Stress is run of the mill for most of us, yet our stress capacity can change at any time. We may spend a few decades easily juggling life, but at some point the balls begin to drop. Hormonally women become more sensitive to stress from the age of 35, for men it is closer to 40. Cortisol is our long-term stress hormone it can carry us for months, years or even decades. Cortisol is made from progesterone.
Hormones such as progesterone, produced by the corpus luteum, the leftover "shell" of the follicle that contained the ovulated egg, play a crucial role in maintaining a pregnancy. One sign of inadequate progesterone levels is a short luteal phase, or luteal phase defect, after ovulation. Clomiphene citrate, a fertility drug commercially sold as Clomid, can help decrease luteal phase defect and raise progesterone levels in some cases.
If you are looking at natural alternatives, I would highly recommend consulting an acupuncturist trained in Chinese medicine. They can tell you what foods and herbs can help and also if they are good, will ask you how you deal with stress and how balanced your life is in general. I used to think that alternative medicine was only for weirdos but I tried it and it actually fixed my hormonal imbalances that had led to infertility.
High progesterone levels don't preclude normal reproductive function, but they can exacerbate some of the side effects of the menstrual cycle. Many women experience headaches, moodiness, breast tenderness and fatigue as they approach their period. It is during this time that progesterone levels are highest. Women who have particularly high progesterone levels tend to have more severe pre-menstrual symptoms than those with naturally lower levels, Sherwood says. For most women, progesterone-related side effects diminish as hormone levels drop later in the cycle.
I have had insomnia for more than 3 months. I wake up in the middle of night I cannot go to sleep. All my hormones/thyroid tests were ok. However, the doctor never asked for progesterone. Do you think this might be the cause? I have also being unable to get pregnant for a year now. I work out between 40-1 hr every day. What can I do to improve my insomnia if progesterone is a cause please.
Synthetic progestins are molecularly different from natural progesterone and therefore do not metabolize to the same compounds as natural progesterone.  They do not show benefits for cognitive or anti-anxiety function.  In fact, they have not been found to have any of progesterone’s neuroprotective properties.  The progestin that has been the most extensively studied and which is commonly used in synthetic hormone replacement therapy, MPA (medroxyprogesterone acetate), has been found to have negative effects on the nervous system and even reduces the beneficial effects of estrogen.
I have every single symptom above and have been trying to deal with these symptoms for a year and a half. My doctor refers me to my gynecologist who says it is depression/anxiety. I have tried multiple different antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications because the second half of my cycle I turn into a crazy monster (PMS/PMDD). I had my tubes clipper 7 years ago after having my son because my husband at the time did not want more kids. We are no longer married and I am now married to a wonderful man and we would like to have another child. He has been amazing trying to help me deal with all of this and find solutions. I am going to hopefully being having my clips removed in the next few months but before doing that my doctor wanted me to do several tests. The nurse called me today and said my progesterone level is low and she wants me to go on Clomid for cycle. I want to know if going on Clomid will help my levels OR if I should ask my dr to put me on Progesterone. I really need some advice because this has been super difficult trying to deal with. 
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.
As a result of its critical functions in the nervous system, progesterone has been classified as a “neurosteroid”. It is so essential that it comes from two different places to reach the brain: first, cells in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system all synthesize progesterone from cholesterol.  Secondly, progesterone that is circulating in the bloodstream also has direct access to the brain and nerves.
In my opinion having 2 M/C's does not mean that you are having issues. M/C are generally the bodies way of dealing with an issue. I had several misscarriages and they were not caused by fertility issues. As it turned out my husband and I were incompatible and after several tries we finally had our son. Talk to your Dr before making assumptions that the m/c's were nothing more than your body making the correct choice for it.
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Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders. He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances. You can read more about his own personal journey here.
