So, what’s the normal level of progesterone in women? For those who don’t plan pregnancy, the levels of progesterone usually vary within the range of 0.2-1 ng/ml before they start ovulating and 5 ng/ml and higher after the ovulation period. During the luteal phase, progesterone levels tend to rise more and may reach 200 ng/ml if pregnancy occurs. Maintaining the high amount of progesterone in blood during pregnancy is important up to the term when a baby is born. Women with low progesterone levels during pregnancy are often prescribed progesterone supplements to prevent a miscarriage. If you aren’t pregnant but progesterone has risen significantly, it’s critical to go consult your doctor. For men, children, and women of postmenopausal age, the normal progesterone level is low and shouldn’t be higher than that of women during a premenstrual phase.
The consistently high physiological progesterone levels seen in pregnancy would indicate that progesterone is safe as a therapeutic agent. Progesterone therapy is commonly used in women with infertility problems due to luteal progesterone insufficiency in order to raise circulating and endometrial progesterone levels to those of the normal luteal phase.
While natural progesterone most likely does not have negative consequences, you should not use self-treat. Self treating yourself with progesterone could delay your period. If you are trying to conceive, that means it will delay ovulation. Next, progesterone can build up in your tissues so even once you stop taking it, it may takes several months for your body to get rid of the access progesterone. Read below for possible side effects. Read here for one woman’s story on what she experienced with taking too much natural progesterone.

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.

Women who have low levels of progesterone will have abnormal menstrual cycles or may struggle to conceive because the progesterone does not trigger the proper environment for a conceived egg to grow. Women who have low progesterone levels and who do succeed in getting pregnant are at higher risk for miscarriage or pre-term delivery, because the hormone helps maintain the pregnancy.
I have extremely low progesterone and have had it since puberty. I have been fired from jobs (dealing in customer service) because I would become irate and become a total b*tch on my period, I have severe insomnia (I sometimes go 5 days with 3 hrs a night of sleep), constipation (1 bowel movement a week if I am lucky), I know the minute my period starts and even the minute I start ovulating because the pain becomes unbearable, I can’t be on birth control because IUDs were worse then childbirth for me, I now have seizures every time I ovulate and menstruate (in the last 3 months I have had 6 seizures), my heartbeat is horrifically irregular and my chest always hurts, I have a constant headache and I do mean constant for like months at a time, I have breathing problems, sometimes all I do is pass blood clots on my period, I have horrid neck pain and all over pains, if I pick at my nails the whole nail comes off, I have lost the hair on the sides of my head, I become dizzy up to 20 times a day, night sweats, I get cysts almost constantly, I am tired all the time even when I just woke up, spotting, I get taser like shocks all over my body, and I can go on and on but those are the truly scary things that can happen with low progesterone.
Hello, my Dr wants me to start taking progesterone and I don’t feel comfortable with that. I have been bleeding for over 2 weeks, not that heavy, but, she wants me to take it. I am almost 51 years old and I am very concerned about side effects I am reading about with taking progesterone. In particular weight gain, increased appetite, cellulite and fatigue. Is there anything someone can recommend me trying, naturally??
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Progesterone is the only hormone that does not adversely affect infants and children. So if you are using natural progesterone cream there is no need to worry about any rubbing off onto a male or female baby or child - no harm will come. However, synthetic pharmaceutical progesterone look-alikes, testosterone, estrogen and other hormones can cause serious side effects in children.
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. 
The cream is often not enough to substantially increase progesterone levels and a bioidentical pill or suppository is usually looked at then. The creams usually have applications that give you 10-30 mgs of progesterone, though it’s hard to tell how much is being absorbed. The pills/suppositories can range up to a couple hundred mgs, though I’d make sure to work on finding out the cause of the low progesterone as being on them long-term isn’t ideal. And some women do have side effects with the supplementation so it’s important to work with your doctor and take just what you need.

Dr. Hotze: It’s tragic. When all they need is progesterone. Let me tell you. I have five daughters and those five daughters have had 18 children. I’ve got sons with children, too. So, we have 23 grandkids, but 18 of those were born to my daughters. After every one of the pregnancies, I made sure our daughters had progesterone after every one of the deliveries. I made sure they had progesterone in the room. I said, “Don’t even tell your OBGYN. They won’t understand. Take your progesterone.” They took it starting right then to make sure they had good levels of progesterone and most of my daughters, frankly were on natural thyroid as well, and had no real problems with the pregnancies and did very well.

