How to Boost Progesterone so You Can Eliminate Period Problem and Improve Your Mood

Progesterone, often referred to as the grounding, anti-anxiety hormone, plays a crucial role in women’s health. It is particularly essential during the second half of the menstrual cycle, following ovulation, as it supports pregnancy. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of progesterone, how to identify low progesterone levels, potential causes of progesterone imbalance, and practical steps to boost progesterone naturally.

Check out this week’s Coaching over Coffee replay where we dive deep into how to boost progesterone.

The Importance of Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone that helps maintain a sense of calmness and stability, acting as a natural anxiety-reducing agent. Elevated progesterone levels in the second half of the menstrual cycle promote a healthy pregnancy by preparing the uterus for implantation and supporting early fetal development.

Identifying Low Progesterone Levels: To understand if you have low progesterone levels, it is crucial to track your menstrual cycle. This practice is beneficial for all women, regardless of their desire to conceive. By monitoring the different phases of your cycle, you gain insights into energy levels, mood fluctuations, hunger patterns, calorie needs, blood sugar stabilization, strength, and sleep quality.

Progesterone has the unique ability to raise body temperature. As a result, an increase in body temperature can indicate that ovulation has occurred. By tracking your cycle, specifically the basal body temperature (BBT) in the morning, you can identify the luteal phase, which follows ovulation. During this phase, symptoms may arise that point to low progesterone levels, including a short luteal phase (less than 10 days), low BBT after ovulation, and fertile cervical fluid during the luteal phase.

If you do not track your cycles, don’t worry. Certain symptoms experienced in the week leading up to your period could be indicative of low progesterone levels. These symptoms may include low mood, anxiety, sleep issues or insomnia, breast tenderness, spotting, heavy periods, and low libido.

Causes of Low Progesterone

Several factors can contribute to low progesterone levels. The primary culprits include stress (resulting in high cortisol levels), inflammation, and imbalances in other hormones such as estrogen and thyroid hormones. Stress, both psychological and physiological, can hinder ovulation by signaling danger to the body. Inflammation, whether acute or chronic, and hormonal imbalances further disrupt progesterone production. Additional causes of low progesterone include blood sugar imbalances, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and insulin resistance, digestive issues leading to nutrient deficiencies, restrictive diets lacking in calories and nutrients, over-exercise or over-training, being underweight, perimenopause, hyperprolactinemia, excess melatonin supplementation, low cholesterol, and the use of progestin-based IUDs (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, etc.).

Boosting Progesterone Naturally

To support healthy hormone function and boost progesterone levels, it is important to address various aspects of your lifestyle. The following steps can help:

  1. Support Ovulation: Ensure you are ovulating regularly by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress levels, and addressing underlying issues such as PCOS or thyroid dysfunction.
  2. Support Thyroid Function: Optimize thyroid health by addressing any imbalances or deficiencies through proper nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and consulting with a healthcare professional if necessary.
  3. Support Liver Health: Promote liver function by minimizing exposure to toxins, consuming a nutrient-dense diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.
  4. Support Gut Health: Maintain a healthy gut by consuming a balanced diet rich in fiber, fermented foods, and probiotics to promote optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.

In addition to these overarching steps, consider implementing the following strategies to boost progesterone levels:

  • Ensure you are eating enough and focus on incorporating mineral-rich carbohydrate sources into your diet.
  • Consume key nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Zinc, Vitamin D, Iodine, Selenium, and Magnesium through a balanced and varied diet or as recommended by a healthcare professional.
  • Maintain balanced blood sugar levels throughout your entire menstrual cycle by consuming regular meals and snacks that combine protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
  • Prioritize relaxation techniques and practices that help shift your body out of a sympathetic fight-or-flight state, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that promote stress reduction.
  • Aim for restful and adequate sleep, aiming for at least 8 hours per night.

It’s important to remember that hormonal changes take time, and it may require approximately 90 days before you notice any significant improvements in your menstrual cycle and symptoms. If you have made these lifestyle changes and continue to experience symptoms associated with low progesterone, it might be worth considering seeking medical advice and getting tested to explore further treatment options.

Progesterone plays a crucial role in women’s health, particularly during the second half of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Understanding the signs of low progesterone and addressing potential underlying causes is essential for maintaining hormonal balance and overall well-being. By implementing lifestyle modifications that support ovulation, thyroid function, liver health, and gut health, along with maintaining a nutrient-rich diet, balanced blood sugar levels, and stress management techniques, you can naturally boost progesterone levels. Remember, it’s a journey that requires patience, and if necessary, seeking professional guidance can be beneficial for personalized treatment options.

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