lee for info on bio-identical progesterone! And you might also want to look into supporting your liver as the liver helps to break down and eliminate old hormones. If it’s overworked it can cause a backload of excess hormones in the body. Working on your digestion is also important as it’s the body’s biggest way of removing toxins! Adding things like bone broth, lemon water, and probiotic foods will be really helpful in both of those aspects.

I’m 25 years old and have been battling cancer (Hodgkins Lymphoma) for the last 3 years. The treatments never ceases my periods. Last August I had a stem cell transplant and ever since then I have not had a period and from a blood test have gone into menopause. My hormones are very low and it has been a rough year. I’ve been put on a birth control pill – but it seems to not be the best option.

I am 24. For the past two years I have been a medical guinea pig. My problems started out by having horrible painful cramps and sometimes breakthrough bleeding in my second week of ovulation and also during my actual period. After being on 8 different forms of BC, depo provera (which I got pregnant with my son on) I had other forms of BC includong Apri, two forms of Zovia and Zovia combined with a 5mg Provera pill. Everytime they switched my BC I would get better for a cycle and then come back even worse. My horrible cramps and breakthrough bleeding were then added onto with hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, inability to self lubricate,and more pain. After three ultrasounds and a laparoscopy I decided to ask..”hey why havnt we done any bloodwork”? I had bloodwork done just before I got off zovia and six weeks later to compare. Being off birth control did wonders for me! All my added symptoms disappeared but I am still back to horrible period cramps and breakthrough cramps. I was told friday that my labs indicated my estrogen to progesterone ratio is 10.8 to 5.2 and they want to begin me on a 12 day/mo natural progesterone supplement. I am to start it next week. I eat very very healthy (portion, fresh produce, unlrocessed meats, etc) and do light jogging and yoga often. I am naturally high strung and suffer from OCD. I cant lose weight and Infact am overweight. Being a 3rd shift mom with a 3 & 6 year old doesnt help my disorder either. What is your opinion on my case?
Sounds like you’re doing the right things, especially paying attention to your progesterone and estrogen levels. I’d personally give it a little more time to see if it works itself out on its own — menopause can do some interesting things when it starts cropping up (and 48 is a perfectly normal age for that to happen). On the other hand, you may want to explore whether or not you have any kinds of cysts or fibroids, which can cause long-term bleeding, with your doctor if these symptoms persist.
The Progesterone therapy depends on the stage at which the therapy has been prescribed at. It involves several cycles and dosages to improve the hormonal imbalances. It can either be in the form of intramuscular injections or through other modes. The natural mode of improving the hormonal imbalances can include consuming food rich in zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Take vitamin supplements and herbal medicines are a few other modes of natural treatment options you can opt for.

Infertility is a symptom of underlying disease.  The diseases that cause infertility have a “two-pronged” effect.  They not only hinder the functioning of fertility, but they also cause both short and long-term health problems.  The persistent unwillingness to address infertility problems from this point of view or perspective is one of the major flaws in the current approach to the treatment of infertility.
Progesterone levels fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle. Your numbers rise each month during the second half of the menstrual cycle, about seven days before your period. That's because one of this hormone's most important functions is to cause the uterine lining to secrete special proteins to prepare it for an implanted fertilized egg. If the lining isn't thick enough, implantation won't happen.
Hello, ive had pcos for 10+years now. Me and hubby were trying for 5 years to have a baby and after being told we had a very slim chance we no longer tried. I found out last friday i was pregnant so we were really happy. Tuesday i was rushed to hospital and was told thursday its likely i had a miscarriage. I was told today my progesterone level was 10 which is the likely cause of my miscarriage. Should my doctor have picked up on this? 
BUT; can you please explain to me, why do I experience acne breakouts a good week before period? This surely must be connected to hormonal changes due to menstrual cycle (as it is so obvious). As I understand, the hormones that changes drastically a good week before is progesterone. Can progesterone cause acne when high? Then why everyone says testosterone is the culprit(in general) for acne?
During the first half of your cycle estrogen stimulates the lining of the uterus to grow, but that leaves the job only half finished. In the second half of your cycle after you ovulate, your progesterone levels shoot up and help the uterine lining to mature. Progesterone stimulates the uterine lining to secrete important nutrients that are necessary to support the life of a growing embryo.
This is super tricky business now as the lack of ovulation is treated differently. With PCOS we need to decrease carbs, possibly decrease calories, focusing on improving insulin sensitivity to get the cycle back on track. With HA we need to focus on dialing back dieting and exercise (i.e. eating more and often exercising less) as well as minimize stress to get the period back on track.