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.
Contraceptives - so many woman fail to ovulate when they stop using contraceptives.  As they are designed to stop ovulation, they can cause temporary infertility.  Initially the ovaries make estrogen and testosterone, but it can take a few cycles later before the ovaries start ovulating. A severe imbalance takes place in the ovaries if the level of estrogen and testosterone is too high.  Supplementing with progesterone with regulate the cycle.

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
I have hashimotos and hypothyroid. My cycle is clock work every 26 days, no biggie…. wrong! I bleed for 7-10 days and my iron levels won’t come up!!! I have been reading a lot of magnesium with my thyroid. Any suggestions on test? I was put on a progestrone cream based on my symptoms but I swear it was making me anxious unless it’s these winter months. So I’m going to hold off for now. But I wasn’t tested!?!?!
Progesterone is not made in a smooth fashion. As the picture here shows, progesterone is actually released in pulses. Since most physicians only draw blood from a patient once to check their levels, and use a level of 10 ng/mL to mark the cutoff between “good” and “bad” levels, it is easy to see how the doctor and the patient can be misled into thinking that her levels are too high or too low.
Hi, I’m a 22 year old college student who has struggled with period irregularities for my whole life basically and a lot of these signs are things I experience. I used to run collegiately until stress, school, and injuries became too much, which led to my ultimate decision to step away from the team to focus on my studies. I know this is awful, but I have not had my period for approx. a year and half. I deal with sugar cravings…a lot…I still exercise ~hour 5-7 days a week, I do get very stressed with school, anxiety, and I recently was just thinking to myself how I’ve been feeling more forgetful lately. I’ve been to several doctors who either tell me to go see a specialist or suggest birth control, which I am not keen on doing. My sister sees a ND for the same type of reasons and she currently is taking/cycling omegas. Do you have any advice as to what would be best for me to do? I really don’t want to keep holding off seeing someone, but when I never seem to get answers, it gets frustrating. Thanks in advance 🙂

When you ovulate, the follicle that first made estrogen and then released an egg gets sucked inside the ovary and a new organ is formed: the corpus luteum or “yellow body”. Nowhere else in the body do we form a new organ that develops a blood supply that quickly. And perhaps just as amazing, that corpus luteum only last for two weeks before it disintegrates and we start the next cycle. Yes, women are amazing!

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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?

Hello, I have never had a good libido and i am not interested in having sex. It is always painful so i never have looked for having it. I have been married twice and I just put up with it but for the last 5 years I have refused to do anything since it is so painful. Nothing relaxes me. I am now in my 50’s and would like to do something about it. What could it be? otherwise I am healthy and well proportioned.
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.
A: I have reviewed the available literature on your question regarding progesterone. The physiological action of progesterone in this case would be to shrink the fibroid, which means that it would be reabsorbed into the body. The progesterone would not cause the dark discharge and would not cause the fibroid to "dissolve." If this continues much longer, I would recommend that you make an appointment to see your physician. You may want to view the information on uterine fibroids on Everyday Health at // For any immediate concerns, consult your physician. Joseph Hall, RPh
I have been on a quest to figure out if what I have been going through is normal or if there is something I can do about it and then I came upon your posting. Thank you for writing this, I could really use your advice. At about 15 I was started on the combined birth control pill to help manage my horribly painful and long periods. For many years however, I ran into all kinds of ups and downs with the pill (twice I had my period for a month long!). Finally, at around 20 yo my doctor thought to try me on the progesterone only pill. It was wonderful. I then stopped getting my period (which apparently is very normal on the pops) for about three years. I take it extremely regularly but then out of the blue, recently I started experiencing brown spotting. It would come and go. Sometimes heavier but always brown. Along with this I was also fatigued, have been having constant issues with acne popping up, had dry skin, brittle and flaking nails (the entire nail bed), breaking hair, hot flashes on my face, night sweats, and foggy and forgetful (the hot nights and forgetfulness is not so unusual for me though…). My primary care doctor thought my body just needed to have a full period to get it out of my system so I tried stopping the pill for a couple weeks and during that time the spotting tapered away and stopped. I started the pill again and everything was okay until I had a full period with excruciating cramps and all. When it ended I thought I was in the clear until sure enough the brown spotting came back again. So for the last two weeks I have been off the pill again but while not even taking the pill the spotting has persisted. I know that some people experience spotting while taking pops but I do not know if it is normal to have constant brown spotting (occasionally there are clumps of dark brown and sometimes just a little light brown) and if it is normal for it to persist after stopping the pill. Before reading this post I have tried some vitamin supplements to figure out what could be causing those other symptoms but I had never thought to put the two together. Do you think this could be a sign of low progesterone? Or if it caused by the pop then do you know what I could do to make the brown spotting stop and if it could be related to the flaking nails, acne, fatigue, and lack there of body temperature regulation? I am a healthy 23 year old girl so it seems odd that I should be dealing with such severe hot flashes and night sweats for no reason…
Some women require progesterone supplements. Birth control pills may contain progesterone analogues, menopausal women occasionally use progesterone to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and prevent disease, and pregnant women who have low progesterone may be prescribed progesterone supplements to prevent miscarriage. notes that the side effects of high progesterone associated with supplementation are similar to those of high progesterone that's produced naturally by the body. In particular, supplement-related side effects may be even more exacerbated than those related to normal hormone production, because progesterone levels may become quite high. Women frequently note vomiting, dizziness and cramping in addition to the typical symptoms of progesterone associated with menstruation or pregnancy.
The progesterone prescription products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are LIKELY SAFE for most people when used by mouth, applied to the skin, applied into vagina, or injected into the muscle with the advice and care of a healthcare professional. However, progesterone can cause many side effects including stomach upset, changes in appetite, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), fatigue, acne, drowsiness or insomnia, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, depression, breast discomfort or enlargement, premenstrual syndrome (PMS)-like symptoms, altered menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding, and other side effects.

