This was very helpful! Thanks for posting. I have the majority of these symptoms and I have been diagnosed with low progesterone levels about a year ago. I began taking progesterone supplements and then cycled progesterone supplements when I skipped my period for months. I still skipped multiple periods after beginning the cycle, so I quit progesterone supplements all together. Now that I’m becoming very annoyed with these symptoms of low progesterone, I’m definitely going to the doctor soon to see what they can do to increase my progesterone but not take away my periods. Any suggestions?

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.
Topical progesterone products (preparations applied to the skin) marketed as cosmetics require no FDA approval prior to marketing. There is currently no limit on the amount of progesterone allowed in cosmetic products. In 1993 the FDA proposed a rule limiting progesterone-containing cosmetic products to a maximum level of 5 mg/oz with the product label instructing users not to exceed 2 oz per month. But this rule was never finalized.
If you track your cycles and find that you ovulate on day 19 for instance, then taking your progesterone levels on day 21 will show that you have low progesterone, but your progesterone might not even be low. 7 days after ovulation in this case brings us to day 26. A blood draw on day 26 would give you an accurate measure of your progesterone levels in this example. After confirming that you ovulated on day 19, you’d have to be tested on day 26 in order to get an accurate reading of your progesterone levels.
I have all of these symptoms. However it isnt my hands or feet its my lips. 🙁  and the weight gain has been very rapid in my hips.  Once progesterone levels are regulated.. please tell me the weight comes off as rapidly as it came off.  I work out 5 days a week for 90 to 120 minutes.. split intervals of course.  1 day of yoga and one day of rest.  And i am so careful with what i eat.  The weight gain is making the mood swings worse because i hate myself for pushing to keep the weight off.. and it just seems to be coming back faster.
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 
Hi. I would love some advice. I have two healthy little boys and had no problem conceiving or carrying them. My partner and I decided to try for number three and I came off Cerazette last September. Since then I have had two early miscarriages in the last 3 months. I am going to have blood tests to check all of my levels. Do you think that as Cerazette is a progesterone pill, my own levels could have dropped and then not risen again once I stopped taking it. I could be clutching at straws but would appreciate your thoughts.
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.
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.

During the menstrual cycle, when an egg is released from the ovary at ovulation (approximately day 14), the remnants of the ovarian follicle that enclosed the developing egg form a structure called the corpus luteum. This releases progesterone and, to a lesser extent, oestradiol. The progesterone prepares the body for pregnancy in the event that the released egg is fertilised. If the egg is not fertilised, the corpus luteum breaks down, the production of progesterone falls and a new menstrual cycle begins.
There is no difference in pregnancy rates based on the level of progesterone at the midluteal phase. According to a 2015 American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Practice Committee Opinion on luteal phase deficiency, in the absence of other abnormalities of the menstrual cycle, low progesterone in the luteal phase does not appear to affect fertility or reduce normal pregnancy rates. Instead, most failures of implantation, chemical pregnancies, nonviable fetuses, and other early losses are because of chromosomal abnormalities, ASRM concludes.
I’ve never been tested during my cycle, but was put on Progone B that I was supposed to take from the date of ovulation until the first day of my period, to try and boost things. I never had any kind of … success with that. The next time we decide to try, which won’t be for a couple of years, I want to make sure that I have implemented more natural ways of balancing my progesterone…

Dr. Hotze: Thanks. Ladies do any of you all have problems with irregular menstrual cycles, or heavy periods, or premenstrual symptoms, restless sleep, or anxiety, or panic attacks? Have problems with flu retention and weight gain premenstrually? Have problems with infertility? All of this can be related to a progesterone efficiency, a progesterone decline as women matures in age.
A woman's ovaries may produce high progesterone levels. This hormone is naturally secreted during the second week of her period in a woman who is in child-bearing age. The substances are called progestogens or progestins. They are also 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.
High progesterone levels may be determined for several reasons. These tests may be ordered to assess infertility. The test can determine if the woman is ovulating normally. If the ovulation is not normal, the test can tell what type of drug therapy may be helpful. If a woman has symptoms such as abdominal pain or spotting, the doctor may suspect an ectopic pregnancy or a possible miscarriage. For some women, injections of the hormone may help maintain a threatened pregnancy, so the test will show how much hormone she may need. When a doctor monitors a high-risk pregnancy, he may order one of these tests. And if a woman is experience progesterone side effects such as abnormal uterine bleeding, the test will confirm the diagnosis.

