Common Signs of Progesterone Deficiency

progesterone-deficiencyNature has the perfect intelligence. When it created something, it created another to counter-balance it. The natural law of harmony is present in everything – including our womanly hormones.

Estrogen is the hormone that makes our lovely feminine figures and enables us to produce eggs. Progesterone, on the other hand, prepares the uterus to receive and nurture the fertilized egg.

As shown in the graph below, progesterone is produced immediately after a woman ovulates. The level peaks about one week before the next expected menstruation, and falls if no fertilization takes place.


If there is a fertilized egg, the body continues to produce a large amount of progesterone in order to support the development of the fetus during pregnancy.

In addition to its role in a woman’s ability to conceive and sustain the pregnancy, progesterone also acts as a great harmonizer to balance the estrogen level. Together estrogen and progesterone maintain the regularity and harmony of our menstrual cycles.

Common Signs of Progesterone Deficiency

Hormone imbalances such as estrogen dominance/deficiency and progesterone deficiency are important causes of many menstrual disharmonies.

Today many women experience “estrogen dominance” – excessive secretion or retention of estrogen in the body due to diet, emotional or lifestyle factors. This can cause a relative deficiency of progesterone level, which may manifest as the following symptoms:

  • Premenstrual syndromes (PMS) – including mood swings, depression, insomnia, appetite changes, weight changes, irritability, anxiety, lack of concentration, fatigue, water retention, etc.
  • Perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms
  • Frequent menstruation
  • Irregular menstruation
  • No menstruation
  • Spotting before periods
  • Cystic breasts
  • Painful breasts
  • Breasts with lumps
  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Low sex drive
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy loss


1. The first step to balancing and optimizing your hormones is to understand how estrogen affects you. I encourage you to track your menstrual cycles for at least two consecutive months, find out if and when you ovulate, and chart out how your symptoms change during a given cycle. If you haven’t done so yet, begin today by signing up for our Free Period and Ovulation Tracker.

2. For further reading, I recommend Natural Hormone Balance for Women by Dr. Uzzi Reiss, MD. It contains good information, and it's easy to read for a non-medical person. Many of our community members also like Dr. John Lee's Hormone Balance Made Simple: The Essential How-to Guide to Symptoms, Dosage, Timing, and More.

3. If you're looking for a supplement that helps balance your hormones and reduce estrogen dominance, I recommend Nature's Way Dim-Plus Capsules

DIM-plus contains diindolylmethane, a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. It supports the activity of enzymes that improve estrogen metabolism.

The product has received good reviews from women. Check out what they say about Dim-Plus

4. If you suspect you may have estrogen or progesterone deficiency, especially during perimenopause or menopause, you may consider trying Smoky Mountain's Natural Bioidentical Estrogen/Estriol Cream, or Emerita Pro-gest Cream. These two brands are the best sellers in Women's Health on Amazon. 

5. If you're struggling with symptoms of hormone imbalance, it's important to identify and address the root causes of the imbalance. And the root causes often involve nutrition, lifestyle, as well as mental and emotional habits. The good news is that this is within our control and we can certainly do something about it.

So don't let the pain of hormone imbalance weigh you down, let it become the catalyst for you to create some positive changes in your health - and in your life!

Our 12-week Harmony Program is designed to help you to understand and correct the underlying causes of imbalance in your system and help you to restore its natural balance and harmony. Find out how our Harmony Program can help you.

And sign up to receive your FREE Step-by-Step Guide to Get Started!

Jing Jin, Chief Harmony Officer
At, our mission is to empower women to honor their menstrual cycles, improve their reproductive and overall health, and become the very best version of themselves.

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# Libraryun 2013-10-28 20:47

I've been diagnosed with Cyclical Vomittiting Sydrome and the cycle seems to be a few days before my periods. From what I can tell, maybe when my hormones drop? I've not figured it out yet, but want you to know you aren't the only one with this symptom. Diet and some natural hormone supplements helping by also Zofran for when it is bad.

