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 pregnancy after fertilization of the egg.
In some women, low progesterone levels are observed. This leads to a deterioration of overall health, in addition, a woman may lose the ability to conceive or experience some problems during pregnancy. In such cases, you need to see a doctor. But some women try to cope with the problem with the help of traditional medicine and begin using progesterone supplements over the counter. Some of them are really useful and can be taken without a doctor’s consultation (for example, omega-3), while it is advisable to consult a doctor before using other supplements.
Over the counter progesterone supplements– what to take?
On the market, there are some natural supplements to increase progesterone. The most known of them are:
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the production of hormones, so they are extremely useful for restoring balance. They are especially useful for women, because they reduce menstrual pain and menopause symptoms. Due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fats also have a significant effect on health in general. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are: oily sea fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel and herring), flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, soy, and olive oil. Therefore, include these foods in your diet to naturally restore the hormonal balance. You can also take supplements containing omega-3, which are abundant in both pharmacies and sports nutrition stores.
- Vitex agnus-castus. Vitex (or Abraham’s balm) is an excellent hormone tonic for women, which has the same calming effect as progesterone. It stimulates the pituitary gland, leveling the balance of estrogen and progesterone. Vitex is great for reducing premenstrual syndrome and eliminating other menstrual problems. It also regulates ovulation and promotes fertility. In addition, this natural anti-carcinogen protects against prostate cancer. Usually, this supplement is taken in the dose of 400 or 500 mg daily for a minimum of several months or until the desired result is obtained. You can also take a vitex solution. Check the dosage with your doctor. It should be noted that in some women, vitex can cause excessive menstruation. To avoid complications and progesterone supplement side effects, do not take vitex during pregnancy and in parallel with dopamine drugs or hormone substitutes.
- Fenugreek progesterone supplements. Seeds of fenugreek contain phytoestrogen diosgenin, which has an estrogenic effect. Folk healers often recommend this plant for increasing lactation and natural breast augmentation. It also promotes the metabolism of glucose, and therefore can be used in diabetes (for lowering blood sugar) and disorders of glucose metabolism caused by obesity. How to use this plant? Take 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds, pour a glass of hot water and keep for about 15 min. Strain and take 2-3 times a day. You can also add honey and lemon juice for taste. An alternative option is to take fenugreek in tablets. Check dosage with your doctor. If fenugreek does not suit you, you can try fennel.
Products based on yam or soybeans are good options for those who prefer natural progesterone. Progesterone extracted from these natural sources, is believed to be similar or bioidentical to the progesterone produced by a female body. Traditional yam which you can buy in the market does not feature these benefits.
Where to buy these supplements? You can purchase them in ordinary pharmacies, online drug stores, or in simple online stores. Certainly, it is better to buy them in a licensed pharmacy or sometimes in reliable sports nutrition store (for example, if you need omega-3), 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.
Progesterone supplement side effects
Although natural progesterone supplements are produced on the basis of plant components, they can cause some side effects. These may be minor gastrointestinal upsets and more serious conditions.
Side effects are not the only risks of using natural supplements. A significant number of patients take a dietary supplement or herbal product without prior consulting a doctor. Moreover, they do not inform a healthcare professional about taking supplements, which greatly increases the risk of their negative interaction with prescribed medications. A study conducted in 2012 and published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice showed that certain dietary supplements and herbal preparations cannot be taken simultaneously with the medicines prescribed by the attending physician, as they may be incompatible and increase the side effects of the medications. First of all, this applies to patients who have been prescribed drugs for the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular and nervous system.
Can you use progesterone supplements during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, all women want to strengthen not only their health, but the health of the unborn child and start taking all sorts of vitamins and “best supplements” that they are recommended, but these are not always doctors’ recommendations. Often, future mothers think that herbal supplements are harmless. However, this is an erroneous opinion. Many herbs are very active biological substances having a strong effect on the woman’s body during pregnancy. Some herbal preparations may even contribute to spontaneous abortion. Every pregnant woman should know that before taking progesterone supplements during pregnancy, she should consult her doctor.