A study of 20 women published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1991 measured the urinary levels of metabolites of estrogen and progesterone during the peak of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. The authors reported the levels of hormones were similar whether a woman had an early pregnancy loss or a successful pregnancy. They concluded that the early losses were not related to a deficiency in progesterone or other ovarian hormones in the luteal phase.
Hormone testing can be performed by a medical doctor, naturopathic doctor or by an at-home testing service. Testing options range from charting your menstrual cycle to determine the length of your luteal phase, to basal body temperature tracking during your luteal (consistently low BBT may indicate low progesterone production), to taking saliva or blood tests to find out your progesterone levels. The questionnaire above helps to point out signs of progesterone deficiency while these tests help to confirm it.
In some cases, infertility can be caused by low progesterone levels. Progesterone is one of the hormones released by the ovaries, and its role is to prepare the lining of the uterus for the implantation of an embryo. Furthermore, maintaining a pregnancy is facilitated by proper levels of progesterone. As you can see, progesterone plays a vital role in pregnancy. That is why abnormal levels might significantly reduce pregnancy chances. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
Yes, I do use vitex and depending on your levels and how old you are there are a few ways to use it. If you are perimenpausal or menopausal you can use 1 full dropperful of tincture 2 times a day. If you are younger and cycling regularly and have estrogen dominance issues take 1 dropperful 2 times a day from ovulation through day 28. Then get you cycle and do not start again until ovulation. You can use capsules in place of tincture but I like the tincture because you can adjust dosages more easily to find that perfect dose. Hope this helps.
Hi! I’ve been searching hi and low for an answer to my continuous light period. 11 days now and counting. This is my first period like this. I am 48, one child, normal periods until the past 3 months when they started coming very close together, now non-stop. Recent blood and saliva work shows a low Pg/E2 ratio and higher than normal testosterone. Everything else on blood/saliva = normal. I have wicked breast pain now, too; plus constant fatigue and a hard time losing weight although I eat right and exercise. I’m not overweight, just more than I’d like to be for my pants! In desperation, I used a little Progest creme last night. Slept great, but still period. Thoughts? And, many thanks!
Vitex is known to help the body increase LH production and stimulate the formation of the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is responsible for the secretion of progesterone. We know it to be best taken consistently for 6-12 months for optimal effect. That said, there may be more to consider, such as progesterone cream, dietary and lifestyle changes, a whole food multivitamin, omega-3s and B vitamins (a B complex maybe). Maybe our guide Mid-Cycle Spotting – Should You Be Concerned? will share some helpful tips/info as well. I do hope so!

I have always thought I had a hormonal imbalance because I have been having symptoms for a year now,first the emotional spells and then i got insomnia so bad,doctors didnt believe me when i told them i think im in perimenapause,I get night sweats before my period and my period are either short or clotty,I’m on remeron and it works for now,I want to get my hormones checked,because i know im not crazy
10. Use a bio-identical progesterone cream. If you have major problems with estrogen dominance which is preventing ovulation, or you’ve worked to increase your progesterone levels naturally for a few months with limited succes, you may want to talk to your healthcare providor about using a bio-identical progesterone cream or suppository. It’s not a “fix-all”, but may help in the short-term as you continue to boost progesterone naturally.
A few days ago, I saw a progesterone cream that a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago in my cabinet, and decided to just use it up, I didn’t think much of it nor expect anything but this week I suddenly feel energized again and wake up without the alarm clock and ready to go, even if it’s raining or cold. So I started wondering if maybe my progesterone levels were low and I didn’t know it and this cream is helping me. My luteal phase also had shortened by 4 days, I’ll see in a month if it goes back to 4 weeks. Thank you for all the info!
Given that the body naturally produces progesterone during pregnancy anyway, and many of the supplements on the market have a chemical makeup identical to the progesterone produced in the body, many physicians feel that supplementing women who have low levels is unlikely to do any harm even if it doesn't help. They decide to go with the philosophy that if progesterone can't hurt and might help, they may as well prescribe it.
Low progesterone during pregnancy can be one cause of recurrent miscarriages. Progesterone is responsible for creating a healthy environment in the womb by maintaining the uterine lining. It also reduces the chances of blood clots and the immune system responding to the fetus as if it was a foreign substance. Progesterone is one of the main pregnancy hormones.
[Figure 40-7 on p. 514 from the NaPro textbook. A woman with premenstrual spotting, a history of four consecutive spontaneous abortions and a preovulatory and postovulatory hormone profile. The periovulatory estradiol levels are decreased but what is most remarkable is the significant decrease in postovulatory progesterone (From: Pope Paul VI Institute research, 2004).]
When we have too much progesterone we feel bloated, can have hot flashes, get more anxious or depressed, can have difficulty sleeping and get an increased appetite. These symtpoms can arise with overtly high progesterone (i.e. from topical use) or from a relatively high progesterone during the second half (luteal phase) of your period in relation to estrogen. Remember again that it’s all about balance.
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.

