Roadmap to Progesterone

how to make progesterone

Progesterone is beneficial because it lightens periods. It also reduces inflammation, regulates immune function, and supports healthy thyroid, brain, bones, and breasts.

Do you make enough progesterone? Are you sure?

The only way to make progesterone is to ovulate and have a healthy luteal phase.


What is a luteal phase?

The luteal phase is the approximately ten to fourteen days between ovulation and the period. It’s named after the corpus luteum, the temporary ovarian gland that forms after an egg is released. A healthy corpus luteum is the only way to make progesterone.

You can detect your luteal phase by tracking your basal body temperature, which is an under-the-tongue temperature, first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Progesterone increases resting temperature by about 0.3℃ (0.5°F), so a luteal phase is higher temperatures for ten to fourteen days, followed by a bleed. If your temperatures go up but you don’t get a bleed, you’re likely pregnant. The only other situations when ovulation is not followed by a bleed include the hormonal IUD, uterine ablation, and hysterectomy.

If your temperatures don’t go up, it means you had an anovulatory cycle and made no progesterone. Anovulatory cycles are also called hormone imbalance, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, unopposed estrogen, or estrogen dominance (a term I don’t use).

Signs of progesterone deficiency.

Four signs of progesterone deficiency

  • a short luteal phase or no luteal phase because a healthy luteal phase should last at least eleven days
  • low temperatures in the luteal phase because body temperature will go up if there’s progesterone
  • fertile mucus in the luteal phase because it will be dried up by progesterone dries up fertile mucus.
  • spotting in the luteal phase because the uterine lining ins maintained by progesterone.

Testing for progesterone deficiency

The best way to test for progesterone is to track basal body temperature. You can also measure progesterone as serum progesterone on a blood test. Read The right way to test progesterone. In general, the more progesterone, the better. It’s not possible to have “too much” endogenous (made by the body) progesterone.

    How to make more progesterone

    The only way to make progesterone is to consistently ovulate every month. To do that, you need to support overall general health and identify a possible “obstacle to ovulation,” such as stress, inflammation, thyroid disease, insulin resistance, nutrient deficiency, and/or undereating. Remember, ovulation is a monthly report card of health.

    General ovulation strategies include:

    You can also take body-identical progesterone.

    👉 Tip: There’s no progesterone in any type of birth control.

    Further reading:

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