Dr Julie Durnan

7 Signs You May Have Low Progesterone

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If you are suffering from fatigue, irregular periods, skin trouble, or weight gain, your progesterone (or lack thereof!) may be to blame. While these symptoms can be triggered by other causes like low iron, hypothyroidism, low vitamin D, cortisol imbalance, just to name a few, progesterone might certainly be to blame.

There are many reasons why I am seeing more progesterone deficiencies in my naturopathic medical practice than every before. Here are just a few:

Environmental Estrogens

We are exposed to more xenoestrogens (chemicals that mimic estrogen) in our environment and in our foods than we have ever have in the past. These xenoestrogens cause your body to perceive higher estrogen levels in our systems and the relative progesterone levels pale in comparison. We are exposed to xenoestrogens in plastics, synthetic hormones, and animal products.

You. Are. Stressed.

Stress is a major cause of progesterone deficiency for many of us. Chemically speaking, when cortisol, our stress hormone, spikes, it blocks progesterone receptors and limits the activity of progesterone. So we feel stressed out, tired, and our progesterone levels suffer. This is one of the many reasons why it is so crucial for a women to reduce stress when planning for a pregnancy.

Exercise: Find the Balance

Excess exercise can actually dampen our progesterone levels. For most of us, this isn’t a problem, but more and more I am seeing women (and men) who are working out extremely hard, competing at high levels, even just for recreation, and their hormonal systems get out of whack as a result. For optimal hormone function and progesterone balance, moderate exercise is the key. Not too much, not too little, just enough. About four to fives times weekly at 30-60 minutes is great.

So how do you know if your progesterone is low?

Read on to see if you recognize any of these symptoms. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it’s certainly a starting point for a discussion between you and your primary care physician (ND or MD).

Here are the top 7 symptoms of progesterone deficiency:

1. Menstrual irregularities – long cycles, irregular cycles, short luteal phase (if the time from ovulation to your period is less than 10 days), a diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome, menstrual cramping, spotting mid cycle or before your full period flow begins.

2. Infertility – progesterone is one of the primary hormones involved in achieving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy. It prepares the lining of the uterus for an embryo to implant. If you are having difficulty conceiving or have suffered from a miscarriage, it is worth having your progesterone levels checked as they may be low. Since fertility concerns can cause so much heartache, save yourself some trouble and just get checked.

3. Acne, brittle nails, dry cracked skin – If you are suffering from adult onset acne, if your nails are cracking, splitting, peeling, or the skin of your heels and hands are cracking, you might be low in progesterone. 

4. Depression, anxiety, mood swings – as we age, many women attribute a shift in estrogen for their mood symptoms. But actually after age 30, most of us experience a drop in progesterone and one of the first signs of this lowered level is a shift in mood. Progesterone is responsible for stabilizing our mood so if you are experiencing uncomfortable shift in mood lately, please check your levels.

5. Low libido, fatigue, foggy thinking –  most often women come in to our clinic complaining of these symptoms post-partum but many women in their 30s and 40s, regardless of their child-bearing status, will start to experience an energy, sex drive, and mental shift with a drop in progesterone. Less than keen on sex? Feel like having an afternoon nap? Can’t remember names or words as well as you once did? Please ask your doctor to test your progesterone in your next check-up.

6. Slow metabolism, weight gain around the midsection, sugar cravings – with the rise in diabetes all over North America, most people blame sugar and insulin for their metabolic dysfunctions. But as we age and progesterone drops, it sure can slow down our ability to burn fat.

7. Migraines, headaches, also joint pain and allergy symptoms – pain and allergy syndromes seem least likely to be caused by hormones but time and time again, I see hormones at the root of these frustrating conditions. I recommend considering food allergies, overall inflammation, and checking in on your female hormone balance if you suffer from any of these conditions.

I want to hear from you – are you dealing with any of the above symptoms? Have you had your progesterone levels checked.

There is so much relief that can come from seeing your ND for proper diagnosis and treatment of hormone imbalances and we can always learn from each other. Please share your experience in the reply area below.

164 Comments

  1. Shari says:

    Interesting…I have a lot of those symptoms but have been told I have fibromyasia…I will get that checked on my next visit for sure!  If it is lie whatis the solution?

  2. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Thanks for the question, Shari! You’re absolutely right, progesterone deficiency symptoms are vague and can overlap with symptoms from other conditions. Fibromyalgia might certainly be your dianosis but it would be worth ruling out other overt deficiencies too. I urge you to see a naturopathic doctor for supportive treatments for your condition. Depending on the specific symptoms, your treatment options will vary. Please keep me posted!

  3. nikks says:

    I had two miscarriages in a row, no live pregnancies. I was wondering ,was progesterone the culprit behind my loss. I gained nearly 10 kg by 14 weeks, without much eating. Also I had many episodes of very low blood sugar. My cycle is always regular 26 to 28 days. My uterus and ovaries are normal. But, both times growth of fetus stopped at 6 weeks.  Whatz your opinion??

  4. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    I’m so sorry about your pregnancy losses, Nikks. Progesterone is an important hormone in pregnancy. It may be a factor but I wouldn’t know without seeing a blood test. It would be worth having some blood tests to rule out any deficiencies in hormones, nutrients, blood factors, etc. I recommend you see a naturopathic physician or get a referral to a recurrent loss clinic to get a thorough work up done. Best of luck and please keep me posted 🙂 Warmly, Dr Julie

  5. Kris says:

    Hi. Great article. I am 49 and stated having perimenopausal symptoms several months ago. My latest symptoms are difficulty falling asleep, dry mouth (sore throat) and heart palpilation. I have read this can be due to hormone imbalance. I am
    Wondering if you feel progesterone cream is in order?   Thanks!  I am 49 and my cycles are getting shorter now.  

  6. Dana says:

    I have all of these symptoms. I was thinking I had bad allergies and postpartum depression but since I started charting my BBT this month I am really wondering about my progesterone levels!  That would make so much sense.  I don’t know who else to see besides my OB?

  7. Kylee says:

    I have been dealing with what I believe is low progesterone, I had my mirena removed after almost 5 years and developed crazy symptoms: dizziness, breast pain, pain in ribs and hips, shakiness, night sweats, hot flashes, irritable, mood swings, headaches, papitations, extreme foggy thinking (I have two weeks with hardly any memory) and fluncuating blood sugar. I had my progesterone tested, 5 days before my period was to start and it was a 7. Unfortunetly I have no NP in my area to even consult with and my family physician assures me thats a normal level. 

  8. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Kylee! I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with these symptoms and aren’t having much luck with a diagnosis from your family doctor. It might be worth a second opinion if you are keen to get to the root cause of your symptoms and have your progesterone levels re-examined. In some areas, there are nurses who also provide hormone balancing and support. You might want to ask around. Please keep me posted with your progress.

  9. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Dana – absolutely see a naturopathic doctor about your BBT chart. This is something we work with often and an area where we really shine 🙂 I know you’ll get great care. Please keep me posted!

  10. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Kris! I don’t recommend supplementing anything (vitamin, hormone, or otherwise) unless there is a definitive indication. I wouldn’t suggest using progesterone cream unless you know for sure that low progesterone is the cause. It would be a good idea to visit your primary care doctor (ND, MD or other) and discuss all the potential reasons for these symptoms and to have some bloodwork done to solidify any suspicions. Good luck and please keep me posted.

  11. Merilyn says:

    Hi, i was diagnosed with depression and sent to a physchologist back in feb this year. I was always tired, moody, irrational, low to no libido, stressed, heavy periods,  pain in my lower abdomen, crying easily and a lot, unable to concentrate, no motivation to get stuff done. After a number of therapy sessions I was given the all clear in May. It was determined that my depression was a result of relationship issues. I’m 33years old have a 2year old son and work full time. Shortly after being diagnosed my fiancé   ended our relationship. In June I moved out with my son. I’m still getting all of the symptoms above now and my moodiness and irrational thoughts occur more during my period. I think my relationship problems were because of my symptoms above and I’m looking for reasons why I’m still having these issues when I’m no longer with my ex. I was reading the above symptoms and in my head going… Yep yep yep… Thinking I should get my hormone levels checked… What can I do to help if I do have low progesterone though?? 

  12. Sarah says:

    HI, I am 25 years old and have been experiencing these symptoms for over 4 years.  It’s been extremely difficult to have a doctor help me..let alone even test my hormonal levels (typically just send me off with an antidepressant prescription).  I was recently tested by my new physician and my progesterone levels came back low.  He doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it though.  I am miserable with these symptoms.  I also have a high A.M. cortisol..not exactly sure what that means.  I want help so badly though.

  13. Halley says:

    I am 45 yrs old and have extreme amout of stress in the last two years.. As side from that my hair has been falling out drastically it is now noticeable . My pregesterone level is 5.6 could this be the cause.. And do pills work better then the cream.
    Looking forward to your reply..
    Desperate

  14. Viktoria says:

    Thanks for this info! I started having pink spotting after periods a year ago, age 47. Missed a couple completely and doctor did endo biopsy which was negative but after that I went into six or seven three week cycles with a day or two of very heavy bleeding. These have tapered off but now missed two months then started spotting sporadically. Doc suggested progesterone pills based on estrogen level over 500 with normal fsh. (Last year, haven’t been since this random spotting started three weeks ago)The spotting isn’t bad but it’s scary. Does that sound like progesterone is low? I’d rather weather this naturally if that’s all it is. Going for ultrasound next week to check on fibroid and will share info with doc then. Otherwise feel great…lots of other symptoms have eased, like migraines, palpitations, and breast pain. Thanks!

  15. Sumati says:

    I have been suffering from acne right after certain food, fatigue, headaches, all kinds of allergies, slow metabolism, weight gain, pain(fibromyalgia) for years. All my tests were coming negative. One of the doctor told me that either we are all missing something or you have psycho somatic disorder. I had too much bleeding during periods, recently I went to another gynec and she checked my hormonal level. Very high estrogen and very low progesterone level.

    Is there any natural way to bring balance or hormone therapy is the way to go?

  16. Liz says:

    Hello Dr Durnan –
    I’ve been experiencing many of the above symptoms and also an extreme amount of hair loss.  I’m 47 yrs old and I just has a large uterine fibroid removed.  I was hoping that after the removal I’d notice a big positive change.  None so far.  I also have fibrocystic breasts and unexplained lactation.  Do these things also sound like they could fit the picture of low progesterone?  I talked to my obgyn and he suggested I speak to my endocrinologist.  I spoke to my endocrinologist and he told me to talk to my obgyn.  He also said that this was an area of medicine that was “alternative”!  What? Women’s hormone regulation is “alternative”?  Hummm, I’m stumped and don’t know where to go from here.  Thank you and have a great day. 

