Navigating High Progesterone: A Quest for Balance

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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high progesterone

Progesterone is one of the necessary hormones for reproductive health and fertility.

Its optimal range is vital for normal functioning like maintaining a healthy pregnancy, prostate function, and producing healthy sperm.

If Progesterone levels are high, it can have side effects like fatigue and mood changes. 

So, one has to strive for a balance between the pros and cons so that benefits can be enjoyed without unwanted effects.

This article attempts to mitigate the risks through detailed information about High Progesterone to understand its impacts and seek help when needed. 

What is a high Progesterone level

The levels of Progesterone above normal (different for men and women) signifies high Progesterone. 

However, it is not always a problem.

The hormonal levels can keep fluctuating at times without any concerns. 

Sometimes, it can naturally increase to suit body needs like that of pregnancy. 

So, high Progesterone can mean different levels at different stages.

Fact:
Granulosa cell tumors are ovarian tumors capable of producing Progesterone. High Progesterone receptor scores of these tumors reduce the survival chances of the patients. 

Progesterone levels in women

The optimal range of Progesterone in females is as follows:

Stage Range 
Pre-pubescent stage0.1 to 0.3 ng/mL
Follicular stage0.1 to 0.7 ng/mL
Luteal stage2 to 25 ng/mL
Pregnancy first trimester10 to 44 ng/mL
Second trimester19.5 to 82.5 ng/mL 
Third trimester65 to 290 ng/mL

Women require more of this hormone as its main role is managing the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Progesterone levels in men

Progesterone is known as a female sex hormone, but it is present in men in lesser amounts.

It affects the immune system, sperm production, and cardiovascular and respiratory systems in men.

The normal range of Progesterone for adult men is 0.13 to 0.97 ng/mL.

Symptoms of high Progesterone

Progesterone levels above the normal ranges discussed for men and women can be identified through symptoms like:

Breast swelling

Breast-CancerSource: Dejan_Dundjerski_from_GettyImages
Women having pain in breast

In women, high Progesterone can cause mild symptoms like breast swelling, pain, or tenderness. 

It is not always a bad sign as the body changes during menstruation or pregnancy due to increased Progesterone are normal.

However, such issues can cause discomfort. 

Anxiety or agitation

High Progesterone levels can also affect mood in both men and women. 

It can lead to frustration or anger occasionally. 

A study also found that women with higher Progesterone levels reported more anxiety. 

Fatigue

Fatigue is another common effect of High Progesterone among both genders.

The effects can be more severe in women as the hormone fluctuates more during the menstrual cycle.

 A 2014 study reported that women with high Progesterone levels felt more tired. 

Depression

High Progesterone has the potential to result in Depression as it affects mood.

A 2016 study found that increased Progesterone also increased premenstrual mood symptoms in women with a history of physical abuse. 

It also found Progesterone in hormonal therapy as a cause of negative mood changes and risk of Depression. 

Low sex drive

Progesterone is a sex hormone that can regulate sexual function including libido. 

Higher levels can have a negative influence on the sex drive. 

James Roney, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, confirmed the same. 

Weight gain

Weight GainSource: nomadsoulphotos
Weight Gain due to high progesterone

High Progesterone may indirectly lead to weight gain. 

A few studies found that high levels of the hormone increase appetite, which can contribute to weight gain. 

High Progesterone causes

High Progesterone can be a result of natural causes or additional factors. Some of these are:

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy is used to treat symptoms of Menopause which can include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal discharge. 

This therapy makes use of additional Progesterone and sometimes along with Estrogen. 

So, extra Progesterone supplementation can lead to an increase in its levels. 

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Ovarian cyst

Some types of ovarian cysts can increase the levels of Progesterone. 

It is because they are capable of producing the hormone. 

Molar pregnancy

A molar pregnancy is a rare instance of pregnancy with unusual cell growth where the placenta and embryo may or may not be present. 

It is associated with high Progesterone levels due to the accumulation of the hormone in the absence of the fetus. 

Hormonal contraceptives

Hormonal birth control methods contain synthetic Estrogen and Progesterone to prevent pregnancy. 

So, it can alter the natural hormonal balance. 

A 2017 study found that some birth control pills increased the levels of Progesterone. 

Poor lifestyle

Smoking has many bad impacts on health, including increased Progesterone. 

Caffeine intake is another factor that can increase the hormone’s levels. 