A loading does is useful for women who have had many months or years of anovulatory (no ovulation) cycles, which can create extreme progesterone deficiency. Each cycle that passes without ovulation can increase estrogen dominance as progesterone stores are depleted. Very thin women who have little body fat can become estrogen dominant very easily as there is no fat to store extra progesterone. Excessively thin women lack both estrogen and progesterone. In either of these situations Dr. John Lee recommends a higher dose of progesterone the first one to two months of progesterone cream use. This helps to replenish the progesterone stored in the fat of the body. After 2-3 months the dose can be lowered to the usual ‘regular’ dosage.
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.

I started to get pain in my ovaries last September, and started trying to conceive in Feb. In April I had a miscarriage and the scans showed I had a cyst on each ovary. I keep going back to get help from doctors as I am constantly in pain from persistent cysts but they say it’s natural and send me on my way still in pain. It’s nearly been a year worth of pain and I just want rid of these recurring cysts.

A: A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1999 found that natural progesterone cream significantly reduced hot flashes compared to the placebo group. In The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr. Christiane Northrup says that a 2 percent progesterone skin cream works in about 85 percent of perimenopausal women. A little as 1/4 tsp once per day can ease hot flashes. Make sure that you read the labels of natural progesterone cream products careful as there is great variability of progesterone content. Some creams contain less than 5 mg progesterone per ounce, whereas others contain more than 400 mg progesterone per ounce. This can be obtained over the counter or by prescription. I have not found any studies that indicate it should be discontinued over a certain time frame.
The baby blues commonly occurs after birth, but postnatal depression (PND) on the other hand is a more serious matter and can last years. During pregnancy the placenta produces the grand surge of progesterone needed to create a baby. This progesterone production drops away dramatically after the placenta is released from the womb at birth. Ten per cent of new mothers suffer from PND and on rare occasions it can lead to postnatal psychosis. British gynaecologist In the 1950’s British gynaecologist Dr Katherina Dalton, found a strong correlation between bad PMS, PND and menopause problems in women.
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 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.

I had a hormonal imbalance before I went on the depo shot since I hit puberty. Not diagnosed by a doctor but it was just very obvious. I went on the depo for 4 years and now I have been off for 7 months and my hormones coming back and I feel like a crazy person.. we’re wanting to get pregnant again so I don’t want to get on the depo again but I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Is there a solution? I know the depo affects progesterone in some way and I wasn’t sure if you could help but I had to ask!

In Figure 51-38, a comparison is made of  the “per woman” pregnancy rates between the NaProTECHNOLOGY approach and in vitro fertilization.  This study shows that a NaProTECHNOLOGY approach for women who have anovulatory infertility, polycystic ovarian disease, endometriosis, or tubal occlusion, all have statistically significantly higher pregnancy rates than patients with similar conditions treated with in vitro fertilization.
I’m originally from Russia,moved to United states,Fl in 2009 at the age of 20 and my Face,became a nightmare: big red cysts,blackheads,zits,scars(which are terrible) everything all over my face,jaw line and neck(nothing on my back or chest) I used to party a lot,drink and smoke,when i moved to states i gained 65 lb in less than 3 months( hello western diet,i’m from a genetically very fit and healthy family,nobody has ever been overweight) and of course the more time passed the worse my skin got.
Hi, I am 29yrs old struggling to conceive for d past 3yrs. My doctor did some test and found my progesterone level is low which is why I have an irregular period. Though she(doctor) place me on progesterone injection and drugs but am still not satisfy because after the injections, I had my period once and it never came back in preceding months. Pls what did I do?
@Lil, It’s probably best to get copies of your lab tests that have been done so that you can look at them yourself and research what functional ranges should be. And if the spotting is due to low progesterone, you could always try a bio-identical progesterone cream. There are bio-identical pills, but many women (me included) don’t have as good of luck using them.
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.

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
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.

Bioidentical. When we say bioidentical what we mean is that it is identical to the molecule that your ovaries made. It’s the same identical molecule, so your body thinks it’s the same. It’s really an antiaging hormone, if you think about it, because we age. You lose your hormones. If you want to have a better life as you mature and you age so you feel young, you want to make sure you replenish your hormones. This goes not only for females, but males as well.

