Sounds like you’re doing the right things, especially paying attention to your progesterone and estrogen levels. I’d personally give it a little more time to see if it works itself out on its own — menopause can do some interesting things when it starts cropping up (and 48 is a perfectly normal age for that to happen). On the other hand, you may want to explore whether or not you have any kinds of cysts or fibroids, which can cause long-term bleeding, with your doctor if these symptoms persist.
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.
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Progesterone supplements are commonly used in women with infertility diagnoses such as ovulatory disorders, recurrent pregnancy loss, and in conjunction with Assisted Reproductive Technology (In Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Transfer, Frozen Embryo Transfer, etc.)  Progesterone supplements help to compensate for low production of the hormone after ovulation.
Menstruation. Women who are menstruating normally, with mild symptoms or symptoms that have resolved, can use 100-200mg of cream per day from the start of ovulation for the next 14 days. Bleeding should start a day or two after the cream is started. You may need to use more, depending on your symptoms and severity. If symptoms return during the break, then continue applying the cream twice a day or more frequently until they resolve.
Hormones are produced in a cascade. I like to think of the system like a set of dominoes: the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) tells certain glands like the pituitary and adrenal glands how hard to work, then their own hormones go on to signal to other hormones, and on and on. The dominoes fall in a perfectly regimented pattern if all of the surrounding dominoes do their jobs, too.

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.
One of the most common reasons, yet not much is known, is a lack of progesterone during the second half of the monthly cycle.  This is known as 'defective luteal phase'.  During the first half of the menstruation cycle, estrogen will stimulate the lining of the uterus.  This is known as the follicular or proliferative stage.  Once ovulation has taken place and progesterone is being secreted by the corpus luteum, the lining thickens in preparation for the fertilised egg.  The luteal or differentiation phase is known as the second half of the menstrual cycle which should last 12 to 14 days.
I have been battling with severe mood swings and depression for 7-8 yrs now. I have been on several antidepressants, seen counselors and nothing ever changes. I have gained so much weight and even with diet and exercise I can’t seem to lose it. All the weight is in my abdomen. I have been under chronic stress for all this time as well. I asked my GYN a few years ago about hormone testing and she told me it is a joke. She had put me back on a low estrogen pill and I take it continuously and only let myself get a period every 3 months. It is very light when it comes. Last year at my annual had I gained 20 more pounds and her response was “You look beautiful dear and I hate to tell you that as long as you have stress you will never lose weight.” I feel like I am going crazy, I have become suicidal and can’t seem to figure out what is wrong with me. I am switching to another GYN doctor who does do testing. I hope I can find some answers because I really feel like I can’t go on living like this.
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!
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Progesterone is an important hormone as it is responsible for preparing the lining of the uterus for implantation. Progesterone is also responsible for maintaining a pregnancy. Progesterone is secreted from the ovary after ovulation by a mass called a “corpus luteum.” The corpus luteum is maintained by the hormone hCG until the placenta is capable of taking over progesterone production. HCG is the hormone detected in blood and urine in a pregnancy test. If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum begins to die, progesterone levels plummet and a woman starts her menstrual cycle over again with menstruation. It is easy to see how important progesterone is and why it is commonly referred to as “the pregnancy hormone.”
Hi Kylee! I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with these symptoms and aren’t having much luck with a diagnosis from your family doctor. It might be worth a second opinion if you are keen to get to the root cause of your symptoms and have your progesterone levels re-examined. In some areas, there are nurses who also provide hormone balancing and support. You might want to ask around. Please keep me posted with your progress.
My periods were 15/20 days since I was like 15 years old . nothing helped.I’m 27 and about two years ago my body told me I was stressing my doctor offered me anxiety pills bcp etc all theses test were ran my progesterone level was non existent anyways I stopped stressing over little things like someone not calling me back or thinking about what someone else was doing and I swear my periods changed that month they have been seven days ever since and the first regular period was 3 days now there all seven days this article is true I tell everyone with crazy periods try not to stress Iam the happiest person alive learn your stress listen to the little voice inside 🙂
Oh, I also have (especially lately) stupid bad sugar cravings and have been really fatigued. My memory kind of quit on me back when I was 17.  Every dr I have tried to go to until now, and currently this dr is a holistic ms, has insisted on putting me on a low dose anti depressant. Ok if it is major depressive disorder or bi-polar and I have to, then fine, but no one would do any kind of tests to see if I had an actual reason for the depression symptoms! 
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.
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.
There are many things that can lead disrupting hormonal imbalance including if you perform extreme exercise, have too low or too high body fat, poor diet  or are under a lot of stress. If you have one or more of those issues listed and you remedy the issue(s), the hormonal balance should be corrected. Many toxins in our everyday products can also disrupt hormonal balance. 
Low progesterone is often attributed to recurrent pregnancy loss, in part because testing on women who have experienced multiple miscarriages often shows an insufficient amount of progesterone. But Dr. Hjort says it’s a case of the chicken or the egg: “Did the low progesterone level cause the miscarriage or did the miscarriage cause the low progesterone level?” No one really knows. But this observation has led to developing a diagnosis called a luteal phase defect: “an inadequate amount of natural progesterone in the uterus to maintain the lining and sustain the pregnancy.”
Although a natural compound, inappropriate use of natural progesterone can worsen sub-clinical liver congestion, trigger multiple progesterone side effects and toxicity symptoms, and worsen adrenal fatigue. Abrupt withdrawals can also result in adrenal crashes and potentially cause irreparable damage. In the extreme, it can lead to a state that is known as brittle adrenals, where the body exhibit fluctuating symptoms resembling both extremes of cortisol level (too high and too low). Fortunately, this affects only a small number of AFS sufferers, but if you are one of them, life is downright miserable.
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!
Vitamin C- The ‘simple’ vitamin C is greatly needed by your adrenal glands.  So boosting your supply of this vitamin helps your adrenal glands make more hormones.  Food sources include fresh broccoli (not so much week old broccoli), peppers and lemons.  As a supplement, look for alma powder or a vitamin C with bioflavonoids.  It’s also in the Might Maca powder mentioned above.  You can take quite a bit; I’d suggest 1,000 - 3,000 mg/day.  Check with your doctor if you have any special medical conditions.
You can become estrogen dominant if progesterone levels fall too low – yet you can also experience symptoms of low progesterone if estrogen levels become too high. Phytoestrogens in the diet, birth control pills, inflammation, and a sedentary lifestyle are a few of the many ways to cause unnaturally high estrogen levels. Check out this post on estrogen dominance for more.