I have almost ALL of these symptoms. My doctor checked my progesterone level and sent me a letter stating my blood work was normal. Here’s the part I don’t understand: My progesterone was 0.3 and the test was taken during the Ovulation phase which says it should be 0.8-3.0 So how is it my test was declared within normal range? I keep trying to tell my dr – there’s something the matter – I’ve never weighed this much! I can’t get into any of my clothes and I KEEP growing! I walked/ran 5 miles each day every day and lost 5 pounds! 5 whole pounds!! Help!
The level of estrogens, estrogen look-alikes and xenoestrogens rises in men's (and women's) bodies as the years go by. Progesterone opposes and balances excess estrogen (and xenoestrogens). It is progesterone that inhibits the harmful effects of too much estrogen (unopposed estrogen) more than anything else. So as estrogen levels rise in older men, there is no parallel rise in progesterone to balance this. A slight hormonal imbalance becomes a major imbalance - fast.
Hormones levels can have a profound effect on emotions and may lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Some women may start experiencing the symptoms of low progesterone in the beginning stage of menopause, known as perimenopause. Extreme stress over a prolonged period of time can also affect hormone levels. Women who are still having a menstrual cycle may benefit from a low dose birth control pill. Those who are no longer having a cycle are in menopause and may possibly benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Women who are experiencing depression because of hormone fluctuations should consult with a physician about the possibility of treatment for the depression through a prescription for anti-depressants. It is believed that anti-depressants affect neurotransmitter levels such as serotonin and that neurotransmitter levels affect hormone levels.
Progesterone and estrogen are both hormones. They are often taken together. Progesterone can decrease some of the side effects of estrogen. But progesterone might also decrease the beneficial effects of estrogen. Taking progesterone along with estrogen might cause breast tenderness.

Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.

Rises in testosterone means lower levels of progesterone. Making sure you’re producing adequate progesterone is essential in order to ovulate. Without ovulation, not only is it difficult for your body to adequately clear the uterine lining during menses, but it’s impossible to get pregnant. And it’s important to understand that even if you’re having a period, it doesn’t mean you’re ovulating! Read more about PCOS here. 

Hi Kris! I don’t recommend supplementing anything (vitamin, hormone, or otherwise) unless there is a definitive indication. I wouldn’t suggest using progesterone cream unless you know for sure that low progesterone is the cause. It would be a good idea to visit your primary care doctor (ND, MD or other) and discuss all the potential reasons for these symptoms and to have some bloodwork done to solidify any suspicions. Good luck and please keep me posted.

I had some of what you're talking about. I had my three older children and then had two children die and then had our youngest. My children who passed away were 16weeks and 31 weeks. To be honest, we had decided to not have any more and that I was going to become as healthy as I could. I figured that it was normal for a woman to be able to carry a child to full term and not normal to not be able to. Therefore their must be something unhealthy about me. I went back to my OB that uses Naprotechnology, as form of tracking a woman's cycle or hormonal changes. They found that I had an infection that went totally undetected, my progesterone was low, and that I had a thyroid issue that also was overlooked. In the end I found myself pregnant with my youngest. She is the best surprise gift I have ever received. I had to supplement my progesterone and my T3. I went back to my old OB and asked him to work with my OB that uses Naprotechnology or at the very least respect his medical processes because I needed someone local to deliver the baby. I am so thankful everyone agreed to work together because had I not had the Napro. Doctor's practice I would have lost this baby also.
I share similar feelings to someone above who mentioned that after reading your article she felt like ton must be psychic. I have all of the symptoms. I’ve never been consistent with doctors or health until recently when I realized that I shouldn’t be feeling as exhausted and foggy brained as I do. I’m 32 years old. Last month I experienxes a sudden onset of intense anxiety and depression and I quickly realized that I am experiencing these symptoms after years of not taking care of myself physically or emotionally.
