Progesterone is a hormone that has anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing effects on your body. It works great for hair, breasts, your mood, and of course getting pregnant. Progesterone plays an essential role in pregnancies earning it its name: Pro-gestation hormone, often shortened to progesterone.
If you find yourself suffering from irregular periods, weight gain or fatigue, then your symptoms of low progesterone levels may be the culprit. While other issues may also cause these symptoms, your progesterone levels are just as likely to blame.
Low progesterone causes
There are several things that may cause your progesterone levels to be low. Be advised that these do not always cause your progesterone levels to fall, but may have an effect on them.
Stress is a major contributor to progesterone deficiency. When our cortisol levels spike, it blocks the progesterone receptors and limits the activity of the hormone. The more stressed you are, the more likely that your levels will suffer. This is one of the major reasons why you should avoid stressful situations if you are planning on pregnancy.
All things are good in moderation. If you’ve heard that, then know that it applies to exercise all the same. Excess in exercise can diminish our progesterone levels. For optimum levels, moderate exercise is crucial. Otherwise, your hormone levels may fall out of sync and cause problems with your levels of progesterone.
Symptoms of low progesterone
Many of the symptoms of low progesterone levels also coincide with other problems, which is why you may want to be sure that the problem at hand is your progesterone levels instead of anything else.
Some of the symptoms include:
Short Luteal Phase
The luteal phase is the duration between ovulation and your period which should normally be around 11 to 14 days. If your luteal phase happens to be shorter than 11 days then your corpus luteum – your ovary’s temporary progesterone secreting glad – has not formed properly. This is also known as the luteal phase defect, it being a symptom of progesterone deficiency.
Low Temperature during Luteal Phase
If your basal body temperate does not go up during your luteal phase, there is problem with your progesterone levels, as the progesterone stimulates effects thyroid, heating up your body. This is why your body temperature increases after ovulation and remains high until prior to your period.
Progesterone is one of the key hormones involved in getting pregnant. It is responsible for preparing the lining of the uterus for the embryo. If you are having trouble conceiving or have previously suffered a miscarriage, then your progesterone levels may be the cause.
Fertile Mucus in the Luteal Phase
Progesterone dries up the clear stretchy fertile mucus or cervical fluid while oestrogen stimulates it. If you do not see comparatively drier, thicker mucus throughout your luteal phase then there is a chance that your progesterone levels are low.
Progesterone is the hormone responsible for maturing and stabilising your uterine lining. It makes sure it holds and does not shed away before time. If your progesterone levels are low, then you will experience spotting three to four days before your period starts. However, progesterone may not always be the cause of premenstrual spotting, which can also be caused due to other gynaecological conditions that you may want to check with your doctor about.
Depression, Anxiety and Mood Swings
After the age of thirty, most women experience a drop in their progesterone levels. This often causes shifts in mood as progesterone is responsible for stabilising our mood as well. If you are experiencing any mood shifts that are having an impact on your daily life, then you should check your progesterone levels.
Acne, Brittle Nails or Dry Skin
If you are experiencing an adult onset of acne or if your nails are cracking, splitting or peeling, or if the skin on your hands and heels is dry and cracking, then your progesterone levels may be low and need to be checked.
Low Sexual Drive, Fatigue or Foggy Thinking
These may be symptoms of post-partum but women in their 30s and 40s may also experience them. So if you are suffering from a low libido or if you are experiencing weariness, or if you can’t remember names and words that you would otherwise know then you should head to your doctor’s and ask them to check your progesterone levels.
Weight Gain and a Low Metabolism
A drop in your level of progesterone can cause your ability to burn fat to slow down which means you have a lower metabolism and may experience weight gain.
- Sugar cravings
- Ovarian cysts
- Blood clots during menstruation
- Vaginal dryness
- Cold hands and feet
- Allergy symptoms
What to Do symptoms of low progesterone in pregnancy ?
If you suspect that your progesterone levels are low, then you should definitely go to the doctor’s office and have them check you up. This is usually done through a blood test. The best time to perform the test is about 7 days before you period if you have an average 28 day cycle. If your cycle is longer, example 35 days then you should go accordingly, the 28th day for a 35-day cycle. Most of the time people asked can you get pregnant on period
The test should have progesterone levels higher than 8 mL or 25 L. Anything above that is a good sign, as when it comes to progesterone more is always better.
How can you deal with low levels of progesterone? You can take beneficial supplements that include selenium, zinc, magnesium and the herb vitex. For other remedies, you should try adding turmeric to your meals, increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin B, ensure your meals have a good amount of protein or consume more vegetables and fruits, especially greens that are dark and leafy. Moreover, several other things can help you increase your production of progesterone.
If your test results reveal extremely low levels, then you should check with your doctor for other solutions that may include taking supplements.