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?
Stress effects your ability to ovulate or produce an egg each month. If a woman does not ovulate, progesterone is not produced , therefore it is not available to counteract the effects of the estrogen made during the menstrual cycle. Adolescent girls and peri-menopausal women with irregular menses, mood swings and emotional outbursts may benefit greatly from progesterone therapy and are most likely to be estrogen dominant.
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.
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.

Should I talk to my (new) doctor and have some serious tests done? Ive always expressed my concerns with past doctors and all they seem to want to do is say im too young for anything serious and put me on birth control. But I really want to find out the root of whats going on. I just want an “oh this is why all of this is happening”. I am 25 years old.
In other words, if you are not managing your stress levels properly, the natural progesterone cream you are currently using may not be effective. Physicians may then prescribe cortisol. Sometimes it can be helpful, but cortisol has its own set of problems, including tolerance, resistance, dependency and withdrawal issues. In addition, cortisol can also lead to loss of magnesium and potassium, further complicating the clinical picture and triggering electrolyte imbalances. Menstrual bleeding may increase as estrogen dominance symptoms worsen. High dose progesterone is often prescribed to control or offset estrogen overload and excessive bleeding. This can trigger a host of side effects and toxicity issues.
Hormone replacement therapy can help to relieve hormone fluctuation discomfort and help to prevent osteoporosis and delay some of the conditions associated with low estrogen. Low hormones have been linked to increased risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Hormone replacement therapy is usually recommended mostly for short-term treatment. Prolonged treatment has been linked to an increased risk for breast and uterine cancer. Other risks associated with hormone replacement therapy may include the development of blood clots, heart attack, gallbladder disease, and stroke. Side effects of taking hormone therapy may include breast pain, nausea, fluid retention, and mood disorders. Some women experience spotting or bleeding when taking estrogen and progesterone therapy. Treatment for symptoms of low progesterone is usually not recommended for women who have a family or personal history of breast cancer, liver disease, or a family or personal history of diseases associated with the heart and blood vessels.
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. 
Approximately 31 percent of patients on progesterone experience headache and 15 percent experience dizziness as a side-effect of progesterone use. Patients may also experience increased sweating, nervousness tremors and speech disorders. Twenty percent of patients experience joint pain, 12 percent experience musculoskeletal pain and 8 percent experience back pain.
I spot bleed 7 days before my period, could this be due to low Progesterone. I have had smears and scans and all sorts of tests all came back normal, doctor seems to think that was just it. I’ve been ttc for over 2 years now and I’m going to go down the fertility route this year as I’m 38 but was wondering if it might be a hormonal imbalance as this was initial why they had me on Yasmin. I would have liked to try and sort it out naturally then by putting more chemicals into my system.
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.

