Hello my wife has been having these same symptoms. We Have tested for fibroids and also thyroid issues and everything has come back negative. We also have two small children and they do add stress. This has caused her libido to fall off. She also has breast tenderness almost all month long along with 7 – 10 day periods. He first question is how easy is it to measure progesterone? I heard that it can vary dramatically through out the month. Or could be normal but her estrogen could be too high. Also the potential side effects of taking a supplement or a drug could cause harm. What are the consequences of taking any kind of drug or supplement?
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
Thank you for your email, Courtney. You said it – you want to get to the root of what’s going on! Well said. With symptoms like these and a history of low progesterone, I would suggest a hormonal work-up via either urine, saliva, or blood. It might also be worthwhile to check in on iron, vitamin B12, cortisol levels. While your body is certainly in a different place that it was with your first baby, your history is enough to warrant further testing before your conceive again. Please see a local naturopathic physician for a natural and integrated approach. Warmly, Dr Julie
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.
SEVERE FATIGUE is what took me in to the physician’s office. I finally requested a hormone panel and I have high estradiol and low progesterone. I am set up to do the saliva test. I have virtually no stress in my life at this time (although I am a recovering TYPE A personality). I have been at my ideal weight for about 3 years. To my knowledge I do not have irritability, mood swings, breast tenderness, etc. Just fatigue and headaches. I work in the medical field but nothing I read makes sense. Am I to assume that I’ll be given a progesterone cream/pill? BTW, my Thyroid panel was WNL.
There is published evidence that the children of women who were treated with progesterone during pregnancy showed enhanced development during infancy, achieved better academic results at ages 9-10, and were significantly more likely to attend universities. While researchers acknowledge that progesterone treatment could not be claimed to promote a new generation of “brainiacs”, the observed benefits can be explained by the fact that it is essential for optimal development of a normal brain in the fetus. If progesterone levels are too low, normal brain development may be affected, putting an infant at a developmental disadvantage.
I was actually diagnosed as infertile due to a lack of ovulation…. which I decided on my own was wrong. I’m an herbalist, so I’ve spent the past 7 years intensively studying the herbs used for hormonal balance both because I so desperately wanted to have children… and I think ultimately I was meant to share my journey. At any rate, what I found out on my own once away from the doctors was that I had a progesterone deficiency… I suspect this is a hormonal imbalance that can start in the womb, so it might be interesting to take a look at your mom and grandma if you still can. A big tip off for me, besides the short luteal phase was the brown discharge that occurred in my monthly flow. Ironically, I always thought that was normal because my mother had always had it as well. It’s a big sign that your progesterone is not sufficient to fully flush your uterine lining the month before and your womb is just constantly trying to get rid of left over blood each succeeding month. My mom also had a number of miscarriages and I was the only pregnancy to go full term. What’s great about this little symptom is that as I achieved balance, I could very clearly see a different cycle- one that was red from end to end. After a couple years working with the herbs (and a whole foods diet of course) I had my first child… and then I got pregnant by surprise about 18months afterwards! I believe I can see some symptoms of my chronic low levels returning- though my cycle remains red… so I’m going to have to start back into my routine.
Infertility. Intravaginal progesterone gel (Crinone 8%) is FDA-approved for use as a part of infertility treatment in women. Some research suggests that applying progesterone intravaginally and injecting it into the muscle may have similar effectiveness for increasing pregnancy rates as giving it by mouth. Also, research suggests that intravaginal progesterone seems to be as effective for pregnancy rates as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
So, those can be solved, a progesterone deficiency can be solved early in a woman’s life as soon as she begins to have these symptoms, premenstrual symptoms of mood swings, fluid retention, headaches, and breast tenderness, that she gets premenstrually and these heavier periods. As soon as that happens, start taking progesterone day 15 through 28 to balance out the estrogen. That can be a godsend for a woman.
Using a NaProTECHNOLOGY approach for the treatment of infertility can be highly effective and even more effective than current approaches to infertility. In Figure 51-5, a life table comparison of the effectiveness of NaProTECHNOLOGY (in blue) with a similar non-NaProTECHNOLOGY approach taken at Johns Hopkins University is shown. The success rates are clearly better using the NaProTECHNOLOGY approach.
As we learned earlier a leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability), can increase your odds of autoimmune diseases. It can also decrease your odds of get nutrition out of your foods. So your digestive system is important to heal and maintain. Do this by eating a wide variety of plant fibers- aim for twenty different types a week- to feed your friendly gut flora.
Stress causes the progesterone level in your body to drop sharply, so symptoms can come back. When you start supplementing, it is a good idea to meditate, let go of your negative reactions to people and circumstances around you, and try to avoid stressful situations. If you are stressed, increase the amount of cream until you are over the stressful time, then slowly reduce back down again.
Progesterone is made from the cells that surrounded the egg during its development. They are called granulosa cells. The cells make up the wall of the cyst that contains the egg. This type of cyst is called a follicle. As the egg develops, the follicle grows and the granulosa cells increase in size and number. Before ovulation (release of the egg), these cells produce mostly estrogen. After ovulation, they still produce some estrogen but a lot more progesterone. After ovulation, the follicle cyst is called a corpus luteum cyst.
