Progesterone is important during childbearing years. If you don’t have enough progesterone, you may have trouble getting or staying pregnant.
After one of your ovaries releases an egg, your progesterone levels should rise. Progesterone helps the uterus thicken in anticipation of receiving a fertilized egg. If it’s not thick enough, the egg won’t implant.
Symptoms of low progesterone in women who aren’t pregnant include:
Low progesterone may cause abnormal uterine bleeding in women who aren’t pregnant. Irregular or absent periods may indicate poorly functioning ovaries and low progesterone.
If you get pregnant, you still need progesterone to maintain your uterus until your baby is born. Your body will produce this increase in progesterone, which causes some of the symptoms of pregnancy, including breast tenderness and nausea. If your progesterone levels are too low, your uterus may not be able to carry the baby to term.
During pregnancy, symptoms of low progesterone include spotting and miscarriage.
Low progesterone may indicate ectopic pregnancy. This can result in miscarriage or fetal death.
Without progesterone to complement it, estrogen may become the dominant hormone. This may cause symptoms including:
While foods don’t necessarily contain progesterone, some foods may help stimulate the body’s production of progesterone. These include: