Progesterone is a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. It is extremely important for woman’s health, and it plays a crucial role in the female reproductive system including the menstrual cycle and fertility, as well as the development of the fetus and the maintenance of pregnancy.
Imbalances of progesterone levels may cause infertility, an increased risk of miscarriage, increased PMS symptoms, depression, thyroid dysfunction, fibrocystic breasts, weight gain and irregular menstrual cycle.
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to increase progesterone levels and maintain a proper hormonal balance in your body.
Read below to learn how it can be done.
1. Avoid Foods and Herbs that Increase Estrogen Levels
The balance of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body is of extreme importance for her health. Excess estrogen and low progesterone levels can contribute to many psychological and physical conditions, including infertility.
If you have been diagnosed with estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency, you should avoid all foods that can increase estrogen levels.
2. Increase Your Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C Intake
1. Your body requires adequate amounts of vitamin B6 to maintain optimal levels of progesterone. The lack of this important vitamin may decrease the production of progesterone.
Vitamin B is also necessary for the liver to break down estrogen. If it doesn’t break it down, the levels of estrogen increase, creating hormonal imbalance. This means that levels of estrogen become higher than progesterone levels.
Good amounts of vitamin B6 can be found walnuts, whole grains, lean red meat, poultry, seafood, bananas, spinach, beans, potatoes, and fortified cereals.
2. Take also vitamin C! A study has shown that 750mg of Vitamin C taken every day for six months can considerably increase the progesterone production.
3. Consume Foods Containing Zinc
Zinc is essential for hormonal health and it is extremely important for the production of adequate levels of progesterone.
Zinc is the mineral that prompts the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormones, which in turn promote ovulation and stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone.
Good sources of zinc are veal liver, lean red meats, shellfish, crabs, dark chocolate, wheat germ, chickpeas, and pumpkin, watermelon and squash seeds.
4. Eat Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium is another key nutrient for increasing progesterone levels, as it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy hormonal balance in the body.
You can either take dietary supplements, or eat more foods that are good sources of magnesium such as black beans, spinach, raw plantain, halibut, whole grain cereals, pumpkin and squash seeds, okra, and nuts.
5. Control Your Stress Levels
Stress can considerably reduce progesterone levels in the body. During chronic stress, adrenal glands aren’t able to produce enough “fight or flight” hormone called cortisol, which they constantly need. In this case, our body converts progesterone into cortisol.
6. Herbs to Avoid and Herbs to Take
Avoid all herbs that can increase levels of estrogen – with estrogen dominance, your progesterone levels are lower. These herbs include blue cohosh, black cohosh, dong quai, hops, lavender, licorice, motherwort leaf, rhodiola rose root, red clover blossom, saw palmetto berry, and tea tree oil.
A herb that is good for balancing hormone levels in the body is chasteberry, also known as vitex. It can stimulate the progesterone production and reduce levels of estrogen, as well as amounts of prolactin, which is another hormone that can lead to low progesterone in the body.
7. Use Natural Progesterone Creams
Natural progesterone creams seem to be very helpful in creating a proper estrogen and progesterone balance, since the natural progesterone has the same molecular structure as the one produced by the human body.
Mexican yam cream
Mexican yam, also known as wild yam, is a root that contains a substance called diosgenin, which can be converted through a simple laboratory process into progesterone. The cream is also enriched with vitamin E, which gives it exceptionally nourishing and regenerative properties. When used correctly, it can considerably help balance hormonal levels in the body.
All summed up, there are many natural methods to increase progesterone levels and maintain a healthy hormonal balance in your body. If you have any other useful suggestions, please share them with us and other readers in the comment section below.
31 thoughts on Top 7 Natural Ways to Increase Progesterone
Excellent article. It will help me a lot.
Is it necessary to avoid the herbs only through the first tri of pregnancy or the whole time? I use Lavender oil and Tea tree oil almost daily and had no idea until today it can hender Progesteron production!
More information on #1 would be useful. Possibly a list of the foods and herbs that increase estrogen? Otherwise, the article was helpful.
there is no such thing as ‘natural progesterone cream’ and that ‘simple laboratory practice’ is a quantum leap from wild yam
I’m going to try these things!! Do you have to eat foods with zinc and magnesium or can I just buy the vitamins? My hormones are all outta whack I’m on progesterone but I guess its not working anymore and I cant get into the Dr for 2 weeks….ugh I can’t live like this!!
Very useful thanx
I’m on progesterone for my periods because I haven’t had a menstral cycle since June 2012. im only 23 yrs old and I also have Hypothyroidism, & Ovarian Cysts. this is only my second month of taking the progesterone and it has helped so far. I really don’t want to take pills anymore. Im taking 4 different pills for everything. for being so young I feel like too much is wrong with me. I’d rather go the herbal way and take herbs and vitamins. would it be ok to just take Vit C, B6, Mag., and Zinc? if so how much and for how long? pleeeeaaassssseee! I need your help
Wow girl you are not alone. That is exactly how I am but I’m 27. The doctors have me on 6 pills and I just can’t believe that I have to be on so much meds at such a young age. Something else that might help you Kate is eat lots of greens! I don’t want to take all the meds anymore except for the thyroid, so I’m in the same boat and have started to do everything I can to change. Which means diet, vitamins and exercise.
Try eating paleo and/ AIP. I have found it very helpful.
