Progesterone is Queen
We're spreading the word on the power of progesterone!
You may have learned by now that we LOVE progesterone. We believe progesterone is queen when it comes to conception and so much more! But why is it so important? And why aren't more people talking about progesterone?
Pregnancy loss and infertility are an unfortunate potential outcome for many women. There are many reasons behind fertility struggles, including blocked fallopian tubes, genetics, low sperm, and more. However, the number 1 cause of infertility is low progesterone - which causes problems with ovulation and an inability for the embryo to properly implant. Low progesterone is also the number 1 cause of preventable miscarriage. Full disclosure, 70% of miscarriages are due to genetic factors and are thus unpreventable. But still, it’s important to know about this super hormone and determine if you are at risk of low levels.
Progesterone is the hormone that prepares the uterus to conceive. It is released by the empty follicle from which the egg just came - aka, the corpus luteum - and circulates through the body right after ovulation. Progesterone rises at different rates in every woman, but you typically want to have elevated levels days 7 through 10 post ovulation, especially if you are trying to conceive. That’s because this is the critical implantation window. A fertilized embryo needs a receptive uterus to implant properly and progesterone is what prepares the uterus!
Somewhat unfortunately, there are quite a few factors that can influence progesterone negatively. For example, stress leads to increased cortisol. Progesterone and cortisol are part of the same pathway in the body which means high stress and thus high cortisol levels can make it harder for the body to properly produce progesterone. In addition to stress, inflammation stemming from diet can be rough on progesterone production. You may not be officially lactose intolerant or celiac, but even slight intolerances to certain foods can be enough to throw hormones out of balance.
Additionally, in the case of women with PCOS, levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone are often elevated. This leads to increased ovarian activity meaning lots of developing follicles, but unfortunately the ovaries are less sensitive to LH. This means the LH spike either fails to cause the follicles to rupture (no ovulation) or ovulation isn’t very effective; both situations result in low progesterone.
All this may seem a bit nerve-wracking, but there’s really no reason to worry unnecessarily. The amazing news is that if progesterone is low, there’s so much you can do to fix it from diet and lifestyle changes to seed cycling to exploring both OTC (check out vitex!) and doctor prescribed supplements.
But how do you tell if your progesterone is low and that you should look into one or a few of these progesterone increasing activities? That’s where Proov can help. Proov allows women to track progesterone at home over multiple days in the luteal phase. This is important because progesterone can’t work its uterus-preparing magic in just one day - it needs to be elevated over time to support proper implantation. From indicating ovulation, to supporting conception and pregnancy, to contributing to overall women’s health, progesterone is queen!
Have a progesterone story? We’d love to hear it! Please email us or DM us - @proovtest.