Progesterone is unique in that it is a precursor hormone and an end hormone; meaning apart from many tasks, it also has the job of making or suppressing other steroid hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. Apart from increasing a sense of sexiness by itself, progesterone can also increase testosterone when necessary. Low thyroid function is also known to inhibit libido and progesterone increases thyroid hormones. Therefore when progesterone is supported, the body can create a well-tuned hormonal orchestra to play the symphony of libido, arousal and orgasm once again – even post menopause.

Miscarriage. Most research suggests that applying progesterone into the vagina does not reduce the risk of having a miscarriage during the first trimester in women at high risk for miscarriage. Also, injecting progesterone and another steroid hormone into the muscle after undergoing a test used to diagnose birth defects (called an amniocentesis) does not seem to reduce the risk of miscarriage or preterm delivery.
Dr. Beverly Reed, who is an expert in reproductive endocrinology and fertility, says that levels of progesterone are at their highest in the second half of the menstrual cycle. During the luteal phase, which begins after ovulation and ends the day before your next period, progesterone is responsible for a surge of follicle-stimulating hormones to prepare for pregnancy. Just before your next period, estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly and your period begins.2
In the 1990's an American medical doctor, John R. Lee, pioneered the use of natural progesterone in treating breast cancer, PMS and menstrual problems. Dr Lee emphasised the use of natural progesterone with its dynamic and holistic properties, and warned doctors to avoid synthetic progesterone look-alikes or analogs, because they were not as effective and have nasty side-effects. Unfortunately many doctors are not aware of this important distinction. Pharmaceutical companies promote only their more profitable patented look-alikes. The best-known look-alikes are various progestins and progestogens.

Hello. I just found your site and feel hopeful in regards to what I am reading so far. I i’m 57 years old and had a total hysterectomy when I was only 34 and have been on Estrace pill all this time. I’m putting the pieces of the puzzle together regarding some health issues and I am wondering that not taking progesterone all this time is at the root of those problems. Would adding a progesterone cream to what I am presently taking (2mg milligrams of Estrace) be all I needed to balance things out?
IHR has treatments for a variety of conditions, including hormonal infertility, ovulatory dysfunctions, endometriosis, immunological infertility and many others. Perhaps less known is our work with individuals and couples who are considering assisted reproduction, but who are uncertain of their next step. We encourage anyone, before they make a decision, to consult with us. Currently, we are offering a FREE Hormonal Infertility E-Mail Consultation.
I’ve been experiencing many of the above symptoms and also an extreme amount of hair loss.  I’m 47 yrs old and I just has a large uterine fibroid removed.  I was hoping that after the removal I’d notice a big positive change.  None so far.  I also have fibrocystic breasts and unexplained lactation.  Do these things also sound like they could fit the picture of low progesterone?  I talked to my obgyn and he suggested I speak to my endocrinologist.  I spoke to my endocrinologist and he told me to talk to my obgyn.  He also said that this was an area of medicine that was “alternative”!  What? Women’s hormone regulation is “alternative”?  Hummm, I’m stumped and don’t know where to go from here.  Thank you and have a great day. 
I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism (2 months ago) and my TSH levels are now in the normal range. However, not all of my symptoms have been resolved. I still have digestive issues, so I went on a gluten-free and now a full-blown Paleo diet. I also experience depresion-like symptoms, sleep issues/insomnia, libido issues, headaches and PMS, irritability, and trouble losing weight.
Maca- Maca is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it can adapt to find and serve the needs of your body.  It can increase your energy by supporting your adrenal glands. My friend Dr. Anna Cabeca, who developed a green drink mix called Mighty Maca, says that in a before and after lab test, her client’s DHEA doubled using Might Maca.  DHEA is a precursor to our sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, so that’s great news!  Testosterone, by the way, is the dominant sex hormone in men, but women do need and want it for sex drive, muscle tone and confidence, among other things.
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.
This is a wonderful , God sent article. I started reading it and I knew this information would be so helpful for me. All my unanswered questions started to unfold, just by reading this article. Once I check some things out and do some real research on my own body, I will come back on this site for an update, thanks so much. And Please don’t stop putting info like this out there for people that are at ends wit with health issues.. Again this is an amazing article..