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.
Women who suffer from PMS are often familiar with the depressive consequence of low progesterone. Upon studying the nature of PMS, researchers discovered that not only was progesterone too low during the last 10 days before menstruation, but so was the neurotransmitter serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormone. Serotonin is also the precursor for our sleep hormone melatonin, suggesting low progesterone is involved in insomnia.

Maybe you can help me shed some light on this. Unlike everyone else here, I am actually looking to decrease progesterone. My progesterone levels according to a recent salivary hormone test are 5 times higher than the highest normal. And I have not been supplementing. I am, however, under near constant stress. And my cortisol levels are high, too, though not as high as the progesterone. All other hormone levels show up as normal. I also have a history of candida and have been suffering from biliary dyskinesia. Any help would be appreciated.


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.
I have many low progesterone symptoms though..My cramps are extremely strong and last for 8 hours and also.. My gyno said might have endometriosis which I didn’t want to hear about and ignored it. Because it’s hereditary and none of my relatives has it, and also the amount of blood I lose is ridiculously little. Anyway.. I am extremely confused about why i have these breakouts and what to do. Can I do some progesterone tests?
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…

Hormonal imbalances are another reason for infertility, environmental toxins being the cause.  Over 100 estrogen mimics are available today - please see Our Stolen Future for more information on this.  Problems then occur when the developing foetus is subjected to the toxins.  Males are prone  to the effects of these toxins (estrogen) at this stage.
Non-pregnant women who are not on birth control pills or hormone supplementation naturally experience their highest progesterone levels approximately one week after ovulation, with levels falling and side effects diminishing in the subsequent week. For women who are pregnant, however, progesterone levels increase dramatically in the early weeks of pregnancy, leading to many of the classic first trimester symptoms, according to Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel in their book, "What To Expect When You're Expecting." Exceedingly sore breasts, frequent headaches, moodiness and nausea are all commonly associated with early pregnancy. While these symptoms of high progesterone are similar to the symptoms experienced by non-pregnant women during their natural high-progesterone phase of the menstrual cycle, they're exacerbated by the extremely high levels of the hormone associated with pregnancy.

