Did you know that charting two signs your body gives you will give you a good estimation of your progesterone levels and there are some simple things you can try to do to raise those levels if they are low?
Unfortunately, low progesterone is really common. Though this is often not severe enough to affect fertility, there are many other things that can be affected, as seen in my post about why to work on your hormonal health even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant.
So how might you discover that your progesterone is low? While charting, there are a few things that you can see that may point to low progesterone, without having to get blood or saliva tests! These include:
Temperatures on or below the cover line.
A slow temperature rise at ovulation.
Temperatures falling multiple days before the onset of menstruation.
Spotting multiple days before the onset of menstruation.
Brown spotting after menstruation.
A short luteal phase (it’s ideal if your luteal phase is 12-16 days, but 10 might not be a problem).
Fertile type cervical fluid during most of your luteal phase.
Alone, any of these happening may not mean much, but if you have a few of these symptoms there is a good chance your progesterone levels are low.
If you don’t know what any of that means, you may want to learn the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness. If you do know what that means, and think you have a few of those symptoms, here are some ideas for healthier progesterone levels.
How to increase progesterone levels naturally
De-stress. If you are chronically stressed and have your cortisol going in overdrive your progesterone levels are at stake. Cortisol production competes with progesterone production.
How is your cholesterol? Nope, I’m not wondering if your cholesterol is too high. If your cholesterol levels are too low you may not be making enough pregnenolone, which is used to make progesterone. Try eating farm eggs and grass-fed butter.
Healthy adrenals help. They house a steroid DHEA, that is essential in the production of progesterone. One way to help foster adrenal health is by working with natural circadian rhythms. Try to get to sleep earlier (like by 10 at the latest) and get up earlier. A herb that helps with adrenal health is nettle (which makes a delicious infusion).
Vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B6 is essential to forming a good corpus luteum, which is your big progesterone producer. Magnesium is important to break down excess estrogens, so making sure you have good levels of magnesium can help the balance of estrogen and progesterone. Vitamin C is proven to help raise progesterone levels. Keep in mind that the first way to get in the nutrition you need is through good food, not supplements.
Eat organically. This is to help minimize exposure to estrogen, which, if out of balance with progesterone, will give you the same symptoms as a progesterone deficiency. Particularly make sure your animal products are organic.
Herbs. Turmeric, thyme, and oregano are all thought to help raise progesterone levels. Vitex (chasteberry) is known to help balance hormones overall. Though, this reportedly kills libido in some women and would be the last on the list of things to try! If you choose to use vitex, I love Lara Briden’s post on dos and don’ts of taking vitex.
These are some ideas to get you started. As with any healing you do, what you choose to use is going to be dependent on what has caused the issue and what you seem to do best on. The above listed methods are things that should help your health overall and are quite benign. If you do not want to wait or have not had luck with anything holistic, you may want to consult your doctor or other health care practitioner for synthetic or natural progesterone sources.