Progesterone & Pregnancy: Benefits & How to Increase

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Having proper progesterone levels in the body is important throughout your life, and supplementation can have a number of positive effects.

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is a hormone that occurs in the ovaries, adrenal gland, and placenta. This hormone is typically discussed in terms of its effects for women, since it has a number of effects on pregnancy, and is critical to female sexual health. However, progesterone is also produced by men, and acts as a precursor to testosterone, making it just as important for male sexual health as it is for women. In women, this hormone is produced by the body at varying levels, depending on where a woman is in her menstruation cycle. In the two weeks before menstruation, progesterone levels will rise, in anticipation of fertilization. If the egg doesn’t become fertilized, the levels of this compound will once again drop. In a fertilized egg, progesterone levels will remain heightened, as the hormone helps deliver nutrients to the growing fetus. [1]

Clearly, the role that this hormone plays is of extreme importance, but it can also have other effects on the body. Furthermore, low levels of progesterone can have some negative side effects, but there are symptoms that may indicate a deficiency.

An infographic showing the chemical equation of progesterone

Progesterone plays a vital role in the menstrual cycle and in maintaining the early stages of pregnancy. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Low Progesterone

Optimal progesterone levels are very important for pregnancy. This hormone is key to thickening the uterus as it prepares for a fertilized egg. Fortunately, there are certain ways to tell if you have low progesterone levels, such as low sex drive, mood swings, headaches, nausea, hot flashes, and irregular menstruation. These symptoms are largely caused by hormonal imbalance, and you should see a doctor about the best way to get your hormone levels back to where they need to be. [2]

Progesterone Benefits

There are a number of impressive benefits to increasing your progesterone levels, these include the following:

Furthermore, due to the hormonal effects of this compound, you can,

  • Regulate mood and depressive symptoms [3]
  • Stimulate muscle growth

For women, the use of this hormone supplement will help to stabilize hormonal fluctuations and minimize the symptoms of menstruation. There are some reports that maintaining the proper level of progesterone in the body is linked to the better antioxidant formation of the body. This can help to reduce your risk of cancer, as well as lowering your likelihood of developing other chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. [4]

How to Increase Progesterone?

The best ways to increase your progesterone include the following:

  • Changing your diet
  • Taking nutritional supplements


Some of the most important nutrients for the production of this hormone are magnesium and vitamin B-6, along with other B vitamins. Taking specific supplements of these nutrients, or adding magnesium- and B6-rich foods to your diet can help clear up the deficiency. [5]

Dietary Changes

You will want to increase your level of protein, which is a critical source of amino acids for the production of hormones. You should also avoid dairy and egg products, as these are known to impact hormone levels in various ways, making it more difficult to keep your levels stable. [6]

Progesterone Side Effects

Some of the side effects of taking these hormonal supplements include: [7]

  • Complications for pregnant women
  • Higher risk of breast cancer, and liver disease [8]
  • Dizziness and gastrointestinal effects
  • Some women also report vaginal bleeding or mood imbalances, even depression

Speak to your doctor before adding this supplement to your health regimen. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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