Fourth thing progesterone does, it does helps with the utilization of thyroid hormones at the cellular level. It helps the cells better assimilate the thyroid hormones. Remember, thyroid hormones are what enables your cells’ power plants to produce and use energy. So, you have to have good thyroid function intracellularly, within the cell. Not just what’s in your blood, but what’s in your cell in order to enable your cell’s power plants to produce good energy. If you produce good energy, optimal levels of energy, you’re going to be a high voltage individual and you’re going to be a live wire. But if you produce low levels of energy, you’re going to be a low voltage individual and you’re going to be a slug. That’s just the way it is. So, we want to make sure in everything we do, we maximize the ability of your cells power plants, the mitochondria, to produce high levels of energy.
Xenoestrogens are found in feedlot beef and dairy that is pumped up with synthetic growth hormones, in household cleaners and personal care products that contain toxic chemicals, in plastics, acetones (e.g., fingernail polish and removers) and in pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and industrial pollutants. The xenoestrogens are ten to a hundred times more potent than hormones occurring naturally in the body. Like an unexpected guest that overstays its welcome, once xenoestrogens settle in, they are not easily removed.
If you take Clomid, your doctor will typically continue to have you monitor your progesterone levels after ovulation to make sure they rise appropriately. Progesterone supplements provide an easy fix for low progesterone levels. However, increasing progesterone levels will not prevent loss of an embryo with abnormal chromosomes after implantation. Clomid can also cause more than one follicle to develop; if you get pregnant with more than one embryo, your progesterone levels may rise higher than normal in early pregnancy.
So, anyway, progesterone is very, very important. Let me tell you what else progesterone’s important for. It’s very important for fertility as well. So, if a woman doesn’t make enough progesterone, if the placenta doesn’t make enough progesterone to promote the gestation, then women can have problems with infertility. In combination with low thyroid, low thyroid and low progesterone are very common causes of or caused by low levels of progesterone. So, progesterone deficiencies can cause infertility. They can cause premenstrual symptoms.
A menstrual cycle is determined by the number of days from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. So day one of the menstrual cycle is the first of full bleeding day of the period. A typical cycle is approximately 24 to 35 days (average 28 days for most women). It is not abnormal for a woman¹s cycle to occasionally be shorter or longer.
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).
Progesterone naturally metabolizes in brain tissues to the metabolite allopregnanolone, which is known to produce calming, anti-anxiety and possibly enhanced memory effects.  There is some speculation that it could be important in preserving cognitive function in women experiencing the decline in progesterone levels with age.  However, it’s important to note that progesterone is produced by brain tissue itself, and so the reduction in blood progesterone levels as ovarian production decreases may not be as important as other aging processes that have direct effects on the brain’s function.  It will be interesting to see further research on this as aging women increasingly use progesterone in hormone replacement.

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. 

During childbearing years, progestin reduces the risk of endometrial cancer. Someone who has polycystic ovary syndrome or is over weight or under weight may need to take birth control pills to counteract the progression of the disease. On average, women enter menopause at age 52, at which time they may experience high progesterone levels. The progesterin may fluctuate wildly, increasing and decreasing. Periods become irregular and hot flashes may occur. That's a time when health professionals may recommend some type of therapy to counteract the progesterone side effects, whether it is low or elevated. The normal therapy is administering low doses of birth control pills. This is a time when the body produces only a fraction of the estrogen it once did. A balance between estrogen and progestin is necessary for good health. For women who have problems with these therapies, the medication may be administered only four times a year.
6. Ensure adequate magnesium intake. This mineral helps to boost progesterone production by simply keeping you calmer as well as by assisting in the breakdown of estrogen. In times of stress I have used a magnesium oil (which I bought on Amazon) as well as a magnesium supplement. You can also find magnesium in beans, lentils, leafy greens, and  pumpkin seeds.
Progesterone is a natural hormone that works to control uterine lining thickness within a woman’s body. When one becomes pregnant, this hormone naturally increases to accommodate your growing child. There are occasions, however, where high progesterone levels can be caused by other instances, such as a lack of exercise or consuming an unhealthy diet. High levels of progesterone can lead to a series of unwanted side-effects. This article will detail the symptoms, diagnosis and remedies to help treat the condition.
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.
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.

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.

However, the inverse can also occur in which a woman has lower levels of estrogen, meaning her progesterone levels will dominate with any fluctuation. During this time, women going through the menopausal transition whose progesterone levels are higher in relation to low estrogen levels may experience symptoms such as depression, drowsiness, and headaches.

