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What You Need to Know About Progesterone

As a woman, you have many different hormones that affect your fertility and various other functions. When you are peri-menopausal or starting menopause, it’s still necessary to have a balance of your entire endocrine system and one of the main hormones is progesterone.   

Progesterone 

For most of my life, I didn’t give much thought to my hormones, except when my period was about to happen. Whatever my friends, progesterone and estrogen were doing three weeks out of the month, was uneventful, until the twenty-eighth or thirtieth day of the month, then, “Wham!” My abdomen would feel more bloated, I’d have an increase in appetite (especially for carbs), my complexion was pale, I looked tired and was more emotional. I’m painting such a lovely picture that's relatable to the time when we were all menstruating. Now that I’m in the menopause stage of life, PMS is a thing of the past and so is birth control. It’s one of the parts about being female that I’m sure many women don’t miss, including myself.   

You might not really understand what progesterone is or what role it plays, but it’s a type of hormone that helps with many functions in your body:   

  • Aids in fertility / having a healthy pregnancy 
  • Builds strong bones (stimulates cells to build new bone called osteoblasts) 
  • Creates a happy mood (it acts on the gamma amino butyric – GABA- receptors in the brain). 
  • Helps with skin elasticity 
  • Good for memory 
  • Normalizes blood sugar 
  • Is a natural diuretic 
  • Is anti-inflammatory 
  • Maintains the uterine lining 
  • Helps with burning fat for energy 
  • Reduces PMS symptoms,  
  • Supports proper thyroid health 
  • Maintains proper blood clotting 

Progesterone is among the hormones women need to keep balanced, alongside estrogen, estrone, estradiol, testosterone and others.  

Why You Need Progesterone 

The reason doctors are concerned about progesterone levels is because of how much it impacts your body, if levels are off balance. Not just your gynecological health, but also parts of your body and mind as well. Your mental and physical health both do best when you have adequate amounts of progesterone in your body.  

How to Improve Progesterone Levels 

If you suffer from a hormonal imbalance, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are natural ways you can correct your hormone levels, including progesterone, without medications. Making lifestyle changes such as eating a whole foods diet that consists of healthy fats, wild fish, grass fed meat and pasture raised poultry, organic vegetables and fruits and complex carbohydrates like yams, squash and seed grains like quinoa makes a huge difference.  Getting plenty of exercise, and eliminating negative habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol also have a positive impact on progesterone. I know it’s easier said than done, but making small changes that are doable and realistic over time will lead to life log lasting changes.

If you want an excellent way to accurately measure your hormone levels you can order the DUTCH test from Dr. Suzy Cohen. It’s a complete hormone panel that will give you a breakdown and explanation of your results that you can share with your health care provider. It’s a simple test that uses a urine sample.  Before you order, just make sure to read the info about your state’s rules on the website and email Suzy Cohen’s support department. I live in New York, where the kit cannot be mailed, so I would have to have it sent to another state where I have a friend that can fortunately receive it. She then mails it to me and problem solved. It’s a bit of a workaround but totally worth it.  

Your doctor can provide a progesterone supplement, if you’re unable to improve the issue on your own. The results of the DUTCH test will help provide a better direction, when you know exactly what your numbers are. There are natural progesterone options like wild yam cream that can be helpful and it may be a bit of trial and error until you find the right protocol. Too many women just shake their head yes and do whatever their health care provider says without questioning. Nothing against the medical profession, but it’s your body and you need to treat it like the temple that it is so ask questions and educate yourself by reading and researching. This way you are prepared to make better choices.  

Did you know that essential oils have been around for thousands of years and used to improve a variety of health issues, and menopause symptoms are one of them. The Delightful Hormone balancing serum smells and works great and you can make it yourself in under five minutes! It helps balance progesterone and estrogen and has a calming effect on the nervous system. I love DIY and have made several body care products that are a part of my self care routine. You can look up websites for where to buy essential oils or you can use the company I recommend here called planttherapy.com.  

The ingredients are essential oils of thyme, clary sage and ylang ylang. Use evening primrose oil as a carrier oil for the other oils.  

Essential oil of thyme improves progesterone production for both men and women. Low progesterone levels are associated with infertility, PCOS, depression and other hormonal imbalances.  

There is always a risk when you choose to take hormone replacement drugs. For one thing, it makes your body dependent on synthetic ingredients that are not natural to the body. Second, it increases the potential for issues in other areas of your health that can lead to serious side effects that may require other medications to offset. Before you know it, you could be on several medications that are controlling your bodily functions. When I wanted to get pregnant at 41, I was told my progesterone was low. Instead of taking drugs that were recommended by one Ob/Gyn, I did acupuncture and saw a Chinese herbalist who told me a synthetic form of progesterone would weaken my ovaries’ natural ability to produce progesterone on their own. The herbs worked for me, and I knew then that I would trust my body's innate intelligence and choose a holistic approach first. Drugs would always be a last resort. Every woman needs to trust her own intuition and decide what's best for herself.  

The second ingredient for the hormone balancing serum, essential oil of clary sage, helps balance out estrogen production in the body. Many health issues such as infertility, PCOS and estrogen-based cancers are caused from excess estrogen in the body. Some of that has to do with eating high estrogen foods such as dairy, wheat, soy (most soy is processed and contributes to an increase in estrogen) and alcohol. There is more to say on this topic but I will leave that for another post.  

The third ingredient is essential oil of ylang ylang and helps with libido and stress.

Delightfully Balancing Hormone Serum 

1 oz. Evening Primrose oil (carrier oil) 

30 drops of essential oil of clary sage 

30 drops of essential oil of thyme oil 

30 drops of essential oil of ylang ylang  

Directions  

Mix all ingredients in a 2 oz dark colored glass vial with a dropper.  

Rub 5 drops onto neck twice a day.  

Note: Click on the links so they take you to where you can purchase the ingredients.  

Here’s to having happy hormones! 😊  

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