Thanks for the great article! I had some postpartum issues after my first baby (mainly anxiety). My son is now a year and a half and I’ve been struggling with irregular periods since his birth. My functional medicine dr put me on bioidentical progesterone cream but my levels are still not very high. I will be regular for months and then have two periods within the same month. I take the cream throughout the entire month. I also take vitex and holy basil. Any other suggestions or thoughts? I’ve thought too about only taking the cream after ovulation and until my period but not sure! I’m 29 and prior to pregnancy never had any issues with my periods. Thanks in advance!

Hormone balance is deeply connected to the food we eat, the exercise we get, the toxins we absorb, the weight we carry, and the stress levels we put up with. How these multiple factors impact the overall hormone picture is crucial, particularly at midlife when most hormone production is taken over by the adrenal glands. If stress takes center stage in our lives and becomes chronic, cortisol floods the system and total hormone production lags. This forces the body to steal from its own supplies of available progesterone, to make more cortisol, thus depleting this key balancing hormone with obvious implications for estrogen dominance. Prolonged stress tears up our bones, melts our muscles, robs us of strength and energy, lowers our libido and overwhelms our immunities, putting us at serious risk for chronic illness and autoimmune disease.
I have always been very healthy and have gotten pregnant very easily. The year I turned 30 I had my first miscarriage, followed by 3 more within 2 years. All of the miscarried babies measured between 8-12 weeks. After the miscarriages I experienced stress, anxiety, depression, headaches and dizziness over the year. This was followed by the classic symptoms of low progesterone–in fact, my doctor thought my symptoms were much like menopause. My hormones were tested 2 weeks apart and both showed very low progesterone. My questions now are twofold: 1) What is the cause of my low progesterone? And 2) Is it important to keep my progesterone up? My doctors have seemed to only want to do something if I feel like I need it. I have acne, low libido, foggy thinking, joint pain, and no menstrual cycle, all moderately. I hesitate to do hormone therapy because I do not want to experience the depression/anxiety again. Any thoughts?
NIKKI, I Suggest being tested for Mthfr. It is not part of most drs standard “why does she keep miscarrying” panel.  Most wait until you have 3 to test (sad) but mine did after only two..and tested for this…it is a genetic defect that affects two genes. One  produces an enzyme that breakes down b vitamins (including folic acid) …since you can break them down you have deficiency. (Solution: pprescription b vit that are broken down so they can be absorbed.)
you are so right other symptoms are adreanal gland nodules adreanal gland removal plus miscarrage high blood pressure low pattassium as your cortrisol levels are effected cancers as nodules turn into tumours this happens in our babies too they are born with no progestrone because we dont have any darling we cant get pregnant and carry a babie because of this ether red meat sugar soya dairy all lower our progesterone levels your levels drop after ovulation so that the egg does not fertilize because of estrogen domanance we will ovulateokay though
About 4 months ago, I had my hormone levels checked because I have been steadily gaining weight, have foggy thinking, feel lethargic, etc.  Found out that I had low progesterone in my luteal phase. I started on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.  1/2 troche in the morning and 1 troche in the evening, days 5-12; 1 troche morning and evening, days 13 – onset.  I did notice that my mood was better but my cravings were worse, breasts were extremely enlarged and I was bloated by the time I got my period.  Seems to me that I may be taking too much and I’m wondering if I could just take the replacement during my luteal phase.  I will talk with my doc and pharmasist but would like your opinion, too.  Thank you!
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.
Yes almost identical happened to me. I think having extremely nosy neighbors for over a year also added to messing up my cycle. I still continued to train with extremely heavy weights and did my cardio also a minimum of 4 times a week. I still have symptoms but I believe things are slowly returning back to normal. I hope your matter is resolved now.
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 am 36 and have had a decreased libido for several years now, and it is starting to affect my marriage. I think that I have low progesterone as I have man of these symptoms. I have suffered from migraines for years and all of a sudden they are getting worse, I have gained weight in the past six months, I frequently complain about being foggy-headed but I thought that was attributed to my allergies, and I have huge mood swings at times. Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to make an appointment with my doctor tomorrow.

