5 Symptoms of Low Progesterone

Progesterone is a sex hormone primarily produced in the ovaries after ovulation. It supports menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and lactation in women and people assigned female at birth. Like any hormone, it must be present at appropriate levels to work correctly. Levels vary widely throughout the menstrual cycle, but they typically range from under two ng/mL of blood before ovulation to as high as 20 ng/mL after it. 

Low progesterone levels cause various symptoms that can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. Luckily, levels can be tested with easy-to-use progesterone test strips. Learn more about symptoms associated with low progesterone levels and what you can do to 

1. Spotting Before Period

Many women experience irregular periods. Because of progesterone’s role in prepping the uterus for pregnancy, low levels may result in spotting, breakthrough bleeding, and irregular cycles. 

When you ovulate, your body produces high amounts of progesterone. These cause the uterus lining to thicken in preparation for pregnancy. However, progesterone levels drop if a fertilized egg does not implant, causing the uterus to shed its lining. This causes period bleeding. Low hormone levels may cause some of the lining to shed earlier than expected. 

2. Mood Swings

Like many other sex hormones, progesterone can impact your mood. Low levels can cause erratic mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, low progesterone can also interfere with sleep, which often makes emotional symptoms more pronounced and harder to deal with. These are all serious medical conditions that require attention, so please take them seriously and talk to a healthcare professional.

Also Read: Signs That Your Period is Coming Tomorrow: 6 Vital Signals

3. Difficulty Getting Pregnant

When your ovaries release an egg, the empty follicle produces progesterone to help the uterus prepare for implantation. If the egg is fertilized, levels remain high to support a viable pregnancy and avoid preterm labor. When ovaries do not produce enough progesterone, it can be difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and grow within the uterus. 

Using a couples fertility test is an excellent way to determine if low progesterone levels could cause problems when trying to start a family. It will also give you an opportunity to know about any potential problems you will likely face before attempting to conceive, which can help limit frustration and improve your chances of success. 

4. Weight Gain or Bloating

Hormone imbalances can contribute to unexplained weight gain. If you are exercising and eating right but are still having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, low progesterone levels may be to blame. When coupled with high estrogen levels, it can lead to water retention and bloating.

5. Headaches

Headaches are frequently associated with periods, so it should come as no surprise that there is some association between low progesterone levels and migraines. This is especially true if you notice that headaches are more likely during specific phases of your menstrual cycle. 

If you regularly experience these symptoms, finding out if low progesterone levels are to blame is simple. First, use a simple progesterone test at home to check hormone levels. Then, if your results detect an abnormality, it is a good idea to discuss them with a healthcare professional to explore your treatment options.