Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency

Ignored by many practitioners, progesterone is meant to be abundant.  Much confusion can be attributed to this common portrayal of the menstrual cycle:

Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency

While the rise and fall of hormones is depicted correctly, this graphic implies that the only significant level of progesterone occurs in the 2nd half of the cycle during the luteal phase.  The black line depicting progesterone hovers close to nothing during the first half of the cycle.  To make this compact image, progesterone in nanograms (1000x that of estradiol) are scrunched.  A correct graph would show progesterone in much greater quantity than estradiol.

This graph omits many other sources of progesterone.  The progesterone in the first half cycle comes from the adrenal glands.  Progesterone is also produced outside of organs.  Schwann cells which protect the nervous system tissue make and use progesterone with progesterone going into circulation. Progesterone can be produced independently in the brain from cholesterol.  Each cell, in a process called intracrinology makes sex and adrenal hormones which may never reach the blood.

This image contributes to the notion that the most important hormone women need, and use is estradiol.  This concept causes women to be mistreated and creates serious hormone imbalances.  Hysterectomized women are often given estrogen supplements only, when the need for surgery was created by a long-time progesterone deficit.

Calm Cream™ – bioidentical Progesterone cream with calming seeds
Symptoms of Progesterone Deficiency

Many have no idea of progesterone deficiency.  They may understand that there is some importance for balancing the effects of estrogen but do not appreciate how many of their health issues stem from a lack of adequate progesterone.

Here is a questionnaire to check for yourself:

Progesterone Deficiency Questionnaire

Circle each symptom that applies to you

  1. internally anxious, outwardly calm
  2. premenstrual backache
  3. frequent complaining
  4. endless crying
  5. breast and/or ovarian cysts
  6. defective luteal phase
  7. fibroids
  8. excessive facial hair on women
  9. excessive body hair on women
  10. infanticidal fears
  11. feelings of loneliness
  12. maltreatment of newborn baby, harmful, violent thoughts
  13. absence of maternal instinct and behavior
  14. nausea during pregnancy
  15. night sweats
  16. PCOS (poly cystic ovarian disease)
  17. pre-eclampsia
  18. rejection of baby
  19. feelings of resentment
  20. early ageing of skin
  21. feelings of uselessness
  22. vaginal thinning, dryness and itching
  23. miscarriage
  24. temporary psychosis
  25. breast tenderness and/or mastitis
  26. premenstrual breast tenderness
  27. follicular keratosis on backs of arms and legs
  28. hot flashes/flushes
  29. erratic menstrual cycle
  30. excessive menstrual flow
  31. lack of menstrual periods
  32. depression after childbirth
  33. depression during perimenopause/menopause
  34. irregular menstrual flow
  35. period pains and/or ovulation cramps
  36. easily upset, quick to cry
  37. depression
  38. panic attacks or panicky feelings
  39. sense of confusion
  40. feelings of unreality
  41. exhaustion
  42. feelings of guilt
  43. hair pulling
  44. hallucinations
  45. histrionic behavior
  46. infertility/difficulty in falling pregnant
  47. feelings of insecurity
  48. internally upset by criticism
  49. suicidal thoughts or attempts
  50. binges
  51. hair loss from head (women)
  52. lack of self-confidence and esteem
  53. SAD (seasonal effective disorder)
  54. sleep disturbances
  55. stress upsets emotional balance
  56. irrational fears
  57. flaking, brittle, and weak nails
  58. water retention
  59. feelings of anger
  60. mood swings
  61. anxiety
  62. abdominal bloating
  63. agitation
  64. agoraphobia
  65. blood clots
  66. brown patches on cheeks
  67. bruising and capillary breakage
  68. chronic fatigue
  69. claustrophobia
  70. lethargy
  71. rage
  72. self-mutilation
  73. verbal and physical violence
  74. dark rings under the eyes
  75. eat or drink to alleviate depression
  76. difficulty in getting up after enough sleep
  77. dizziness
  78. tired all the time
  79. frequent or regular migraines
  80. feelings of tension
  81. cravings for sweet foods
  82. procrastination
  83. asthma
  84. loss of libido
  85. short term memory loss
  86. clumsiness
  87. acne
  88. insomnia
  89. nervousness
  90. palpitations
  91. inability to concentrate
  92. hypoglycemia
  93. manic behavior
  94. obsessions without compulsions
  95. cracked heels
  96. endometriosis
  97. low libido
  98. osteoporosis
  99. paranoia
  100. prostate problems
  101. spaced out
  102. weight gain at puberty/childbirth/menopause
  103. feelings of aggression
  104. quick reaction or over-reaction to alcohol
  105. forget what you’re about to say
  106. fuzzy brain
  107. alcohol abuse
  108. cold hands and feet
  109. quick tempered
  110. frequent or regular headaches
  111. irritability
  112. dry skin
  113. incontinence
  114. personality changes
  115. regular epileptic fits
  116. psoriasis
  117. shaking or trembling
  118. itching skin
  119. varicose veins
  120. low blood pressure
  121. constipation
  122. allergies or sensitivities to foods or chemicals
  123. brown spots on backs of hands
  124. fainting spells
  125. burning eyes
  126. misty vision
  127. painful eyes
Ona’s Natural

Use the results of this questionnaire to open discussion with your healthcare practitioner.

Zierau, Oliver et al Role of female sex hormones, estradiol and progesterone in mast cell behavior Frontiers in Immunology June 2012

Schumacher, Michael et al “Progesterone synthesis in the nervous system: implications for myelination and myelin repair” Frontiers in Neuroscience Feb 2012

Labrie, Fernand “All Sex Hormones are made intracellularly in peripheral tissue by the mechanisms of intracrinology after menopause”  Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2014

Ratner, Marcia et al “Neurosteroid actions in memory and neurologic/neuropsychiatric disorders”  Frontiers in Endocrinology April 2019