  17. Michelle says:

    Hi there,
    Wow there sure is some confusion out there. I had a complete thyroidectomy at 45 years old after nodules were found after my last pregnancy at 43 years. Since then I have lost over half my hair and my joints ache so bad I crawl around on my hands and knees for the first hour after I get out of bed. The doctor looks at me like I am insane and prescribes antidepressants or narcotics!! I want neither. I think its low progesterone as I am bloated, suffer insomnia due to the excruciating joint pain, irregular periods, dry skin, can’t concentrate or retain anything.. and my FSH comes back that my hormone levels show no sign of menopause. I don’t get it.. but I need the pain to stop and the energy level to deal with a seven year old! Help

  18. Mindy says:

    I was diagnosed hypothyroid 3 years ago and I couldn’t function before being treated.  Now that I’m on Levothyroxine I’m feeling so much better.  Now some signs and symptoms have not went away even though my thyroid function is now normal. My hair loss never stopped after being put on thyroid meds. My hair is dry, lifeless, weak, and falls out like crazy. I also have a dry scalp with no dandruff. I have low libido, night sweats, and red palms. I had them run liver tests because I read it could be a sign of liver disease when someone has palmar erythema.  Everything has came back normal.  My vitamin D was 10 and I bought that up to 31 and my b12 is 331. I’m losing more hair each day and I only have a sex drive the week before my period. Is any of these signs and symptoms sound like low progesterone?  I’m at a loss of what could be going on.  I’m 36 and my periods are every 28 days.

  19. Ginny says:

    I am 50 years old and have been in menopause for 3 years and have been having a strange smell of car exhaust fumes and feel very dizzy and light headed it is like I am having an out of the body experience, I wanted to know if this could be a sign of a low progesterone level. Please Help!

  20. Robin says:

    I delivered my one-yr-old a year ago. I have never had issues with fertility, getting pregnant, carrying to term, etc. I did suffer a loss at a young age but now I have four amazing children. I’m now 38 and I started noticing physical changes: 3 anxiety attacks in a short period of time without ever having one before, short bouts of depression, a gigantic swollen tummy, and sugar cravings of epic proportions, I practice NFP natural family planning) so I know my body pretty well. I do have a thyroid issue and some of those symptoms are similar but my thyroid is doing great right now.

    Diagnosed endometriosis beginning at 14. Several cysts on ovaries at two points and two Laps. These issues were 10 yrs ago. Im confused as to how I can have 4 healthy pregnancies and just now have a progesterone issues. Due to have ultrasound very soon. I just don’t understand.

  21. Karen Collins says:

    Hi, i am 49 and definitely in Peri menopause for sure. I do have fibroids, but they have never really given me much trouble except for heavy periods. Last year i did have a lot of stress, including my wedding which ironically was the month i started having prolonged periods. They would go on for about 2 weeks, then a 35 day cycle until my next. Some months were great, some i had two periods in a month, or spotting that would then lead to a period. I have kept a journal so i can show my GP, and have (since last November) removed alcohol from my life, except for an occasional drink, lost weight through healthy eating and exercise, and as such have had no period problems since. This year my cycles have been 28 days, to some months being as long as 35 days, 7 day duration, and not overly heavy. March was the only odd month where i had a two day period, then they turned up again two weeks later.
    There was only one month where i had a mid cycle spotting, which lasted a day. So until August of this year my periods have been wonderful. 
    August my period arrived…normal 30 day cycle, i bled for 7 days, not overly heavy, then spotted for a week after. 35 days later my period arrives and was the mirror image of last month except i have continued to spot off and on the loss though is very scanty , however period is due any day now.
    I will see my doctor over the next month to see where i am at, but really feel i am in the “low progesterone” category as well.
    I used to work in the health food industry with Naturopaths, and really don’t want to go down the unnatural path, so i was wondering what you thought about Vitex??
    Sorry my message is an essay 🙂

  22. Meechy Mars says:

    hi, doc Julie D. Early last year i had my tubes blown open with dye from a Infer, Doc. I’m still having problems conceiving. As i read this passage here, I’m thinking that this may be my problem. I have regular periods. I’ve been receiving my period since it started. I’m now 30. I will ask my new doc to check on my hormone levels. I haven’t been to the doc this year because it gets depressing and heart-achey ya know.  It make me sad so in order to not feel this way I just don’t think about it.

  23. LORETTA says:

    I am 82 yrs. old and have started having a lot of sweating problems. Feeling real hot and sweaty. I used to take prometrium but stopped. I started taking progesterone but it doesn’t help[. What causes this problem now at my age?

  24. LG says:

    I haven’t felt right since I had my baby (who just turned 2).  🙁  History:I had post partum, major stressors and major sleep deprivations.  Nursed for 13 months.  The pregnancy sugar cravings remained & were intense.  I felt like a robot for at least the first year. Def felt like I should be feeling more euphoria.  And over the course of that first year and a half, my weight decreased.  About 6 months ago or more, my appetite became very low, I had food aversions just like I did in pregnancy.  My platelets and Vit D were low but everything else checked out fine.  I have PMS, my cycles seem shorter and vary from 3-4 weeks.  For at least 2 months, I’ve had night hot flashes days before I start.  But the WORST symptoms are my heavy/foggy/fatigued head and hard to stay on task!!  Even after 8 hours of sleep.  Have not gotten my progesterone checked….some dr’s say it’s not worth it since it fluctuates.  1 was just going to put me on progesterone wo/ checking.  others say antidepressants. Thoughts?  

  25. LG says:

    lastly, I started working out again finally (had been way too tired / no energy to do so before) about 2 months ago.   In an effort to gain weight, eat healthy again and feel better.   I have started gaining weight and my food appetite is back and no more sugar cravings.  However….the fatigue, foggy headedness, can’t concentrate, and a few days even blah or down…….I want that to go away!!!  Thanks!!!  

  26. George says:

    Hello my wife has been having these same symptoms. We Have tested for fibroids and also thyroid issues and everything has come back negative. We also have two small children and they do add stress. This has caused her libido to fall off. She also has breast tenderness almost all month long along with 7 – 10 day periods. He first question is how easy is it to measure progesterone? I heard that it can vary dramatically through out the month. Or could be normal but her estrogen could be too high. Also the potential side effects of taking a supplement or a drug could cause harm. What are the consequences of taking any kind of drug or supplement?

  27. Kefiloe says:

    Hi
    I m 40 yrs old and does not have any kids, 
    I had an ovarian cyst and a fibroid and were removed surgically In june 2014. My gyno made some test nd found out that I have low progesterone.  He gave me 5 day pill treatment and advice me to have a child. The symptoms that I have is spotting, migraine headache,  pains on joints and sugar craving. What advice can you give me to increasing my progesterone while waiting to have a child. I dont have a partner and still raising funds for in vitro whicch I might do in may 2015
    thank
    jk, south africa

  28. paula says:

    I was put on progesterone years ago after a total hysterectomy for uterine CA.
    I am 66 years old and have had no recurring CA.
    Do I need to continue taking the Progesterone in your opinion?
    Thanks

  29. Autumn says:

    I had my progestrone checked by blood work, the day after I had the test my period started.  My result was 4.3 nmol/L.  My doctor told me everything was ok, but I find this hard to believe, she didn’t even ask me where I was in my cycle …  (I’m really disappointed with her).  I have lots of low progestrone symptoms, is my progesterone low?

  30. Angi says:

    My husband and I have been trying for over a year to get pregnant so I recently saw a doctor and discovered I have low progesterone. Is there anything I can do to naturally increase it? The doctor told me they can give me something but that I may end up with multiple babies and I fear that there will be complications with this type of treatment. 

  31. Brittani says:

    I’m having very similar symptoms, but I had my IUD removed today. It only makes sense that it was the culprit, since it was at expiration. I’m thinking it stopped producing enough progesterone and my body hadn’t figured out it was supposed to start again. But these symptoms are spot on. We’ll see!

  32. Tim says:

    My wife has a lot of these symptoms and has been diagnosed with low levels of progesterone and she acts like it’s no big deal I am on the other hand worried she should be doing something about it 

  33. Marcy says:

    Ever since my cycle started again 10 months after having my baby I’ve had 3-5 days of spotting before each period, depression that fluctuates during the month (day 1-2 of cycle I’m happy as a lark, day 3, my dark cloud of depression sets in again…ups and downs from there), hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, headaches,  and I can’t think straight 99% of the time. Oh, and I don’t have to worry about birth control cause I don’t seem to get pregnant easily.
    I had my levels tested and my Dr said my progesterone is a little low. What is considered low enough to take supplements? My Dr didn’t offer anything to balance it out…

  34. Kimberly says:

    I have always thought I had a hormonal imbalance because I have been having symptoms for a year now,first the emotional spells and then i got insomnia so bad,doctors didnt believe me when i told them i think im in perimenapause,I get night sweats before my period and my period are either short or clotty,I’m on remeron and it works for now,I want to get my hormones checked,because i know im not crazy

  35. Heather says:

    Hi Dr. Durnan!

    I’m 32, seemingly healthy with Low Progesterone. My husband and I have been trying for 3months (since July) to get pregnant. These past few months though I have been cramping real bad. I finally went to the Doctor this week to rule out anything serious. Everything is fine with me except my Progesterone levels. The Doctor wanted to put me on Clomid. I want to do everything naturally though. (No medicines) so I went to our local health food store and picked up some progesterone cream as well as some female reproductive tablets.
    My question is if I use this cream can we still try to get pregnant? I read on the creams label not for pregnant, lactating, or people trying to get pregnant.
    I don’t know what is safe?

    Thanks

  36. Heena says:

    I am a healthy 30 years old and I have suffered 7 recurrent miscarriages and all of the test they did from my d&c procedure comes back normal even with the fetus there was no chromosome problems. I always miscarried at 8 weeks but the fetus heart stops at 7.5 weeks from the ultersound readings. I never have much symtoms when I get pregnant beside from going to the restroom alot. In my heart I know its a hormonal problem but for some reason my ob doesn’t check progesterone levels during pregnancy. I did go to an RE doctor but they couldnt find anything wrong with me or my husband. They did all my blood work and everything is normal. Apparently everything is not normal because I keep miscarrying at 8 weeks and the only answer I get is that my eggs are old or its just bad luck. 

  37. Lisa says:

    I am 47 yrs old and had pretty regular periods most of my life. I trained for fitness competition back in March and lost my period May and June.  I was not surprised as my body fat was low.
    Sept of this year it was back and it was fairly normal. Oct 1 I got it a few days early from my usual 28 day cycle. Oct 20 it’s back and going on 7 days.
    I don’t have any of the usual pre menopausal symptoms everyone keeps talking about. My libido is great, no vaginal dryness, no weight gain and I’m usually in a good mood. Is this second period just the beginning?

  38. Tabitha Haden says:

    I have been having severe headaches for 6 months. It has become increasingly worse and almost impossible to function with daily life task. I have been to the doctor and have tried everything from antibiotics, steroids, over-the-counter medicine and migraine medicines, etc. I have had ct-scans and MRI’s. I have expressed my feelings and that I did not feel that something was right. I was beginning to think that something was seriously wrong with my brain. I was a previous depo-provera user for 10+ years and had to stop using it because of weight gain. As soon as I stopped the head aches started. No one caught it. I have been to primary, specialist, and gynecologist. Since coming off the depo a year and a half ago I still have not had a cycle so my doctor gave me a  medroxyprogesterone to see if it would help to get my cycle started. I took one pill last night and for the first time today I do not have a headache. For the last 8 days I have had one all night long. It is gone. Is there something that I can do to get this level? I wish my doctors would have listened to me. I have been in pain for 6 months and if they would have listened to me we could have fixed this a long time ago.