Hi! I am 49. I’ve never taken any kind of hormonal birth control my whole life. I’ve always had easy routine periods. I’ve had three healthy children with very easy pregnancies. Suddenly about a year ago I’m experiencing horrible heavy period as with lots of blood clotting and cramping that go on for 2-3 weeks at a time. I may go 1-2 weeks without bleeding and it all starts all over again! I’m also having just about every premenopausal symptom there is! I’ve been trying lots of different herbal remedies that just don’t seem helpful much. Ugh!!! I’m really at whits end here.
I have been on progesterone cream for a little over year – I am also on supplements for adrenal fatigue from emotional stress and I had irregular, very long cycles, and sometimes no period at all – just spotting when I was supposed to have a period. I also experienced lots of hair loss, fatigue, and pms that lasted for 2 weeks. Progesterone cream has helped my cycle become more regular, my pms greatly improve, and the hair loss stopped. But the one thing left is the weight loss. My cycle is just now becoming 28 to 30 days and I still have some pms so does that mean my hormones still have some balancing left to do?
Progesterone is found in many different forms and can be taken either by mouth if you’re prescribed to take progesterone pills, by intramuscular injections if the doctor recommends you to mix progesterone with the oil, or through the skin, if you choose to use progesterone cream. Commonly, progesterone creams are considered to be more effective since they don’t get lost through the liver and quickly get absorbed through the skin. Still, this is where the rule “the more the better” isn’t applied, for if you use more cream than recommended, you can achieve an effect opposed to the desired one and cause hormone imbalance. The compounds with the oils used on different women may also lead to very opposite reactions, therefore, the medication should be prescribed individually and, as we’ve mentioned above, by a professional. We will take a closer look at the treatments, including those that can be done in a natural way, further in the article. For now, let’s identify the common symptoms that tell of the progesterone deficiency and learn some basic causes that lead to the hormone imbalance.
I am so happy to have found this site. I have suffered from pcos and hypothyroidism since I was 12. I was diagnosed at 14 and been in a off and on relationship with different birth controls. I have one child and I had a miscarriage in late February which totally destroyed me, my mind my body and my spirit. I went to the doctor after wards and she kept trying to push bc of any form and then wanted to push fertility drugs when i am ready to conceive. Even though I had told her about me wanting to ” go natural” and that I want another baby next year. She did give me a ultra sound and my endometrium is toooooo thick but my thyroid is functioning normally. I had been researching bio identical progesterone and was desperate to try it ( i had already tried and failed everything else.) Instead of the progesterone I asked for, she shot me up with medroxyprogesterone a.k.a depo provera… so now.. aside from the regular pcos symptoms like abnormal body hair, cystic acne and 57 day cycles with 30+ days of extremely heavy bleeding, ( super+ tampon every 2-3 hours even during sleep) extreme mood swings, depression, weight gain, NO SEX DRIVE, my hair is falling out in whole curls, I have nooooooo energy, hot flashes and night sweats, spotting between periods.. cycles that are anywhere from 5- 60 days with no way of knowing what they will be, no patience, if im not mad as hell im crying and i really couldnt tell you why. Literally, everything on your above list of syptoms, I miss my hubbys affection but I dont want him to touch me.. I am a 26 year old hormonal monster who is going through the same menopause symptoms as my 50 year old mother and I am starting to hate myself. I did, however, find a natural doctor to hopefully help me and order test. If she wont help I am considering just prescribing it for myself since no one is listening… My hair falling out in whole curls is the last straw.I really feel helpless and hopeless and I am praying this will work. Do you think Bio identical progesterone is right for me?
I have been trying to get pregnant for over two years now. I do not have periods at all. If I use this cream is it going to further prohibit me from having periods? I’ve been on progesterone pills before and I had to take them for ten days then go off then in order to have a period. So do I not use the cream in order to stimulate a period? What if I get pregnant? Is stopping going to end the pregnancy?
I’m about 5 weeks (conceived around Jan 9) pregnant and have been experiencing brown spotting for the last 5 days. My doc checked my progesterone and HCG (18 and 2100 respectively). She said she was happy with the level of progesterone but still wants to put me on an oral progesterone. My cycles have been irregular as long as I can remember and usually about a week later each month than the month before. They start with spotting for a few days to a week also. I also have arthritis (was on prednisone for ~14 years; off and on for most of last year; completely off since Oct 22). In this situation does it sound like the progesterone will be beneficial? I realize oral isn’t the ideal delivery route as your body will break it down during digestion. Just trying to get an idea of whether or not this is a good idea and what else I can be doing on top of this. Any comments/information is greatly appreciated!

