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Signs of Low Progesterone

on Aug 02, 2012

Monica Scott, BS, RN

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Signs of Low Progesterone

Progesterone plays a vital role in woman's fertility. When her progesterone levels are low, implantation is more difficult to occur causing problems in getting pregnant.

In some cases, infertility can be caused by low progesterone levels. Progesterone is one of the hormones released by the ovaries, and its role is to prepare the lining of the uterus for the implantation of an embryo. Furthermore, maintaining a pregnancy is facilitated by proper levels of progesterone. As you can see, progesterone plays a vital role in pregnancy. That is why abnormal levels might significantly reduce pregnancy chances. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Understanding your progesterone levels

The level of progesterone varies with the menstrual cycle, and is responsible for most of the changes experienced by women during a month. Right after ovulation, the corpus luteum in the ovary starts releasing progesterone. The high level of progesterone causes the increase in temperature experienced by women after ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum dies, and progesterone levels drop. As a consequence, the lining of the uterus starts to bleed and is eliminated through menstruation.

What happens when progesterone levels are low

When the progesterone levels are low, the lining of the uterus might not be well prepared for the implantation to take place. Even if the implantation occurs, low levels of progesterone might make it hard for the pregnancy to develop, so the chances of miscarriage is high.

Symptoms of low progesterone levels

If you have problems conceiving, there are many possible causes for your infertility. Low progesterone levels have different symptoms, but, many times, they are common to those of other medical conditions. Some of the symptoms of low progesterone are appetite changes, depression, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, weight changes, fatigue, irregular menstruation, headaches, low sex drive, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, polycystic ovarian syndrome, lack of concentration and insomnia. Most of the times, women do not suspect low progesterone levels until they encounter infertility issues. Testing remains the most accurate way of diagnosing low progesterone levels.

Causes of low progesterone

The causes of low progesterone levels are not well known, but some specialists hint to the fact that poor nutrition, stress and lack of exercise might play a role. Some medications might also reduce progesterone levels, causing fertility problems.

How to treat low progesterone levels

Fortunately, there are many treatments for progesterone disorders, the most common being progesterone creams, gels, vaginal suppositories or shots. The treatment is applied right after ovulation, so that progesterone levels rise to normal and facilitate the preparation of the uterine lining for pregnancy. Women with progesterone disorders undergo treatment until they get pregnant and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, although there are cases when progesterone treatment is continued for the whole duration of pregnancy.

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Signs of Low Progesterone, 4.5 out of 5 based on 12 ratings

Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.

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  • MollyArnold

    Im 226 pounds do i need tew lose weight to get pregnant

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  • Helen Walters

    I don’t think so.. If so.. I am right there with ya..

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    Maintaining a healthy weight is important when trying to get pregnant. Being overweight or underweight can both have a negative impact on fertility. It is ideal to have your BMI in the normal range to ensure you the best possible chance of getting pregnant. You also want to be healthy and fit in preparation for a future pregnancy. You can further discuss this matter on getting yourself to a healthier weight, when you see your doctor for a preconception visit.

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  • ronnie campbell

    Can low levels of progesterone cause hcg levels to also decrease? What could cause the progesterone levels to plummet in early pregnancy?

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    Low progesterone levels can be caused by several known factors or
    unknown factors.  Due to the complexity of hormones, some women may
    have no difficulty getting pregnant but for some reason, the placenta
    does not create the proper levels when it should.  Researchers believe
    that high levels of stress, poor nutrition and lack of exercise can
    contribute to low progesterone levels. Certain medications can also
    interfere with the body’s ability to produce progesterone.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6XOKDNCUYK3HTX7BIIPIRVVTDE Sabrina

    I suffer from skin darkening and other symptoms throughout the month except for the 7 days of menses. I also have PCOS with high androstenedione level and high fsh. My health has deteriorated and we’ve done all types of tests except for estrogen and progesterone. Its a very long story. I tried a test on the internet and it showed that I have symptoms of low progesterone. What can I do to bring back balance in my hormones and be normal again?

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    There are a lot of medications available on the market that can help balance your progesterone levels like Prometrium. It is a medication used for corrective therapy in the case of progesterone deficiency. But of course, you should consult your doctor to check if this medication is suited for you. You can also normalize your hormone levels naturally by eating right, exercising regularly and avoiding stress and tobacco.

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  • Tracy13

    My cycle is anywhere from 34 to 42 ish days. I started taking vitex last October, no side effects and increased my dosage in January, ever since my period got done…2 days early, I have been spotting every day. Was I wrong to increase or when is this spotting going to stop? I am wanting to try to conceive again in May, we stopped trying to get my body regulated with the vitex. But now I’m unsure if I am doing the right thing.