I have been unable to concieve for some years despite having sex when I ovulate and what not. I kept going on at my doctors who told me it was because of my diabetes why I could not concieve but to my knowledge it is people to suffer with the problem of hyperglycemia that have trouble conceiving not women who suffer with hypoglycaemia such as myself. Eventually after three years of going on at my doctors I got them to get my hormone levels checked. They did so but never checked my progesterone levels so I got on to my doctor and had it checked and it came back stating that my progesterone levels are really low. I am really worried about this because I do not know what this means or if there are any treatments to salvage what’s left of my ability to concieve. Could someone please tell me as it would be much appreciated. 
Synthetic progesterone look-alikes or analogs. These look-alikes are favourites of the pharmaceutical companies, because they are not naturally-occurring and can therefore be patented. The best-known analogs are a variety of progestins, though there are others in the progestogen family. Many doctors are not aware of this crucial difference between natural or bio-identical progesterone and the patented look-alikes. These pharmaceutical look-alikes are not nearly as effective as real progesterone, and come with nasty and serious side-effects. (22) These altered progesterone look-alikes occupy the same receptors as real progesterone, but they act differently. They are also difficult to metabolise and excrete. Side-effects of the progesterone look-alikes include going blind, birth defects, asthma, embolisms, epilepsy, fluid retention, migraines, depression, renal dysfunction, cardiac dysfunction.
Hi, i am 40 years, I had a missed miscarriage last year and I am 7 weeks pregnant now. A naturopath recommended me to take a chast tree supplement during my first trimester but my GP advised me not to take any naturopath products. I am concerned that my progesterone levels are in the levels that my body requires to maintain a healthy pregnancy but when I asked my doctor to monitor the levels with a lab test he didn’t believe was important. How can I be sure that I maintain progesterone in good levels? should I not take the advice of my doctor and take the naturopath chast tree suplement? Thanks
I have most of the symptoms you listed above, I turned 40 this year.  A year ago I shared these symptoms with my OB my main concern was heavy bleeding, longer periods (over 7 days), extremely foggy, and fatigued.  I had an ultrasound and at that time they found a very small fibroid and my dr told me it wasn’t anything to be concerned about.  7 months later I go back because I had pregnancy symptoms but then I got my period and my doctor tells me the it’s likely the fibroid is intervening with a pregnancy and recommends surgery.  I went to a fertility Dr.  And he took me through a series of tests and confirms my fibroid is in fact in the uterus and is larger than the initial ultrasound which can block a pregnancy and also confirmed my progesterone levels are very low.  I had the fibroid removed and Im starting a non synthetic progesterone treatment this cycle.  Any additional advice you can provide, my goal is to feel better by minimizing symptoms and increase progesterone and also get pregnant.  Thank you
I’m curious what you ladies would consider low progesterone? Do you go by symptoms or BBT levels, or numbers from the doctors? I know that a progesterone draw at 7 dpo should be at least 5 to show ovulation occured, and at least 10 to sustain pregnancy (some say 15). But what are your own thoughts? How would one decide they do have low progesterone? And what are they shooting for as “good” progesterone?
Clomid does not increase progesterone levels on its own; only if the drug stimulates production of a more mature follicle will it have any effect on progesterone levels. Some women will still need supplemental progesterone even if they take Clomid. If Clomid does not stimulate production and ovulation of a follicle, progesterone levels won't rise. Neither Clomid nor progesterone alone, or both together, will fix all the potential problems that can arise with embryo implantation.
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.
this id Ms gamzay(35years old)..not married yet…my menstrual cycle has been changed before it was of 30 days now it is 21 days..high libido..painful breast every time ..facing heavy bleeding of 8 days…with blood clotts..thick blackish coloured blood….I am loosing wieght fastly too….m sick of too much bleeding…that my daily life activities and health are disturbed…