  39. Anne says:

    Are you aware of any link between insufficient glandular tissue/breast hypoplasia and low progesterone? I’m wondering if my primary lactation failure after the birth of my daughter 2.5 years ago may be linked to a more recent miscarriage and my current struggle to conceive. Additionally, early in my first pregnancy my hcg levels were very slow to rise, in hindsight I believe my doctor was monitoring me for a loss, which, thankfully, didn’t happen. As I’m not struggling to get pregnant again I’ve been doing lots of reading and am wondering if all that’s things may be connected, and if low progesterone may be part of the problem. I also suffer from most of the symptoms you mentioned. I also think my luteal phase is too short, maybe between 8-10 days. 
    Any advice?

  40. Anne says:

    Are you aware of any link between insufficient glandular tissue/breast hypoplasia and low progesterone? I’m wondering if my primary lactation failure after the birth of my daughter 2.5 years ago may be linked to a more recent miscarriage and my current struggle to conceive. Additionally, early in my first pregnancy my hcg levels were very slow to rise, in hindsight I believe my doctor was monitoring me for a loss, which, thankfully, didn’t happen. As I’m now struggling to get pregnant again I’ve been doing lots of reading and am wondering if all these things may be connected, and if low progesterone may be part of the problem. I also suffer from most of the symptoms you mentioned. Additionally, i think my luteal phase may be too short, between 8-10 days. 
    Any advice?

  41. Swathi says:

    Hi Dr, I have spotting mid cycle and my regular period has a heavy flow. I also have low libido, cracked skin, breast tenderness, allergies,  ovarian cysts and my tip of my tongue is numb ( not sure if it is related to this).  My daughter is going to turn 2 this Dec.My doctor has recommend a hysteroscopy but, I feel it is hormonal imbalance. Could you please help me make a decision.

  42. laura says:

    I have been suffering with server bi-lateral pain from the waist down for thee years.

    Last year I had surgery for endometriosis, then a hysterectomy; still having pain OBG diagnosied me with fybromyagia, i would not accept the diagnoses.

    Having server pain more on me left side. I had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and shave down the hip bone that was grinding into my femur. After all the rehab and off the pain meds, I still had server pain.

    I got an CT for a GI problem, which showed some cysts on my overies. My MRI before hip surgery show them too.

    After constantly complaiming of pain in the overy area, the OBG decided to put me on 6 mths of progesterone to desolve the cysts. First, I received a shot the first 3 mths. Then I chose to take pills for the last three mths. After 2 mths of taking them I still felt pain and discontinued the treatment. Two days after being off the progesterone, I realized my lower body pain had come back. I could hardly stand up right after sitting. I didn’t even realize the pain had been gone. I had felt normal for that time. But the progesterone makes me so tired. I sleep 12 hrs easily.  

    I am 37 years old, and am tired of this. I started taking the progesterone again and I see the MD in 2 weeks. Could this be a case of low progesterone causing the pain? And can I treat it naturally. I hate taking the pills and the side effects. 

    Desparatly seeking help,
    Laura

  43. Denise says:

    Hi! I have low progesterone, as well as very low estradiol and testosterone levels. I just turned 43 and for two years, my hormonal decline has taken my life away. I have no energy whatsoever: Crashing fatigue. I do have hashimotos, but it’s pretty much under control (I’m well versed there). I have known that my progesterone has been dropping for the last 9 years but have had trouble tolerating progesterone. Within two weeks my face turns into a cystic mess and I feel rage. Now that my estradiol is low, I have to find a way to take progesterone in order to supplement with an estradiol/estriol combo. What on earth would cause me to be intolerable to progesterone? I have been trying to take an OTC progesterone oil sublingually. So far, I still break out some, but my feeling is that I’m just not on enough and I fear increasing the dose. I mean, who wants wrinkles and zits at 43 lol? Is it just possible that I’m not taking a high enough dose to stop this madness that I have battled for 9 years? Something’s got to give because my business has come to a stand still and my children no longer have a mother who has the energy to do anything. And sleep? What’s that? Between the insomnia and hot flashes I’m about to lose my mind. Thank you kindly for any advice you can share with me. P.s. I have seen several so-called bioidentical docs and they just seem stumped by me :(.

  44. Ashley Davis says:

    I have had two miscarriages in a row and was told before my last one my progesterone levels were low and if I was to get pregnant they would put me on supplements. I was never put on the supplements and ending up miscarring. My doctor won’t do anymore testing till I get pregnant again but I’m my head it would make more since to get on supplements now if I’m low..is this the right thinking and should I get a second opinion?

  45. Carrie says:

    After 2 miscarriages I was diagnosed with PCOS and was put on Prometreium (progesterone)
    Glucophage and clomid. About a year and a half later I had my daughter and 4 years later without using any birth control in those years we now have a son! I have ALL the above symptoms! I’ve seen my dermatologist about my face breaking out with no luck. Somedays I wonder how my husband stands me, every time I talk to my OB she wants to put me on birth control pills and I refuse and she gives no other options. I’m in desperate need of advice! 

  46. karen says:

    always had pcos,3 bouts of postnatal depression now suffering perimenopause,i am convinced its progesterone deficiency but all doc says is my oestrogen levels are ok.I am 48 really frustrated.

  47. Brianne says:

    I believe I have low progesterone. Not only do I have many of the symptoms you listed, but I was tested 10 months ago when I was spotting at 9 weeks pregnant. My blood test results were 14 and thankfully my doctor prescribed progesterone, the spotting stopped, and now I have a healthy 2 month old baby.

    It took a year for me to conceive. If low progesterone was part of the problem I’m wondering if I should try to get my levels up before I try for another baby someday. Could healthy eating and exercise help? I’m about 80 lbs overweight right now and I was 55 lbs overweight a year ago when I became pregnant.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  48. MARY ANN HENDERSON says:

    I am being treated for hormone imbalance. My hormone doctor says progesterone pills work better than the cream. What is your opinion?

  49. lisa burton says:

    I too have been experencing most of the symptoms listed in addition to feelings of despair. I am 2 and half yrs post breast cancer, having had mastectomy followed by chemo, but i opted out of adjuvant hormone therapy.  I am presently waiting for blood work results to check hormone levels. Do you think not opting for the adjuvant hormone treatment has caused an inbalance. 

  50. Jamie says:

    Hi Dr. Julie
    What age do women start to experience low progesterone? I am 17 years old and have had hair loss for almost a year now. I have had my thyroid tested and seen several specialists to check for autoimmune disease which thankfully wasn’t the case. I was told by my naturopathic doctor that it is stress and I have low levels of progesterone. My testosterone level was high but it is now back in the normal range. Some of my symptoms are high levels of cortisol, sugar cravings,  irregular menstrual cycle, brittle nails, dry skin on my hands, and irritability. I would like to get a second opinion on what is going on with my body. I know it’s not normal for me to be having hair loss at this age and I really want it to stop but I don’t know where to start. Currently I am taking adrenal and dht supplements along with vitamin b supplements  and I will soon start a progesterone cream. I was also nutrient deficient so I am taking vitamins for that too. What are your thoughts on my symptoms? 

  51. olivia says:

    I have had insomnia for more than 3 months. I wake up in the middle of night I cannot go to sleep. All my hormones/thyroid tests were ok. However, the doctor never asked for progesterone. Do you think this might be the cause? I have also being unable to get pregnant for a year now. I work out between 40-1 hr every day. What can I do to improve my insomnia if progesterone is a cause please.

  52. Wendy says:

    I had a radical hysterectomy 7 years ago and began having migraines and constant “closed” jaw and fists. My dr took me off of livial and I’ve been on estrogen patches since. Constantly tired!! Just tried livial again a few days ago… So far I have headaches and I’m not sleeping but I can’t deal with tiredness and foggy brain anymore.

  53. Kelly says:

    I have a lot of these symptoms. I haven’t been diagnosed for sure yet, but I believe that my body is being affected by low progesterone. Around day 4 of my cycle, I start getting depressed and it lasts about 3-4 days (day 6-7 of cycle being the worst). My mood seems to start improving on day 8 with it back to normal by day 9-10.  My face has also been breaking out, I’ve been tired at different times of my cycle, and I have virtually no libido.  This has all started happening since I stopped the pill (Ortho cyclen) in August. 

    I had my estradiol and FSH tested, but they can back normal. I have not yet had my progesterone tested.  Could what I’m describing in fact be low progesterone?  I’m curious because my mom was in menopause at 42 and my great grandmother was in menopause at 38. I am 35.

  54. KLR says:

    Wow. I read this and thought you must be psychic! Ha. I am 30 years old and have EVERY symptom. For two years I was told to quit eating carbs (like I was sitting around eating loaves of bread smothered in rice). I kept explaining I do not eat a lot of carbs. I hate bread! I kept gaining weight, I felt crazy on birth control medications to regulate my menses, I simply want to sleep, and my libido was so low my husband thought I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. Finally, after two years, someone did a hormone panel. I have less than one progesterone and no testosterone! I am curious how all of this works, hence how I researched and found this site. Is there an alternative treatment to birth control pills that contain progesterone? I am fixing to start that treatment and I do not react well to medications typically. I am somewhat leery… Thank you for this article!
    Kristen

  55. Clara says:

    Hello. I am in my mid-twenties and have now had two consecutive miscarriages. I started my period very young, at age 10. I have a missed period once or twice a year,  but the length of my cycle varies every single month. I’ve had cycles at 26 days up to 35 days. I’ve always had very thin hair and nails and my weight has fluctuated greatly. I’ve gained and lost 15-20 pounds at least 5 times since the age of 18. I also got acne once I got to college and had to take accutane. I’ve also struggled with overwhelming anxiety and bouts of depression for 10+ years. My husband and I have been struggling with pregnancy issues for over a year now with two miscarriages. We want to get pregnant again, but are afraid to try until we figure out if something is wrong with me. Any advice would be appreciated!

  56. nely says:

    It seems I have every symptom of low progesterone listed above. I had a test done, 0.7….my doctor says it’s normal, but I am feeling really bad. What is a normal progesterone level for 41 year old woman?

  57. Lorna says:

    Hi, I’ve just been diagnosed with low progesterone after having the majority of these symptoms. At first I blamed it on coming off the pill last October but as time has gone on and no signs of pregnancy I knew something wasn’t right. I now have been referred on to the fertility clinic to see if I can balance it out! Feel relieved after reading this artical that I’m not the only one! Thanks 

  58. Mari says:

    I have basically all the symptoms… I am starting the cream tomorrrow, day 10 to 25. My husband and I would love to become pregnant. My doc also advised me to drink the following : vit E, multivitamin, zinc and olic acid. have a appointment next month to see if the cream increased my progesterone levels. 

  59. Sonya Baldwin says:

    I have suspected low progesterone and went and got tested and it was a .5 and my estradiol was 36.9. I was told since my ratio was normal I was fine. But I miss periods sometimes two months at a time. Any suggestions?

  60. Deb says:

    I am 51 yrs old. I went 10 months without a menstrual cycle then spotted 1 day in oct and 1 day in November. Had blood testing done and was told I wasnt menopausal but my testerone level was <3 and progesterone was 0.2.  They suggested bioidentical treatment. What are your thoughts on this?

