Low progesterone is probably one of the more common reasons of infertility. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to address. Follow this 3-step protocol to increase your progesteorne and boost your fertility.
Are you trying to conceive but without success so far? You may be wondering what’s causing your fertility challenges, and what you can do to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Though there are many factors that can cause infertility, low progesterone is probably one of the more common reasons. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to address.
As suggested by its name in Latin (pro gestation), one of progesterone’s most important roles is to support and sustain a pregnancy. It does so by raising the basal body temperature (BBT), providing blood supply and nutrients to the uterus, and increasing immunity to protect the development of the fetus.
6 Telltale Signs of Low Progesterone Infertility
If your progesterone levels are low, you may be challenged with the implantation of a fertilized egg, the development of the fetus, as well as your chances of carrying it to term.
So, how do you know if low progesterone may be hindering your ability to conceive?
Here are the 6 telltale signs to watch out for:
Sign #1: Irregular Cycles
The No. 1 sign of low progesterone is irregular cycles. If your periods are missing, infrequent or too frequent, your bleedings are too heavy or too light, chances are your progesterone levels may be low.
This is because most of the progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. If you don’t release eggs regularly (in the case of irregular periods), your progesterone production is likely to be low.
For more details, read common signs of progesterone deficiency.
Sign #2: Spotting Before Periods
When progesterone levels drop rapidly and prematurely during the menstrual cycle, it can cause period-like bleeding. Spotting a few days before period is a common indicator of low progesterone levels.
Sign #3: Weight Gain
Because progesterone helps release excess fluid in the body, low progesterone can cause water retention (e.g., puffiness and edema) and weight gain. If it’s easy for you to put on weight and hard to shed it, you may have low progesterone levels, and possibly an underactive thyroid as well.
Sign #4: Lethargy
Progesterone raises BBT, which is conducive to pregnancy. Low progesterone levels, on the other hand, can lower the body temperature and slow down metabolism. This can make you feel tired, sluggish, and a bit depressed especially around menstruation. You may feel less motivated or lose your zest for sex – and life in general.
Sign #5: Period Pain and Blood Clots
In a similar line, lower body temperature and a slower metabolism due to low progesterone can block the natural flow of menstrual blood. This can cause period pain just before, or at the beginning of the period. You may also notice that your periods are composed of more tissue than blood (with lots of blood clots).
Sign #6: Low BBT
If your progesterone levels are low, your BBT readings are likely to be low as well. For example, your BBT may be under 36.0 C or 96.8 F, or even fall off the bottom of the chart.
In the mid-cycle, your BBT either does not rise (when there’s no ovulation), has a small rise (in the case of poor ovulation), or fails to sustain for 14 days (when there’s an inadequate luteal phase).
If you use a urine LH detector kit, the reading may be inconclusive indicating an insufficient LH surge. And if you take a blood/saliva test of your progesterone during the luteal phase, the measurement may be low as well.
3 Steps to Improving Low Progesterone Infertility
Because the release of progesterone is triggered by ovulation, low progesterone is commonly a result of no ovulation or poor ovulation. So the key to increasing your progesterone production is to promote healthy ovulation – and support progesterone levels during the luteal phase.
Here are the three essential steps you can take to increase progesterone – and your chances of getting pregnant:
Step 1: Clean Out the Uterus During Menstruation
When there’s an incomplete discharge of menstrual blood, stagnant tissues may stay in the uterus. This can hinder the growth of endometrial lining, which is important for the development and maturation of the egg and its implantation.
And because low progesterone can induce coldness in the uterus and slow down the blood flow (due to a lower BBT), it can prevent menstrual blood from getting dispelled completely.
So it’s especially important for you to take good care of yourself during menstruation. Consider using a heating pad, giving yourself an abdominal massage, eating nourishing foods, and drinking warming tea to promote blood circulation in the uterus. Read my tips on what to do to reduce period pain and promote healthy menstruation.
Step 2: Promote Ovulation During the 1st Half of the Cycle
The post-menstrual, or follicular phase, is the most crucial phase in the fertility cycle. This is the time when the egg matures to its fullest potential for fertilization – and the time during which the lining of the uterus is prepared for implantation.
Furthermore, it can determine the nature of the next period flow (in terms of quality and discomfort) and the fertility level for the next cycle.
