After ovulation, during the second half of the menstrual cycle, female organism releases progesterone (you might be interested in what is progesterone). It helps to maintain a gestation after fertilization of the egg.
In some women, low progesterone levels are observed. This leads to a deterioration of overall health, in addition, losing the ability to conceive or experience some problems during childbearing. In such cases, you need to see a specialist. But some females try to cope with the problem with the help of traditional medicine and begin using progesterone supplements without a prescription. Some of them are really useful and can be taken without a doctor’s consultation (for example, omega-3), but the others need to be approved by a physician.
Over-the-Counter Progesterone Supplements — What to Take?
On the market, there are some natural over-the-counter supplements to increase progesterone. The most known of them are:
- Omega-3. These fatty acids (EPA and DHA) provide proper production of the hormone and hormonal balance restoring. They relief menstrual pain and eliminate menopause symptoms. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have a beneficial impact on a person’s health. Oily sea fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel and herring, eel, halibut, codfish, pollock, sardines, tuna, trout, anchovies), hickory nuts, flaxseed, chia and hemp seed, Brussels sprouts, walnuts, caviar, soy, perilla, algal and olive oil are rich in Omega-3. Seafood (lobster, octopus, crab, crayfish, langostino) is a good choice too. Add more of these products to your diet for natural hormonal rate restoration. Consuming omega-3 additives, available in any pharmacy, is also a good option. Animal research on beef cows by Gavin F. Richardson, Mary A. McNiven, Hélène V. Petit et al. (Can J Vet Res. 2013 Oct) showed that omega had some effects on serum progesterone levels. Moreover, consumption of these nutrients is part and parcel of healthy life. Omega-3 are essential for normal brain function (Singh M, 2005), have a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels (Roche HM, 1999; Wang Q, Liang X, Wang L, 2012); contribute to an increase in muscle mass and decrease in fat content, reduce cortisol levels (Noreen EE, Sass MJ, Crowe ML, 2010); increase bone strength (Kruger MC, Horrobin DF, 1997); improve sleep (Hansen AL, Dahl L, Olson G, 2014).
- Vitex agnus–castus. Vitex (or Abraham’s balm) possesses calming property, identical to progesterone’s one. It’s a great hormone tonic. Stimulating the pituitary gland, it normalizes the estrogen and progesterone correlation. It serves an excellent component for premenstrual syndrome reduction. It helps to regulate ovulation and promotes fertility. Being the natural anti-carcinogen it prevents prostate cancer from occurrence. An adequate dose is 400/500 mg daily for at least a couple of months or until achieving the desired result. You can also take a vitex solution. Check the dosage with a healthcare expert. In some patients, it can trigger excessive menstruation. To avoid complications and side effects of the progesterone supplement, don’t resort to this preparation during pregnancy and never combine it with dopamine medicaments or hormone substitutes. Donna E. Webster, Ying He, Shao.-Nong Chen et al. (Biochem Pharmacol., 2012 Jan 1) stated that Vitex is efficient for the treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome via the activation of MOR and DOR (μ– and δ– opioid receptor subtypes respectively).
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum–graecum) progesterone supplements. The seeds of this plant contain phytoestrogen diosgenin, which has an estrogenic effect. Folk healers recommend it for enhanced lactation and breast augmentation. It stimulates the glucose metabolism and is applied in case of diabetes (for lowering blood sugar level) and metabolism disfunctions, induced by obesity. How to use this plant? Take 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds, pour a glass of hot water and keep for about 15 min. Then strain and take 2-3 times a day. You can put some honey and lemon juice for better taste. Fenugreek in tablets is also available. For choosing an appropriate dosage, consult your doctor. If fenugreek isn’t suitable for you, try fennel. Elevation of the hormone rates was proven in a rodent study (Kassem A, Al-Aghbari A, AL-Habori M, 2006). However, in an antifertility effect of the cuboid-shaped seeds was also revealed in this research.
Products based on yam or soybeans are the best supplements for those who prefer natural progesterone. Progesterone extracted from these sources, is believed to be similar or bioidentical to that produced by a female organism. Traditional yam which you can buy in the market doesn’t feature these benefits.
Where to buy these supplements? You can purchase them in ordinary pharmacies or online drug stores. Certainly, it‘s better to buy them in a licensed apothecary or sometimes in a reliable sports nutrition outlet, where you can also purchase natural testosterone boosters.
What is the drawback of natural progesterone supplements? The fact is that due to the metabolic processes in the liver the bloodstream receives less progesterone than required. Compared to progesterone cream larger amount of oral progesterone should be taken.
Side Effects of Progesterone Supplements
Although the drugs are produced on the basis of plant components, they can cause some negative consequences. These may be minor gastrointestinal upsets and more serious conditions.
Side effects are not the only risks of using such medications. A vast majority of patients take dietary products without previous consultation with a licensed specialist. They also neglect informing him about taking any herbal supplements, which is fraught with unwished harmful interaction with other medications. A research conducted by Tsai HH, Lin HW, Simon Pickard A et al. in 2012 and published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice showed that certain dietary preparations could not be taken simultaneously with the medicines prescribed by the attending physician as they may be incompatible and associated with altered pharmacokinetics and major interactions. It especially concerns individuals, suffering from cardiovascular disfunctions and diseases of the nervous system.
Can You Use Progesterone Supplements During Pregnancy?
According to Sachdeva P, Patel BG, and Patel BK (2009), drug use in pregnancy is a “point to ponder”. The same goes for supps. During this tender period it’s extremely important to strengthen both woman’s and unborn child’s health. For this purpose, various vitamins and minerals are taken. Unfortunately, ignoring doctor’s advice, some future mothers buy herbal supplements, considering them completely harmless. However, this is an erroneous point of view. Many herbs have a strong effect, contributing even to spontaneous abortion. That is why, a circumspect approach regarding progesterone supplements during pregnancy is the best decision.