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, you can learn more about CM charting.
Low temperatures in the LP – if your charting your temperature and you see low temperatures in the LP is low, or no peak in the temperature you may have low Progesterone. You can learn more about how to temp chart.
If your period starts with spotting for a day or more before the bleed establishes a proper flow – because progesterone helps to maintain the uterine lining.
Sore or tender breasts in the days leading up to your period.
Skin outbreaks 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 several ways to assess your Foeslevels.
Progesterone rises steeply just after ovulation and peaks about one week before your period. If you take your temp every day (see more about this method) if your progesterone levels are adequate you will see your temps rise in conduction with progesterone. See chart below.
Serum progesterone can be tested, it’s best tested 7 days after ovulation. 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. It is 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).
Conditions such as thyroid issues, insulin resistance, inflammation (food intolerances, etc.) and stress can affect ovulation and therefore progesterone production.
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
Ensure that you eating enough and enough healthy 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 egg health and quality. This is ever so much more important when you’re trying to convince a baby.
Kate is a fully trained clinical embryologist with over 18 years of experience in all aspects of fertility. She is also the mother of two children: Imogen and Teddy, who were born 7 years (and at least 4 miscarriages) apart.