Typically, you want to start supporting your follicular phase once your period is finished, or on day 4 of your cycle if you have a longer period.
During this time, consider adding these top 10 fertility foods to your diet, and make sure that your body gets these essential ovulation vitamins. They can help the egg to develop and mature and facilitate its proper release at ovulation.
If you have a healthy follicular phase, you should see clear signs of egg-white like discharge. Your vagina should be quite moist in the week after the period, and the thicker, stretchy fertile mucus should appear for several days prior to ovulation. And ideally, your endometrium should be around 10mm thick by ovulation.
Step 3: Support Progesterone During the 2nd Half of the Cycle
After ovulation, the corpus luteum is ready to release progesterone. This is the time to support your progesterone levels, so it can fulfill its roles to support and sustain a pregnancy: 1) raise the BBT, 2) provide blood and nutrients to the uterus, 3) increase immunity to protect the developing fetus.
Here are some things you can do:
Researchers believe that vitex can increase the release of LH (luteinizing hormone) from the pituitary, which raises progesterone and normalizes the second half of the menstrual cycle. It may also reduce prolactin, which suppresses the production of progesterone.
Even though the exact cause is still unknown, vitex has been proven to help treat low progesterone in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials. And in Germany it’s an approved remedy for menstrual irregularity, PMS, and breast pain.
If you want to give vitex a try, consider a vitex supplement or Fertility Blend, a proprietary formula of vitex and agnolyt (one of the best-known exacts of vitex). Dr. Sara Gottfried, an expert in women’s health, recommends this formulation after years of testing products, following studies, and experimenting on the benefits for her patients.
For more details, read Vitex for Fertility.
Support adrenal and thyroid functions
Although progesterone is mostly made in the ovaries, a small amount is produced in the adrenal glands. Supporting the adrenals can help replenish the raw materials used by stress hormones such as cortisol, so more will be available to produce progesterone.
(Personally, I take 1 Body Adrenal Support Formula and have found it helpful in sustaining my energy level and overall vitality.)
Your body also needs adequate thyroid hormone to produce pregnenolone (the mother hormone) from cholesterol, which then makes progesterone. That’s why low thyroid functions are often linked with low progesterone productions.
So if you have progesterone deficiency, especially with signs of slowed metabolism such as weight gain, puffiness, edema or lethargy, it helps to support your thyroid as well.
Use progesterone cream
Natural progesterone is made from plant steroids found in wild yam, which is identical to that produced by a woman’s ovaries. Because it’s a bioidentical hormone, it supports the body’s progesterone level with minimum side effects.
Though progesterone cream does not deal with the fundamental causes of imbalances (e.g., estrogen deficiency, blood stagnation, etc.), it does a good job in supporting progesterone levels for any given cycle. Read more on how to use progesterone cream.
In this post, I discussed why low progesterone is a common cause of fertility challenges, the 6 telltale signs of low progesterone infertility, and the three steps you can take to increase your progesterone levels – and your chances of conception.
I hope you find the information helpful. As usual, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment and share it with other women in your circle. Thank you!
Clean Out the Uterus During Menstruation
Microwaveable Heating Pad: Warm the Uterus, Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Raspberry Leaf Tea: Support Menstruation, Tonify the Uterus, Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Moon Cycle Tea: Balance Hormones, Warm the Uterus, Relieve Period Cramps
Vitamin D: Promote Overall Health, Relieve Period Pain
Magnesium: Relax Uterine Muscles, Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Omega-3 Fish Oil: Reduce Inflammation, Blood Clotting, and Period Pain
Promote Ovulation During the 1st Half of the Cycle
Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal Multivitamin (Specially formulated women’s multivitamin made from nutritious RAW whole foods)
Royal Jelly (The only food for the Queen Bee, which enables her to lay up to 2,000 eggs each day throughout her life, and outlive worker bees 30 fold)
Pink Stork Fertility Tea (Comprised of 7 organic herbs including red raspberry, nettle, and chasteberry, designed to support fertility)
Support Progesterone During the 2nd Half of the Cycle
Vitex (Supports progesterone, regulate the menstrual cycle, and prevent miscarriage)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
L-arginine (increase blood supply to the corpus luteum and promote the production of progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)