We're going to chat about a hormone that's often overshadowed by its famous buddy, estrogen. It's called progesterone, and trust me, it's a big deal in the world of female reproductive health, especially if you want to have regular, PMS-free periods and boost your fertility.
Let's dive into why progesterone is so darn important.
Why is progesterone important?
Now, let's talk about how progesterone supports you (when its in balance with estrogen)..
⭐ Brain health
⭐ Thyroid Health
⭐ Nervous system regulation
⭐ Quality sleep
⭐ Bone density
⭐ Heart health
⭐ Breast & uterine health
⭐ Vaginal health
⭐ Skin & hair health
Progesterone supports the systems within the body that help you to THRIVE!
However, when progesterone levels are low, estrogen takes center stage and you may experience symptoms of estrogen dominance & even issues with your thyroid.
How do we make progesterone?
You have to ovulate consistently to make enough progesterone to feel good, have a regular menstrual cycle or support a healthy pregnancy.
Progesterone is secreted by the luteinized granulosa cells on the ovary just before ovulation. Then, once an egg is released, the egg’s follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone.
If you do not ovulate you won’t have enough progesterone.
It is also possible to ovulate and still have low progesterone, depending on the quality of ovulation and the health of the corpus luteum.
The length of the luteal phase (second half of your cycle) is dependent on how long the corpus luteum produces progesterone. If your luteal phase is 9 days or shorter, this is called luteal phase deficiency and progesterone levels will be lower.
Whats the difference between Low Progesterone vs. Estrogen Dominance vs. Excess Estrogen
Okay, so here's the scoop on these hormone situations:
Low Progesterone: This happens when your body doesn't make enough progesterone. It can lead to irregular periods, trouble getting pregnant, and increase the risk of miscarriages.
Estrogen Dominance: Estrogen dominance means that estrogen is too high in relation to progesterone. Imagine a seesaw where estrogen's on one side and progesterone's on the other. Sometimes, even if you have enough progesterone, too much estrogen can make things go haywire. Think: heavy periods, mood swings, and uterine issues.
You can also be estrogen dominant and have low estrogen. Sounds confusing I know. Your estrogen can be too high in relation to your progesterone (even if it is low).
Excess Estrogen: this is just another way of saying estrogen dominance.
Signs That Progesterone Might Be Low
How do you know if your progesterone levels are running low? Look out for these signs:
- Short Cycles Periods
- Low libido
- Difficulty falling or staying pregnant
- Breakthrough bleeding or spotting during second half of your cycle (luteal phase)
- Emotional PMS symptoms
- Menstrual migraines
- Heavy periods
- Shorter menstrual cycles (less than 25 days), or more frequent periods
- Swollen, tender breasts
What causes low progesterone?
There are many factors that can disrupt ovulation and cause low progesterone. So it’s important to put your detective hat on to uncover the root cause for you.
Stress is the main cause of low progesterone. However when I say “stress” im not just talking about work deadlines. There are many psychological or physical stressors that either delay ovulation, stop ovulation or impact the health of the corpus luteum.
- Ongoing, physical or psychological stress that causes high cortisol levels & low DHEA production
- Nutrient deficiency
- Intermittent fasting or irregular eating patterns
- Digestive issues e.g IBS, leaky gut
- Blood sugar dysregulation
- Inflammation in the body
- Being underweight or overweight
- Over exercising
- Progestin IUDS (mirena, skyla, kyleena)
Work through this list and see what may be impacting your progesterone levels. Over time as you make adjustments you will begin to notice improvements.
6 Natural Ways to Boost Your Progesterone
Although there are many things you can do to boost your progesterone levels naturally, there is no quick fix.
It takes a strategic approach that addresses diet, lifestyle & environmental factors which is why I recommend my course Master Your Cycle which gives you the exact steps to balancing your hormones naturally.
In the meantime - here are a few places to start..
1. Increase Vitamin C:
Vitamin C has been shown to boost progesterone levels and improve fertility. You can supplement vitamin C and increase intake through foods such as strawberries, red capsicum, papaya, tomatoes and broccoli.
The best supplement of vitamin C is lipo-spheric.
2. Boost your magnesium levels:
Magnesium is essential for optimal hormone production and estrogen metabolism. Eat more legumes, avocado, dark chocolate, leafy green veggies.
The highest quality of magnesium to help increase your levels every day is Moon Boost Magnesium Oil.
3. Support your adrenal & thyroid function
Take action to manage your stress & build your stress resiliency. This needs to be the #1 focus. Adopt a daily practice of meditation or breath work. Incorporate adaptogenic herbs into your life with Luna’s Lattes to support adrenal function and reduce stress hormones like cortisol.
4. Regulate your blood sugar
This is THE first thing you must to help with hormone regulation. When your blood sugar is imbalanced, your ovaries are affected and hello PMS, irregularities and fertility struggles. To help regulate blood sugar levels eat protein with every meal, and ensure to eat regularly every 3-4 hours (no skipping breakfast allowed!).
5. Support your liver
Your liver detoxes toxins & excess hormones from the body. When the liver is sluggish, estrogen is reabsorbed and can result in symptoms of estrogen dominance. Drink Half Moon Tea during your ovulatory phase to promote healthy liver detoxification.
6. Improve your sleep
Your body needs adequate restoration for overall hormone balance & progesterone production. Get 8-9 hours of sleep, go to bed before 10pm and make sure to block out light in your bedroom as it interferes with melatonin production that affects the quality of your sleep. An effective way to block out light is to invest in blockout blinds or wear a high quality Moon Mask.
Progesterone might be the unsung hero of your reproductive system, but it's time to give it some well-deserved credit. Understanding what it does, spotting the signs of low progesterone, and using natural methods to support it can help you take charge of your hormonal health and fertility.
If you want a step by step approach to balancing your hormones naturally for more energy, better moods & painless periods, join my next intake of Master Your Cycle.