  61. Rose says:

    Hello Dr. Durnan,
    I have been on a quest to figure out if what I have been going through is normal or if there is something I can do about it and then I came upon your posting. Thank you for writing this, I could really use your advice. At about 15 I was started on the combined birth control pill to help manage my horribly painful and long periods. For many years however, I ran into all kinds of ups and downs with the pill (twice I had my period for a month long!). Finally, at around 20 yo my doctor thought to try me on the progesterone only pill. It was wonderful. I then stopped getting my period (which apparently is very normal on the pops) for about three years. I take it extremely regularly but then out of the blue, recently I started experiencing brown spotting. It would come and go. Sometimes heavier but always brown. Along with this I was also fatigued, have been having constant issues with acne popping up, had dry skin, brittle and flaking nails (the entire nail bed), breaking hair, hot flashes on my face, night sweats, and foggy and forgetful (the hot nights and forgetfulness is not so unusual for me though…). My primary care doctor thought my body just needed to have a full period to get it out of my system so I tried stopping the pill for a couple weeks and during that time the spotting tapered away and stopped. I started the pill again and everything was okay until I had a full period with excruciating cramps and all. When it ended I thought I was in the clear until sure enough the brown spotting came back again. So for the last two weeks I have been off the pill again but while not even taking the pill the spotting has persisted. I know that some people experience spotting while taking pops but I do not know if it is normal to have constant brown spotting (occasionally there are clumps of dark brown and sometimes just a little light brown) and if it is normal for it to persist after stopping the pill. Before reading this post I have tried some vitamin supplements to figure out what could be causing those other symptoms but I had never thought to put the two together. Do you think this could be a sign of low progesterone? Or if it caused by the pop then do you know what I could do to make the brown spotting stop and if it could be related to the flaking nails, acne, fatigue, and lack there of body temperature regulation? I am a healthy 23 year old girl so it seems odd that I should be dealing with such severe hot flashes and night sweats for no reason…

    I apologize for my lengthy post but I figured supplying all the background was important in figuring out if I am just over reacting or if there could be something going on…

    Thanks again for being here to help all of us figure out our symptoms,
    Rose

  62. bobbi says:

    I have all of these symptoms. However it isnt my hands or feet its my lips. 🙁  and the weight gain has been very rapid in my hips.  Once progesterone levels are regulated.. please tell me the weight comes off as rapidly as it came off.  I work out 5 days a week for 90 to 120 minutes.. split intervals of course.  1 day of yoga and one day of rest.  And i am so careful with what i eat.  The weight gain is making the mood swings worse because i hate myself for pushing to keep the weight off.. and it just seems to be coming back faster.

  63. Hannah says:

    Hey! I absolutely love your article. I have found it to be the most helpful and clear so far. I used to be the type of woman I could count on my periods like clock work. – Every 28 days on the dot. However, I got on birth control for a few years and when I got off everything change! I’ve had probably about 6 periods in the last year and a half. They are getting closer together but still not on track. My husband and I have been TTC and have had no such luck… I suppose I’ve had a bit of these symptoms since getting off birth control but they seem so much worse within the last month or two. Could it be due to progesterone? Or something else maybe? 

  64. Brittany says:

    I had a hormonal imbalance before I went on the depo shot since I hit puberty. Not diagnosed by a doctor but it was just very obvious. I went on the depo for 4 years and now I have been off for 7 months and my hormones coming back and I feel like a crazy person.. we’re wanting to get pregnant again so I don’t want to get on the depo again but I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Is there a solution? I know the depo affects progesterone in some way and I wasn’t sure if you could help but I had to ask!

  65. Linda says:

    I just recently had my progesterone levels and my t4 checked. I had my blood work done the day after, the last day of my period.  The readings were .4. My thyroxine/ t4 was 13.4, and my tsh was 1.170. I have had so many symptoms and it seems like my Dr. Isnt taking any of it seriously. I am not even sure what all of it means, but from what i have found it’s  not great, what should I do?

  66. Elle says:

    I noticed changes in my body throughout my pregnancy last year (obviously), from negative skin changes and hormone changes. During pregnancy I was highly stressed and undergoing circumstantial depression. As a single mom and only parent to my child, I have dealt with a lot of stress and loneliness, especially after a death in the family just after my child was born. The changes since pregnancy have worsened. Despite daily vitamins my skin has become dry and splotchy and my nails similarly dry. Though I’m prone to bouts of sadness I mainly struggle with anxiety, stress, and mood swings leaning towards anger that drive me to be hermit-like, especially combined with the fatigue and fogginess of mind I though was only a post-partum symptom. I have also since dealt with inconsistent menstrual cycles (though birth control has helped somewhat). Like I said, I had thought some of these symptoms the product of post-partum and the hormonal rollercoaster due to circumstance. I have sought medical help for the fatigue and foggy thinking (it is so severe that I struggle with my job). Though I am only in my 20’s should I bring up to the topic of possible low progesterone to my doctor?

  67. Amanda says:

    I have been on progesterone cream for a little over year – I am also on supplements for adrenal fatigue from emotional stress and I had irregular, very long cycles, and sometimes no period at all – just spotting when I was supposed to have a period. I also experienced lots of hair loss, fatigue, and pms that lasted for 2 weeks. Progesterone cream has helped my cycle become more regular, my pms greatly improve, and the hair loss stopped. But the one thing left is the weight loss. My cycle is just now becoming 28 to 30 days and I still have some pms so does that mean my hormones still have some balancing left to do?

  68. Amelia Graham-Mercuriali says:

    Hello Dr Julie,

    I suffer from extremely bad PMS, my periods are quite regular and I conceived my first and so far only child easily.. so I am confused if I am suffering from low progesterone or not?
    My PMS symptoms are acne, huge mood swings, from rage to feeling suicidal, foggy thinking, memory loss, and oily hair!
    What do you think? I felt extremely happy while I was pregnant too!

  69. Dawn says:

    I have been getting a lot of migraines lately. My husband noticed that it seems to be close to my menstral cycle. I had one that lasted two days. I took imitrex with no success. The pain was too much. I almost went to the ER. I’m wondering if it could be low progesterone 
    Dawn

  70. Joni says:

    I am 26 years old, para 5 gravida 3.  I have hypothyroidism and struggle with worsening anxiety and depression in the last few years. My two pregnancies I’ve lost we’re at 6 and 12 weeks. With my last pregnancy I took Promethium to help maintain the pregnancy.  I was finally able to stop taking the Promethium at 28 weeks. I was blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby. My husband and I have been trying for our fourth and final baby for six months now. I have not seen my doctor, but we’re struggling with what I would possibly consider infertility.  However, I have not yet had a menstrual cycle post partum. My question is if progesterone could be playing a huge role in my current situation, especially since I have a history of low progesterone and pregnancy loss. Thank you for your help. 

  71. Jordan says:

    Hi! I had a miscarriage almost 3 years ago and have been struggling since. In the year after I had to be given medication to start my period twice that I can remember. Also I started having insane night sweats two weeks before my period. In the last six months I have started to gain weight rapidly despite diet changes and exercise. My reg dr had put me on antidepressants for all of these symptoms but I knew something still wasn’t right. I’m 27 and healthy so I don’t think my GP even thought to check my hormone levels. I recently saw a dr that practices more holistic medicine she checked and low and behold I have low progesterone!  I’m consulting with a bio pharmacy on Monday. Will this help with the weight gain? 

  72. Kathryn says:

    I found this site very helpful. It appears that I may be suffering from low progesterone levels and have been for a long time.  I had terrible periods  for several years and then had to have a hysterectomy because of fibroids and a cyst that could not be identified but was described to me as whitish with the consistency of chicken noodle soup. Both were benign.  I have almost no sex drive and experience vaginal dryness to the point of having to use lubricant every time I have sex.  I have also experienced a number of other symptoms that show up here.  I’ll be visiting my doctor soon to try to find some answers.

  73. Lacey says:

    I have a healthy 2 year old (although delivered 5 weeks early). I then had two miscarriages in a row this year . I have been given no answers as to why. I have a lot of these symptoms for low progesterone (specifically acne, headaches, long cycles, hot flashes at night) but def not weight gain. I’m wondering if people with low progesterone had healthy pregnancies prior to miscarriages and if progesterone could lower with age perhaps ? Wondering why first pregnsncy was fine and can’t keep the others …

  74. Tina says:

    I had been on birth control for decades due to heavy bleeding, acne and painful menstrual periods. The Ocella BC helped! I’ve had some bloodwork done and my first test was <0.2ng/mL at day 17 for Progesterone. The next month, my bloodwork on day 19 showed a level of 6ng/mL. My FSH and Estradiol were in the normal range in the Follicular stage. Currently, I'm either having incredible pain during my menses or my menses is very light, the acne has came back heavily, and I'm so moody I can't believe it. My basal temperatures fluctuate a lot but yet they seem to show the appropriate peaks for ovulation. Even though my Progesterone rose to 6ng/mL, could I still have low levels of Progesterone? If so, what kind of options do I have?

  75. Lydia says:

    When I was pregnant was the first time Ive ever felt emotionally stable.  It makes me wonder if I normally have a progesterone deficiency. I’m normally moody, reactive, anxious , depressed, overweight, crave sugar, have dry skin, brittle nails and thin hair. I lost 20 pounds while pregnant and didn’t have the same cravings I do when not pregnant.  My husband even said I’m much nicer when I’m pregnant! How do I know if I indeed have a hormone imbalance? I had my thyroid levels tested two years ago and they were normal. I’m about to start taking the mini-pill for birth control, could this help balance things out? 

  76. Laura says:

    Hi, I have just been through my second miscarriage. The first one was ectopic about 2 years ago. I was exercising excessively at the time, cardio and bodybuilding, my periods stopped months before I then started to bleed and get pains, went straight to A&E and was told I had an ectopic pregnancy, I didn’t need surgery, had an injection and I was fine after a few weeks. This time I do not exercise anything like I have in the past, my periods are quite heavy but regular, I conceived within 2 months of trying but miscarried at 6 weeks. My concern is that I have low progesterone. Before I conceived I’ve had dry skin mainly on legs and hands, swollen ankles when I sit for longer periods, heavier periods than normal with cramps, also weight gain but that may be down to less exercise. I was just wondering if my pregnancy losses may be down to low progesterone. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks. Xx

  77. Laura says:

    Sorry I forgot to mention I’ve also been getting very very sore breast for about 3 weeks of every month. 

  78. Marie says:

    Hello, I have been trying to search for leads to my problem for the past few months and have gotten nowhere with it. For 2 months now, I keep getting blood in my cervical mucus after reaching climax. I tested twice (2 weeks apart) to see if I was pregnant and got negative results. This has never happened to me before. It only happens after an orgasm, though. Otherwise it goes away. Could it be linked to progesterone or simply the cervix could be irritated? Should I follow up and get a pregnancy test done at my doctor’s office just to be sure?

  79. Katie says:

    Interesting article!  I have most of the symptoms mentioned above and it really did not occur to me until reading this that the cause may be low progesterone, a condition which I’ve been diagnosed with previously. I actually had such low progesterone levels in the past that I stopped getting my period all together for 9 months!  I think I will have it re-checked, thanks!

