9 Tips to Increase Progesterone Naturally!
In last week’s video, I talked about progesterone, how your body produces it and what the right levels are to maintain a healthy luteal phase and a healthy pregnancy. So this week we’re going to dive deeper into what you can be doing at home to actually help support your natural progesterone levels. One of the common questions that I get is, “Look, I really prefer not to take medication and I’d like to see if there’s something that I can do naturally to increase my progesterone levels?” I hear this question all the time, “So what can I eat? What can I do? What can I take? What in the world will help me increase my progesterone levels naturally?” Well, that’s exactly what I want to dive in today in this video. So if you want to hear all about it, keep on watching.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the fertility expert, and I’ve been helping couples from all over the world for over 19 years through my online coaching programs and right here in San Diego at my clinics. And like I mentioned last week, this question about progesterone is a common question, and that is part of why I’m creating this video. And I’m also creating these videos to support all of you, to inform all of you and give you more knowledge.
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So, yes, last week we started talking about progesterone levels. What’s the right amount and how your body produces it. And if you watch last week’s video and you remember some of the phrases or words I used, I used the word luteal phase. So if you have not watched last week’s video and you want some more information on that, then go ahead and check that out after you watch this one. But I thought it would be appropriate in this video to actually start off with actually a deeper dive in the luteal phase and what the most common reason why many of you actually want progesterone support is what’s called a luteal phase defect. That’s right, or deficiency, a luteal phase deficiency. You can use those words interchangeably, but basically what it’s saying is that your luteal phase is not working appropriately.
And so the phase, the length of the phase, of your luteal phase. So that’s the time of your cycle between ovulation and menstruation is not typically long enough. That’s what it typically means when we use that term. And so a normal luteal phase would be anywhere from 12 to 14 days, meaning that if you ovulate on cycle day 14, you should have a 26 to 28-day menstrual cycle. That’s the entire cycle. Not the bleed, but the cycle length, you should have a 28 day cycle length. And that’s if your luteal phase is 12 to 14 days, but if your luteal phase is shorter than that, then that could be a sign that you are not producing a sufficient amount of progesterone. And if you’re not producing a sufficient amount of progesterone, then your cycle length, your luteal phase will probably be shorter. You’ll start your bleed earlier, and it will be harder to maintain and hold a pregnancy.
So, that’s typically what we mean by a luteal phase defect. Two of the more telltale signs and symptoms of a low progesterone levels or progesterone deficiency would be a short luteal phase, like we just mentioned, and spotting. And by spotting I mean, spotting probably longer than a day or two, and maybe even more than just a little bit of spotting. So those would be two indicators that your progesterone levels aren’t high enough, because that progesterone will help to prevent your menstruation from coming. And if it’s not, then you’ll start to bleed much earlier or start to spot much earlier before you bleed. And that can indicate a shorter luteal phase and low progesterone. So I think here is actually a good time to take a little diversion. Because when you are experiencing spotting, that can be an indicator for a lot of other issues, which we’re not going to dive into in this video. Because that’s not what this video’s devoted towards. But I do want you all to be aware that spotting in and of itself does not always mean a progesterone deficiency.
There’s lots of other endocrine issues that might be a reason for spotting. I talk about those in many other videos, but this one I want to keep focused towards progesterone. So I’m just going to kind of highlight that, make you all aware that might not be the only reason. And then let’s get back to why we’re here, which is to learn about progesterone levels and what you can do to naturally support them. So I did mention this in the previous video, but this is also an important place to mention it, is testing. That’s right, we need to understand what our hormones are doing. And if you’re going to do some testing to check on your progesterone levels, like I mentioned last week, there’s an appropriate time in your cycle to do that.
More importantly, I don’t want you to just be testing for progesterone. We want to look at everything, estrogen, thyroid function, prolactin levels. These are all potential reasons that can be impacting a short luteal phase, a luteal phase issue, low progesterone, spotting and so forth. And so we want to get a bigger kind of broader perspective on your hormone levels. So if you haven’t done those, then I encourage you to do that at the same time as you’re checking in or taking a deeper dive into your progesterone levels. One of my favorite ways to actually keep a closer eye, and by closer eye I mean, much closer eye on your progesterone levels and really track it day-by-day throughout your luteal phase, which can be a little bit too much for some, it could be just right for many of you. It could be a little bit stressful, maybe even unnecessary. But if you fall into that category where you want more information, you want to track your progesterone more closely, then I do like to recommend some of those new tech tracking apps out there that can do that.