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!?!?!

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.
Seven percent of patients will experience chest pain. Other cardiovascular risks include hypertension and heart palpitations. Progesterone also thickens the blood, making you more prone to blood clotting issues, including thrombosis and embolisms. Eight percent of patients experience a cough. Other respiratory effects include nasal congestions, bronchitis and sinusitis.
Non-pregnant women who are not on birth control pills or hormone supplementation naturally experience their highest progesterone levels approximately one week after ovulation, with levels falling and side effects diminishing in the subsequent week. For women who are pregnant, however, progesterone levels increase dramatically in the early weeks of pregnancy, leading to many of the classic first trimester symptoms, according to Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel in their book, "What To Expect When You're Expecting." Exceedingly sore breasts, frequent headaches, moodiness and nausea are all commonly associated with early pregnancy. While these symptoms of high progesterone are similar to the symptoms experienced by non-pregnant women during their natural high-progesterone phase of the menstrual cycle, they're exacerbated by the extremely high levels of the hormone associated with pregnancy.

Many women are familiar with progesterone as a hormone that is essential for fertility and for sustaining a pregnancy.  In fact, the name itself means “promoting gestation.”  Once a woman’s reproductive life begins to wane and she enters perimenopause, progesterone production in the ovaries starts to decline.  By the time she reaches menopause, circulating progesterone levels are so low, they are similar to those normally seen in men.


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) condition is marked by multiple growths of cysts in the ovaries, resulting in a hormonal imbalance and menstruation back flows. Less production of estrogen and progesterone necessary for ovulation results in lower egg quality and failure of eggs to mature. These failed to mature eggs become cysts and line the outer and inner ovaries. Also, PCOS beckons the high production of insulin resulting in a type II diabetes condition and increased production of androgen.
Right now my main symptom that anything is amiss is the late-cycle spotting. I ovulate every cycle (is on my charts and was confirmed with a blood test), so long as I limit my starches I seem to be ok there, and I feel good and have good energy levels. The only foods we are restricting right now are starches (and obvious junk foods)- good fats, protein, fruits and veggies we eat pretty much as necessary/wanted.
Many women are familiar with progesterone as a hormone that is essential for fertility and for sustaining a pregnancy.  In fact, the name itself means “promoting gestation.”  Once a woman’s reproductive life begins to wane and she enters perimenopause, progesterone production in the ovaries starts to decline.  By the time she reaches menopause, circulating progesterone levels are so low, they are similar to those normally seen in men.
Progesterone is known to be the calming hormone. This is easy to see during the second trimester of pregnancy when a woman has 40 times her normal progesterone levels circulating in her body; she is soft, serene and glowing. Progesterone has two roles in a healthy nervous system; it increases the action of GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms the neural pathways, allowing one to digest life one step at a time. And it reduces ‘frayed nerves’ by repairing the myelin sheath (the fatty coating that creates smooth nerve communication), thus reducing any sense of overstimulation and reinstating a calm state mind.
It’s estimated that up to 15% of Americans have thyroid disease, if you include subclinical hyptothyroidism.  Up to 10% of women will experience post-partum thyroiditis.  Women are 5-10% more likely to have thyroid disease than men, and the age group over 50 is most at risk. (Source:  Your Healthy Pregnancy with Thyroid Disease by Dana Trentini and Mary Shomon, 

Because of the lack of evidence for improved pregnancy outcomes, the ASRM Practice Committee Opinion does not advise luteal phase hormone therapy with HCG or progesterone unless you are undergoing an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Pituitary suppression drugs used during ART cycles can interfere with corpus luteum function and progesterone production. In this situation, treatment increases pregnancy rates and reduces miscarriages.

