Maybe you’ve been trying to understand what causes some of your endometriosis symptoms like irregular periods, increased PMS, mood swings…, or you just had your progesterone tested and it came back low. It’s possible your doctor recommended progesterone cream or hormonal treatments and maybe you’re looking for other ways to increase your own production of progesterone.
Below are my top ways to increase progesterone naturally!
It’s pretty amazing how much you discover about your body once you battle with endometriosis.
Everything from learning that certain foods can harm our fertility (ie: too much sugar and caffeine), as well as certain medications and even make-up. Women with endometriosis are likely to have estrogen dominance.
The bad news is that estrogen not only encourages the growth of endometriosis, but it is the main reason for a heap of symptoms that can affect the quality of your life and wellbeing.
But today I would like to talk more about progesterone and why this hormone is really important for our health.
What’s the best way to increase progesterone naturally?
Most of us don’t realize the importance of progesterone and its impact on keeping the reproductive system healthy. Because healthy hormones can help boost fertility.
We often fail to truly understand the significance of hormone imbalances on the overall health of our bodies and our general well-being.
The truth is that hormones are always changing due to our menstrual cycle, diets, environmental changes, stress levels, and underlying medical conditions.
I had problems with some foods since I was a kid. Recently, I found an old diet plan I had written to encourage me to eat better. This plan encourages me to keep fighting with my endometriosis symptoms. Because everything starts with a diet.
Symptoms of low progesterone levels
I’ve lived my life with chronic fatigue, mood swings, depression due to endometriosis, and also with huge and regular crashes in energy all day every day.
Our hormone health is really important.
We all shouldn’t think so much about estrogen, we need to understand the importance of progesterone.
For those of us with missed or late periods, mood swings, depression, means that we should help our body to increase progesterone naturally. Low progesterone levels affect the entire body that might be unable to support the complex processes that occur during menstruation and pregnancy.
I’m talking about abnormal menstrual periods, missed or late periods, miscarriage, infertility, spotting, or cramping during pregnancy.
But low progesterone levels can cause you also depression, mood swings, headaches, bloating, hot flashes, decreased sex drive, tenderness in the breasts, weight gain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia.
Aging also causes the levels of hormones, including progesterone, to decline. This can lead to irregular ovulation and periods. This also means for those of us with endometriosis, we could be encouraging the growth of the disease.
Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease, and studies now suggest many of us with endometriosis are estrogen-dominant, so we want to reduce our estrogen levels, rather than increase them.
Fertility or Menstrual problems
Estrogen grows the lining of your uterus to prepare it for conception (remember that grass analogy above?).
But progesterone also has an important role – to ensure that the lining remains there for roughly 14 days after ovulation (the luteal phase) in case you become pregnant.
If you conceive, progesterone rises. If not, progesterone levels drop again causing the shedding of the uterine lining which we know as menstruation.
We should always keep in mind the importance of our progesterone levels and how to increase progesterone naturally.
Natural Ways To Increase Progesterone Production
1. Change your diet / Foods to increase progesterone naturally
Changing your diet is the easiest way to increase progesterone naturally. If you understand what foods you should eat and what you should avoid, you have better chances to increase progesterone production.
Food products do not usually contain progesterone.
However, some people believe that certain foods may help the body increase its production of progesterone or balance estrogen levels:
- Brussel sprouts
- Whole grains
Women with endometriosis are living with magnesium deficiency. You can take supplements, use magnesium spray or magnesium baths salts. But you can also add more magnesium-rich foods to your diet.
The first one I have in mind is dark chocolate. You can get 64 milligrams within a single 1oz serving.
Make sure it’s real dark chocolate and not something with needlessly added sugar or other sweeteners.
It also provides you with a nice dose of antioxidants to help you fight off disease. Nuts (like almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews), avocados and legumes, are particularly good sources of magnesium.
Vitamin B6 foods
Vitamin B6 also plays a role in keeping the body’s hormone balance. Good examples of vitamin b6-rich foods are milk, eggs, and fish, but if you follow the endometriosis diet you should skip those.
Instead, try crunching carrots as a snack instead of something high in sugar and calories. You get as much as you would from drinking a glass of milk no matter how you prepare them. Other suggestions are bananas.
Count zinc as another mineral essential in helping your pituitary gland regulates hormones in your body. It helps the gland boost the current levels of FSH hormones.
That helps your ovaries create more progesterone and estrogen needed by your reproductive system. Eating a handful of your favorite pumpkin, squash, or sesame seeds is an excellent way to get a daily zinc boost.
They also provide you with a good dose of fiber and healthy fats.
It’s good to have on your diet whole grains. They contain vital nutrients like magnesium which also boost progesterone levels. Other vegetables you can add to your diet include peas, potatoes, and green beans.
2. Reduce stress levels to increase progesterone naturally
Excessive stress can raise the body’s stress hormones, which can also affect the ovaries and sex hormones. This is why a person may miss a period when they are experiencing high levels of stress.
Finding a way to manage stress is important. Meditating, exercising, and journaling can all be very useful, but what works can vary from person to person.
We should always remember that adrenaline and cortisol are in fact hormones, and our hormones are all interconnected.
When you are stressed, your body releases more cortisol and adrenaline than is healthy.
That has other implications for your health and disrupts your other hormones. You can help your body by adding some small moments of calm – short breathing exercises or meditation, calming teas.
3. Get better sleep
Getting good rest is not entirely specific for increasing progesterone levels. Anyway, it is important for allowing your body to heal. If you are experiencing any kind of imbalance sleep is an important place to start.
Try to focus on it before implementing other kinds of supplementation. Sleep issues can stem from an overexcited nervous system, liver stagnation, adrenal imbalance, poor sleep hygiene, or many other reasons.
If you are still having sleep issues, my advice is to work with someone to figure out what is preventing you from sleeping well.
4. Castor Oil to increase progesterone naturally
Castor oil is a great source to stimulate lymph and liver function. Unlike some “detox” methods, this is not said to have any negative side effects, and there are many accounts of people who noticed immediate better sleep, more energy, and clearing of skin symptoms.
The liver processes all of our hormones and helps clear excess hormones from the system. Daily rituals like castor oil packs on the abdomen are an amazing way to support everyday detoxification and promote regular self-care. Castor oil is my favorite way to increase progesterone naturally.
5. Avoid over-exercising
Making some sport at home is always a good idea. That gives you energy and helps you to reduce stress levels. But sometimes over-exercising can cause increased cortisol levels in the body.
When I say ‘overexercising’ I mean a lot of intense and strenuous exercise – think competitive CrossFit and marathoners.
It will “steal” progesterone from your reproductive system to make the amount of cortisol it needs to support the strenuous exercise. #