If you are a healthy woman who is finally planning on getting pregnant, then taking a few measures may help you get pregnant without any complications. For women who are suffering infertility due to low progesterone levels can also try and change their lifestyle a little to increase progesterone levels and the chances of getting pregnant. In this article, we will be learning about the importance of progesterone levels in your body and the ways to increase it to get pregnant.
In this article:
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is an endogenous steroid and progestogen sex hormone that plays a great role in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and overall health of men and women. And for women who are trying to get pregnant, increasing progesterone levels is vital.
Why do You need Progesterone?
As you have read above, women trying to get pregnant have to increase their progesterone levels, since low progesterone levels may cause the following problems:
- Uterine bleeding
- Irregular periods
- Decreased sex drive
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Anxiety or depression
- Headaches or migraines
13 Ways to Naturally Increase Progesterone for a Healthier Pregnancy
Maintain Body Weight
Increased body fat leads to the production of estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen converts other fat cells into estrogen which disturbs the balance of estrogen and progesterone levels. Since estrogen and progesterone levels balance each other in the body, it is important to maintain equal levels of both the hormones. Though maintaining weight might not increase the progesterone levels, but it helps in maintaining the balance between both hormones.
Avoid Over Exercise
Though it is important to do regular exercise, one must know that doing over-exercise can decrease progesterone levels. Especially for women who are trying to get pregnant should avoid over-exercising. This theory is simply explained by physicians who say that over-exercising increases the cortisol(the main stress hormone) levels of body, i.e. when the body experiences extreme stress, it looks for help by swiping progesterone from ovaries and converting it into cortisol, which leaves the ovarian hormones out of balance.
As discussed before, cortisol which is the main stress hormone increases when the body experiences physical or mental pain. If you keep stressing over things that really aren’t a matter of stress, then your body might increase the cortisol levels which eventually decreases progesterone levels. To maintain the balance, do not stress over things and try to keep calm as much as possible. You can decrease stress by doing light exercises like yoga, or listen to calming music, read comic books, or get a good spa massage.
Studies have shown that the problem of infertility can be cured through the acupuncture method. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are said to support the ovarian function, improve progesterone levels, and lengthen the luteal phase. So why not give a try to acupuncture if you plan on getting pregnant naturally.
Avoid Foods which Increase Oestrogen Levels
It is important that women maintain the balance of oestrogen and progesterone levels to ensure that they remain fertile. If either of the two hormones becomes high the other goes down, eventually disturbing the balance. Therefore, avoiding foods that might shoot up oestrogen levels in the body will help maintain both hormones in equal amounts. Foods that increase oestrogen levels are soy products, carrots, chickpeas, etc. Try to avoid these foods if you are trying to get pregnant.
Consume Good Fats
Consuming fat in the form of cholesterol is needed to produce progesterone in the body. Therefore, consuming enough fats keeps the hormone levels of a body high enough for fertilization to occur. Foods like meat, lard, fatty fish, and coconut oil help to keep cholesterol levels in an adequate amount. At least two tablespoons of fat during every meal is required in order to be healthy.
Try Chaste Berry
Chaste berry is a herb known to improve progesterone production in the body. It is used for PMS, irregular menses, and support of early pregnancy. It works by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce a more luteinizing hormone, which, in turn, signals the ovaries to produce more progesterone. If you do not find the actual herb, you can supplement it by taking vitex (chaste berry) capsules a couple of times a day to ensure high levels of progesterone.
Consume Zinc-Rich Foods
Zinc is one of the most important minerals which balances the hormones at the right levels. It also plays an important role in fertility as it prompts the pituitary gland to secrete follicle-stimulating hormones, which promotes ovulation in the female body. Foods like liver, red meat, shellfish, dark chocolate consist of high amounts of zinc in them.
Magnesium along with zinc is an extremely important mineral that helps to maintain hormonal balance in your body. Consuming enough magnesium by using supplements or by eating food items like black beans, spinach, halibut, whole grain cereals, and nuts will ensure balanced progesterone levels.
Avoid Certain Herbs
Herbs like blue cohosh, black cohosh, liquorice, lavender, tea tree oil, and Rhodiola roseroot, are among the ones that increase oestrogen levels in the female body. An increase in oestrogen levels eventually results in a decrease in progesterone levels. Therefore, avoiding these herbs may help to maintain the balance between both hormones.
Consume Vitamin-C Rich Foods
Vitamin C helps improve fertility levels as it helps in ovulation. The ovaries of the female body use ascorbic acid to ovulate so that the ovulation goes smoothly. It was found in research that women who consumed vitamin C rich foods had higher progesterone levels compared to women who didn’t. Vitamin C facilitates re-absorption of ascorbic acid as it functions as an antioxidant in the body. Broccoli, lemon, oranges, dark leafy vegetables are some of the good sources of vitamin C.
Include Vitamin-E Rich Foods in Diet
Vitamin E helps increase the luteal blood flow which lengthens the luteal phase, i.e. the egg released will be if higher quality increases the chances of pregnancy in women. Therefore, vitamin E plays an important role in pregnancy. Foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, and olive oil are rich in vitamin E and should be consumed in order to be fertile.
Avoid Non-Organic Foods
The food items we buy in the market today most probably contain high levels of pesticides which affect the chances of getting pregnant. Therefore, when you purchase meat or chicken choose the ones which are free of hormones while you try to get pregnant. By doing so will prevent any additional hormones or pesticides from entering your body ensuring better chances of getting pregnant.