5 Ways to Naturally Increase PdG Levels
If you have been following our blog posts, you’ve probably noticed we love PdG, a progesterone metabolite, and it’s no wonder since it confirms healthy ovulation, which is needed for conception!
What causes a low PdG?
Low PdG can be caused by many things, including stress, age, menopause, pollution, diet, and excessive exercise. Each of these causes can lead to a hormone imbalance, meaning the amount of PdG is unequal to the amount of estrogen being produced.
But what should you do if you fear your PdG is low? To start, you can try one of these five natural tactics for increasing PdG.
A simple way to increase PdG levels is through your diet. While food doesn’t contain progesterone itself, some foods can promote production, including:
- Brussel sprouts
- Whole grains
You can also try eating food with vitamin B-6 and zinc. Vitamin B-6 has a role in keeping hormones balanced and regulated, while zinc helps your ovaries create more progesterone and estrogen.
One of the most common herbs used to treat low PdG is chaste tree berry, or vitex angus-castus. Vitex stimulates the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the brain, which stimulates the ovaries to produce PdG.
Red raspberry leaf has also proved effective for regulating PdG to support hormone balance. It is most commonly consumed as tea and can be found in many fertility teas.
Maca is a “hormonal adaptogen,” meaning it will adapt to your bodies needs and help to naturally produce your hormones. Studies have shown that women who take a maca supplement will experience a PdG increase over time.
Stress triggers the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. If you are super stressed and your body needs more cortisol, the adrenal gland will steal other, less vital hormones to make more cortisol. Since progesterone is not a hormone needed to survive, it is one of the first to be converted into cortisol.
Reducing stress is easier said than done, right? Start by taking a little time out of your day to do something for yourself, such as doing yoga, going for a walk, or reading. Activities such as these help quiet the cognitive part of the mind, which can slow the overproduction of stress hormones.
Normal, moderate exercise is good for overall health and won’t hurt PdG levels. When we’re talking about overexercising, we mean a lot of intense and strenuous exercise--think competitive CrossFit and marathoners.
Excessive exercise can cause increased cortisol levels in the body and, as we learned in the previous section, your adrenal gland can’t produce enough cortisol on its own. It will “steal” progesterone from your reproductive system to make the amount of cortisol it needs to support strenuous exercise.
Maintain a Healthy Bodyweight
Abnormally low or abnormally high fat levels can affect the production of PdG and your overall hormone balance.
Low fat levels can cause your body to think you are in famine. So, instead of giving nutrients to the reproductive system to make your hormones, it instead uses those nutrients for survival.
On the other hand, high fat levels can cause a hormone imbalance. Fat cells produce estrogen, meaning that the more fat cells there are in the body, the more estrogen you will produce. While this doesn’t directly affect progesterone production, it does cause for a hormone imbalance since estrogen levels will increase and progesterone production just can’t keep up.
If you want to better understand your PdG levels you can use Proov, the first at-home PdG test to confirm ovulation in just five minutes. Even better, you can test PdG levels seven times with just one pack vs. a one time blood test at the doctor’s office.
If your Proov tests indicate that you have low PdG levels, some of the above tips may help balance it. But if you suspect you have a significant deficiency resulting in an unhealthy ovulation, you can take the information provided by Proov tests to your doctor, who can prescribe a progesterone supplement. And if your levels are fine, you are still one step closer to knowing your body and uncovering what might be preventing conception.