Dr. Hotze: As soon as they have the baby, the placenta’s delivered and there’s a precipitous drop of the hormones. Now the ovaries have to turn back on. They’ve been shut off for nine months or thereabouts and what happens then is that if they don’t turn back on and make the hormones, they might be sluggish in turning on. Then a woman can have a host of problems with fatigue. Can get the baby blues, as they call them. Postpartum depression. The next thing you know, some conventional doctor throws them on a bunch of antidepressants and begins to ruin their life. 
Progesterone is triggered during ovulation – about 14/15 days after your first day of bleeding and begins to drop as estrogen rises during the beginning of your cycle. (Read more about understanding your menstrual cycle here) Progesterone’s job is to maintain the lining of the uterus, which makes it possible for a fertilized egg to attach if you’re trying to get pregnant. It also helps maintain healthy cervical mucous, which provides nourishment and safe travels for the sperm as it moves toward the egg.
I have stage 4 endometriosis diagnosed via laparoscopy.We have been ttc for 17 months and then took a break as my docter have put me on Visanne(dienogest).I started bleeding on 20 march and got a positive HCG test on 1 April and the next three days negative HCG test? My docter says the bleeding is from my body that is still “settling” from the Visanne. We have tried Vitex, OPK, BBT, Charting and everything to conceive with no luck.I have endometriosis on my ovary and pelvic wall lines.I don’t know if I ovulate.My doctor said my tubes are fine after my lap but never tested if they are blocked or not. 6 months after excision surgery i had an endometrioma back again.Any ideas on to conceiving?
When a patient complains of fatigue or menopausal discomfort to a doctor, the typical medical workup consists of investigating thyroid function, anemia, and metabolic issues. Female and male hormones are often investigated by way of saliva or serum laboratory tests. Functional or alternative medicine practitioners commonly obtain diurnal cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone as baseline hormonal information through laboratory studies. While most laboratory studies are normal, DHEA and progesterone level are often low.
I don't know of any diet that would increase your progesterone. Mine was so low that I had to take injections twice a week for nearly the entire pregnancy. Most doctors will only test for progesterone in the first trimester and not after that. Had I followed normal procedure, my daughter would not have made it. I could feel my progesterone begin to drop and I would begin to go into labor.
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.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). After menopause, many women turn to progesterone replacement therapy to sustain premenopausal levels. However, while receiving HRT, levels could become fundamentally disproportionate. This could increase a woman's chances of contracting progesterone dominance symptoms, such as bloating and fluid retention among others.
Progesterone pills – doctor prescribed, these pills can be found as either bio-identical or synthetic, so talk to your doctor about the version they are writing a prescription for. In my own personal experience, as well as hearing from thousands of women throughout the years, I’ve found that pills are one of the least effective ways to take progesterone as the digestive system has to break it down and it gets processed by the liver before being used. It simply made me bloated and did nothing for hormone balance. Some women have had decent results with the pills, so if that’s all your doctor will do it may still be worth trying!
Low progesterone is associated with, but does not cause, infertility. There is no effect on fertilization of your eggs or the implantation of an early embryo in your uterus. However, low progesterone can interfere with further development of your embryo and fetus after implantation. This can lead to a nonviable pregnancy or miscarriage during your first trimester.
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. 
If pregnancy occurs, the production of progesterone from the corpus luteum continues for about 7 weeks (it is then produced by the placenta for the duration of the pregnancy). If pregnancy did not occur, the period begins approximately 14 days after ovulation. When fertilization does not occur the corpus luteum disintegrates, which causes the level of progesterone to fall and the endometrial tissue starts to break-down and shed as menstruation.

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.
Physicians who do not prescribe progesterone supplements may feel hesitant to prescribe any drug without a clear indication that it works—and they have a good historical ground to stand on. In the 1950s through the 1970s, physicians prescribed a drug called DES to pregnant women with the idea that it would prevent miscarriage—the drug later turned out to cause numerous reproductive abnormalities in children.
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.
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