Above all, stress can worsen any hormonal imbalance and even induce a rise in Progesterone. 

Pregnancy

The need for Progesterone shoots with pregnancy for implantation of the embryo and preparing the uterine lining. 

Higher Progesterone also helps in the development of the baby and prepares the pelvic floor for labor. 

Moreover, mothers having twins or triplets are more likely to cause higher Progesterone levels. 

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia(CAH)

CAH is a genetic disorder that affects adrenal glands and hormone production. 

One of its types is a deficiency of 21-hydroxylase deficiency. 

CAH can increase the production of Progesterone, which can have after-effects like reduced fertility. 

High Progesterone side effects

Chest painSource: Yuganov_Konstantin
Woman suffering from Chest pain

The use of synthetic Progesterone, like pills, not only results in high Progesterone level but also certain side effects. 

These may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Problems with urination
  • Redness of skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Whitish or brownish vaginal discharge

When to see a doctor

If any of the symptoms or side effects discussed are observed, one can reach out to a doctor to check Progesterone levels. 

High Progesterone is not always a concern, but it can affect pregnancy or menstruation and may be a sign of complications like molar pregnancy and CAH. 

One must see a doctor when trying to conceive to help check for ovulation and the right levels of Progesterone for maintaining a pregnancy. 

Warning:
High exposure to Progesterone for a long time increases the risk of Breast Cancer. One must consult a doctor immediately upon observing any symptoms of high Progesterone to seek  treatment and avoid consequences. 

High Progesterone diagnosis

High Progesterone levels are diagnosed through a blood sample.

This test is called the Progesterone test, in which a medical expert will take a blood sample using a small needle and detect if the levels are higher than normal. 

How to manage High Progesterone levels

A few options can assist in lowering Progesterone levels and navigating the associated symptoms. 

High fiber intake

One must eat foods rich in fiber like broccoli, dry fruits, avocados, and whole grains to balance the hormones. 

A study found that fiber intake decreased the levels of Progesterone in participants. 

Lifestyle changes

Try to avoid smokingSource: brazzo_from_Getty_Images
Avoid smoking

Smoking and high caffeine intake increase Progesterone. So, quitting smoking and reducing caffeine intake can help lower Progesterone levels. 

Using stress management techniques to manage stress may also help reduce high Progesterone. 

Vitamin D intake

Studies have depicted that Vitamin D can lower Progesterone. 

So, one must eat foods rich in Vitamin D, like mushrooms and eggs, along with natural sun exposure. 

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to not only stay in shape but also balance hormones. 

The findings of a study by D A Kossman suggest that exercises can effectively lower Progesterone levels. 

Conclusion

High Progesterone can be caused by hormonal birth control, poor lifestyle, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, and pregnancy. 

Some of its symptoms include breast swelling, fatigue, low libido, and even depression. 

Not only this, taking Progesterone can have side effects like nausea, flu-like symptoms, and muscle pain. 

To manage high levels of Progesterone along with these effects, one must improve lifestyle and dietary habits and exercise regularly. 

With the right balance of Progesterone, one can ensure a healthy reproductive function and a better life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is high Progesterone bad?

High Progesterone is not always bad. It can increase naturally during stages of menstrual cycle and pregnancy. However, sometimes it can be a sign of medical issues like Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia or molar pregnancy. So, in case of suspicion, one must consult a doctor. 

Is high Progesterone good for fertility?

High Progesterone is necessary to prepare the uterine lining for embryo implantation. It also helps in the development of the child and strengthens the pelvic floor for delivery. However, high Progesterone can also be a sign of complications. 

How can I lower my Progesterone levels?

To lower Progesterone levels, one can increase the intake of Vitamin D and fiber. Additionally, quitting smoking and limiting caffeine intake can also help to balance Progesterone. Exercising and stress management are two additional strategies for reducing Progesterone. 

What happens when Progesterone levels are high?

High Progesterone levels can indicate pregnancy or menstrual changes. Sometimes, it may be caused by other reasons like stress or the use of birth control. Some of the symptoms of high Progesterone include breast pain, fatigue, anger, and low libido. 

What is the highest level of Progesterone in pregnancy?

The levels of Progesterone keep changing throughout the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. In the first trimester of pregnancy, it ranges from 10 to 44 ng/mL. Upon reaching the third trimester, the levels shoot to 290 ng/mL.

Citations:
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