Progesterone is an important hormone that is produced in the body of females prior to ovulation to create a nest for the future fetus if pregnancy occurs. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and its presence is necessary for a normal and healthy term of pregnancy. For this reason, the levels of pregnancy are very important to be normal or it can lead to complications such as infertility. Low progesterone levels mostly occur in postmenopausal women and younger kids and they are sometimes a worry as they may also lead to breast cancer or other reproductive cancers. In order to avoid this kind of complications, look for the following signs:
- Short Luteal phase and temperatures
There are many phases in the woman’s menstrual cycle all of them having their own importance. One such phase is the luteal or secretory phase which occurs between the starting of your periods and ovulation. This phase remains for around 11 to 14 days. The beginning of this phase starts with corpus luteum formation and ends with pregnancy or periods (which include degradation of the corpus luteum). The main sign of low progesterone levels is a short lutealphase less than 11 days. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a chart of your menstrual cycle.
Furthermore, another important function of Progesterone is also responsible for heating up your body. After ovulation, the body’s temperature increases till your period starts. If your temperature does not increase it means that you probably have low progesterone levels.
Another sign of low progesterone level that can be confused with many other gynecological issues is premenstrual spotting before the period even starts. According to the therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management journal low progesterone levels lead to abnormal uterine bleeding which can then cause vaginal spotting around 3 to 4 days before your periods. The color of the spots is not exactly red but more often a reddish brownish tinge.
- Difficulty in getting or remaining pregnant
Progesterone is basically a hormone for pregnancy for the proliferation of the placenta. If the progesterone levels are low then it must be difficult in either getting or remaining pregnant. Low levels cause the lining of the uterus to break down too quickly leading to no implantation of the embryo. Therefore if you have been trying to have a baby but are not able to it is best to see a doctor.
The first thing to do is to go to a well-experienced practitioner who specializes in these scenarios. The doctor will then go for a series of tests where he or she will also check your progesterone levels. This test is done 21 days after your periods start so you will be asked to keep a calendar of your cycle.
If your progesterone levels are low, then the doctor will try to balance your hormones and making sure that some levels are not too high and some are not too low. You can increase or boost your progesterone levels naturally by consuming certain foods and vitamins. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, zinc, Magnesium, foods rich in good cholesterol (e.g. coconut oil, eggs,yogurt and olive oil) and foods rich in fiber. Doctors suggest taking progesterone in combination with estrogen as a hormone replacement therapy to avoid chances of uterine cancer. Some women also use it topically in the form of a gel or cream to treat their symptoms. Also, it might be given through injection depending on your case.