  80. Makiko Kawazaki says:

    Hi Dr. Julie, I really enjoyed reading this article, thank you. I thought of pitching in my comment, I am 50 now and this year I have been lazier than ever to exercise, I used to go at least 6 days a week and work out for at least 2 hours, this year somehow I couldn’t find the energy to wake up and feel like it.
    A few days ago, I saw a progesterone cream that a friend of mine gave me a couple of years ago in my cabinet, and decided to just use it up, I didn’t think much of it nor expect anything but this week I suddenly feel energized again and wake up without the alarm clock and ready to go, even if it’s raining or cold. So I started wondering if maybe my progesterone levels were low and I didn’t know it and this cream is helping me. My luteal phase also had shortened by 4 days, I’ll see in a month if it goes back to 4 weeks. Thank you for all the info!

  81. Tracy Taylor says:

    Hi, love this article. Very informative.  I am on Armour thyroid and feeling soo much better than 6 months ago but still have dry gritty eyes, joint pain, dry splitting nails,  cracked heels, cracked lips, fatigue…brain fog. Scalloped tongue. The hot burning miserable eyes are the worst. Eye doc DXd rosea,  DES and Blepharitis. 4 weeks on Doxycycline and zero improvement. I’m almost 39 and this is just ruining my life! I received new labs yesterday and on paper, I’m the epitome of health except for my estrogen and progesterone ratio.  We tested in my luteal phase and my estradiol was 165.8 (43.8-211.0)  progesterone was 6.25. (1.7- 37)
    I’m pretty miserable and docs here are clueless. Does this imbalance seem to account for my symptoms? I’m trying to research all the culprits that spike estrogen and eliminate them and also am about to start Bio identical progesterone.  Any help is greatly appreciated! 

  82. Lara says:

    This was posted a while ago but I was just curious. How serious can low progesterone be? A few years ago I was trying to get pregnant and after almost a year and tons of research I decided I should see my GYN since I had irregular/infrequent periods. She tested my hormone levels and told me low progesterone was the reason I was having issues getting pregnant or even having a period. She gave me clomid (sp?) to make me ovulate and I did become pregnant that month I took it and had a beautiful little girl. My concern… she acted like it was nothing, helped me get pregnant, and that was that. I have maybe 4 periods a year and I’ve been that way since my first when I was 12. After my baby I had regular periods for a few months then back to my normal irregular periods. Is there something that causes progesterone to be low? Should I be taking birth control to make my cycle normal?

  83. Melissa says:

    I have Hashimoto’s disease (diagnosed in April this year) 
    Since having my son in September 2013 my periods have been few and far between (on breastfed for eight months) 
    I had a 21 day progesterone blood test done last week and it was 11
    Although I’m not getting periods often (avg 50-70 days apart) I’m cramping on and off most of the time (Sometimes worse than other but nothing overly painful – more of a dull ache) 
    My GP doesn’t seem too bothered by any of it 

  84. Bea says:

    Hello, ive had pcos for 10+years now. Me and hubby were trying for 5 years to have a baby and after being told we had a very slim chance we no longer tried. I found out last friday i was pregnant so we were really happy. Tuesday i was rushed to hospital and was told thursday its likely i had a miscarriage. I was told today my progesterone level was 10 which is the likely cause of my miscarriage. Should my doctor have picked up on this? 

  85. Cheryl McDonald says:

    Great article. Are you a fan of  bioindentical hormones? If so, any tips on finding someone who prescribes them?

    NIKKI, I Suggest being tested for Mthfr. It is not part of most drs standard “why does she keep miscarrying” panel.  Most wait until you have 3 to test (sad) but mine did after only two..and tested for this…it is a genetic defect that affects two genes. One  produces an enzyme that breakes down b vitamins (including folic acid) …since you can break them down you have deficiency. (Solution: pprescription b vit that are broken down so they can be absorbed.)

    The other gene is suspected of causing blood clots. Normally not a problem for adults but clots in a tiny redeveloping fetus can cause miscarriage.  I took a baby aspirin and a shot of a blood thinner through pregnancy. Also avoided flying. Hth 

  86. thelma says:

    I have been trying to find out the reasons of my low menstral flow. For months now, i have been experiencing low menstral flow, irregular menstral cycle,  a little bit of weight gain, acne problems, sugar cravings and painful menstral cramps. I really don’t what the cause is. I really need a solution. Are there drugs to take inorder to regulate this. 
    Thanks. 

  87. jen says:

    I saw my Dr. For an irregular and frequent cycle.  I am already vitamin D deficient and those symptoms seem to parallel low progestetone symptoms.  I am as uncomfortable as I was when I was pregnant and in my first trimester. Dull headache, tired, foggy etc.  So I will be treated for low progesterone with birth control…what are other treatments to address this hormone imbalance?

  88. Hello Dr. Durnan,
    Im 51 and my period stopped 6 months ago. Since the 10th of November until now,my period ame back and has Not stopped.
    My doctor put me on 10mg of Progesterone on the 24th of November. We have increased it to 20 mg but still hasn’t stopped or improve. My heart palpitates now
    and I am having mood swings.
    I dont think the progesterone is doing me any good.
    Any suggestions?

  89. Sarah says:

    Hello, 
    My husband and I had been trying to conceive for 18 months when we sought fertility treatment. I am 27 and was diagnosed with PCOS. I have 1-2 periods a year usually and my doctor put me on provera to bring on a period, metformin (500mgx 2 daily), and clomid. I’ve done this for five cycles now without success and I am wondering if low progesterone could be my problem? Thank you for this great article and information, I wish I could see you as a ND. 
    Sarah

  90. sosha says:

    I have a family history of early menopause in all the women in my family. I’m 28 and have all symptoms and my progestogen levels are 1.03. I cannot find a doctor that is willing to except the fact I may be go in through the change. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  91. neel says:

    Hi, I have two miscarriages in line due to stopped growth of fetus at 6 week. now  I am 4 weeks pregnant again. last time my physician suggested me prometrium to increase my progesterone levels but it was too late to tak. Do I need to start progesterone  immediately? 

  92. Danielle says:

    I am 37 and have always had incredibly thick hair, recently it has started thinning all over my body. Not Falling out in clumps but actually  thinning in diameter and strength. I’m also getting really dry skin, combined with a little bit of acne and wrinkles around my eyes. This has all been very sudden occurring within the span of maybe two or three months. Does this sound like a hormonal and balance? 

  93. Stacey Robinson says:

    Hi there I suffer from embarrassing and painful re-occurring bacteria vaginosis. I was doing some research into natural alternatives and came across an article that describes acidosis and the ph of body along with low progesterone levels playing key factors. I then came across this and seem to fit almost every symptom mentioned. I was wondering what your thoughts were on this? I am 25 have a loving partner who I would love not only be intimate with (and not be burdened with the horrible symptoms of the bv) but would dearly love to have children also. Any help and advice you can give me would be a blessing. Thank you 

  94. A.M says:

    Hi 
    Reading this makes sense. I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. According to the doctors, the fetus stopped developing at 7 weeks. And in the last 3 moths I started spotting few 4 days before my period actually started. 
    My periods weren’t always regular – 28 days sometimes 35, 40, anywhere in between. 
    Do you recommend the progesterone cream? My doctor told me after my blood work comes back as well as urine and saliva test it’s one of the options she suggested. But what about a natural approach? Acupancture? Herbs? 
    Would love to hear your opinion. Thank you 

  95. Catherine says:

    I am 36 and have had a decreased libido for several years now, and it is starting to affect my marriage. I think that I have low progesterone as I have man of these symptoms. I have suffered from migraines for years and all of a sudden they are getting worse, I have gained weight in the past six months, I frequently complain about being foggy-headed but I thought that was attributed to my allergies, and I have huge mood swings at times. Thank you so much for posting this. I am going to make an appointment with my doctor tomorrow.

  96. Cassandra Krupa says:

    I have suffered from horrible, debilitating fatigue for over 3 1/2 years. Just recently I was thinking that possibly I have a hormone imbalance. I have a lot of brain fog, am very much irritable/don’t have much patience, very dry skin/nails are only slightly brittle, and a non-existant libido. I was never able to nurse/had chronically low supply and the only reason I am mentioning this is because it is so very rare for this to happen. And my hair dresser can’t even properly do my hair anymore because it acts so strangely- she said there has to be something hormonally wrong going on (and she has done my hair from a very young age). I do technically have hypothyroidism although I have been treated with synthetic and NDTs. The worst my TSH was though was only 4.76 (when I was unmedicated) so I doubt that it could cause it. Anyways, thanks for posting. I hope that some how I will be able to get to the bottom of all of this. I can handle almost anything besides the horrible fatigue/exhaustion.

  97. Julie Ring says:

    I have all these symptoms but I’ve been to several doctors that have stated all my levels are good. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my. It feels like I’m pregnant!  I’m still experiencing every symptom! All my hormone levels are normal. I’m not pregnant because tests are negative!  Please explain to me how I can continue to get my progesterone checked. I’ve been to several doctors who all say the say thing. Is there something I’m missing? Thank you

  98. Lauren says:

    I had excruciating periods as a teenager and still, after 2 children, once in a while- I still do. I was thought to have low progesterone, a apothecary gave me cream to rub into my leg to help keep my levels up. It didn’t work. My muscles inside almost convulse, it’s like the muscle have to push everything out instead of just shedding it gently.

    I was dignosed with a low thyroid as an older teenager, but it had, for 3 years, been treated as depression and I was made to take medication until my thyroid was discovered to be very low. I had all the symptoms, and hot feet in the night. I have been on the same dose now since dignosis over 10 years ago.

    Since having my children, the youngest being 4 now, I find I feel strange. My thyroid is fine, but I am tired- I can’t seem to fall asleep. My breasts have deflated and my periods are getting increasingly painful, but as constant as the moon- so are my periods and always on the full moon- give or take a day. I am very healthy, not over weight- no cysts. I am wondering if the thyroid is connected more than we think to our other hormones? Can estrogen, progesterone and other hormones be low all at once? Everything I read seems to be ‘it’s one or the other’. What can I do to sleep better, feel better, look better?  Are there any affordable foods, teas, vitamins or natural products you can suggest?

  99. Emily says:

    This was very helpful! Thanks for posting. I have the majority of these symptoms and I have been diagnosed with low progesterone levels about a year ago. I began taking progesterone supplements and then cycled progesterone supplements when I skipped my period for months. I still skipped multiple periods after beginning the cycle, so I quit progesterone supplements all together. Now that I’m becoming very annoyed with these symptoms of low progesterone, I’m definitely going to the doctor soon to see what they can do to increase my progesterone but not take away my periods. Any suggestions?

  100. Nicole says:

    I’m 31 and have all the symptoms of low progeaterone. I had my levels checked and they came back normal.  I know stress management is a factor, so I practise mindfulness, breathing and meditation as well as 30 min walks.  I’m sick of feeling like an old lady- if I try progeaterone oil, is there risk of whacking out hormones even more?