Oestrogen is not the only hormone that causes weight gain; cortisol also has its role. Belly fat is not fun for anyone, but for men and women long-term high cortisol increases the fat deposit around ones midriff. As most of us already know the thyroid also controls our metabolism and weight balance. Thankfully progesterone can balance oestrogen and improve thyroid function, plus it reduces stress and keeps cortisol in check.

Now this also can happen right after a woman has a child. This may happen to a woman in her 20s or 30s after children. We’ve seen it very commonly. A woman will come in and said, “I did fine after my first child, but after my second child, I never bounced back. I’ve had all kinds of problems. I can’t lose weight. My metabolism’s gone down. I’m fatigued all the time. I can’t think clearly. [crosstalk 00:06:08] sleeping. Mood swings and all that.” 

I quit lactating and taking domperidone in July very abruptly and had insomnia, hot flashes and hyperventilating… The hyperventilating and hit flashes went away but the insomnia stayed… After 6 months I tried to relactating out if desperation took double domperidone but only made 10 Oz vs my old 30 Oz… Didn’t help me sleep so I quit.. A bit slower over a week.. Its been 6.5 weeks and no period yet… I’m dying to get biodentical testing done as my blood work appears normal. I’m crying and don’t feel like life is worth living… I’m just so exhausted.. Any advice?!!
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.
I think my 20 year old daughter has this problem. We are having trouble getting a diagnosis and treatment. She has trouble with mood swings, sleeping too much, anxiety, and jitteriness. Medical doctors have been of little help and are referring her to a psychiatrist. She has had a blood test showing she is low on progesterone. Birth control pills were prescribed, which only made her symptoms worse. What kind of doctor can help her?
Hi Kylee! I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with these symptoms and aren’t having much luck with a diagnosis from your family doctor. It might be worth a second opinion if you are keen to get to the root cause of your symptoms and have your progesterone levels re-examined. In some areas, there are nurses who also provide hormone balancing and support. You might want to ask around. Please keep me posted with your progress.
Oh, I also have (especially lately) stupid bad sugar cravings and have been really fatigued. My memory kind of quit on me back when I was 17.  Every dr I have tried to go to until now, and currently this dr is a holistic ms, has insisted on putting me on a low dose anti depressant. Ok if it is major depressive disorder or bi-polar and I have to, then fine, but no one would do any kind of tests to see if I had an actual reason for the depression symptoms! 
Progesterone is a hormone found in men, women and children. Everyone needs a small amount of progesterone for good health and longevity. Women of reproductive age need (and produce) the most. Progesterone plays an essential role in a woman's reproductive cycle and her ability to have children, and if she does not produce enough and has low progesterone many serious problems can occur.
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!
Hey I’m 25 I’ve had cysts on my ovaries and have some pretty bad problems with them since I was 15 and have been battling with drs. Since. I finally have caught one drs attention.  I can’t have sex cause it hurts very bad some times I turn wrong it will hurt. But the last time I went to the Dr he told me I have to much progesterone and he wanted to try the pill. But it seems like from reading your article I have way more symptoms of it being to low Rather than having to much.  I have no children. And it makes more since why I haven’t been able to have one. I have terrible periods. Sometimes can’t even walk cause I’m in so much pain. And I bleed a lot more blood than most girls I’ve talked to anyway. And according to my period calendar ovulation happends 4 days after my period idk how accurate that is but it’s accurate about my periods for the most part. Idk I’m just tired of dealing with this and being as tho our drs are known for not doing there job well I was wanting someone else’s opinion. 
Hi! I have low progesterone, as well as very low estradiol and testosterone levels. I just turned 43 and for two years, my hormonal decline has taken my life away. I have no energy whatsoever: Crashing fatigue. I do have hashimotos, but it’s pretty much under control (I’m well versed there). I have known that my progesterone has been dropping for the last 9 years but have had trouble tolerating progesterone. Within two weeks my face turns into a cystic mess and I feel rage. Now that my estradiol is low, I have to find a way to take progesterone in order to supplement with an estradiol/estriol combo. What on earth would cause me to be intolerable to progesterone? I have been trying to take an OTC progesterone oil sublingually. So far, I still break out some, but my feeling is that I’m just not on enough and I fear increasing the dose. I mean, who wants wrinkles and zits at 43 lol? Is it just possible that I’m not taking a high enough dose to stop this madness that I have battled for 9 years? Something’s got to give because my business has come to a stand still and my children no longer have a mother who has the energy to do anything. And sleep? What’s that? Between the insomnia and hot flashes I’m about to lose my mind. Thank you kindly for any advice you can share with me. P.s. I have seen several so-called bioidentical docs and they just seem stumped by me :(.
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!
Side Effects of Progesterone in Pregnancy Exercise Effects on Progesterone What to Do If Progesterone Is Low During Early Pregnancy? The Effects of Progesterone on the Fetus Does Low Progesterone Cause No Pregnancy Signs? Signs and Symptoms of a Low Progesterone Level Symptoms of High Progesterone Are There Natural Ways to Increase Progesterone Levels? Can Certain Foods Naturally Increase Progesterone? How Diet Affects Progesterone During Pregnancy Progesterone & Beer Effects of Progesterone on the Uterine Lining The Effects of Progesterone on Endometriosis How to Use Progesterone Cream for Fertility What Causes Women to Have Low Progesterone? Is Prometrium a Natural Progesterone? What Causes Depression During Menstruation? What Are the Side Effects With Progesterone Withdrawal? Natural Progesterone & Bloating Progesterone Levels & Clomid Treatment for Infertility

