PROGESTERONE is our female feel good hormone!! It helps balance mood, increases libido, boosts energy and helps to clear up acne caused by excess androgens.
It is made when we ovulate during a menstrual cycle so if you are on the OCP you are not making any progesterone.
Even if you have a menstrual cycle it does not guarantee that you are ovulating. The best way to check if you are is by tracking your cycle on an app to record basal body temperature every day. Just before ovulation basal body temp drops slightly and then rises afterwards and stays high until menstruation. If your temperature doesn't change it means you did not ovulate and didn't make progesterone that cycle.
You can also check progesterone levels with a blood test but it needs to be done in your luteal phase, and ideally 7 days before your next period. Levels should be at least 8ng/mL.
Symptoms of low progesterone include:
- pre period anxiety
- spotting before or after your period
- pre period or mid cycle acne breakouts
- breast tenderness
- fluid retention
- low libido
- weight gain around belly
- night sweats
- foggy thinking
- low energy
Ways to encourage ovulation and raise progesterone levels:
- avoid undereating, ensuring that you are consuming a good amount of carbohydrates
- manage stress levels
- don't over-exercise and balance high intensity exercise with lower intensity exercise like yoga, pilates or walking
- make sure you are consuming foods that contain high amounts of magnesium, zinc and B6
- take progesterone stimulating herbal medicine (under guidance of a naturopath)
If you have recently come off the OCP, want to come off it or have irregular periods and think you may not be ovulating book in a consultation so we can get you feeling gooooood! ♥️