I’m 28 and these problems starting at 19!!! I so hear you!! What helped me:
1. Going to a Traditional Chinese Medical Doctor (mine is in So. California where I live but she is one of the best in the world. . She is in Oxnard, CA Dr. Lee- if you live here let me know!)
2. Going gluten, dairy, soy, corn, nut free.
I know have regular periods and my PMDD is almost back to normal. . . I was like you, I had periods maybe twice a year, and they were horrifying when I had them. I lost my life even when I didn’t have periods because the in between time was so awful too. I so feel for you. Hang in there and change your diet as much as possible until you get in to see a Traditional Chinese Medical doctor (pick one who knows and gives you strong herbal medicine, not necessarily accupuncture).
Oh and change your diet to a Chinese diet! No cold food or drink, everything cooked (you digest and absorb the nutrients better thus way). Mostly white rice, lean chicken and fish, cooked vegetables, and lots of ginger to warm the body and strengthen the immune system (which will slowly strengthen everything else). Good luck!
Very interesting. I have been having hormone issues for about the last 8 months. Working with a naturopath as have adrenal exhaustion and that really plays up with the progesterone levels. Have changed my diet. Now caffeine,dairy and wheat free. High protein diet and using progest-e. Starting to feel a little human again
Interesting article. 48 yr.old female, perimenapausal. Have had hives daily for a month and a half. Feel strongly that it is hormone related. Low progesterone probable. Using Sweet Fern “tea” as a relief from hives, works great at relieving the itch and reducing the swelling. Smells like tea and does stain clothing but, it has been a life saver. Also notice modiness. Doing my homework to find the solution. Want to stay away from harmful drugs that most Drs. like to prescribe.
Hi, íve had 2 missed miscarriages in 1 yr. Doc gave me progesterone tablets to help me get to 2nd. It didn’t work. Is Vital okay when pregnant. I took it and read later that some use it for abortion.
This article is neither cited or written by a professional. Ladies, these are 2 things to ALWAYS look for when reading about medical advice. Talk to your doctor. Diet alone cannot help raise progesterone levels. There are different types of natural progesterone pills for use in fertility purposes, but must be prescribed, taken at the correct time in your cycle and monitored by a fertility Doctor. Your best bet to to make an appointment with one of them.
Thank you for the voice of reason. Good research always refers to cited sources.
Dr. Wandy doesn’t know anything about nutrition, most doctors don’t. All they want to do is prescribe a pill for you- from which they gain and we lose. The side effects are numerous.
Vitamin B6 works amazingly well- I’ve used it for 2 cycles and have changed my ovulation day from 17 to 13, no medication required.
Thanks for your comment Rebecca.
Not all doctors are as you describe. Critical thinking isn’t for wimps.
yes but it should be critical and not biased or lazy or one sided the research is out there.
After reading this article I’m definitely getting very disciplined about taking my vitamin B6, Vitamin C, & my Zinc ~ and of course I’d add more fish & shellfish to my diet. Wish me good luck n less misery in my P.C.O.S. & irregular cycles.
Yes Rebecca , I do agree with that and appreciate you bringing that up- because doctors have been keeping me on birth control treatment since I’m 12 yrs old n I’m 28 n I’m exactly the same or even worse – who knows . No progress, just been making the doctors pay check bigger. O.o
It says to avoid estrogen producing foods but doesn’t tell you what those would be!?!
Exactly!! That is so strange…they just leave us hanging
birth control just masks signs/symptoms of reproductive trouble. You might “think” you’re cured of issues, but it just creates a false sense of normal. Once you come off of the pill, your troubles will just be waiting for you. It’s better to get off the pill and actually have your problems diagnosed properly — working with a doctor and natropath combined can work wonders.
Estrogen mimicking foods are soya sauce, plastic flimsy bottled water. Try eliminating bottled water, pop/soda and coffee. Drink filtered water and organic homemade smoothies.
Start eating organic. Red meat and chicken contain a lot of hormones. Eat more greens such as broccoli, spinach, kale, swiss chard…really anything cruciferous.
Chocolate and milk a big no no. CHOLOCATE is yummy I know…but it increases your estrogen and milk has hormones in it. Try almond milk.
Load up on nuts. I personally eat pumpkin seeds. Lots of magnesium and zinc. Make sure they are unsalted and not roasted. Also helps for af cramps.
Also chia seeds mix into yogurt, cereals and smoothies. Lod up on flax seeds as well.
I am an endo sufferer so eating like this really helps me regulate my endo pains cramps and hormone levels.
You state to avoid estrogen increasing foods/herbs, but what about if your in menopause and are also low on estrogen too? Also there is good estrogen balancing foods such as pomegranates, flax and chia seeds. I have been taking Rhodiola which has helped with my hot flashes, but you say to avoid it! I avoid all processed soy products because there is too much controversy over it.
I guess the question is, how do you find a good balance? (sigh)
I am 35. People think I am in my early 20′s. I always spot for 3 or 4 days the week before my period and then it stops until my true period comes. I asked my OBGYN when I was there for my pap. She said I may need progesterone so I can get pregnant and maintain a pregnancy. She mentioned my luteal phase and corpus luteum. I don’t remember everything she said and have contacted her for clarification. My husband and I would like to try in a few months.
Wow! i cared less about hormonal requirements, this helps… thank you.