Vitex is an herb that can take many, MANY months to notice good results, most women saying they didn’t see any changes before 8-12 months. And depending on the core of your issues, it’s probably best to work with an herbalist as vitex is also know for causing more symptoms when it’s not needed. Maybe look into maca instead if you don’t have access to a good herbalist?


Because of the lack of evidence for improved pregnancy outcomes, the ASRM Practice Committee Opinion does not advise luteal phase hormone therapy with HCG or progesterone unless you are undergoing an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Pituitary suppression drugs used during ART cycles can interfere with corpus luteum function and progesterone production. In this situation, treatment increases pregnancy rates and reduces miscarriages.
The use of birth control pills in teenage girls has the potential to raise their risk of breast cancer. It is well established that when girls between the ages of 13 and 18—and to a lesser but still significant degree, up to the age of 21—use birth control pills, their risk of breast cancer can increase by as much as 600 percent. To put it plainly, the earlier a girl begins to use contraceptives, the greater her risk of breast cancer. This may be because the younger the girl, the more undeveloped her breast tissue, and thus the more vulnerable it is to the synthetic hormones contained in the pill. Furthermore, contraceptives work by inhibiting ovulation, which significantly reduces progesterone production and its essential estrogen balancing effects. This is a situation many young women find themselves in: ripe for symptoms of estrogen dominance and vulnerable to long-term risks for breast cancer. (Excerpted from What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life.)
Dr. Hjort cites progesterone in pregnancy as an area of “intense debate” among OB-GYNs and reproductive endocrinologists (sub-specialists who manage infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and hormonal imbalances in women). “Half of them believe that a progesterone deficiency is a real thing and the other half of them believe that it’s just a big, fat hoax,” says Dr. Hjort.
I’m 49 and my period is 5 weeks late. I had blood work done and I have NO progesterone or pregnenolone and low T3. Suggestions??? Stress? Yep! Lots and lots. Divorce, cheating husband, 14 year old son turning on me…influenced by father and bad friend. Not the best of times but lots of good stuff going on also. Worry of kids kind of trumps all though.

Having anovulation or irregular cycles is one of the most clear signs of a hormonal imbalance. In particular to progesterone, having a short luteal phase may indicate low levels of progesterone as well as recurrent miscarriages.  Premenstrual spotting is also a sign of low progesterone levels, however, spotting can also occur during ovulation, which is perfectly normal.

