I experiment on myself a lot. In fact, I’ve been experimenting since I was in my late teens. Not only do my friends come to me for advice on food, hormones and their periods, but they also get to hear all about the different (sometimes out there!) healing modalities I’ve tried. Most of them are amused by my misadventures in health and some of them probably think I’m a little nuts too!
Fast forward to today and I’m still bio-hacking (this is a term I learned from my mentor Dr. Sara Gottfried) which basically means trying new foods/supplements to see what works and what doesn’t to create awesome health. The last two months I’ve been doing two things and I CANNOT believe the results.
Is low Progesterone causing your period issues?
Many of you struggle with painful periods and PMS symptoms like depression and anxiety. There are also a bunch of you who are dealing with a short luteal phase – this occurs when your the second half of your cycle between ovulation and your period is less than 10 days long. Ideally it should be closer to 14 days long. In almost every case I see (including myself) all of these issues stem from low progesterone.
Earlier this year I tested my hormones and my progesterone was on the lower side. I’ve tried quite a few things and nothing was working as well as I’d hoped. Well, that all changed a couple months ago and I can’t wait to tell you about it!
If you think you might be suffering from low progesterone but aren’t sure you can take this at home Progesterone Test to confirm if your levels are off (use code Hormones20 at checkout to get 20% off the test).
2 Ways to Increase Progesterone Naturally
1. Use Saffron to boost your Progesterone levels
Yes that bright-colored spice you put in paella dishes. I bet you’re probably rolling your eyes already but bear with me. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years so don’t be too quick to dismiss it! I learned about saffron’s superpowers awhile back but was skeptical (just like you!) even though studies prove saffron’s effectiveness in treating PMS, painful periods and depression. In fact, saffron has been shown to be as effective as Prozac for treating depression and PMS! Hello! Without the side effects too.
A couple of months ago, I was in Turkey and saw it in a spice market and figured I’d give it a shot. No better place to buy it than a Turkish market right? The minimum effective dose of saffron is about 15mg a day – we’re literally talking a tiny sprinkle. So I started with just a sprinkle on lunch and dinner and continued for about 45 days. Then I kind of fell off the saffron wagon but in that time I got my period and wow! Absolutely no emotional PMS symptoms – I felt completely normal until the moment I got my period. AND majorly reduced pain, by about a third. Let’s do a dance! Expect to see results in 1-2 cycles. If you don’t see improvement then this is just not the treatment for you and that’s totally okay. Onwards and upwards to the next experiment. 🙂
Interestingly, saffron has been used as an aphrodisiac and to treat premature ejaculation in men but the evidence isn’t sufficient enough to conclude that it works. However, if you are wanting to try something like this out on your man, I’d love to hear about your anecdotal results.
Please note: According to one study, saffron can also raise estrogen levels while helping to raise progesterone. Basically it lowers cortisol which helps raise progesterone but simultaneously raises estrogen. If you tend towards higher estrogen, then this might not be the solution for you.
2. Increase your Progesterone Levels with Vitamin C
Did you know that vitamin C is the only vitamin on the planet that can actually raise progesterone levels? Yup, it’s pretty badass. But not just any old vitamin C, that’s so not how I roll. I’ll get to that in a sec though. It’s also got a ton of other incredible purposes like it’s Super Shero antioxidant powers which help your body fight any kind of germy invaders. Naturally I was focused on the progesterone part but I’d be happy to not get sick during winter too! Unfortunately, the RDA for vitamin C in the US (and I think it’s similar everywhere) is a measly 75mg a day. I’m going to tell you right now – that’s useless. You want to be getting at least 1000mg a day of the best stuff out there. I use Livon Labs Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C which tastes like crap but works sooo well! What makes it awesome is it’s gel-like liposomal delivery system, basically it gets where it needs to go and doesn’t get stuck in stomach traffic. Don’t worry about overdosing, vitamin C is water soluble and will be flushed out if you’ve taken too much.
I’ll tell you another little secret – for the better part of the summer and fall I was spotting before my period. Shhh, don’t tell anyone! LOL Me, the woman who’s supposed to be fixing periods was in need of some period fixing. I realized these things were happening so I could fix them and share. Win/win situation right? Well, the spotting on that first period was somewhat improved but what’s even more interesting is that I am about 5 days away from my next period and there is not even a sign of spotting, cramping, the rage-monster or any other undesirables. Just from a little saffron and vitamin C. Who said you have to struggle to fix your period? It’s so much easier than we think it’s going to be most of the time. We just have to be open to new ways of thinking and willing to try a different approach.