In any case, there is much women of all ages can do to rebalance progesterone and overall hormone levels to avoid becoming estrogen dominant. First, we can work with a provider to test our hormone levels for imbalances. If testing reveals estrogen dominance, we can take steps to restore the natural equilibrium by rebalancing with bioidenticals—hormones derived from plant compounds that are made to be identical in structure and function to those our body makes naturally.
The level of progesterone varies with the menstrual cycle, and is responsible for most of the changes experienced by women during a month. Right after ovulation, the corpus luteum in the ovary starts releasing progesterone. The high level of progesterone causes the increase in temperature experienced by women after ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum dies, and progesterone levels drop. As a consequence, the lining of the uterus starts to bleed and is eliminated through menstruation.
I have spotting for 3-5 days prior to day 1 of my cycle. I have been told by my RE that I have low progesterone, though I still don’t know why, and have been struggling with infertility for almost 3 years. As we gear up for our 3rd round of IVF, we’ve been ttc naturally. I had left over Crinone progesterone suppositories that I began 3 days after ovulation twice a day (last cycle). Unfortunately, I ran out after 4 days and thought I had more but didn’t. My menses started soon after I stopped and was about 3 days early. I’m trying to find a progesterone cream that could help me conceive. I’m confused though by the cream containing soy. I thought I’m suposed to avoid soy?
HI Doniella, I’m in Europe and am 38 – I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant with my second child. my first is 4 since may and was concv very quickly but when we strated trying for no 2 in nov 2010 we had no luck. eventually in Nov 2011 I found a dr who specialises in infertility issues and worked with her and eventually became pregnant this March. (delited) i get my bloods checked every two weeks for oestogen and progesterone levels and my progesterone is low. I’m now on 2 x 400mg of cyclogest daily as my dr thinks my level is low. My last reading was 148 which makes me think that its probably 14 as you are using 2 digit numbers above. Above you refer to the use of progestone creams in the first trimester but i#m now midway in the second trimester and my dose was doubled due to last reading being so low. should i be concerned about taking pessaries at this stage of pregnacy? I’m somewhat concerned. thanks annie
Dr. Hotze: Remember, progesterone is important to help prevent infertility and help maintain good pregnancies, and to help resolve PMS, which is caused by low progesterone…to help prevent cancer, to strengthen thyroid function, to strengthen bone health, help you with your sleep, help you with fluid retention and weight gain…to help you heal brains particularly if you had an injury. It can be used for that. It’s very important for moods, anxiety, and depression. It can help relieve that because it calms you. Finally, if you’ve got migraines and headaches, it can be a Godsend. So, that’s one of the key ingredients.
@Leah, First off, I would recommend getting your progesterone levels tested with your OB or midwife. if they are very low, they’ll have you use a progesterone suppository- just request a bio-identical one to be prescribed. If you are slightly low, or you just feel that you would like added assurance, work with your practitioner on correct dosage for your body. Often times women use the cream twice a day through the first trimester, dosage depending on the cream. (which would be stated on the package) Then they gradually wean off of it (ex – first in dosage each time, then dropping to once a day, then dosage again until a few weeks later you don’t use it anymore) during the second trimester.
What we know is that it can take anywhere from 4-12 months to bring progesterone levels back up in women with very low progesterone levels. In general we suggest its use, while following a holistic natural fertility program, for a minimum of three months, up to 6 months while paying attention to how the body is responding/shifting before making a change to said program. It would also be a good idea to have progesterone levels monitored during this time to know how levels are shifting and if you might need to adjust the dose, or if you can wean off of progesterone cream. Each woman will be different, so the length of safe use for you will likely be different from the length of safe use for me or another.
Dr. Hotze: Remember, progesterone is important to help prevent infertility and help maintain good pregnancies, and to help resolve PMS, which is caused by low progesterone…to help prevent cancer, to strengthen thyroid function, to strengthen bone health, help you with your sleep, help you with fluid retention and weight gain…to help you heal brains particularly if you had an injury. It can be used for that. It’s very important for moods, anxiety, and depression. It can help relieve that because it calms you. Finally, if you’ve got migraines and headaches, it can be a Godsend. So, that’s one of the key ingredients.
How Cortisol (stress) Steals Progesterone: Both these hormones are produced from pregnenolone. When you are in chronic stress, the body will always divert the available pregnenolone to produce higher amounts of cortisol to help you get through stress. This means there might not be enough to produce sufficient levels of progesterone. This is called “pregnenolone steal” and it’s the leading cause of low progesterone problems. I discuss this in more detail in this adrenal fatigue post.