I am 4 weeks pregnant and was wondering if it is harmful to take Prometrium 400 mg/a day as extra insurance against a miscarriage? I haven’t had my progestrone levels tested, and my RE doesn’t think I need to be tested. For my last pregnancy, I took the same amount, but it was prescribed to me because I had an IUI. This time I got pregnant naturally. Thanks in advance for your advice!
Progesterone is a key hormone for women’s health, having a great influence on your mood, sleep, period flow, bloating, weight and more. It is also important as the hormone that balances out our estrogen levels. Low progesterone can be associated with PMS, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility, early miscarriage, PCOS, heavy periods and perimenopause. It is also associated with the development of breast cancer because of its role in counterbalancing estrogen.
I recently did am ultrasound which stated that I have a cyst on my right ovary. The doctor is suggesting that it could be pcos but not confirmed just yet. I was pregnant in 2016 but lost the baby in Jan 2017. I have been trying to conceive from since then with no luck. The doctor was saying that pcos can also be the reason for not conceiving . She has said that we would try some hormone treatment. My next appointment is the 26th Feb. Are there any suggestions that you can give that I can bring up in the docs appointment? Great article btw…
A review published this year suggests that not only should progesterone be used to treat traumatic brain injuries, but that it may also have a role in treating stroke, because of its powerful protective effects on brain tissue. This is a very exciting area of progesterone research, as researchers and clinicians acknowledge the fact that natural progesterone has an excellent safety profile without long term side effects, making it a good candidate for high dose therapy that can also be carried out in a home environment as patients recover.
HI, I am 25 years old and have been experiencing these symptoms for over 4 years. It’s been extremely difficult to have a doctor help me..let alone even test my hormonal levels (typically just send me off with an antidepressant prescription). I was recently tested by my new physician and my progesterone levels came back low. He doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it though. I am miserable with these symptoms. I also have a high A.M. cortisol..not exactly sure what that means. I want help so badly though.
The main function of progesterone is connected with reproduction and maintaining pregnancy. The journal Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation reports that progesterone assists with implantation. It prepares the uterus lining in preparation for a fertilized egg. If implantation happens, progesterone secretion will be replaced by the placenta during pregnancy.3
This post is brilliant! And, unfortunately, it’s a topic that is little discussed, especially in terms of overtraining. I experienced the symptoms of low progesterone when strength training three times a week vigorously. My diet was in order, life wasn’t too stressful, but the workouts were generating a huge metabolic/hormonal response. Because I was limiting exercise to three hours a week and supporting my training well calorically and nutritionally, I thought I was in the clear, but unfortunately, even that was too much. I got so frustrated I stopped altogether (and actually loosened up on my nutrition) and my system got back to normal almost immediately.
However, some studies also point to the fact that if you have low progesterone, raising progesterone can help to alleviate some stress. A study published by the University of Michigan found that increasing progesterone helped to reduce stress in some cases. Women felt more inclined to help others and it was easier to bond with others. It was also noted that strong relationships can also help to increase progesterone.22
Progesterone can also decline with prolonged periods of high stress. The reason is that both progesterone and the adrenal stress hormone cortisol share the same precursor hormone called pregnenolone. When you are going through a period of prolonged high stress, your body will use more pregnenolone to keep up with the demand for cortisol. This is also a way your body protects from getting pregnant during a period of high stress.
I have secondary infertility. I have not had any tests done yet, so I don't know what is causing it. However, from the 2 early m/c that I have had most people are saying that it sounds like low progesterone. So my question is... Can you have a normal pregnancy and then go on to have progesterone problems later on? Or I guess more like... Is it common? Also, what else could cause early pregnancy loss? I'm talking really early loss. Like implantation symptoms one day, faint positive pregnancy test and then BLOOD lots and lots of blood. I have bleeding the length of a normal period and then the next cycle comes like nothing happened.
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.
Bioidentical progesterone: This is usually prescribed as a cream, although in cases of fertility vaginal suppositories are also an option. The benefit of bioidentical progesterone is that it is structurally identical to the progesterone your own body produces, and we can dose it precisely to optimal physiological levels. In cases of hormone imbalance such as endometriosis and perimenopause, this is often the most effective treatment.
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!
I’ve got a question… I had a miscarriage in ’05. Then had a very healthy pregnancy in ’08. Since then this past Feb we tried again and I suffered a horrible miscarriage. Last month I had yet another, luckily this one was quick and my body actually took care of it all. If I have low progesterone, could this cause the miscarriages? And if so, should I be tested for this before we try to conceive again?
I HAD ALL THE SYMPTOMS OF HYPO THYROIDISM. MY DR RAN A BLOOD TEST AND TOLD ME ALL WAS FINE AND PUSHED ME OUT THE DOOR. GETTING NO JOY – I HAD SLOW SPEECH WHICH GOT WORSE\I AM POST MENOPAUSE AGE 57 SO I WENT ON JUST ANSWER.COM AND WAS RECOMMENDED TO DO SEX PANEL TEST :ESTROGEN PROGESTERONE AND TESTERONE AS WELL AS ALL B VITAMINS HEAVY METAL AND GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
I saw my Dr. For an irregular and frequent cycle. I am already vitamin D deficient and those symptoms seem to parallel low progestetone symptoms. I am as uncomfortable as I was when I was pregnant and in my first trimester. Dull headache, tired, foggy etc. So I will be treated for low progesterone with birth control…what are other treatments to address this hormone imbalance?