Pro-gestation hormone, often shortened to progesterone, is an anti-inflammatory hormone produced before ovulation to enhance the possibility of becoming pregnant. It has a calming, soothing effect, raises serotonin levels in women's brain, which helps cope with depression and insomnia. And, of course, progesterone is vital for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, a lot of women of postmenopausal age and kids suffer from a progesterone deficiency which may lead to many health problems, including infertility.
Since having my children, the youngest being 4 now, I find I feel strange. My thyroid is fine, but I am tired- I can’t seem to fall asleep. My breasts have deflated and my periods are getting increasingly painful, but as constant as the moon- so are my periods and always on the full moon- give or take a day. I am very healthy, not over weight- no cysts. I am wondering if the thyroid is connected more than we think to our other hormones? Can estrogen, progesterone and other hormones be low all at once? Everything I read seems to be ‘it’s one or the other’. What can I do to sleep better, feel better, look better?  Are there any affordable foods, teas, vitamins or natural products you can suggest?

This book also went into the explanation of natural progesterone creams, which aren’t truly “natural”; a better name is bio-identical. You see, the progesterone in our bodies is produced nowhere else in nature. Dioscorea mexicana is a plant that is part of the yam family native to Mexico. It has a steroid compound called diosgenin that is taken from the plant and is converted into progesterone by changing the cellular structure to match our natural progesterone.


Hormones are produced in a cascade. I like to think of the system like a set of dominoes: the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) tells certain glands like the pituitary and adrenal glands how hard to work, then their own hormones go on to signal to other hormones, and on and on. The dominoes fall in a perfectly regimented pattern if all of the surrounding dominoes do their jobs, too.
Stacey B: Well, Dr. Hotze, thank you for being such a visionary, too, and recognizing years ago the positive impact it would have on women. Now you know why I was so excited at the beginning of this podcast about the benefits of progesterone. It’s so easy. If you’re out there thinking, “Do I have symptoms of low progesterone? Would that be able to help me?” So easy to go to our website HotzeHWC.com. That’s H, O, T, Z, E, H, W, C.com and take our symptom checker. Then you can also call our office for a free consultation at 281-698-8698, as well. It’s a pleasure having you here today. We are so glad you joined us today here at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.
hmm.. This is interesting. I get confused about the relationship between progesterone and estrogen. I was diagnosed with low estrogen a little over a year ago, and I have like 90% of the symptoms above. It’s been difficult finding info on low estrogen (except for menopausal women, which I am not… I’m in my mid-twenties..), because I think it’s really unusual in this day and age for someone to have low estrogen instead of being estrogen dominant like most people. The test results said that whatever steroid it is that converts into estrogen was really high in my body, but for some reason my body just isn’t converting it like it should, which I attribute to my adrenal issues and my body just being too worn out to do it’s job. But are some of the symptoms for low progesterone the same and for low estrogen? Because I’ve read (and been told by my naturopath) that some of my symptoms like vaginal dryness, painful periods, and low sex drive are due to low estrogen. But then I seem to also have some symptoms of low progesterone (like short luteal phases). I’m confused!
Progesterone is a hormone that plays a major role in a woman’s health. It has been established by scientific studies that the hormone is essential for the fertility and natural pregnancy. Low levels of Progesterone can cause severe health problems in women. In fact, women in post-menopausal stages of aging can face the lower Progesterone levels. For some reasons, this condition can even indicate itself in healthy and younger women as well. How to find if you have low levels of Progesterone and how would you deal with it? That is precisely what this post is all about.
Often the first step to maintaining balance of hormones is to address one’s lifestyle and make appropriate changes. Exercising regularly and eating healthily, along with stress-reducing practices such as meditation and yoga, can help to not only reduce symptoms associated with high progesterone levels, but also improve overall health and well-being. Some studies suggest that symptoms pertaining to the imbalance of progesterone can be lessened by eating foods that work to promote a stable level of estrogen within the body, such as soy, cherries, potatoes, wheat, rice, alfalfa, apples and yams.
One trial, given the name “ProTECT”, randomized intensive care patients with acute traumatic brain injury to either high dose progesterone injections for 3 days or placebo injections.  While all the patients were at a very high risk of death, only 13% of the progesterone-treated patients died of their brain injuries compared with 30% of the placebo-treated patients.
If your cycles are healthy you can expect your luteal phase to be between 12-14 days. If you’ve recently come off hormonal contraceptives however, please keep in mind that it can take anywhere from 3-9 months (and in some cases 12 months to 2 years) for your cycle parameters to fall within normal ranges — especially if you aren’t getting the support you need to improve your menstrual cycle health naturally.

