I am 35yo with no kids. Was on the pill since age of 18. I went off the pill to conceive in Dec 2013 and got my period immediately after and then got nothing for 3 months. Went to the drs and got test which showed low progesterone. Everything else was fine. I was prescribed some progesterone tablets in March 2014 and got my period immediately afterwards. Now I am getting no period again but am not pregnant. Could this just be because I was on the pill for so long? Because I am 35, the dr wants me and hubby to have tests next week
Progesterone is a hormone in the body that stimulates and regulates various functions. It's produced in the ovaries, the placenta (when you get pregnant) and the adrenal glands. It helps prepare your body for pregnancy and conception, regulates your menstrual cycle and impacts your libido. If you don't have enough progesterone, you may have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.

Meis, P. J., Klebanoff, M., Thom, E., Dombrowski, M. P., Sibai, B., Moawad, A. H., Spong, C. Y., Hauth, J. C., Miodovnik, M., Varner, M. W., Leveno, K. J., Caritis, S. N., Iams, J. D., Wapner, R. J., Conway, D., O'Sullivan, M. J., Carpenter, M., Mercer, B., Ramin, S. M., Thorp, J. M., Peaceman, A. M., and Gabbe, S. Prevention of recurrent preterm delivery by 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. N.Engl.J.Med. 6-12-2003;348(24):2379-2385. View abstract.

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.


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.
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 //www.everydayhealth.com/columns/health-answers/a-new-understanding-of-uterine-fibroids/ For any immediate concerns, consult your physician. Joseph Hall, RPh

For example, vaginal synthetic progesterone has been found to be beneficial for women who experience multiple (3 or more) unexplained early pregnancy loss but not for prevention of sporadic miscarriages and not with natural progesterone (source).  A different review, however, of findings from various studies, suggests natural progesterone administered orally as Sustained Release (SR) formulation to have significant beneficial role in LPD, LPS in ART, BOH & for preterm labour (source).

Dr. Beverly Reed, who is an expert in reproductive endocrinology and fertility, says that levels of progesterone are at their highest in the second half of the menstrual cycle. During the luteal phase, which begins after ovulation and ends the day before your next period, progesterone is responsible for a surge of follicle-stimulating hormones to prepare for pregnancy. Just before your next period, estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly and your period begins.2

Because estrogen and progesterone receptor sites are very similar at the cellular level, estrogen receptor sites can ?wake up? when occupied by progesterone molecules, enhancing the action of estrogen for a short period of time. It is easy to draw the conclusion that this is a sign the body is responding well to the progesterone, and sufferers are encouraged to ?brave through? this estrogenic effect, as it is supposed to eventually go away. However, ignoring the underlying dysfunction when alerted by the body is a recipe for disaster.
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.

This symptom patching ?shotgun? approach often produces positive results in the beginning. For most sufferers, the fatigue of unknown origin improves. Anxiety tends to improve as well, due largely to progesterone effects. There is a general increase in energy, with fewer energy slumps. Sleep tends to improve from natural progesterone?s sedative effect. A sense of calm returns. Symptoms consistent with estrogen dominance, include: PMS, water retention, brain fog, anxiety, and heavy menses. Because progesterone opposes estrogen, these symptoms may subside if a person is indeed in estrogen dominance. For some, the benefit is significant and remarkable. They are given what appears to be a new lease on life. For the first time in years, many report feeling vibrant and energetic with a positive outlook on life.
I know perimenopause can come on with a vengeance. Leaving you feeling at your wits end. The cooking for balance program really helped me get my symptoms under control. Here is a free workshop http://www.cookingforbalance.com We have a new program coming soon Herbs for Balance. That might be interesting to you as well. http://www.herbsforbalance.com
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.
I have so many of the symptoms you have listed. I have suffered three miscarriages before having my sons. I needed progesterone(shots) when I was pregnant with both of my sons(13 & 14) . Now @ the age of 44 I had a emergency hysterectomy 6wks ago after hemorrhaging on day 14 of my period. I never thought to have my progesterone tested after having my children. I will defiantly do this @ my 8wk post-op. Do you feel otc progesterone cream(organic) can be beneficial? Thanks!

Progesterone may affect the skin and some patients may experience increased acne. Patients may aldo experience a rash at the site of the injection. Progesterone can also cause skin discoloration and seborrhea. Progesterone may affect your vision, causing blurred vision and other vision changes. Progesterone can affect your mental state and 19 percent of patients experience depression. Patients may also experience anxiety, insomnia and impaired concentration.

I bleed from the day after my LH surge till I get my (heavy) period. The first two days after my LH surge are moderate bleeding (I need to wear a panty liner and there are small clots, no pain). I’ve been taking vitex for 6 mo. due to no or late LH surge, now I have a normal LH surge (day 14), but lots of spotting after. I feel that this is due to low progesterone. I have regular cycles, 26-28 days, but I’m not convinced that I’m ovulating. I read that Vitex can increase your estrogen and that I should probably take break from it. Any advice on what to do about vitex? Progesterone cream? (I worked nights as an RN for 2.5 yrs, I think thats what messed up my hormones)
@Bethany, I was told with each of my pregnancies (all five– I’ve only had one live birth so far) that my progesterone levels were low, usually right before I miscarried. With my third pregnancy and first live birth in fact, I was told that I was miscarrying because my levels were so low, but that they would put me on prog cream “just in case.” It wound up working for us that time, but the pills I was put on with my next pregnancy didn’t help at all.
Stress triggers the body to put the adrenal glands on overdrive to increase output of the anti-stress hormone cortisol. This is what happens in the early stages of adrenal fatigue. Cortisol, unfortunately, competes for progesterone receptors. The higher the level of stress experienced, the more cortisol the adrenals produce. This means that those receptor sites may be occupied by cortisol rather than progesterone. This leads to reduced progesterone availability to cells. Also, progesterone is a precursor to the synthesis of cortisol. In times of stress, progesterone may be shunted to make more cortisol, resulting in less progesterone being available to the cell as well. Multiple mechanisms therefore can result in lower than normal levels of free progesterone during stress, while estrogen dominance symptoms rise. This may be reflected in laboratory test showing lower than normal progesterone levels in absolute terms, or a low progesterone to estrogen ratio. Physicians not alert to this lowered progesterone level in times of stress may prescribe progesterone in their best intention to increase the progesterone level.
Of course, you can get lab tests. The most accurate is urine test. I like the DUTCH test but you need to find a practitioner to help you interpret the results. (You can email my team to ask for recommendations). To find a doctor in your area, here is a list of directories for you. Blood is utterly useless when it comes to steroid hormones such as progesterone.
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