The most common cause of low progesterone is stress.
This can be in the form of psychological or emotional stress (like deadlines at work or arguments with your family), but also physical stress (like not eating enough calories or over exercising).
Read my full blog on the impact of stress on your cycle and my top tips to manage stress here.
Beyond managing your stress response, supporting your body to create healthy levels of progesterone is key.
Focus on magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, cacao, coconut water and pumpkin seeds.
These hormone nourishing foods help to support regular ovulation by regulating your stress response.
As well as enjoying magnesium-rich foods, consider supplementing magnesium glycinate at around 200 - 400mg per day.
Always check with your doctor before beginning any new supplement or vitamin to make sure it is appropriate for you.
Vitamin C-rich foods are another great food-as-medicine tool to support healthy progesterone levels.
Vitamin C is one of the few nutrients that has been shown to support progesterone deficiency in some women.
Finally, make sure you are ovulating.
The only way women make progesterone is by ovulating regularly.
Track your cycle using an app and consider taking your basal body temperature using an oral thermometer daily to confirm ovulation is taking place.
A temperature shift of around 0.3°C for more than 3 days is a good sign that ovulation has taken place.
For further confirmation that ovulation is taking place, ask your doctor for a blood test to measure serum progesterone roughly 7 days before your period is due.
You should see high progesterone levels at this point of your cycle if you have ovulated that month.
If you aren’t seeing a sustained temperature shift before your period or your blood results reveal low progesterone, it’s time to work out why you aren’t ovulating.
Consider the impact of stress on your cycle or other hormonal imbalances that may be contributing to your spotting.
Wondering if hormonal imbalance might be the reason you are experiencing spotting?
Take my Free Hormone Imbalance Quiz now to find out which pesky hormone is most likely the culprit for your symptoms.