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  • Hdnoll

    I am 35, I exercise moderately eat pretty healthy. I have two sons. My first son was conceived naturally. My second son after 2 rounds of clomid. I would really love to have another child. I have tried four rounds of clomid but it made me crazy, literally. I did three months of acupuncture with traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. I feel a lot better but still no baby:( what should my next step be? IVF is not an option

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    Check out your fertility days by tracking your temperature every morning, you may use ovulation predictor kits (OPK) for an accurate measure and be sure to time intercourse at the time of your ovulation. Make it as much as possible so pregnancy will get more positive. To boost your fertility, do not stress yourself thinking about it. Perform a test after a couple of weeks, if it’s positive, congratulations! If its negative then try again, don’t panic, just try and try, don’t lose hope. Make sure to have a regular check up with your doctor. Good luck!

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Knowing that taking Vitex wasn’t effective with a low dosage, increasing your dosage is alright as long as your ObGyn has been notified and has approved it. The common side effect of Vitex normally includes bleeding between periods, and is just fine. However; it is important that you stop taking Vitex once you have confirmed your pregnancy to prevent risks of probable complications.

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  • Jackie Tyler

    I have been tested and have low progesterone levels. I am 31 and want to start trying to conceive later next year ( getting married in March!) but am finding the side effects unbearable right now. I’ve complained to my doctor about my low sex drive as well as other common side effects. He doesn’t want me to start taking any kind of supplement until I become pregnant. What is your recommendation?

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  • angela

    I just had my beta hcg 120 but progesterone level is only 8.4. No other symptoms. Am using crinone 8 percent twice a day. Increased to three times a day. Does this show in blood levels for progesterone?

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  • angela

    Had beta hcg done its at 120 but progesterone level is only 8.4. Am using crinone. Does this show in blood levels?

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  • 25student

    I am 25 and have one child. I had a perfect pregnancy, got pregnant on the 1st shot, no morning sickness or anything.
    I recently got pregnant again, once again on the first shot. At about 5 weeks I started seeing red blood on the toilet paper with every bathroom visit. After getting blood work, they showed by hcg was 877 and doubled two days later when i tested again. My progesterone level, on the other hand, was only 4.2. My doc put me on progesterone vaginal supplements that i use 2x a day (night and morning) and put me on bed rest with my feet lifted on pillows.
    My concern is what the effects of this will be on the baby and if this will actually save the pregnancy or just prolong a miscarriage. i started using the prog. supplements tHURSday night and it is now sunday morning, but i am still seeing blood, maybe a little less.
    I do not want to prolong an inevitable miscarriage. I had no idea i had low progesterone levels as well. What do you suggest I do? i am getting more blood work tomorrow to see what my prog level is. what should i do if it is increasing but not enough, or if they don’t increase.

    Also noteworthy, I am in post graduate school (stress), recently moved (stress), haven’t been as active as i used to be and have barely been eating and haven’t been eating healthy either. since on the supplements i have been more conscious of my diet, eating regularly and healthy. could this effect my progesterone? my 1st child is 2 now and i was really healthy then.

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  • 25student

    why did my question get deleted?

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  • g

    My periods over the last six mths have been a bit chaotic! They have been days in length 24 dsys, 21 days, 29, 24, 25, 19, 23, 30 and 26! The last three mths my periods have been really heavy or really light, they have lasted 5-11 days, the last 2 mths ive spotted fora week before my period!!!! Ive had a ultrasound which has ruled out fibroids, cysts etc in fact it was totally normal?… plse help as we want another child

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  • Karls33

    Hi I have been ttc for over a year now and I suspect I am low on progesterone as something is just not right with my periods, I have alot of the symptoms, vaginal dryness, insomnia, mood swings, painful inter course at times, low sex drive and weight gain but my main concern is I spot for a whole week before I get my period and then my period is alot lighter than it used to be. I have been checked during one cycle and my levels were 27 so ok apparently. What else could be going on if its not low progesterone? I fell pregnant 1st month with my daughter 3 years ago!

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  • z-saddat

    my progestron levek is low about 0,67ng/ml what shoukd i do?

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  • shannon

    I had low pergesterone last month it was at a ten my Dr put me on clomid 25mgs for six days my third month taking it. I went and got blood work done Fri, the Dr’s office called and said my pergesterone was at 26.6 I’m assuming that is good.

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