  101. Jessica J says:

    Hi Dr. Durban,

    I have most of the symptoms you listed above, I turned 40 this year.  A year ago I shared these symptoms with my OB my main concern was heavy bleeding, longer periods (over 7 days), extremely foggy, and fatigued.  I had an ultrasound and at that time they found a very small fibroid and my dr told me it wasn’t anything to be concerned about.  7 months later I go back because I had pregnancy symptoms but then I got my period and my doctor tells me the it’s likely the fibroid is intervening with a pregnancy and recommends surgery.  I went to a fertility Dr.  And he took me through a series of tests and confirms my fibroid is in fact in the uterus and is larger than the initial ultrasound which can block a pregnancy and also confirmed my progesterone levels are very low.  I had the fibroid removed and Im starting a non synthetic progesterone treatment this cycle.  Any additional advice you can provide, my goal is to feel better by minimizing symptoms and increase progesterone and also get pregnant.  Thank you

  102. Elizabeth mweyo says:

    Hi doctor im 31 years old my second baby died last year in 35 weeks of my pregnancy in my womb she was born macerated. Now im trying to conceive but its about  8months since i start to try to conceive and yet nothing has happed. Im experiencing irregular periods and long intervals from one period to another. Does this mean my progestoren levels are low

  103. Louise says:

    I have almost ALL of these symptoms. My doctor checked my progesterone level and sent me a letter stating my blood work was normal. Here’s the part I don’t understand: My progesterone was 0.3 and the test was taken during the Ovulation phase which says it should be 0.8-3.0 So how is it my test was declared within normal range? I keep trying to tell my dr – there’s something the matter – I’ve never weighed this much! I can’t get into any of my clothes and I KEEP growing! I walked/ran 5 miles each day every day and lost 5 pounds! 5 whole pounds!! Help!

  104. Michele Schroeder says:

    I have many of these symptoms, I am currently on BHRT and take a topical estrogen and Rapid Dissolve Tab of Progesterone for 4 years now after a hysterectomy with one ovary removed… Throwing me into a downward spiral into Menopause. Yikes!! and I am still experiencing some symptoms of imbalance. I have mentioned this to my Physician and he always looks at my labs and tells me I am at a good range. I am getting frustrated with the continued symptoms, he is a highly trained bioidentical hormone doctor. Not sure what the answer is at this point. Not too many  bio doctors to trust in my area. 

  105. Jane says:

    Hi there – I just found out that my progesterone level was 0.6 on CD21. I’m so saddened by this, and scared that I’ll never get pregnant. I’d love your help and support. Thank you!

  106. Jessica says:

    I had a miscarriage in August and have been really trying to conceive again since then. I am 31 years old. I have a 20 month old and didn’t have any issues conceiving him but he did end up being small for gestational age. Can low progesterone support a pregnancy enough yet cause an SGA baby? 
    My mood swings are terrible lately just before my period. I started my period 3 days early this month. I’m at a loss for what’s going on. This is so strange for me. I’m so emotional about all of this and wondering if being so emotional is really something hormonal. Going to the midwife Monday. Hopefully I can find out what’s going on.

  107. Paula says:

    Hi! Your article mostly references ages 30+. Can this happen to someone younger? I am 22. I just got off the pill about 4 months ago and I’ve noticed some really strange things with my body since going off the pill. I have yet to go to my doctor because I am away at school, but I have been poking around the Internet. First off, two weeks before my period, the bottoms of my hands and feet get incessantly itchy.  They are not dry, and they itch within my skin.  I have read that is a symptom of a progesterone deficiency.  Also, I always had acne, but now I constantly have flareups.  Third, my mood swings are bad.  I am actually really embarrassed by how angry I get over little issues. Fourth, I can’t even have sex anymore because it is so painful. It burns and it feels like there is this wall. I have no sex drive and I know I don’t have any STIs. I know I need to see a doctor, but I wonder if this is all a hormonal imbalance. 

  108. marissa says:

    I’ve had ALOT of these symptoms. I’m not having my periods. And when and if I do its just very light spotting. I’m constantly having PMs symptoms..ive had it going on almost a month now. I’ve had pap smears..cbc blood work..uti checks..pap smears and they can’t find anything wrong..though I feel so tired and like I’m in a fog ALL THE TIME! I cramp but no period..im by NO means pregnant. My hands constantly stay cracked and dried and I couldn’t figure out why..my back and face and sometimes chest break out..i have gains weight to the point its noticeable! Only difference is..i have NO appetite..im not even eating! Nothing sounds good to me and I don’t have the urge to eat. I do take one a day women vitamins daily..but due to all of this it affects my work ethic at work and my parenting of my 15 month old little girl. I started noticing changes about seven months ago and about a month ago these symptoms has took over my body! I’m constantly irritable or always wanting to cry for no reason! not like depression but just over small things or nothing! Any ideas?! Could it be this?!

  109. Mary says:

    Hi, I’m a 22 year old college student who has struggled with period irregularities for my whole life basically and a lot of these signs are things I experience. I used to run collegiately until stress, school, and injuries became too much, which led to my ultimate decision to step away from the team to focus on my studies. I know this is awful, but I have not had my period for approx. a year and half. I deal with sugar cravings…a lot…I still exercise ~hour 5-7 days a week, I do get very stressed with school, anxiety, and I recently was just thinking to myself how I’ve been feeling more forgetful lately. I’ve been to several doctors who either tell me to go see a specialist or suggest birth control, which I am not keen on doing. My sister sees a ND for the same type of reasons and she currently is taking/cycling omegas. Do you have any advice as to what would be best for me to do? I really don’t want to keep holding off seeing someone, but when I never seem to get answers, it gets frustrating. Thanks in advance 🙂

  110. Privinah says:

    Hai Dr. Ve irregular period n ve bin in marriage for 4yrs but no child though had 2 miscarriages. Was told i ve low progesterone

  111. Camilla says:

    Hi, I had 2 cone biopsy’s in 2009 and since then, I have a “period” for about 12 days a month. 4 days are a dark brown spotting and then the last 2 days are horrendously heavy. Had all manner of tests and all looks healthy. The only thing they said was my uterus lining was visible due to the ops. How can I sort this out as it is driving me mad! Could low progesterone be a cause?

  112. Anne says:

    It is such a relief to finally know what I’m dealing with. I also was having fatigue, weight gain, palpitations and extreme brain fog. My PA that I go to  specializes in caring for midlife issues in women and she is a Godsend!  I would recommend finding a physician for those that are having these issues. It is so worth it. Thank you for your website and sharing the information. 

  113. Tina says:

    Great article! I am 41 (not pre-menopausal) and have been experiencing all of those symptoms with the exception of infertility (that I am aware of) for a while. I also have mid cycle menstrual cramps with no bleeding. I have hypothyroid and take 90mg Armour Thyroid and just added T3 to that regime. My progesterone and cortisol was tested. Progesterone was low and cortisol was around 1250 at 10pm at night. The combination of underactive thyroid and high levels of stress have very negatively affected my energy, mental acuity, metabolism, ability to loose weight, anxiety and mood. I am curious why my ND gave me progesterone for 14 days only starting 2 weeks after the first day of bleeding. Why not all month if I am feeling like this?

  114. s. says:

    Hi.  Is nausea and headache associated with this?  I am having a hard time convincing my doctors to test my hormone levels.  My Mom, and her Mom, and my great grandma on my mom’s side all had early menopause.  I have been experiencing most of these symptoms,  including hot-flashes.   Because I have been making notes on my weird symptoms,  I have noticed that I know what time of day to expect my hot flashes.  I also noticed that I have been craving the foods that are reccomended to alleviate these symptoms.   I also have a tooth that is withering away, & Yes, I have a dental appointment for that.    I alsohad a re ent eyesight change, and went to the eye doctor,eyes are healthy, just natural aging eyesight.  I am in my very late 30’s. I have been taking a birth control pill for a number of years.  My GYN told me it would be useless to test for menopause because of the birthcontrol.  I also take a prescription for anxiety,  and a doctor recently had to increase the dosage  to help with my increase in symptoms.  At first he wanted yo prescribe me haldol formood swing……. i resonately    refused!!!  I told him I am not aggressive,  or violent in any way, and that Haldol was not appropriate for hormonal mood swings.  Please, I would love to hear a reply on your thoughts on this.        Please, provide more education on the weirder symptoms of early menopause.   
    THANKS 

  115. Courtney says:

    I had low progesterone levels when I was (5 weeks) pregnant. I was put on a progesterone supplement that I would inset into my vagina every night. A few months before this my doctor had told me I had a t-shaped uterus and it may be hard for me to get pregnant. I was put on birth control to regulate my periods – since I had my first period I have always been irregular. I remember in middle school only getting my period twice in a year (and as of now its been 3 months!). I got off birth control and my last period was in late may. My husband and I conceived our first child two weeks later – we found out 3 weeks after that. Thats when we got the news my progesterone levels were low. 
    Two years later, we want to have another child. And all of this is haunting me. I’m terrified theres something truly wrong with me. I feel as if I have so many contributing negative factors that would prevent us from conceiving. 
    When we do try for our second I may just do the birth control thing again. It will force me to ovulate. But the progesterone worries me. 
    Should I talk to my (new) doctor and have some serious tests done? Ive always expressed my concerns with past doctors and all they seem to want to do is say im too young for anything serious and put me on birth control. But I really want to find out the root of whats going on. I just want an “oh this is why all of this is happening”. I am 25 years old.

    What should i do?

  116. Courtney says:

    Oh and I also suffer from depression, anxiety and have low libido, i need a nap a day or a really strong coffee, and sometimes my memory blanks! 

  117. Jade says:

    I have been unable to concieve for some years despite having sex when I ovulate and what not. I kept going on at my doctors who told me it was because of my diabetes why I could not concieve but to my knowledge it is people to suffer with the problem of hyperglycemia that have trouble conceiving not women who suffer with hypoglycaemia such as myself. Eventually after three years of going on at my doctors I got them to get my hormone levels checked. They did so but never checked my progesterone levels so I got on to my doctor and had it checked and it came back stating that my progesterone levels are really low. I am really worried about this because I do not know what this means or if there are any treatments to salvage what’s left of my ability to concieve. Could someone please tell me as it would be much appreciated. 

  118. Nice says:

    I have been having menstrual irregularities, liquid brownish discharge from my left breast and acne. am 23 years old and have gone for hormonal check up only to discover Low FSH, Low Progesterone and Low Estradiol. Am not sexually active and not planning pregnancy but i wanna be healthy. Please what am i to do?

  119. Traci Kennedy says:

    Hello, Dr. Julie,

    About 4 months ago, I had my hormone levels checked because I have been steadily gaining weight, have foggy thinking, feel lethargic, etc.  Found out that I had low progesterone in my luteal phase. I started on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.  1/2 troche in the morning and 1 troche in the evening, days 5-12; 1 troche morning and evening, days 13 – onset.  I did notice that my mood was better but my cravings were worse, breasts were extremely enlarged and I was bloated by the time I got my period.  Seems to me that I may be taking too much and I’m wondering if I could just take the replacement during my luteal phase.  I will talk with my doc and pharmasist but would like your opinion, too.  Thank you!

  120. Arifa says:

    Hi! I HV been dealing with low progesterone levels for many years and it gives new challenges after every few months. I m dealing with infertility treatments for about ten years and still no success. However the main concern is I don’t get my periods unless I take progesterone so i take it in every cycle from day 16 to 25 and it was working OK. But now the scene is that from last few cycles my cycle prolonged to 9 days. Still I was not complaining but now in this cycle I got no blood only a few tiny drops and a few threads and thats all. Plz guide me what can I do to help it.