On the other hand, many doctors believe that low progesterone merely means that a miscarriage is impending for other reasons. With this line of thinking, the low levels are the first sign that the body is preparing to miscarry a pregnancy that has already failed for other reasons, such as chromosomal abnormalities in the developing baby, and progesterone supplementation is useless.
I am 44 years old and was diagnosed with endometriosis last year, after numerous visits to the doctors, but oftened wonder why I had got it and after googling a few symptoms, I found this site and can not believe I have learnt more about my body and endometriosis of here than I had after talking to the doctors and consultants. After a few very stressful years, due to a house repossession, the sudden death of my father and a bitter marriage break up, I know realise I could have low progesterone levels. I have now met my soulmate and had hoped to have a baby, but thought my chances were very slim, but after reading this, there may be a glimmer of possibility. Thank you so very much :0)
The following can result in hormonal imbalances: Glandular problems like thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus glands problems. These glands are the primary glands that are responsible in creation and production of reproductive hormones. They can be affected by birth-control pills intake, stress and diseases like hypothyroidism. Once problems are encountered in either of these glands, an imbalance will prevent complete ovulation process to take place, thus the difficulty in conception.
I tried bio-identical hormone pills and the side effects were not worth it AT ALL, they were HORRIBLE. First of all I thought I was pregnant and from what I read this is a common side effect and some women put up with this monthly hoping their body will produce enough progesterone to keep a pregnancy viable… I used them for 2 months – as Rx by my naturopath, a couple days after ovulation until I started my period (or got pregnant whichever happened first). The first month was not bad, didn’t notice huge change in my body, felt like normal pms. I am in my 40’s and she felt this would be a good idea for me. The 2nd month I was super excited because I was having all the pg symptoms, including crying over nothing. I didn’t use the progesterone after that, ** What I did notice when I cut out sugar 100% (I ONLY used pure maple sugar sparingly, no artificial sweeteners, honey, sugar, cane sugar, etc) last fall was that my body was producing a TON of CM for those 2 months (sorry for TMI but for those of us hoping to get pregnant this is good news). I had cut out sugar because of health issues, originally was told could be interstitial cystitis but ended up to be IBS (remedied mostly by a Low FODMAP diet). My bladder was on fire and so urologist thought it was my bladder. I also cut out gluten and most grains, and only ate vegetables and once in a while fruits and full fat meats but grass fed and organic. I did have withdrawal headaches for 2 weeks but would do anything to relieve the symptoms (turns out I had a flare up and so the pain was intense for 6-8 weeks, flu-like symptoms, achy, etc). Once I changed my diet my symptoms were much less, funny how the foods you should eat if you have interstitital cystitis are what you should avoid with IBS. With much prayer and research I changed my diet. I started eating sugar again (uugh!) because we made christmas cookies and well one thing led to another and I am back on the sugar train. I REALLY want to cut out all sugar again, this includes honey b/c it’s high in fructose and I am supposed to avoid fructose on a Low FODMAP diet. The good thing is when I cut out sugar I didn’t crave it at all and I had TONS of energy! And when I tried to eat a small piece of cake, I thought I was going to be physically sick from the sugar. Sugar is as addicting as heroine from what I heard, anyways, I am going to try and know I can do it, one day at a time.

The process I mentioned above (follicle to egg to corpus luteum) is disrupted with PCOS as we often have these faulty follicles that don’t go through this normal process leading to anovulatory cycles and thus no corpus luteum is formed. Of course, as most things with PCOS, this is not the same for every woman and some women with PCOS do ovulate but progesterone deficiency is considered a hallmark of PCOS.

Progesterone is also used in the form of the pills and can be prescribed as a birth control or hormone balance treatment. Depending on the age of a woman, the symptoms, her body chemistry and the issues, the doctor will prescribe just the needed amount of progesterone to prevent overdose. Make sure to tell your doctor about the medicines you take (if you do any), and other health conditions to avoid allergic reactions and unpleasant side effects. Like any other health condition, hormone imbalance is a serious issue and ought to be treated under strict medical supervision.
A: Over-the-counter (OTC) progesterone creams, usually sold as natural products or supplements, are not evaluated by FDA; therefore, they have not been approved for safe and effective treatment of medical conditions. Always read and follow the complete directions and warnings on OTC products and discuss their use with your health care provider before using them. You may also find helpful information at: //www.everydayhealth.com/alternative-health/articles.aspx.
Stress triggers the body to put the adrenal glands on overdrive to increase output of the anti-stress hormone cortisol. This is what happens in the early stages of adrenal fatigue. Cortisol, unfortunately, competes for progesterone receptors. The higher the level of stress experienced, the more cortisol the adrenals produce. This means that those receptor sites may be occupied by cortisol rather than progesterone. This leads to reduced progesterone availability to cells. Also, progesterone is a precursor to the synthesis of cortisol. In times of stress, progesterone may be shunted to make more cortisol, resulting in less progesterone being available to the cell as well. Multiple mechanisms therefore can result in lower than normal levels of free progesterone during stress, while estrogen dominance symptoms rise. This may be reflected in laboratory test showing lower than normal progesterone levels in absolute terms, or a low progesterone to estrogen ratio. Physicians not alert to this lowered progesterone level in times of stress may prescribe progesterone in their best intention to increase the progesterone level.
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As you can tell, progesterone is a very important hormone and it is a key treatment point in many women’s hormone-related health conditions. If you suspect that low progesterone or estrogen dominance with relative low-progesterone may be affecting your health, the first step is testing your hormones to confirm. From there we have many options, ranging from nutrition changes, to improving digestive health, and then with herbal medicine or bioidentical hormones. This is an area of hormone treatment where we can see profound improvements in your overall health, mood and well being.
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!
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.
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