The benefit of them, and not all of them, but the two that I’m going to recommend for you all, the benefit of them is that they will actually track your progesterone with your urine sample. They will track your progesterone every day that you actually test it. And so you can track where it peaks, when it starts to come down, and you can get a lot more information, which may be really useful and practical for some of you. My two preferred methods for doing this are going to be the Mira app and the Oova. I’m going to leave both of those links in the description below so that you can check those out. They are both tracking apps to track your hormones and your cycles. They do a lot of other things in terms of hormones, estrogen, LH, progesterone.
I think they even track, if it’s time to track for pregnancy tests and HCG, they will do that. So I will let you guys determine which one you think is best for you, and if you even think you need it. But if you want that resource, those links are going to be in the description below. So finally, what can you do to support your progesterone levels naturally, and typically at home? Well, the first thing comes back to understanding your hormones and comes back to doing that testing is, we do need to look at our estrogen a little bit more closely. Sometimes what happens is that estrogen goes up a little too high and it makes it seem like your progesterone is too low, but it’s not really too low, but in relationship to estrogen, it is. Some might call that estrogen dominance. The other thing that might happen is that your estrogen is just totally normal, but your progesterone is low. Again, that same variation between the two is there, but those levels are different.
So I do want you to look at your estrogen levels, understand them, and more importantly, understand them in relationship to your progesterone. They do kind of feed each other and work off of each other. And I do think that’s important to recognize, understand and address if it’s there. This is where things get a little bit too complicated for you to manage at home. So I do recommend, if you find these issues that you reach or additional support and get the support from a healthcare provider that can really guide you through that and really address it appropriately.
Tip number two, detoxification. This is really important for detoxing from any excess hormones that we might have. Many of us have been exposed to synthetic estrogen or progesterone, synthetic hormones overall, maybe our endocrine system is compromised and we’re holding on to too many hormones that we did not expect. And this can make it more difficult for our hormones to regulate and progesterone to kind of get high enough if it’s being kind of hampered down by the detoxification process. And this is really what we’re talking about is liver detoxification here.
So I do think if any of you have been on extra hormones, birth control pills, you’ve been through IVF cycles, IUI cycles, or expose for whatever reason to any extra hormones. Then I do encourage you to take a step back, do a detox of your liver. Hopefully that’s going to be pulling out any excess hormones as well. And that may be the ticket that gets you right where you need to be and allows your progesterone levels to get to nice levels. You can keep kind of detoxification a little bit simple, get rid of any synthetic things, get rid of any unnatural chemicals in your environment at home. It can also be a little bit more aggressive, if you like, but for that again, you do need some support and guidance. You might need to reach out for a little bit more support for these first two tips that I just mentioned. And that’s okay. Because from time to time we all need a little bit of guidance and support to get the results that we need.
Tip number three, as you’ve often heard me say is managing your stress levels. Stress levels are so important and we could be focused, so hyper focused on our progesterone levels and getting them up that one, that might cause a stress in of itself. But two that we ignore potential other impacts on our body and endocrine system. And stress is a key one that can absolutely impact all of our hormones. Progesterone is not excluded from this. So I do want to encourage you all to make sure you find time to rest, recover, restore your body and give yourself the proper support that you need when it comes to managing your stress levels. This is something that impacts every aspect of our health and our lives and we cannot ignore it. So please, please, please, as you’ve often heard me say, make sure you get the proper support for managing your stress levels.
Tip number four that absolutely can impact your progesterone levels, and research has shown this to be true, is over exercise. For each one of us over exercising may look a little bit different. But what we do know is that excessive training, long distance running, excessive weight training, those who take up sports and are really aggressive about it, this can absolutely impact your body in many, many ways. And for sure impact your progesterone levels. We talked about stress just a moment ago. This is another stressor on your bodies. Stress comes in many ways, in many forms, but still impacts your body negatively. So we want to make sure we address that, whether it’s emotional stress or physical stress like over exercising.
One nutrient that you can absolutely start to incorporate, but you do need to be careful of is vitamin B6. This can support healthy progesterone levels, but B6 can’t be taken lightly. I do suggest that you start at a very low dose and slowly increase, and you can kind of increase and then watch your progesterone levels so that you can know if you’re seeing a benefit or if you need to increase those levels. But if you’re going to start with B6 as one of the key things that you add in here, I do highly recommend that you seek out the care and attention and guidance from a healthcare provider. B6 is not something to tinker around with and mess around with. It can have negative side effects and you do typically need much higher doses than you’re able to manage on your own to get the long-term benefits and support for your projection levels. So even though I am suggesting that you look at adding in B6, I do think you need to do this cautiously and get the proper support and guidance from someone you trust to guide you through that process.