  121. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Arifa,
    I’m sorry about the challenges you’ve been facing. I am unable to offer any treatment suggestions online but it does sound like your hormones need a tune-up. My suggestion is that you get in to see a naturopathic physician and ask for a comprehensive hormone panel. I recommend a urine panel, to get a closer look at what might needs balancing. Progesterone imbalances are likely accompanying some other hormonal imbalances and it’s worth finding out where you specifically need support. Warmly, Dr Julie

  122. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Traci,
    Definitely speak with your prescribing physician about the best approach. Your doctor will consider your age, recent progesterone levels, and amount of time yo’ve been taking the progesterone. There are a few different methods for dosing and it can vary depending on these factors. It sounds like you’re on the right track! Warmly, Dr Julie

  123. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Nice,
    I’m sure you guessed I would say this – but I suggest a thorough work-up from a naturopathic physician. These lab values are only one part of the story. There are many herbal and supplemental therapies that can support you and assist in getting your hormones back on track. Further, your ND will assess your adrenal function, antioxidant status, etc. Warmly, Dr Julie

  124. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Jade,
    Trouble conceiving is frustrating and can absolutely be due to low progesterone. There are herbs, vitamins, and bioidentical hormones on the market that are often prescribed by naturopathic doctors to boost progesterone levels. The medicine and dosage specific to you depends on many factors, mainly your current blood, urine or saliva progesterone levels. I suggest getting a work-up done with a naturopathic physician and having your whole hormonal picture assessed, including current progesterone values. Further, hypoglycemia is not directly correlated with infertility but it’s best to have blood sugars balanced and this could certainly be a stress on your system that impedes ovulation or implantation. Please keep me posted. Warmly, Dr Julie

  125. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Thank you for your email, Courtney. You said it – you want to get to the root of what’s going on! Well said. With symptoms like these and a history of low progesterone, I would suggest a hormonal work-up via either urine, saliva, or blood. It might also be worthwhile to check in on iron, vitamin B12, cortisol levels. While your body is certainly in a different place that it was with your first baby, your history is enough to warrant further testing before your conceive again. Please see a local naturopathic physician for a natural and integrated approach. Warmly, Dr Julie

  126. Dr. Julie Durnan says:

    Hi Neel,
    I’m so sorry about your previous miscarriages. Low progesterone is only one cause of a miscarriage – though I wish this were easier for me to answer. While I can’t offer you direct advice, I can tell you that when miscarriages are not understood, many doctors will opt to prescribe progesterone preventatively, in the hopes that it helps to maintain a pregnancy. Please let me know how things go. Warmly, Dr Julie

  127. Mrs bhavani says:

    Hai , Iam 29yrs old , got married 3yrs ago , since last year I am suffering with spotting for five days before my actual menstrual flow , my cycle is regular , is that due to progesterone deficiency, I am already on inferlity treatment since 4months , not yet conceived.. My gyno checked my prolactin levels bt not progesterone levels.. Please doctor suggest me something that I need to do… Will be waiting for ur answer…
    Thank u …

  128. azalea rosales says:

    Hello, I have never had a good libido and i am not interested in having sex. It is always painful so i never have looked for having it. I have been married twice and I just put up with it but for the last 5 years I have refused to do anything since it is so painful. Nothing relaxes me. I am now in my 50’s and would like to do something about it. What could it be? otherwise I am healthy and well proportioned.
    help please?

  129. Christy says:

    Hello there,

    I share similar feelings to someone above who mentioned that after reading your article she felt like ton must be psychic. I have all of the symptoms. I’ve never been consistent with doctors or health until recently when I realized that I shouldn’t be feeling as exhausted and foggy brained as I do. I’m 32 years old. Last month I experienxes a sudden onset of intense anxiety and depression and I quickly realized that I am experiencing these symptoms after years of not taking care of myself physically or emotionally.

    I didn’t actually even know what progesterone was until I started using essential oils and started using a progesterone oil to help with irregular periods. It worked! 

    I am about 2 weeks away from seeing my very first naturopathic doctor and really looking forward to it! I want them to check my progesterone and also my thyroid. 

    Thank you for this awesome article that is informative, helpful and encouraging. 

    Best wishes,
    Christy

  130. sandy says:

    Hey I’m 25 I’ve had cysts on my ovaries and have some pretty bad problems with them since I was 15 and have been battling with drs. Since. I finally have caught one drs attention.  I can’t have sex cause it hurts very bad some times I turn wrong it will hurt. But the last time I went to the Dr he told me I have to much progesterone and he wanted to try the pill. But it seems like from reading your article I have way more symptoms of it being to low Rather than having to much.  I have no children. And it makes more since why I haven’t been able to have one. I have terrible periods. Sometimes can’t even walk cause I’m in so much pain. And I bleed a lot more blood than most girls I’ve talked to anyway. And according to my period calendar ovulation happends 4 days after my period idk how accurate that is but it’s accurate about my periods for the most part. Idk I’m just tired of dealing with this and being as tho our drs are known for not doing there job well I was wanting someone else’s opinion. 

  131. Jess says:

    Hi Dr. Julie,

    I’m 25 and ever since I started my period at 13 I’ve been dramatically irregular. Going two to three months without menstruation. I never had my progesterone levels checked. Then I had my first child and had severe postpartum depression. My doctor said that was most likely caused by a dramatic drop in progesterone. But since then, (and that was 2 1/2 years ago) I’ve had unexplained depression and anxiety. I am now pregnant again and just got diagnosed with low progesterone. Is it possible that I’ve had low progesterone most of my life, but flaring up when I had my first child? 

  132. Kim says:

    Dr. Julie,
    I have always been very healthy and have gotten pregnant very easily. The year I turned 30 I had my first miscarriage, followed by 3 more within 2 years. All of the miscarried babies measured between 8-12 weeks. After the miscarriages I experienced stress, anxiety, depression, headaches and dizziness over the year. This was followed by the classic symptoms of low progesterone–in fact, my doctor thought my symptoms were much like menopause. My hormones were tested 2 weeks apart and both showed very low progesterone. My questions now are twofold: 1) What is the cause of my low progesterone? And 2) Is it important to keep my progesterone up? My doctors have seemed to only want to do something if I feel like I need it. I have acne, low libido, foggy thinking, joint pain, and no menstrual cycle, all moderately. I hesitate to do hormone therapy because I do not want to experience the depression/anxiety again. Any thoughts?
    Kim

  133. Madison says:

    I am wondering if this is the cause of my missed periods. I have missed two periods in a row and have gotten all negative pregnancy tests. No signs of pregnancy but most of the signs listed here. What is going on? Please help me. I am sixteen years old and usually have regular periods but recently began taking vitamin c which apparently has to do with progesterone. What’s the problem here?

  134. Holly says:

    I have so many of the symptoms you have listed. I have suffered three miscarriages before having my sons. I needed progesterone(shots) when I was pregnant with both of my sons(13 & 14) . Now @ the age of 44 I had a emergency hysterectomy 6wks ago after hemorrhaging on day 14 of my period. I never thought to have my progesterone tested after having my children. I will defiantly do this @ my 8wk post-op. Do you feel otc progesterone cream(organic) can be beneficial? Thanks!

  135. Elise says:

    Hi there,
    I had a question regarding Progesterone drops.  i am currently seeing a natural hollistic provider specifically  for infertility.  My periods are like clockwork, I am ovulating, but unfortunately had a miscarriage two months ago at 6 weeks.  The reason was unknown.  I am going to have my hormone levels checked, but wanted to ask you a question regarding the natural progesterone drops.  My friend gave me some to try for Pms symptoms.  Well, I had some cramping and brain fog on the 3rd day of my period so I decided to take 10 drops of progesterone mixed with my water.  After the fact I am now reading this can stop ovulation from happening?   Is this true?  I hope not, as I only used it the one day during my period.  We are TTC, and am worried I could have thrown things off.  I appreciate your response!!
    Thank you

  136. Mrs Smith says:

    So glad I had my blood work done to get all my hormones checked today.  I can check off everyone of the 7 categories on the list.  I really hope this is what’s wrong, since it can be fixed.  

  137. Rebekah says:

    I have been having pregnancy complications (again) and just read information regarding a possible link to progesterone deficiency. I called my provider to find out what my progesterone levels were, and learned they had never been tested! I had even been seeing a specialist for these problems, which five minutes of internet research showed me are common with progesterone deficiency! I left a message immediately requesting my levels be tested.

  138. Jennifer Pulliam says:

     I am 42 years old. I have always had regular uncomplicated periods. But in the last 2 years I have started having migraines, spotting two or three days before my actual period starts. Extreme mood swings, anything from severe heavy bleeding with clots to barely spotting.  It can range from two days to last month was 10 days! Hot flashes, sweats, insomnia, foggy thinking and forgetfulness.  My GP doesn’t want to check hormone levels doesn’t think that is it. Oh and also started with ezema on hands and continuously split as well as heels on my feet. Any help would be more than appreciated! 

  139. AT says:

    Dear Dr. Durnan:

    I just received test results back that have my progesterone at 47 (vs. 75-270 healthy) and my PG(?) ratio (progesterone to estrogen) at 28 (vs. 100-500 healthy). Clearly, there’s a problem. I got tested b/c my hair has fallen out like you cannot imagine. Scary. Almost bald. I want to use a natural progesterone cream ASAP to try to get the hair growth back but I had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) in 2007. Does that mean I really shouldn’t try a cream? Thank you so much for your GREAT site!

  140. lindsey lu says:

    Hi there, I’ve been having break-thru bleeding everyday since I was 23yrs old & I’m turning 30 this year. The docs have run all the test possible & said its hormonal but have done nothing about my issue. I have acne & if don’t get a least 10+ hours of sleep I’ll experience foggy thinking & not able to speak clearly (forgetfulness). This all started from birth control I started taking at the age of 23 and stop around 24 because I was having issue out of all the different brands I tried. I am no longer taking birth control & refuse too, because It through my hormones off wack & now they have not been right since. Last year when I became pregnant all the issues I was having stop! Even the bleeding stop but around 7 wks I found out it was a ectopic 🙁 long story short the pregnancy was terminated. If the bleeding & acne stop then, does that mean I’m low on a certain hormone? Please help, or even refer me to the type of physician I should seek help from. My gyn’s aren’t much of a help anymore.

  141. Mrs Pip says:

    I am suffering with pretty much all of the above. I have to have 2 rounds of IVF to have my first child and the second cycle was an Immune cycle which worked. I was diagnosed with Vit B12 B6 and Folic Acid deficiency and MTHR gene mutation. Also my natural killer cells were at about 33% instead of below 10%. I have only one tube but both ovaries. I know I ovulate from the side I have a tube as I feel it and I actually think I can get pregnant but my issues are completely around implantation. I had to use progesterone inject oils to sustain my last pregnancy. We are now TTC our second naturally…but not having much luck 3 years on. I have brown spotting 9 days after ovulation or a few days before period starts which I am putting down to low progesterone and this is usually followed by my period on Cycle Day 28. My menses are between 28-32 days. I have all of the symptoms listed above, definitely fatigue, brittle nails and cracked heels, mood swings and mid section weight gain. I also suffer with allergies and asthma. 
    I am going to get my levels checked with my doctor and see if he can help me further. thanks for your blog. 