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 
Stacey B: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Dr. Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Welcome to the program. Of course, you can always download all of our podcasts at That’s H, O, T, Z, E Okay, ladies this podcast is for you. We are talking about the miracle hormone. It is called progesterone. I cannot sing its praises enough. I’ve got Dr. Hotze here to explain more about the wondrous value of progesterone and how it can help you. Dr. Hotze. 
In the next cycle, a completely dry cycle is observed.  No mucus is observed during the course of the entire cycle.  These dry cycle patterns occur in about 15 percent of all women with regular cycles and infertility.  Looking at the underlying hormonal correlations (Figure 40-3), one can see that the estrogen and progesterone levels are significantly suboptimal compared to the levels observed in the normal cycle (Figure 40-2).  This suggests that the dry cycles – the absence of mucus – are a reflection of underlying hormonal abnormalities.  We now know that this is an exhibition of abnormal folliculogenesis and abnormal luteogenesis (abnormal development of the follicle with a subsequent abnormal corpus luteum).  This is also associated with abnormal ovulation events.

Hello. I am in my mid-twenties and have now had two consecutive miscarriages. I started my period very young, at age 10. I have a missed period once or twice a year,  but the length of my cycle varies every single month. I’ve had cycles at 26 days up to 35 days. I’ve always had very thin hair and nails and my weight has fluctuated greatly. I’ve gained and lost 15-20 pounds at least 5 times since the age of 18. I also got acne once I got to college and had to take accutane. I’ve also struggled with overwhelming anxiety and bouts of depression for 10+ years. My husband and I have been struggling with pregnancy issues for over a year now with two miscarriages. We want to get pregnant again, but are afraid to try until we figure out if something is wrong with me. Any advice would be appreciated!

If you have had one or more of these issues, ask your doctor about looking into a progesterone test. Progesterone therapy could be the answer to an issue that was misdiagnosed or left unexplained, but that also doesn't mean it's a cure-all. Luckily, the risks of supplementing with progesterone are “probably low, if anything at all,” says Dr. Hjort, at least in the short term. Common side effects include mild headache, mild nausea, dizziness, and breast tenderness. Time and research will tell if there are long-term side effects.

Hi Donielle, great article, really informative! My husband and I have been ttc#1 for almost a year. My periods are somewhat regular 26/28 days w/O(use opk). I also started charting 5 months ago. My O temp is 97.5 and my temps after O vary from 97.9 to 98.2, 98.4 on rare occasions. Do you think that means low progesterone levels? Plus for as long as I can remember I’ve had brown spotting before AF, sometimes a couple of days before it, and the last 2 months at 5/6DPO. My LP is 11/13 days long. I’m just looking for an opinion, I know I should get tested to know for sure. Thank you!
Progesterone is commonly prescribed to women who experience multiple miscarriages, have signs of having a short luteal phase and those who are receiving artificial reproductive technology (ART) treatments. Progesterone treatment, however, is controversial and the medical community still has a lot to learn about progesterone, including how to test for deficiencies and what side effects there may be.

Progesterone is used for building other hormones. In particular, the adult female body can make its own testosterone from progesterone. This is safer, avoids all risk of testosterone overdose, and avoids the risk of side-effects from testosterone supplementation. However, your body can only use real progesterone. It is not able to use synthetic pharmaceutical progesterone look-alikes such as progestin and progestogen. To repeat, if you use an altered progesterone lookalike it will NOT correct your testosterone level. Pharmaceutical companies deliberately name their products with confusingly similar names, and have successfully duped most doctors. For this reason, most doctors are unaware of how easy it is to correct a woman's testosterone levels by using (real) progesterone.

After constantly complaiming of pain in the overy area, the OBG decided to put me on 6 mths of progesterone to desolve the cysts. First, I received a shot the first 3 mths. Then I chose to take pills for the last three mths. After 2 mths of taking them I still felt pain and discontinued the treatment. Two days after being off the progesterone, I realized my lower body pain had come back. I could hardly stand up right after sitting. I didn’t even realize the pain had been gone. I had felt normal for that time. But the progesterone makes me so tired. I sleep 12 hrs easily.  
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.