If you have symptoms of abnormal progesterone levels in early pregnancy, doctors may take a blood test. They will check that progesterone levels are not too low or too high. The Journal of the Turkish-German Gynecological Association reported that progesterone levels can be an indicator of the health of the pregnancy. Low progesterone results could indicate a risk of miscarriage.7

My husband and I have been trying to conceive via surrogacy as I had an endometrial ablation in 2006 due to heavy menses. Due to the surgery, my mense has not returned and therefore never know when I’m ovulating. My eggs have been deemed “normal” at retrieval and the embryos were of very good quality. Our surrogate was fully checked and her hormone levels and endomentrial lining were a “go” from the clinic. We had 2 failed transfers (April & July 2013). I’ve always had problems with my progesterone levels (probably since high school) and didn’t find out until February 2013. My naturopath put me on a bio-identical progesterone cream and my hormone levels increased to the point where my low progesterone symptoms vanished! I was in heaven!! Once I started taking the fertility meds for my egg retrieval I had to stop my progesterone cream. Since the failed transfers, I started back on the progesterone cream and my hormone levels have not increased one bit! I’m very frustrated and have another naturopath appt next Friday, November 8. I’m on a special hormone diet to help with the low progesterone symptoms (too many to list) but nothing has helped. So, I’m wondering if my progesterone levels are to blame for the embryos not implanting into a perfect environment in my surrogate?? Should I start thinking of donor eggs instead?? What are your thoughts?


Hello. I am in my mid-twenties and have now had two consecutive miscarriages. I started my period very young, at age 10. I have a missed period once or twice a year,  but the length of my cycle varies every single month. I’ve had cycles at 26 days up to 35 days. I’ve always had very thin hair and nails and my weight has fluctuated greatly. I’ve gained and lost 15-20 pounds at least 5 times since the age of 18. I also got acne once I got to college and had to take accutane. I’ve also struggled with overwhelming anxiety and bouts of depression for 10+ years. My husband and I have been struggling with pregnancy issues for over a year now with two miscarriages. We want to get pregnant again, but are afraid to try until we figure out if something is wrong with me. Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks for this info! I started having pink spotting after periods a year ago, age 47. Missed a couple completely and doctor did endo biopsy which was negative but after that I went into six or seven three week cycles with a day or two of very heavy bleeding. These have tapered off but now missed two months then started spotting sporadically. Doc suggested progesterone pills based on estrogen level over 500 with normal fsh. (Last year, haven’t been since this random spotting started three weeks ago)The spotting isn’t bad but it’s scary. Does that sound like progesterone is low? I’d rather weather this naturally if that’s all it is. Going for ultrasound next week to check on fibroid and will share info with doc then. Otherwise feel great…lots of other symptoms have eased, like migraines, palpitations, and breast pain. Thanks!