I’ll be re-testing my hormones at the beginning of next year and keep you posted on my progesterone levels. If you’re testing your progesterone levels you want them to be 15-25ng/ml in the middle of your luteal phase or on day 21 of your cycle.
0 thoughts on “2 Awesome Solutions for Low Progesterone Blues”
Hi cool article. Do be mindful that the vitamin c supplement phospohlipids are derived from soy lecithin.
love love love this! I have a new potential client that was just put on Progesterone and I am excited to share these different options with her. Thank you for all that you do! My periods have been very short…1-2 days of flow and then just some spotting for the next few days after. So I’m going to go get some saffron today and I am ordering the Lyposomal vitamin C that I recently learned about as well. So grateful!
I am so happy I came across this post the other month! I tried increasing my vitamin c to 2,000mg and saw immediate results in my short cycle (from 9 to 11 luteal phase and no spotting!) I felt amazing!! What a differance! I tried this month with a lower dose of 1,000mg (which i thought was still pretty hight) and I’m back to spotting and short lp. Not as bad as before, but there was a change from 1,000mg to 2,000mg. So I deff know I need to boost it up again to 2,000mg. Thank you! So relieved to find a solution to stay of hormonal birth control!
I have a question.. I’m TTC at this moment. If I’m lucky enough to fall pregnant should I continue to take higher dose of vitamin c? I’m worried that would make my progesterone drop again.
My progesterone level drops causing my skin to break out in the chin area (along with other symptoms) ten days before my period…Should I take the vitamin C every day or should I take it ten days before my period until my period/symptoms subside?
I thought that vitamin C is used in herbal medicines (in extremely high doses) as an abortifacient. If it raises progesterone and is water soluble, how could that be!?
Hello, I want to try this saffron trick too (pms sufferer and sometimes in between spotting)… How much do you mean with a tiny sprinkle? I’ve tried Vitex in the past and it messed up my cycle completely… that’s why I want to do it careful and hopefully without any side effects. Thank you
You should use 15mg, like I suggested in the post. Thanks!
There are a lot of incredible questions on here, but it’s so much easier to get clear answers in our Know Your Flow Facebook group. Just paste the following link into your browser:http://tinyurl.com/pkflo6r
There are tons of women in there who’ve had similar experiences and it’s much more private. I also have a free Period Survival Guide for you here: http://tinyurl.com/nh7y55g
Hi Nicole! Best regards from Portugal! Loved your interview on mindbellyconnectionsummit. I love saffron and use it daily, however, due to low progesterone levels, my Obgyn prescribed me 200 mg of progesterone from day 17th to day 27th of my period. I have irregular periods usually 35 to 40 days and from all the interviews I heard on the summit I was wondering if I shouldn’t be taking it just after ovulating (wich I can test and may occur arround day 20-22). I’m affraid if I take it on day 17th and have not yet ovulated the 200 mg pills of progesterone can compromise my ovulation and therefore a possible pregnancy. What do you think?
For low progesterone I’ve been taking chaste tree and wild yam cream to help boost my levels naturally. I’ve seen great results so far!
That’s wonderful Trish! Glad to hear you’ve found something that works for you!
So first I have been a huge fan of yours about 3 years a think.
Your knowledge and this blog our my go to when I feel lost and my doctor has done nothing for me and sends me any type of medication.
Beacause of You I have learned to ask the right questions and to not just take any medication without searching what effect they will cause me in the future.
So even if my doctor not might like you for making me challenge him it’s great to feel empower.
PS: The saffron is working for me making paella today xo.
Oh Melissa, that’s so fantastic to hear! It’s important to always ask questions so you can make the most informed decision. Hope that paella tastes amazing!
Hey Tabitha! Yes, I recommend looking into http://www.canaryclub.org for saliva based hormone testing. This is an at-home test that is very easy to do. The Advanced Plus test would be your best bet or if you’re trying to get pregnant, check out the fertility test.
Nicole, how do you go about testing your progesterone/hormone levels? Is there some at-home test you can recommend?