Is it possible to get hormone imbalances when you use it for a longer period at a time? I was pointed out by someone that it might be harmful in different ways and can cause illness or negative side effects. So now I am worrying a bit about that. I thought that maybe it might be wise then to take a pause every couple of months when pregnancy does not occur. (I have progesterone deficiency) Thank you so much for answering my question.

This same thing just happened to me! I’m so glad I found this article. I’ve been too terrified to over-google my symptoms but this makes sense. I was also strength training and running three days a week. But I’m also in school full-time and a single mom. I want to do it all, but my body slammed on the brakes (two episodes of nearly fainting while working out plus massive anxiety attacks). I was afraid I might be dying of some rare cancer (thanks for nothing, google!). I’m thinking of switching to yoga and being super mindful that I’m getting ALL my calories in. Thanks for sharing!
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.
Progesterone is essential to mature the uterine lining (endometrium) for implantation of the early embryo. Therefore, many specialists assumed low levels after ovulation (luteal phase deficiency) might cause failure of implantation and reduce your fertility at this stage. However, current evidence does not show low progesterone during the luteal phase interferes with implantation.
To add: Generally I'm very laid back and I eat decently well. I'm the right weight, exercise well and am happy. However, right now I'm going through one of the most emotional times of my life. My horse (whom I've had since I was a pre-teen) is failing and is going to be put down in the next few weeks. So, yes, my emotional state is less than ideal right now. However, these m/c were both very similar and one happened well before my boy was sick. That leads me to believe it did not cause the m/c.
Stopping progesterone abruptly without proper titration can also be problematic. Many have experienced a huge wave and additional surging of progesterone as it comes out of our tissues soon after abrupt withdrawal. It is a very unpleasant experience. An aldosterone surge can occur that leads to electrolyte imbalances ? which in severe cases requires hospitalization.

Hi, I came off the combined pill just over 3 months ago. I have had 3 regularly cycles, 28 days, 30 days, 34 days. I am currently at the beginning of week 4 and I have terrible anxiety. This has been my main problem coming off the pill. I had anxiety at the beginning of week 3 and then today which is the first day of week 4. It isn’t anxiety in terms of worrying about little things, it’s a horrible doom feeling I get combined with physical symptoms like butterflies and fight and flight sometimes.. My periods have been great, only heavy two days and then only last 4/5 days. I don’t even get period pain. I take magnesium glycnate before bed and a b6 vitamin. I’ve just ate a handful of sunflower seeds. Do you think this would be progesterone deficiency or can anxiety be triggered when estrogen is low too? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I’m
Use a natural progesterone skin cream, not drops or pills. Progesterone is poorly absorbed when taken orally, being broken down by the liver and gut and excreted instead of being bio-available for use in the body. 95% of progesterone taken orally as tablets or drops is lost. (23) Progesterone is well absorbed transdermally (through the skin), and using it as a cream on the skin is the most effective method to take it.
Hi, love this article. Very informative.  I am on Armour thyroid and feeling soo much better than 6 months ago but still have dry gritty eyes, joint pain, dry splitting nails,  cracked heels, cracked lips, fatigue…brain fog. Scalloped tongue. The hot burning miserable eyes are the worst. Eye doc DXd rosea,  DES and Blepharitis. 4 weeks on Doxycycline and zero improvement. I’m almost 39 and this is just ruining my life! I received new labs yesterday and on paper, I’m the epitome of health except for my estrogen and progesterone ratio.  We tested in my luteal phase and my estradiol was 165.8 (43.8-211.0)  progesterone was 6.25. (1.7- 37)
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.
“Hot flashes are often due to low estrogen levels. As much as maca and black cohosh can offer some relief, they often do not address the underlying reasons why our ovaries (or adrenals in the case of someone who lost her ovaries) are struggling with producing adequate amounts of estrogen. Or, why is our body not metabolizing and using whatever estrogen there is, efficiently. This is where food and striving for a balanced body come in. On one hand, we can add foods like flax seed to help boost estrogen levels and the metabolism of estrogen. This can help but if your body is imbalanced, then flax seed alone might not help. This is where restoring the health of the gut, liver and sugar levels play a big role even though most of us do not connect these three body systems to our hormonal balance and symptoms such as the hot flashes. I have seen women’s hot flashes going away by just stopping to eat gluten, drinking too much coffee and stopping sugar/carbohydrate binges. When the body is in a state of a relative balance, wonderful healing can start happening. I hope this gives you a sense of perspective – to add foods like flaxseed while restoring the health of your gut, detoxing your liver and rebalancing your sugar levels.”