Tip number six is something that’s been around for a long, long time and is really safe and easy to incorporate, red raspberry leaf tea. This is something you can drink hot or cold, you can drink daily multiple cups of, and this can improve your progesterone levels. The nice thing about this is this is typically not going to cause any negative side effects. I will say, I am careful not to continue to drink this or in excessive amounts while you are pregnant, but until you get pregnant, you are fine to drink this relatively easily and throughout the day. Okay, this I think is the one that all of you have been waiting for.
And I’m going to spend a little bit of extra time on this one, because I want you all to recognize the importance of it. And also be careful, anytime you start to add in any supplements or herbs, we do have to do that cautiously. Many of you ask me, “Can I take Vitex or chaste tree berry,” which are virtually the same thing, “to improve my progesterone?” The short answer is, yes. This may improve your progesterone levels and help to rebalance them. But there are no long-term studies to show that it absolutely does do this every time. And I do see, especially with long-term use of Vitex that it can have of actually some negative side effects, or the benefits you saw in the beginning are no longer there long term.
So even though you can add in Vitex into the mix to try to support progesterone levels naturally, I don’t necessarily love to do this. And I’m pretty cautious about doing this in most women. I use this relatively sparingly and only when it’s necessary. So again, like many of the things that I’ve said previously, I do think if you’re going to add this in, this is something that you also need the guidance and support from a healthcare provider who is comfortable using it, knowledgeable about it, and able to support you properly through incorporating it into your regimen.
And one of my favorites is Chinese herbs. These are excellent, excellent, and have a wonderful impact on progesterone levels, typically with very little to no side effects. But this like everything else does require a trained professional who understands Chinese herbs and has used Chinese herbs to do this exact thing. Chinese herbs in China are used very regularly to support progesterone levels. And they can also do the same thing here in the states if you go to who knows what they’re doing. So these are not things to just haphazardly go get on your own. And like I’ve been saying routinely throughout this video, as much as there are many things that you can do to support your projectional levels naturally, you do have to be careful, and many of you will need the support and guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing and is trained to utilize things to support your progesterone levels.
Last, but certainly not least. This is my favorite because I know it’s going to work. It’s about finding the right dosage. And I briefly talked about it in last week’s video, but this is you taking progesterone. It might seem forward and simple. And for the most part it is. Why mess with it? If we know that we are deficient in progesterone, then my suggestion is that you get on progesterone. The key here is finding the right quality for you. Natural, synthetic, bioidentical, getting the right prescription prescribed to you at the right dosage and administered properly. My least favorite is to take it orally. And I do find that if you take it orally, you do need a much higher dose. And my preferred is to take it vaginally. For that you will absolutely, absolutely need a prescription. And you will need to reach out to your OB-GYN, naturopath or REI to do that. You can also get the natural progesterone cream over the counter. And you will also typically, because those dose much lower you might need a higher dose to see those improve your progesterone levels.
But depending on where you fall and how much progesterone you need, what your levels are, that is really going to dictate which method you use and how you take it to get the impact that you’re looking for. So there’s lots of different ways that we can improve and impact our progesterone levels. I’ve gone through all of them in this video previously. But what I want you to really take out of this, is that when we start dealing with hormones and progesterone levels and trying to impact them. Whether you’re trying to deal with it naturally or through medication, you all need to get the proper guidance and support by someone who knows what they’re doing, you need to be guided properly, coached properly. You need a proper provider to get you this.
If you want me and my team to be that for you, then I want to invite you to join my Hope Fertility coaching program. And all you have to do is apply by using the link in the description below. But whether you use us or somebody else, please just get the proper support and care and attention that you deserve so you can get your results faster.
All right, if you liked this video, give me a thumbs up. If you’re not already a subscriber to my YouTube channel, then you need to be, so hit that bell, subscribe and get notified when I put out a new video for all of you. I also want to hear from you. What did you learn about this video? What might you incorporate that you learned about this video? Comment below and let me know. I want to hear from all of you. All right, everyone. Thank you for watching this video, and until next week’s video, stay fertile.