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Progesterone Deficiency Signs and Symptoms

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - December 4, 2015

Progesterone belongs to a class of chemical messengers, or hormones, that play a role in reproductive health. That is not the only purpose of progesterone, and both women and men need this basic chemical to balance out the effects of too much estrogen in the body. If a person is dealing with progesterone deficiency symptoms, he or she may be facing a number of different health problems, and sexual function issues.

Although a small portion of progesterone is manufactured in the adrenal glands, a woman’s ovaries and a man’s testes are responsible for the majority of this hormone’s secretion. Numerous signs warn a person that she or he is dealing with the symptoms of progesterone deficiency, and many of them are gender neutral.

The chart below shows the specific symptoms of this hormonal decline by gender:

Low libido/sex drive X X
Weight gain X X
Depression, mood changes, anxiety, irritability X X
Headaches, migraines X
Infertility X
Hot flashes or night sweats X X
Menstrual irregularities, heavy bleeding, PMS X
Menopause/perimenopause symptoms X
Andropause symptoms X
Tender, swollen, or painful breasts X X
Postpartum depression X
Endometriosis X
PCOS polycystic ovarian syndrome X
Swollen ankles X
Miscarriage X
Fibroids X
Vaginal dryness X
Fatigue, lack of energy X X
Blood sugar imbalance X X
Decreased bone density X X
Sleep problems, insomnia X X
Enlarged prostate X
Changes in urination flow and frequency X X
Erectile dysfunction X
Decreased muscle development X X
Hair loss and balding X X
Increased body hair X X
Increased cancer risk X X
Changes in sweat and body odor X
Thinning skin, skin issues, acne X X
Increased risk of artery and heart diseases X X
Poor memory functions, decreased concentration X X

Progesterone deficiency treatment is also essential to help with enhancing the action of thyroid hormones, serving as a natural diuretic, normalizing blood clotting, and restoring proper oxygen levels in cells – all which can be affected by this hormonal decline.

Xenoestrogens – the chemicals found in environmental pesticides in food sources, plastics, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and shampoos are all products that can contribute to natural progesterone deficiency causes. Aging is also a primary issue, as the ovaries and testes begin to decrease the amount of essential hormones that they produce.

In a male, progesterone is considered a “source hormone” that is converted into testosterone. The decline that occurs as a man ages is what can lead to Low T (testosterone deficiency).

How to Determine if You Have Progesterone Deficiency

Deficiency of Progesterone

Before running off to start any type of treatment for visible progesterone deficiency symptoms, it is essential to determine if this hormonal decline is actually present in the body. The list above can be used as a guideline for creating a list of symptoms that are currently present in one’s life. If there are any other issues not listed, make certain to add them as the doctor will need to know about this because progesterone decline can mimic a number of other hormonal imbalances, as well.

A doctor who specializes in hormone replacement therapy is the best option to seek out for testing, diagnosis, and treatment for the symptoms of progesterone deficiency. These specialists typically cover all the bases when ordering the blood tests that will be used to determine the particular nature of the issues that are current.

A physical examination is required to ensure that there are no other underlying medical concerns that could be at the root of an individual’s problems. This will also clear the person for treatment with supplemental progesterone therapy.

Each person will also complete a medical history questionnaire if there is a concern about his or her current symptoms. Progesterone deficiency does require treatment to ensure proper health down the road since osteoporosis, dementia, cancer, and heart disease are all issues that can arise if left untreated.

What to Do if You Have Progesterone Deficiency

Once diagnosed with this particular hormonal imbalance, progesterone deficiency treatment can begin. The doctor will determine the type of treatment to prescribe, and most women and men can expect to notice a reduction in their symptoms and an improvement in their overall well-being and vitality. All symptoms listed in the chart above will reap the benefits of this hormone therapy.

It is essential to point out the difference between synthetic progestins and natural progesterone. Progestins may cause blood vessels to narrow and lipid (fats in the blood) profiles to rise. Synthetic progestins are not identical in molecular structure to hormones found naturally in the body. They are typically used in oral contraception (birth control pills), and not recommended for hormone replacement.

Natural progesterone is the best option for the treatment of progesterone deficiency and is synthesized from soybeans or Mexican wild yams. This bioidentical hormone has an identical molecular structure to the progesterone found in the body and is available as a prescription cream.

Here are the steps to take to help improve progesterone levels in the body:

Step One: Increase vitamin and mineral intake as follows:

  • Vitamin B6 – consume spinach, walnuts, beans, whole grains, bananas, lean red meat, potatoes, seafood, poultry, and fortified cereals
  • Vitamin C – supplement with 750 mg per day
  • Magnesium – increase intake of spinach, pumpkin seeds, black beans, nuts, okra, whole grain cereals, raw plantains, and halibut
  • Zinc – add liver, shellfish, lean red meat, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, and dark chocolate

Step Two: Avoid herbs and foods that increase estrogen levels:

  • Herbs – black cohosh, lavender, licorice, tea tree oil, red clover blossom, saw palmetto berry, dong quai, hops, rhodiola rose root, and motherwort leaf
  • Foods – dried fruit (apricots, prunes, dates), chickpeas, peas, sesame seeds, flaxseed, alfalfa sprouts, beans, soy products (tempeh, soybeans, milk, tofu)

Step Three: Use prescription natural progesterone cream as directed by a hormone replacement specialist

National HRT is a nationwide hormone replacement therapy clinic offering diagnostic testing, treatment, support, and guidance to men and women dealing with a variety of hormonal imbalances and deficiencies.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on November 21, 2023

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.


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