Best, K
# Bek 2013-10-25 07:30
Hi Jing, I am a litle unsure of what is going on at present....I get to about day 20 in my cycle (normally a 28 day cycle) and I start to feel quite nausea (like I want to vomit), and I am defintiely irritable. I sleep like a baby and really have not trouble getting to sleep. My diet is great, full of fresh fruit/vegies + protein, minimal breads. I'm 34yrs old, non-smoker and non-drinker, we had miscarriage about 3 months ago now (at 11weeks) and we're still trying with not much luck. Blood tests were taken prior to us falling pregnant in May and all seemed normal. Could I possibly have a deficiency or an over abundance? Appreciate your help!
# Jing 2013-10-25 07:55
Hi Bek, looks like you have a pretty healthy lifestyle and your menstrual cycle is normal. But you experience premenstrual symptoms such as nausea and irritability. I wonder if these are stress-related, emotional stress or other stress in your life. Perhaps take some time to reflect on this and identify the major stressors in your life as well as ways to reduce them. Sorry about the miscarriage. It must have been very difficult. Take your time to heal my friend, and give yourself permission to process your emotions. Your body just had a shock 3 months ago so take extra care of it and rebuild it in order to conceive and sustain a new life. Blessings to you my friend...
# Hiranya 2013-07-04 11:00
Dear Mamta, i am so sorry to hear about your irregular cycles and need for medication to get your period. Getting a period every 10 days is definietly out of the ordinary, and i would encourage you to keep consulting your doctor and other professionals about this. You may also find this article and the links helpful: Our cycles are often good indicators of our state of being; physical, mental and emotional. When they start acting up, they are very often trying to tell us something. It is said tgat the womb is where our inner voice resides, the gentle, graceful feminine. One thing I do which you might appreciate is - just before I go to bed - to place my hands on my womb and ask her how she is? This moment of taking stock gets me back in touch with myself. As mothers, we are called upon to look after others; I would encourage you to take some time out for yourself each day, as a little as 5 mins just to spend time in nature, meditate or drink a cup of rosebud tea. Follow your intuitions, and let them lead you. In the long run, think about what habits you can change to improve your sense of well being - there are lots of ideas in the blog and on the forums. It's not easy, but we are all on a journey together and the Cycleharmony community is here to share your ups and downs along the way.
# Mamta 2013-07-04 02:11
My Periods are not regular since the day it started.
Earlier these used to come in 2-3 months time frame. I am overweight and Got all tests done in the past, but seems all came fine.
Sometimes doctor suspected PCOS but couldn't conclude. After My Son is born , I am not able to reduce my weight. After delivery, I have put 10kgs more.
Now I don't get my periods without medicine. This time I have taken medicine to get my periods and after that every 10 days I am getting my periods. Don't know what to do now?

Is there anyone else who faced similar issue. If yes, please share the details.
# Traci 2013-05-02 13:24
I am having almost uncontrollable anxiety attacks. Mostly due to an erratic heartbeat issue that seems to defy diagnosis. It gets worse as I approach my cycle. (Two days out right now and basically I'm chewing on my fingernails and my husband has to drag me to work in the morning because the anxiety is so bad.) I am 45 years old and wound up in the ER last weekend because I thought I was having a heart attack. All tests were normal. Can't shake the doomed feeling though. My Dr. put me on anti anxiety meds while we try to figure this all out. I have never been able to take birth control because it makes me nuttier than a fruitcake. I am hypothyroid and a celiac. For the past two months, I have about 3 days that I feel good. Then the heart thing starts again and gets progressively worse as I get closer to menstruating. My periods asre still pretty much 28 days apart... although they have begun to fluctuate a bit. they have gotten quite a bit lighter though.
# Sarah 2013-07-17 15:05
I'm having similar issues, though no doctor has been able to tell me anything more. Not sure how it is related to hormones. I do seem like mine is getting worse and I am only 37. Yikes. It just seems like this last year has been a year of intense stress in my life and I feel overwhelmed with family, work etc. So this might be part of the reason you are having panic attacks and anxiety attacks.

I could be wrong. I seem to be fluctuating in my periods since March of 2013. In april I skipped a month of a period. Doc had to put me on a pill to help me have my period. It has been fine with NO hot flashes but again this month I am 4 days late and NO period and I am having the beating heart and panic attacks.. Not sure how it is that this happens but like you it is before my period starts and ends usually a few days after my period ends. BTW I only have 1 tube and 1 ovary.. I have had my hormones tested 3 different times with 3 diff. results; so don't rely on those test. Your hormones change too often during the month to see any type of pattern unless your doc is willing to test you every month on a day that co-insides with the 3 day of your period over a time frame of 6-8 months. Then you might see a pattern develop. I like this site because it can show you healthy ways to combat some of the nasty stuff that gets in our bodies. but I do think stress and lack of exercise can do this to you..

I seem to have weird symptoms like the above and also memory lapse, major bloating, aging lines in my face, cravings for sweet stuff (I didn't have this last year), spacing of my period, feeling like I have prolapse if I don't get my period (heavy feeling), increase in healthy discharge, body lower back pain, fatigue, headaches etc. but I did recently go through sinus surgery and my mother told me that it is possible to skip a period if you are under too much stress or pressure in your life. The doc told me if they have to induce my period again they will try hormone therapy so rather than do that I am trying this. Maybe my diet is part to blame although I am a really healthy eater thus far (except for the sweet thing)..

