Progesterone is a crucial hormone secreted by ovaries in women that is responsible for a pregnancy to start. It binds the fertilized egg to the lining of the uterus and prevents menstruation.
If the progesterone levels are insufficient to support the implantation, the woman may face fertility issues or miscarriages. Women with PCOS, hypothyroidism, and adrenal insufficiency may have lower progesterone levels.
In this article, we have come up with 5 different ways for how to increase your progesterone to get pregnant and support pregnancy.
#1. Make a Balance Between Estrogen and Progesterone Levels
Estrogen levels determine the fertility levels of a woman as it assists in ovulation. Low estrogen results in fewer eggs produced during ovulation leading to low chances of fertilization. Thus estrogen levels need to be optimum to conceive.
Moreover, estrogen and progesterone work in synchronization with each other and any imbalance between their levels eventually leads to problems such as irregular menstruation, uterine fibroids, miscarriage, or prenatal death.
Seed Cycling for Pregnancy
You need to eat certain healthy seeds at different times of your menstrual cycle to regulate levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
The seed Cycling process involves 2 phases
I. Follicular Phase
During the follicular phase or first half of your cycle (from day-1 of your period), flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are to be taken regularly. These seeds are a rich source of fiber, zinc, and magnesium that aids in the ovulation process.
A tablespoon of seeds is sufficient to have on a daily basis till the 14th day of your cycle.
II. Luteal Phase
During your Luteal phase (after ovulation, from the 14th day onwards), you need to take a tablespoon of Sunflower and Sesame seeds till the start of your menstruation. These seeds are a rich source of healthy fats and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, vitamins, and folic acids that boost progesterone.
Foods such as soy products, carrots, olives, legumes, or chickpeas are some of the foods to avoid when planning a baby, as they shoot up the estrogen levels in the bloodstream.
#2. Maintain an Ideal Body Weight
Excess body fat gets converted into estrogen. As this estrogen is not produced by ovaries, the ovaries do not produce sufficient progesterone that eventually leads to high estrogen levels and low progesterone.
In the case of lower fat cells, the pituitary gland signals that your body is in survival mode. If it happens, your body will utilize all the available nutrients to provide energy to the body, rather than contributing to the production of reproductive hormones.
Thus maintaining an adequate body weight does not directly increase progesterone production but somehow results in adequate progesterone levels.
Hypothyroidism can cause a gain in weight. Feeling depressed, lethargy, gaining weight, and not being able to conceive, you should consult your physician regarding your thyroid functions.
Once the thyroid hormones get controlled, your body weight can be maintained. And your chances of getting pregnant also increase. You can also use an ayurvedic diet for weight loss in case the obesity is not due to thyroid.
#3. Try to Avoid Stress
Stress is one of the main reasons for getting complications in getting pregnant and also during pregnancy. Hormone levels of cortisol and adrenaline are increased during stressful conditions that signal the body to secrete lower progesterone levels.
Stress is inevitable in life, but you can try your best to de-stress yourself. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with your loved ones or playing with your pet will uplift your mood.
A light exercise or a regular walk will not only help maintain body weight but also make you cheerful, and active and regulate proper blood circulation.
Sitting in the sun also has proven effects in reducing stress as it boosts the secretion of the Happiness hormone, Serotonin.
Meditation helps a lot to de-stress yourself. Guided meditation is just a minute away.
#4. Change in Diet Can Do Wonders
Dietary patterns influence a lot of your healthy well-being and thus your fertility.
Minerals such as magnesium and zinc play a major role in the secretion of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which is essential for ovulation and the production of progesterone.
Food such as lean meat, dark chocolate, nuts, spinach, and whole grain cereals are rich sources of zinc and magnesium.
B) Vitamin C
Include Vitamin C-rich foods in your daily diet. Before ovulation, the ovaries absorb ascorbic acid so that the ovulation process happens smoothly. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of ascorbic acid, hence essential for ovulation.
Foods like lemon, oranges, and dark leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin C.
C) Vitamin E
In women, the Vitamin E increases the mucus in the cervix which allows the sperm to stay alive and healthy for a longer duration. This increases the chances of getting pregnant. You can eat foods like peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, and olive oil to maintain sufficient vitamin E levels in the blood.
D) Vitamin B6
Even vitamin B6 has shown results in improving progesterone levels. The research published by the National Library of Medicine proved that when the levels of vitamin E were increased in women, the rate of miscarriage got reduced by 50%.
Apart from adding healthy foods, you also need to be aware of certain foods and avoid them to conceive. Synthetic flavors and ingredients added during the processing of food should be kept off.
Foods high in trans-fat content, soda, high mercury fish, alcohol, raw meat, and the use of lavender or tea tree oil can be detrimental to the potential fetus or can prevent pregnancy.
#5. Herbal Supplements Naturally Boost Hormones
Some herbs help to increase low progesterone levels.
The Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex) promotes the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) which signals the brain to stimulate ovaries in order to release progesterone. Vitex capsules are readily available in the market.
However, you should consult your gynecologist about supplements as they can suggest which will suit you the best and the adequate dosage.
Ashwagandha and Maca are considered adaptogens which means that they will regulate the natural stimulation of pregnancy hormones.
Motherhood is a blessing that comes with patience, sacrifice, and responsibilities. To cherish this pleasure, you need to prepare yourself for all challenges that the pre-pregnancy or pregnancy period brings upon you.
Be it your dietary changes, lifestyle changes, or belief system, you need to stay determined and focused. This not only will help you in conceiving, but also prepare you for motherhood. You can read our article tips to get pregnant with twins if you wish so.