Progesterone is a steroid sex hormone produced by the ovaries which not only plays a key role in our menstrual cycle but also our fertility. If you do not produce enough progesterone, then ovulation, and subsequently pregnancy, cannot occur. Progesterone is important to help thicken the uterine lining so that implantation of an embryo can occur and is essential for maintaining the early stages of a pregnancy.
Progesterone is often referred to as the calming hormone as it helps to calm our nervous system and is particularly important in the second half of our cycle, known as the luteal phase.
Signs of Low Progesterone
There are a number of signs and symptoms of low progesterone to look out for, including:
- Premenstrual spotting
- Heavy or long periods
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Painful or sore breasts
- Irregular periods
Low levels of progesterone can contribute to unsuccessful implantation or miscarriage during the first trimester, so it is worth getting your levels tested.
Causes of Low Progesterone
Progesterone is essential for fertility, if yours is low it could be due to a number of factors, such as:
- Mental or physical stress
- Underactive thyroid
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Certain medications
- Inflammation in the body
Nutrition and Lifestyle to Support Progesterone Production
Nutrition and lifestyle can have a very positive effect on supporting progesterone production. Including the following in your diet can be very helpful:
- Eating plenty of fibre - vegetables, fruit, oats, flaxseed, quinoa
- Foods rich in zinc - lean white meats, seafood, oysters, seeds, nuts
- Omega 3 fats - oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies), walnuts, walnut oil as a dressing and chia seeds
- Orange and red vegetables - peppers, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin
- Focussing on stress support is also essential - find time every day to do something you enjoy that relaxes you
You can download my free fertility meal plan 'Fabulous Foods for Fertility' for ideas of how to get these foods in your diet.
If you would like some personalised support with your fertility, contact me to find out about my 12 week Boost Your Fertility programme. Book your free discovery call to find out how I can help you.
Disclaimer: Nutritional Therapy is not a replacement for medical advice, practitioners always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. The information provided here is general and is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases or conditions.