There have been studies which have suggested that testosterone treatment might be connected to increased breast cancer (Arch Intern Med 2006;166(14):1483-9.). However, on closer inspection the women in these studies were being treated with a synthetic testosterone, methyltestosterone, which is the kind of testosterone found in Estratest. Estratest is an HRT product and is prescribed to postmenopausal women with signs of testosterone deficiency. However, methyltestosterone is not the same as the testosterone produced by our bodies, and while it has some of the same actions as testosterone, it also has some very different actions.
The importance of progesterone should not be underestimated since it’s needed for all women to live a healthy life, maintain a hormone balance and prevent the risk of breast or reproductive cancers. Any significant deviation from the norm may result in a range of unpleasant symptoms caused by rapid estrogen dominance. Some of these symptoms, unfortunately, are even hard to tell from usual tiredness and stress that are present in our everyday life. A lot of the symptoms are very common to how women feel during menopause and when they suffer from PMS. Tiredness, irritation, anxiety, weight gain, bloating, depression, headaches are just a few of the issues women deal with when the progesterone levels drop, to say nothing of more serious problems like lack of a period, bodily malfunctions, and even cancer. Women with low progesterone are often prescribed to undergo a progesterone therapy as well as taking some progesterone pills or/and progesterone oil compounds.
Hi, I had 2 cone biopsy’s in 2009 and since then, I have a “period” for about 12 days a month. 4 days are a dark brown spotting and then the last 2 days are horrendously heavy. Had all manner of tests and all looks healthy. The only thing they said was my uterus lining was visible due to the ops. How can I sort this out as it is driving me mad! Could low progesterone be a cause?
Progesterone use should begin directly after ovulation, which is usually day 14 in the cycle (day 1 is the start of your period), and end usage once menstruation begins. The best way to know exactly when to begin progesterone cream is to track ovulation with fertility charting. There are several ways to detect ovulation, such as OPK test strips, Ovulation Microscope and Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charting. Once ovulation is detected, progesterone cream would be started the following day.
3. Increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamin B, especially B6. This specific nutrient is essential for the development of the corpus luteam (the collapsed follicle after an egg is released that produces progesterone in the second half of the cycle). You can find vitamin B6 in many foods including, grass-fed meats, wild caught tuna, chicken, spinach, sweet potato, and bananas. Make sure to consume foods high in different forms of vitamin B, or supplement with a vitamin B complex, as these vitamins work best when they work together!

Just found this site and it’s very interesting. I am 32 and have total alopecia, asthma and excema. I started a progeaterone only pill last year and noticed considerable difference in my whole life. I noticed alot of hair growth on my body that I haven’t had since I was five years old. I also suffer from brittle nails and at times quite severe cracks on my heels. I stopped the pill for a few months and the hair that had grown in fell out again, so I went to my GP and asked to be put bak on pill for six months and after six weeks I’m noticing tiny improvements in hair growth. I suffer with fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. I’d love to hear your opinion on this please. Thank you 
Progesterone Cream & Weight Gain Mood Side Effects of Progesterone Side Effects of Seroquel Progesterone Supplements Side Effects The Effects of Progesterone on the Breasts The Side Effects of Progesterone Suppositories Side Effects of Flonase Side Effects of Nortrel Birth Control Femara Side Effects for Fertility What Are the Side Effects of Progesterone With IVF? Weight Gain After Removing an IUD Side Effects of Loratadine Ketoconazole for Hair Loss Progesterone and Acid Reflux How to Treat Acne With Hydrocortisone Can Female Testosterone Supplements Cause Weight Gain? List of Corticosteroid Medications Are Diarrhea & Heartburn Side Effects of Progesterone Supplements? Mirena Side Effects & Sciatica How to Control Testosterone Naturally

Just found this site and it’s very interesting. I am 32 and have total alopecia, asthma and excema. I started a progeaterone only pill last year and noticed considerable difference in my whole life. I noticed alot of hair growth on my body that I haven’t had since I was five years old. I also suffer from brittle nails and at times quite severe cracks on my heels. I stopped the pill for a few months and the hair that had grown in fell out again, so I went to my GP and asked to be put bak on pill for six months and after six weeks I’m noticing tiny improvements in hair growth. I suffer with fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. I’d love to hear your opinion on this please. Thank you 


CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
I also feel that by relying solely on bio-identical hormones, you are turning a deaf ear to all the causes of low progesterone such as emotional stress, physical stress from bacterial, viral or parasitic infections, toxicity issues, excess alcohol, etc. No doubt, some women who, for example, lost their uterus or who live in stressful circumstances that won’t go away any time soon, will benefit from bio-identical progesterone to get on with their lives.
×