Have you ever wondered why you experience so many frustrating PMS symptoms throughout your cycle?
One of the most common reasons for menstrual cycle symptoms is the imbalance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
So let’s do a *very quick* hormone recap, shall we?
Estrogen is the dominant hormone in the first half of the cycle (the follicular phase) as your body prepares to ovulate.
While estrogen is incredibly important, and many women struggle with estrogen dominance symptoms, we will be discussing the role of progesterone in this article.
Progesterone is the dominant hormone in the second half of the cycle, after ovulation has happened, and it is literally the queen bee of all hormones.
If you’re looking to support your menstrual cycle, and overall hormone balance, it is important to understand ways to naturally improve progesterone levels.
The Role of Progesterone:
Progesterone helps to balance out the effects of estrogen, which is crucial for reducing all those PMS symptoms you might feel in the second half of your cycle.
When there is too much estrogen in relationship to progesterone you may feel symptoms such as:
- Breakthrough bleeding or spotting during the second half of your period.
- Dark or black blood or clotting right before your period.
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
- PMS and mood fluctuations.
- Menstrual migraines.
- A heavy flow… especially the first couple of days.
- A diagnosis of endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts, and/or PCOS.
As you can see, increasing progesterone levels can be a game changer in reducing menstrual cycle symptoms
Below you will find my top three suggestions for improving progesterone levels!
Three Ways to Improve Progesterone Levels Naturally
Whole Food Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been shown to increase progesterone levels. I encourage you to incorporate Vitamin C in whole food form as opposed to supplementing with ascorbic acid, the synthetic version.
Examples of whole food vitamin C include: citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, and lime/lemons. You can also incorporate more peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables.
Manage Stress Levels
There is a relationship between elevated cortisol levels and decreased progesterone. You can’t underestimate the power of incorporating stress reduction techniques to increase progesterone levels.
Understandably, there is some stress we cannot control, but there is also a lot that is in our control.
Make a list of the top stressors in your life and see if there are any that you can reduce or cross off the list completely. Maybe you can even “outsource” a task to someone else!
In addition to analyzing overall stressors in your life, there are many ways you can support your body from a nutritional and mineral standpoint.
Stress Support to Increase Progesterone Levels
- Try incorporating an adrenal cocktails daily:
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- ½ sparkling water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- Consider taking a good magnesium supplement or regular magnesium baths.
- Look into calming adaptogens like Ashwagandha and/or Reishi.
Prioritize Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has also been shown to help improve progesterone levels.
Rotating your proteins is one of the best ways to get a variety of B Vitamins in your diet.
Write down your favorite meals and get creative with swapping out various proteins each week. Getting in lots of different lean protein, pork, seafood, and red meats options.
I would also consider beef liver as a great way to cover your B Vitamin basics.
Increased Progesterone Levels Can Help You:
– Feel less anxious
-Have more energy
– Improve sleep
– Reduce spotting
– Reduce cramps, bloating and headaches
– Sustain a healthy pregnancy
– Have healthy and successful ovulation
… and who doesn’t want all those amazing progesterone benefits??
For more information on how to support your hormone levels throughout each phase of your cycle, download my FREE Menstrual Cycle Guide below!