|Photo by Liz West|
Progesterone works in partnership with estrogen throughout a woman’s cycle to prepare the uterus for conception. Estrogen is the dominant hormone during the first part of a woman’s cycle (the follicular phase), while progesterone is the dominant hormone during the last part (the luteal phase). The two hormones must be in balance to achieve optimal health.
If you’ve been charting your cycles, you can see where progesterone takes over - it’s responsible for the rise in your temperature.
Not sure if you have low progesterone? Check out Katie Singer’s book The Garden of Fertility for tips on how to read your charts to find out whether they might indicate low progesterone levels.
Low progesterone is quite common. It’s actually not surprising when you consider that estrogenic compounds are everywhere nowadays - in our environment, food, plastics, personal care products, and more. And the higher estrogen is, the more progesterone we need to be in balance.
If you’d like to avoid synthetic progesterone shots & creams, there are some natural alternatives you can try to boost your progesterone level (and/or reduce your estrogen level):
- Cut out dairy. One Harvard scientist & physician found that dairy accounts for 60-80% of estrogens consumed!
- Go organic. Minimizing pesticides and hormones in your food can help avoid estrogen overload.
- Stop eating sugar and refined carbohydrates. Consumption of refined carbohydrates can indirectly exhaust your adrenals, suppressing progesterone1.
If further supplementation is required, you might ask your doctor about natural or bio-identical progesterone from a compounding pharmacy.
1. Singer, K. (2004). The Garden of Fertility. New York: Avery.