Hope you find out what yours is about.. if you do; let me or us know .. thanks.
# Judith 2013-07-20 18:29
Dear Sarah,
looks like you've been through a lot in the last months!
Indeed, stress is responsible for more than it's share when it comes to our health... You are down right when you talk about exercise and nutrition. Those elements are at the base of our being and play a large role when it comes to stress. Have you tried the Qi Gong exercise Jing posted? Such a wonderful instant stress reliever!
Also, do you know the benefits of angelica root tea/tincture? This great plant is a bountiful ally of women's health; PMS, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, hormonal imbalance, irregular periods...
Hope this will help! :)
Be well my dear...
# frances 2013-04-14 05:51
I hv recently started Dim into my third month, everything was improving lighter less painful period, headaches eased, no spotting between periods, fatigue less. Thou this month after ovulation time for several days i hv been in constant fatigue aches in joints, thighs heavy feeling and bad breast pains. Should i continue with dim. I take 200g a day and one flaxseed cap and take ep first half of cycle. Also hv been diagnose with a polyp which am waiting for removal.
# sharon 2013-02-18 13:59
I suffer from severe PMS which includes depression, fatigue, brain fog, headaches and dizziness. A specialist prescribed me progesterone pills (2mg) called Visabelle. However, these pills have made me feel even worse, as now I feel like I have PMS every day, including extreme water retention. Does this mean my progesterone was actually fine to begin with and doesn't need to be raised?
Thanks so much!
# Jingtastic 2013-03-20 19:01
Sharon, have you had your hormones tested? I think to find the right solution, you want to know what your hormone levels are, don't you? You can get a blood test at a doctor's office, or order a saliva test at home. Check it out:
# Mindybug77 2013-02-04 12:56
I am concerned about the brain fog I live in about middle of my period to about 10 days afterward. My cycle is regular-30 days,usually to the day,so I just don't know. I feel my best when my progesterone levels are highest. My thinking is so clear I feel like a superhero right before I start my period, but right now, I am wondering how can I keep that clarity going for me? Would progesterone cream really help?
# Jingtastic 2013-02-04 13:24
From the middle of the menstrual cycle to about a week or so afterwards is when both estrogen and progesterone both take a dip. Do you have any other symptoms besides mental frog? How's your diet? Give me some ideas. Thanks!
# SONY 2012-12-31 10:35
Hello to everyone! Has any one tried the natural progesterone cream? If so, how did it help? ....thanks .
# Jingtastic 2013-01-01 15:46
I haven't personally tried the progesterone cream. I understand that it helps balance estrogen if you have relatively high level of estrogen in your body - which underlies many of the PMS symptoms. However, I don't think it addresses the underlying causes of high estrogen though, which can be addressed by making certain dietary and lifestyle changes. I hope this helps and I hope you'll join our community of women for inspirations, tips and support by signing up for a free account. Hope to see you inside at our private social media page :)
# Charlotte 2012-11-02 19:52
I'm 26, have no health insurance, no sex drive, thinning hair at the temples, developing chin hairs (3-4 hairs), painful, cystic breasts (I DID have that checked out--definitely not cancer), anxiety and extreme fatigue. I also have a strange period, although regular: it starts heavy for 2-3 days, stops all together, then re-starts on the 5th or 6th day.

I recently bought some progesterone cream and just tried it out (my period should start on the 12th or 13th). If the cream doesn't work immediately, how long should I give the cream a try (how many cycles) before I start looking for another answer to my health problems?

p.s. If it is a hormone imbalance, could my unhealthy lifestyle in my early 20's (heavy drinking, smoking, fast food) have contributed to this, or is it more likely to be caused by something genetic or environmental?
# Andrea 2012-10-09 12:58
I would like an opinion. I got my bloodwork done this past Thursday and started my period this past Sunday. My periods are irregular the past year or so, but usually seem to be a long cycle of about 31 days. My blood results are as follows. Estradiol is 23, Progesterone is 0.4, LH is 12.6 and FSH is 15.0. I am 44yrs old and suffering a lot of symptoms that could fall into either category of estrogen deficient or progesterone deficient. Considering I was in the luteal phase of my cycle, some of these numbers don't fall into normal range. Yet the nurse practitioner I have seen tells me all looks well. I tend to lean on the side that my progesterone is low and am really wanting to try a natural cream. Opinions please. Thank you.
# Jing 2012-10-11 18:28
Andrea, given your age it's quite normal to have lower levels of estrogen and progesterone. You may be experiencing the perimenopause phase of your cycles. You may try a natural cream and see if it helps ease your symptoms. You may also consider taking a Five Element assessment and get a detailed analysis and recommendations :
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Jing Jin My name is Jing. I founded to inspire and empower my sisters around the world to honor our menstrual cycles and embrace the vibrant, radiant women we were born to be.

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