Struggling with low sex drive, thyroid issues, breast pain, heavy or irregular periods, hot flashes, anxiety or depression?
Estrogen and progesterone are vital to a woman’s health and wellbeing. But a lot of women are missing an important half to that equation. In order to produce progesterone, we have to ovulate (detectable by feedback such as a rise in body temperature, change in cervical mucus, and change in cervix positioning).
If utilizing hormonal birth control, we do not ovulate. That’s the point, as it’s one of the primary ways it presents pregnancy. Hormonal IUD being the slight exception, as we may sometimes ovulate with an IUD.
Progestin is the synthetic steroid found in most hormonal birth control that is meant to mimic progesterone. But it’s actually more chemically similar to testosterone, and does not elicit the same effects at a cellular level.
Benefits of Progesterone:
-Boosts body temperature & metabolism
-Helps our body to cope with stress
-Natural antidepressant – relieves anxiety, boosts mood
-Promotes healthy thyroid function
-Promotes healthy libido & sex drive
-Promotes healthy blood sugar levels
-Promotes healthy uterine lining
Examples of Potential Root Causes That May Negatively Impact Progesterone Production:
-Hormonal birth control
-Intolerance to dairy or gluten
-Overtraining / overexercising
-Poor gut health / intestinal permeability
-Undereating (low carb, low fat, or too low of calories)
… and many others
Supplements To Consider That May Boost Ovulation & Thus Improve Progesterone Levels:
-Vitamin B Complex
-Natural Bioidentical Progesterone **
-Vitex (Chasteberry) **
** Make sure to work closely with a doctor and pull hormone labs prior to supplementing. As always, if something isn’t the right supplement for us, it can do more harm than good.
If we’re not sure if we’re ovulating and think low progesterone may be a concern, work with your doctor and get labs pulled on day 19-21 of your cycle. We only produce progesterone during the second half of our cycle, so we can’t just blindly pull labs any day of the month (:
Also make sure we’re 3 months free of hormonal birth control use before electing to get labs. There’s not really a point to checking progesterone while on hormonal birth control, as hormones are suppressed and we do not ovulate or produce progesterone while on hormonal birth control.