Progesterone is your calming hormone, its helps your relax, eases anxiety and makes you feel happy! It boosts metabolism, reduces inflammation and helps to lighten a period and its also great for hair and skin! Progesterone is also your pregnancy hormone! It means “pro-gestation” and its great for helping maintain a healthy pregnancy and prevent miscarriage.
How do you know if you have enough progesterone?
Some signs and symptoms of low Progesterone include:
A short Luteal Phase (LP) - this is the time from ovulation until when your period begins, an ideal LP is 11-14 days.
If you notice more peaks of fertile mucous in your LP - as Progesterone helps to dry up Fertile Egg white cervical mucous, to learn more about CM charting click here.
Low temperatures in the LP - if your charting your temperature and you see low temperatures in the LP is low, or no peak intemperature you may have low Progesterone. If you want to learn more about how to temp chart, click here.
If your period starts with spotting for a day or more before the bleed establishes a proper flow - because progesterone helps to matin the uterine lining
Sore or tender breasts in the days leading up to your period
Skin out breaks in the days leading up to your period
Mood changes in the days leading up to your period
Can I test for a progesterone deficiency?
There are a number of ways to asses your progesterone levels.
Progesterone rises steeply just after ovulation and peaks about one week before your period. If you take your temp every day (method click here) if your progesterone levels are adequate you will see your temps rise in conduction with progesterone. See chart below.
Serum progesterone can be tested, its best tested 7 days after ovualtion. Progesterone should be greater than 8 ng/mL or 30 nmol/L, but the more, the better. Do not test in the first half of your cycle as you have no progesterone then. Its also not ideal to test if your on birth control as progestin drugs will give you a false reading.
Just like a blood test Progesterone can be tested in your Temperature charting: Blood test: Saliva testing:
How can I increase my progesterone?
The key to making adequate progesterone is to ovulate each month. During a cycle a mature egg is released from the ovary and the ovarian follicle developed into a gland called the corpus lutem. Once you ovulate the Corpus Lutem then starts to make and release progesterone. (see image).
Be Healthy: Conditions such as thyroid issues, insulin resistance, inflammation (food intolerences, or ideas etc.) and stress can affect ovulation and therefore progesterone production.
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition: Ensure that you eating enough and enough health food! Be well nourished with protein, carbohydrates, good fats, Remember that hormones are made from protein and good fats! Ensure good magnesium, iodine, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium intake.It takes around 90-100 days for your eggs to be mature and be healthy enough to be viable. What you do in the last 100 days dramatically impacts on egg health and quality. This is ever so much more important in your trying to convince a baby. As a Naturopath we are trained in herbal medicine and a range of herbs and nutrients that help to increase your progesteone.