Progesterone: Why You Should Test Your Hormone Levels

by | May 23, 2024 | Uncategorized

What is Progesterone? 

Progesterone is a hormone playing a pivotal role in the reproductive system. This hormone, a key player in menstruation and pregnancy, acts as a chemical messenger, guiding the body’s reproductive functions. 

The Many Hats of Progesterone 

Prepping for Pregnancy 

Progesterone’s main job is preparing the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus, for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. If conception doesn’t happen, the endometrium sheds during your period. If conception does occur, progesterone levels rise to support the pregnancy. 

Did You Know? During ovulation, the corpus luteum (a temporary gland) produces progesterone. This helps create a cozy environment in the uterus for a fertilized egg. If the egg isn’t fertilized, progesterone levels drop, triggering menstruation. 

During Pregnancy 

When conception happens, progesterone keeps the uterine lining thick and rich in blood vessels, perfect for nurturing an embryo. Once the placenta forms, it takes over progesterone production. Progesterone levels soar each trimester, peaking in the third trimester to prevent preterm labor and prepare the breasts for breastfeeding. 

Why Progesterone Matters 

Progesterone isn’t just about pregnancy. Here’s a list of its star roles: 

  • Uterine Lining Thickening: Essential for implantation. 
  • Menstrual Regulation: Keeps your cycle in check. 
  • Mood Booster: Helps improve your mood. 
  • Thyroid Support: Keeps thyroid functions humming. 
  • Lactation Support: Prepares the body for breastfeeding. 

The Scary Side of Low Progesterone 

Low progesterone levels can be alarming. Here’s what you need to know: 

  • Menstrual Chaos: Irregular periods and difficulty conceiving. 
  • Mood Swings: Anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. 
  • Pregnancy Risks: Increased chances of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and preterm labor. 

Checking and Balancing Progesterone 

A blood test can reveal your progesterone levels. If they’re low, your healthcare provider might prescribe supplements, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, need to regulate your cycle, or as a birth control method. 

Progesterone Levels and Perimenopause 

As you approach menopause, your body’s estrogen and progesterone production drops, leading to hot flashes, night sweats, and more. Combination therapy with estrogen and progesterone can help alleviate these symptoms. 

Progesterone vs. Progestin 

Progestin, a lab-made version of progesterone, steps in when your body doesn’t produce enough on its own. It’s used for birth control, hormone replacement therapy, and treating certain cancers. 

Progesterone Levels and Estrogen: The Dynamic Duo 

Progesterone and estrogen team up to regulate menstrual cycles. Low progesterone can let estrogen dominate, causing irregular periods, mood changes, and more. They also work together in hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills. 

Can You Boost Progesterone Naturally? 

While research is still ongoing, some foods might help support healthy progesterone levels. These include: 

  • Zinc: Found in beef, shellfish, cashews, chickpeas, lentils, and eggs. 
  • Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, and broccoli. 
  • Vitamin B: Found in carrots, spinach, walnuts, and poultry. 
  • Magnesium: Found in green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans. 

The Takeaway 

Progesterone is a vital hormone for women’s health, crucial for a regular menstrual cycle and a healthy pregnancy. Low levels can lead to serious complications, particularly during pregnancy. Ensuring balanced progesterone levels, whether through diet, lifestyle changes, or supplements as advised by healthcare providers, is essential for overall well-being. If you’re concerned about your progesterone levels, talk to your healthcare provider to get the best advice and treatment. 

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  1. Cleveland Clinic. “Progesterone and Pregnancy.” Available at: 
  1. Mayo Clinic. “Role of Progesterone in the Body.” Available at: 
  1. MedlinePlus. (2022, October 4). Progesterone Test. National Library of Medicine. Available at: 


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