  142. Therese says:

    I have been battling with severe mood swings and depression for 7-8 yrs now. I have been on several antidepressants, seen counselors and nothing ever changes. I have gained so much weight and even with diet and exercise I can’t seem to lose it. All the weight is in my abdomen. I have been under chronic stress for all this time as well. I asked my GYN a few years ago about hormone testing and she told me it is a joke. She had put me back on a low estrogen pill and I take it continuously and only let myself get a period every 3 months. It is very light when it comes. Last year at my annual had I gained 20 more pounds and her response was “You look beautiful dear and I hate to tell you that as long as you have stress you will never lose weight.” I feel like I am going crazy, I have become suicidal and can’t seem to figure out what is wrong with me. I am switching to another GYN doctor who does do testing. I hope I can find some answers because I really feel like I can’t go on living like this.

  143. Jessica says:

    I have every single symptom above and have been trying to deal with these symptoms for a year and a half. My doctor refers me to my gynecologist who says it is depression/anxiety. I have tried multiple different antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications because the second half of my cycle I turn into a crazy monster (PMS/PMDD). I had my tubes clipper 7 years ago after having my son because my husband at the time did not want more kids. We are no longer married and I am now married to a wonderful man and we would like to have another child. He has been amazing trying to help me deal with all of this and find solutions. I am going to hopefully being having my clips removed in the next few months but before doing that my doctor wanted me to do several tests. The nurse called me today and said my progesterone level is low and she wants me to go on Clomid for cycle. I want to know if going on Clomid will help my levels OR if I should ask my dr to put me on Progesterone. I really need some advice because this has been super difficult trying to deal with. 

  144. Rafaela says:

    Hello Dr. I have been loosing hair for around 7 years, not only in my scalp , but also in other parts of my body like my pubic area, under arm and eyebrows. My friend is a nurse and she suggested that I could be suffering of low levels of progesterone. Do you think is possible? My menstrual cycle is normal and I have 3 kids. Thank you!

  145. lauren says:

    Hi Dr Julie, 
    My husband and i live in australia, i am 31 & he is 33 and we are both a healthy BMI and we have a 3 year old daughter that was conceived naturally and had a natural birth. We have since been TTC for 2 years with only a “successful pregnancy” ending in early miscarriage at around 6-7 weeks. my cycle has slowly increased from around 23/24 days to now a 26/27 day cycle. i have completed a day 21 progesterone test twice, the results were 17 & 24 which i wonder if that is high enough to sustain a pregnancy, my day 2 FSH was 7.2 & my E2 was 138. this month my HyCoSy came back showing a healthy uterus, clear tubes & good ovaries with 6 eggs maturing in one ovary & 8 eggs maturing in the other at cycle day 8 and my AMH was 9, my husband semen analysis was good, so to date it seems to be unexplained fertility but from my zig zag looking bbt charting it looks like something is out! for quite some time i have been feeling extremely light headed like i could pass out, and foggy in the back of my head and finding it hard to concentrate, fatigued, low libido, recently started having allergies to flowers when i never have in my life, also having night sweats and being far more emotional than i usually am yet every time i see a doctor about this they do blood tests and give no answers and say if nothing comes up they can only assume its panic attacks.. but i had been wondering if its by hormones causing me all this grief and after reading your article it seems to have possibly shed some light! 
    I have started having traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture and it seems some of my symptoms have subsided, i have also made diet adjustments and am taking various vitamins and making sure i now exercise at least every second day but we are still not pregnant.
    I’d love to know what your suggestions are?? Thanks in advance 🙂

  146. Mia says:

    Hi Dr. Julie, 
    I am 4 weeks pregnant and was wondering if it is harmful to take Prometrium 400 mg/a day as extra insurance against a miscarriage? I haven’t had my progestrone levels tested, and my RE doesn’t think I need to be tested. For my last pregnancy, I took the same amount, but it was prescribed to me because I had an IUI. This time I got pregnant naturally. Thanks in advance for your advice!

  147. Jennifer says:

    A lot of these symptoms listed and many ongoing complaints are signs of hypothyroidism, specifically Hashimoto’s. I urge anyone who has ongoing hair loss, weight gain, and some other 300+ symptoms (Google 300 symptoms of hypothyroid) to have their TPO and TgAB antibodies checked.  Even if your doctor has checked the TSH and says “you’re  fine”.  The antibodies will show up way before the TSH numbers do, and yet a person will still be symptomatic. There are also dietary changes that can help ease symptoms.  There are so many overlapping symptoms for so many conditions, just wanted to throw this info out there in hopes it is helpful to someone.  I wish I had this info 5 years ago. It would’ve been a game changer for me.  Happy trails and happy hunting!!!

  148. Laura says:

    Wow I’m really wondering if this is my issue.. I have pcos and have felt aweful lately. Mood swings, no period and so tired. Went to the dr. and she prescribed progesterone 10mg I’ve only taken it acouple days and I feel so much better! Could this be the answer!?

  149. fergus says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the information.  I have all of the above frustrating symptoms except for infertility as we’ve completed our family.  I have recently started taking Chasteberry, Estrogen Blockers and an Adrenal SAP based on the recommendations from my ND.  She indicates that it will likely be a few months before I notice any results and reminds me to be patient and focus on the positive.  Like most people, finding the balance of full-time family, full-time work, life and self-care is incredibly challenging.  I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for facial skin care?  a year after I stopped breast-feeding my daughter i developed acne around my chin/jawline and have tiny red bumps all over my forehead which never seem to come to a head, they are just small red bumps.  Any tips that you can provide for facial regime would be great.  Thanks very much for this information.

  150. amela says:

    Hi Dr. Durnan, im 49 years old. My naturopath doctor asked me to go to laboratory and check estrone and progesterone level. They checked estradiol instead estrone and progesterone. Estradiol level is 183 and progesterone is 1.3. What that means? Should I ask lab to do test again since they check wrong type of estrogen? Does it matter?  I have all the symptoms above!
    Mela

  151. LB says:

    Can someone explain why I may have breast tenderness after my period. I normally have 1 week before my cycle but it has continued and it has been 1 week after I have had my period.  Low progesterone?

  152. jodie says:

    Hi. I have been trying for 5 years to conceive with my husband. I have been blood tested numerous times as well as having a lap and dye test. My progesterone has come back at 10.5 and the lap and dye showed twisted fallopian tubes. I have had tubal surgery yesterday to save my tubes which was a success but how do I know if my progesterone is still low and  what can i do about it to help me get pregnant? I still have most of the symptoms you describe above. 

  153. Jessica says:

    I am 30 years old. I went to the dr today because my moodswing have escalated. She wanted my full history. I started my period at 10 and had INTENSE PMS until I was 18 or so. Migraines that came on every month that mimicked strokes. Crazy mood swings. When I was older I thought I had outgrown the worst of it. I found that my cycles were bad every OTHER month. Then I got married and started having children. It seems my moods were better on birth control or when I was pregnant. I had two miscarriages after having my Mirena removed when my oldest was 2.5 and we were ready for more. I did end up having a successful birth when my oldest was 5. One year ago I had a historectomy because of fibroid tumors (adnomyosis) and endometriosis. Now on my every other month cycle my moods crash Into almost severe depression. I will get almost non-functioning/suicidal. At the very least I want to run away. Which, I really don’t, I LOVE my life and my family, I kind of have it made. I decided to go to the dr because I can’t live like this anymore. She said that I may have low progesterone and might have had it since puberty! It could even be the reason behind the Migranes, PMDD, miscarriages, adnomiosis, and mood swings. I was so upset, not about the low progesterone but because of how much life I lost because no one EVER tested me. I will send the saliva test in tomorrow and I have to wait for the results so I don’t KNOW that’s what is going on but, man, I lost babies and potential future babies because everyone dismissed me as having “bad PMS,” “just a girl problem.” 

  154. Jessica says:

    Oh, I also have (especially lately) stupid bad sugar cravings and have been really fatigued. My memory kind of quit on me back when I was 17.  Every dr I have tried to go to until now, and currently this dr is a holistic ms, has insisted on putting me on a low dose anti depressant. Ok if it is major depressive disorder or bi-polar and I have to, then fine, but no one would do any kind of tests to see if I had an actual reason for the depression symptoms! 

  155. Jenn says:

    Dear Dr. Julie, I feel I may be suffering from low progesterone. I have many symptoms and have had to take progesterone to maintain my last 4 pregnancies. I am 37 and probably won’t be having anymore children. On top of this I have hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. My question is could low progesterone cause flushing of the face certain days of the month? I notice it around ovulation and then again during my cycle where it comes fast out of nowhere. I am currently performing a saliva test this month but won’t have results until next month.
    Also, Does the fact that I had to take progesterone during my last 4 pregnancies prove that I have low progesterone during normal non pregnancy times?

  156. Lisa says:

    I have all the symptoms. I’m withdrawing from one doctor who put me on effexor to another who took me off in lieu of HRT.
    I just went in today for my blood tests results.
    My thyroid is stable with synthroid, estrogen is in a good range, but progesterone was a 2. So I believe we finally got closer to what my problems really are. I’ve missed alot of work this past year, more than any other year, due to heavy and painful menstrual cycles.

  157. krista says:

    Just wondering if low progesterone causes facial flushing and fatigue?

  158. Kirstie says:

    Hi there
    Just found this site and it’s very interesting. I am 32 and have total alopecia, asthma and excema. I started a progeaterone only pill last year and noticed considerable difference in my whole life. I noticed alot of hair growth on my body that I haven’t had since I was five years old. I also suffer from brittle nails and at times quite severe cracks on my heels. I stopped the pill for a few months and the hair that had grown in fell out again, so I went to my GP and asked to be put bak on pill for six months and after six weeks I’m noticing tiny improvements in hair growth. I suffer with fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. I’d love to hear your opinion on this please. Thank you 

  159. Ogbuagu chioma says:

    I am in my early 30s I have almost all the symptoms especially 1-4 and I have ran a test on that and it range2.8 ml so I don’t know if that has been my problem of infertility and irregular menstruation.

  160. lola monroe says:

    I am 24 years old, I am having all of the symptoms mentioned above. My prolactin (158) is very high, and I haven’t get my period for over five month and none of my specialist seems to care if you could get back to me for any help I will be thankful.

  161. lola says:

    I’m 16 years old and I got my first period in august 2014. My first period lasted for 9 days, I got my next period in 2 months. But now I haven’t had my period in 5 months. My mom believes is low hormones. What should I do?

  162. Amanda Miller says:

    I’m just wondering if you have any experience with Young Living’s Progressence Plus serum? I am researching it and my research has led me here… Thank you! 🙂

  163. angela says:

    I had the orthonovum 4 months ago. I am 41.have had many menstrual problems and ovarian cysts since a teenager. My question is… Is it common after this procedure for progesterone levels to drop???  Still getting to know my body since ,which is a task as with my age and the symptoms with menopause 

  164. mimi says:

    I have low progesterone and have been using the progesterone cream for few years now and it makes huge difference. I am 47 years old so technically peri menopause but no other symptoms  
    when i use it i feel better and my period is on time but when i dont have it seems i am skipping periods or it is like 45 days in between and i feel bloated 
    the problem is in Canada it is hard to find doctor to properly measure the levels because the blood test is not so accurate so it is like guessing game how much to use

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