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?
One mysterious effect in the progesterone intolerant women is bladder problems. Some women have either a great increase in urinary tract infections or a feeling like they are having an infection as soon as they try taking a "normal" progesterone dose. If bladder symptoms start and stop with starting and stopping progesterone, they may be related.
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor and the founder and CEO of Rubus Health—a root cause women’s medicine clinic specializing in the treatment of hormone disorders, including adrenal, thyroid, and hormonal birth control related conditions. She is a recognized as an expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is a best-selling author, speaker, and clinical educator.
Progesterone is a member of a group of hormones known as progestogens or progestins (the exogenous or synthetic versions.) These can be found in birth-control pills, in hormones given during menopause for replacement therapy, or in medications to correct abnormal bleeding problems during menses. These hormones are also used to counteract PMS syndrome, infertility, and pregnancy loss. Many women are aware of the effects of too little or too much estrogen, but have never looked up progesterone side-effects.
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Hormones may be a complex and challenging part of being a woman – but they can also be a rewarding one. The trick is simply to learn how to raise a white flag and stop being in a state of constant warfare against the body – and instead start practicing how to live in harmonious dialogue. I talk in great depth about how to do so in my best-seller – Sexy by Nature – which you can take a look at at Amazon, here. It was a real adventure, but I finally learned how to do it (and get my progesterone levels back up!), and you most certainly can, too.
I was not able to get pregnant due to low progesterone. The issue was my doctors would not test me because they said low progesterone only effects a small percentage of women; it was very unlikely my issue (this from one of the top fertility clinics in the US). I knew I was low. I am pretty sure we conceived most months but the fertilized egg wasn't able to attach due to my levels - Each month we likely conceived, I would spot starting around 9 DPO. On my own, I purchased Progest (a cream) from Whole Foods. I started using it the day after I ovulated (2X per day) and I became pregnant on the first try. I am now 33 weeks, and I still use it, I will probably stop around 36-37 weeks. (My doctor told me to stop at 9 weeks, my midwife at 12, but I was not going to risk loosing my baby). I have had a great pregnancy. (It doesn't have nearly as much of the hormone as the Rx drug so it may not work for very low levels.) Good luck!
Well, low progesterone levels can be quite disturbing for those who face the issues. However, using natural modes of increasing the low levels of progesterone should be the better than those involving medical procedures. If you are facing any of the syndromes that can be associated with the low levels of Progesterone, it would be advisable to consult your doctors well in advance.
Some physicians use progesterone supplements only in women who have already tested as having low progesterone. Physicians who use this approach may feel that the existing studies have not adequately screened patients, as many studies on progesterone currently have not differentiated women with low progesterone levels from women who have had miscarriages for other reasons. Again, they may have clinical experience seeing women with low progesterone levels end up carrying a baby to term after supplementation, so they believe that it works.
Hi there I suffer from embarrassing and painful re-occurring bacteria vaginosis. I was doing some research into natural alternatives and came across an article that describes acidosis and the ph of body along with low progesterone levels playing key factors. I then came across this and seem to fit almost every symptom mentioned. I was wondering what your thoughts were on this? I am 25 have a loving partner who I would love not only be intimate with (and not be burdened with the horrible symptoms of the bv) but would dearly love to have children also. Any help and advice you can give me would be a blessing. Thank you
Estrogen - One of the female sex hormones and often referred to as the ³growing hormone² because of its role in the body. Estrogen is responsible for growing and maturing the uterine lining (lining that is shed during menstruation) and also matures the egg prior to ovulation. Estrogen is produced mostly by the ovaries but also in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands and in fat tissue. It is most abundant in the first half of the menstrual cycle (follicular phase).
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?
I’ve just ordered some of the Beeyoutiful cream – thanks for the info. My naturopath has me on a tonic containing vitex to increase my progesterone levels (I have endometriosis and having been trying to conceive for the past 2.5 years). Is it ok for me to take both at once? She’s not a huge fan of progesterone creams – thinks the vitex is better. But I have been taking it for the past 8 months or so and I think my symptoms are getting worse (shorter cycles, pre-menstrual spotting, pms etc). I appreciate any input!!
Hi Karoline, thank you for sharing your story. Your hormone panel being menopausal won’t be a surprise, low estrogen, low progesterone and testosterone, so you may want to get your thyroid panel done just to check on things. One of things that happens when we get low estrogen is weight gain. No matter what women do the weight just stays in an effort to keep estrogen stored. There are bio identical hormones available that don’t have the same health issues the synthetic one cause and are good support for this time. I don’t think it would hurt to have a thyroid panel done to ease your mind but we just have to support our bodies with herbs and progesterone cream in an effort to balance to things out. Be sure to have testosterone tested too.