Growing up, my mom told me that all the women in our family had low progesterone–and that I should prepare myself for a lifetime of crazy PMS, painful periods, mood swings, and everything else that comes with it.
I just believed her, assumed there was no way around it, and braced for impact.
But little did my mom know, we weren’t alone!
In fact, a huge majority of women actually struggle with lower than optimal progesterone levels their entire lives. I’ve seen thousands of hormone tests over the years and the numbers do not lie.
Low progesterone can be a big problem for a LOT of reasons–and like other hormonal issues, it only gets worse with age.
I refused to accept my genetics though.
After years of research, experimentation, trial, and error, I figured out how to reverse my family’s curse and enjoy healthy progesterone levels my entire adult life ALL without using risky synthetic drugs, birth control pills, or therapies.
And let me tell you, the benefits are worth every second of the time I spent figuring it out.
In this article, I’m going to share all of that good information with you, so that you can experience it for yourself.
What is Progesterone?
Before we get in too deep, I first want to give you a bit of background on this powerhouse hormone.
You’ve probably heard others refer to progesterone as the “pregnancy hormone” , which is only part of the story as you’ll soon see.
Progesterone is absolutely essential to ensuring you can get (and stay) pregnant. It spikes just after you ovulate every month to help thicken the lining of your uterus and prepare you to receive a fertilized egg.
If there’s no fertilized egg, your progesterone levels drop and your cycle starts over.
BUT what most women (and doctors!) don’t realize is that progesterone has ALL KINDS of other important jobs, such as:
- Keeping your estrogen and other hormones in check
- Helping you remain calm and get better sleep
- Widening your blood vessels and improving heart function
The problem is that as we age, our ovaries naturally decline in functionality and we produce LESS progesterone.
For some of us, that process begins MUCH earlier due to stress, diet, and other lifestyle factors.
This causes estrogen levels to bounce around, eventually leading to estrogen dominance and all kinds of nasty symptoms, like:
- Weight gain and belly fat
- Heavy, uncomfortable periods
- Spotting throughout the month
- Feeling moody and triggered
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Lumpy, painful breasts
- Vaginal dryness and/or fibroids
Signs you Might have Low Progesterone
Let’s take a quick look at some of the key symptoms of low progesterone:
- Carb/Sugar craving
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Pain and inflammation
- Decreased HDL levels
- Heavy bleeding
- Poor Thyroid function
If you can relate to any of these, you could have a progesterone issue and I highly recommend reading on!
Causes of Low Progesterone
These are just a few of the reasons you might have low progesterone:
- Age/impaired production
- Low luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Increased prolactin production
- Saturated fat
- Deficiency of vitamins A, B6, C, zinc
- Decreased thyroid hormone
As you can see, your lifestyle can make a pretty big impact on your hormone levels, particularly your progesterone levels. And the side effects of not producing enough are brutal (as any of the women in my family can tell you!).
On the flip side, having healthy levels of progesterone has some pretty BIG benefits. Let’s take a look.
5 Big Benefits of the Powerhouse Hormone: Progesterone
- Boosts energy and metabolism by stimulating the thyroid, which as you can imagine, helps motivate you to move more, stay active, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Soothes mood and rescues sleep because of the Valium-like effect of its metabolite allopregnanolone (ALLO). ALLO is a neurosteroid that interacts directly with GABA receptors in the brain and promotes sleep.
- Nourishes hair and clears skin because it reduces male hormones (androgens) by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This really is a beauty hormone.
- Lightens periods by calming down and counteracting estrogen’s stimulating effect on the uterine lining.
- Prevents (and helps to manage) autoimmune disease because it modulates immune function, reduces inflammation, and up-regulates detoxification enzymes.
Those are just a few of the benefits IN ADDITION to helping ensure you have a successful pregnancy–which is why this hormone deserves more attention than it’s getting from conventional doctors!
Now you’re probably wondering how to boost your progesterone and maintain an optimal level–naturally.
It’s so important to note that the BEST kind of progesterone you can get is the kind your body already makes.
No need to mess with Mother Nature!
How to Boost Your Progesterone Naturally
- Reduce daily (and life) stressors (tap to learn how)
- Nourish your adrenal glands with nutrients like vitamin C, riboflavin, rhodiola, American ginseng (tap to earn how)
- Get plenty of quality sleep (tap to learn how)
- Eat healthy, organic, and minimally-processed whole foods
- Up your intake of magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and B vitamins
Sometimes though, changing your lifestyle just isn’t enough. That’s when you’ll want to consider adding a safe, natural progesterone-boosting supplement to your regimen!
Balance your Progesterone with these Supplements
#1: Hormone Balance
My first go-to recommendation is my Essentially Whole Hormone Balance supplement that I specifically formulated to help boost lagging progesterone levels.
This supplement is great if your progesterone levels are slightly lower than optimal and you are cycling. It also helps to counteract any estrogen dominance issues.
It contains a powerful mix of Vitex, magnesium, calcium d glucarate, methylated B vitamins, and a host of natural antioxidants.
If you are in perimenopause and your progesterone levels have fallen off the cliff AND you are really struggling with symptoms, it could be worth considering a natural progesterone serum.
My topical Progest-Restore could be just what you need!
I custom-designed this formula to naturally increase progesterone levels without dangerous synthetic hormones or artificial ingredients.
The Bottom Line
Progesterone is SO MUCH more than just a pregnancy hormone. It’s your lifeline to feeling good, looking good, and living longer–packed with benefits that you deserve to experience for yourself.
But as levels decline with age, you may want to consider making some healthy lifestyle changes and/or adding a safe, natural progesterone-boosting supplement to your regimen.