Vitamin B6 is absolutely essential for the development of the corpus luteum – this gland is produced in the ovary after the egg has been released and it is what makes the hormone progesterone. Therefore B6 is necessary for balanced hormones and preventing progesterone deficiency. Progesterone deficiency can provoke symptoms during the luteal/premenstrual phase and cause miscarriages. If you have the signs of progesterone deficiency you can supplement with B6 and increase the amount of B6-rich foods in your diet. All B vitamins help you body to metabolize the nutrients in the food you eat, as well as break down fats and proteins, however B6 is particular important for hormonal health.
Signs of B6 and progesterone deficiency
So, how do you know if you’re progesterone deficient? These are some of the obvious signs. If you have more than one of these symptoms, this could point to progesterone deficiency.
- Brown spotting before or after your period
- A short luteal phase – a normal luteal phase is between 12-15 days long, shorter than that and you may have progesterone deficiency – this could look like having too frequent periods
- PMS symptoms like moodiness, tender breasts, bloating and acne
- Infertility issues – achieving and maintaining a pregnancy – especially experiencing miscarriage
- If you take your basal body temperature each day you’ll see a very low temp rise post-ovulation and then a very fast fall before your period
- If you check your cervical fluid you might see a lot of cervical fluid continuing through your luteal phase after ovulation
There are many reasons the modern woman might be low on B6 and therefore progesterone deficient. The opposite side of this hormonal imbalance is, of course, estrogen excess or estrogen dominance. It’s not always about not getting enough B6 in your daily diet, it can be about how prepared your body is to use B6 effectively. It is very easy to become deficient in B vitamins, and that deficiency has the most profound impact on reproductive health.
Causes of B6 and progesterone deficiency
- Stress – when we’re stressed our bodies use up lots of progesterone hormone to make more cortisol, the stress hormone. So you might have enough B6 to make progesterone, enough progesterone, but then you’re so stressed you still become deficient. Lack of sleep can have the same impact.
- Over-exercising – working out too much, especially tackling hardcore cardio during the second half of your cycle can cause internal stress that has the same impact on your cortisol and progesterone levels.
- Alcohol – B vitamins are destroyed by frequent alcohol intake. Even if you supplement and eat B6-rich foods, alcohol will cause you to lose most of it.
- The birth control pill – oral contraceptives are known to deplete many vitamins, including B6. This is because the Pill prevents proper absorption of vitamins by impairing gut health.
Good sources of B6 from food
You can take a B vitamin complex as a supplement and take additional B6 on top, but the best way to get B6 is from foods rich in this vitamin.
- Wild-caught tuna fish
- Grass-fed beef
- Sweet potato
As you can see many of the main sources of B6 are from animal proteins, which makes vegetarians particularly vulnerable to B6 and progesterone deficiency.
As well as B6 supplements, if you are facing progesterone deficiency you can also consider using Vitex or progesterone cream to increase progesterone and decrease estrogen excess, and therefore rebalance your hormones.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, are you progesterone deficient?
Second, have you had a miscarriage?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good period karma and share this article on social 😉
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I guess now I’m confused whether I’m Estrogen dominant or low on Progesterone. My main symptoms are tender breasts (sometimes extremely painful, and starting at ovulation and going through my period.), and pre menstrual and menstrual cramps. I was bloating really badly during ovulation, but since upping my magnesium, that has improved. I guess I’m a little lost on what to focus upon now! Eek!
Halona Black says
Great question! For women with fibroids especially. If your estrogen is too high and you try to balance it out with progesterone, does that mean you have too much estrogen and progesterone? Or does it all balance out miraculously? I took vitex daily for 6 months because of mood swings — and it worked! However I feel like the heavy bleeding from fibroids got worse. I made the decision to stop taking it and my mood continues to be even and the periods got lighter. Why can’t this just be simple? 🙂
Lindsey Thomas says
GREAT ARTICLE!! Very helpful. I truly believe this is one of the reasons I am having issues conceiving, as well as having endo!
Tania M. says
Thank you for this article! The signs of low progesterone levels hit the nail right on the head for me. I am so excited to started eating healthier and cutting back/eliminating the causes of this issue. Can’t thank you enough! – TM, 32
What would cause a migraine day 2 into a cycle? Would that be a sign of progesterone deficiency?
Hi Alisa, I’m 31 and my period goes like this:
On Wednesday I’ll spot once – literally, one spot. On Thursday afternoon my flo arrives with lots of pain and severe fatigue, by Friday afternoon it’s gone. Could this be a progesterone deficiency? I’m only 31 but I feel like I’m 10-15 years ahead of myself but since I’m not planning on having more kids I’m wondering if I should be doing monthly flo or sexy flo?
Thanks so much!
You want Monthly Flo in order to regulate your hormones – hang in there!
Jenn Larkin says
It sounds to me that I must be low on progesterone. My periods always start with one day of brown spotting, the second day no blood at all, the day 3 the real thing shows up with extreme cramps, bloating, and so much blood, i need super tampons AND pads for a couple days.
My breasts are very tender for about a week leading up to my period as well.
I’m 36 years old. I’ve never miscarried, however I’ve never gotten pregnant either, and I’m not on birth control.
I’m ready to start getting more B6 into my diet!
How much B6 should be taken daily I in supplement form?
I know I have low progesterone / higher oestrogen and I rarely drink and eat plenty if garlic chicken beef etc so round like to boost b6 levels esp as I’ve not had a period since October – post removal of Merina coil ( only in for 6 weeks to try to boost low progesterone levels)
Trying to get pregnant, 42, PCOS, on monthly flo
Nadege August says
If one is estrogen dominant, are they automatically Progesterone deficient?
If estrogen is high, that means the ratio to progesterone is off. Progesterone may be at normal levels, but it is overwhelmed by estrogen!
I have had three miscarriages. My first pregnancy was at 39, the second and third each year after. I am now 42 and still holding hope but losing hope. I was a vegetarian for 16 years and since have started eating chicken. When I was first pregnant my doctor said “Don’t worry. You are healthy.” That what was said the other two times. I am furious that they didn’t mention anything about progesterone levels. I have been wondering what caused all three miscarriages. I will never know. My doctor told me that my body doesn’t know how to pick the good eggs and that IVF is my only option. I am glad that you have wisdom and are giving me some hope.
I have suspected progesteron deficiency but gyns don’t give any answers, just say that “you just are like that”. I’m 43 years old and my period “starts” with a week of spotting, followed by 3-4 days of regular bleeding. Then I can ejoy 12-14 days of no spotting/bleeding until it starts again. I can feel the ovulation most months. This is really getting on my nerves! So getting progesteron up and estrogen down is what I should do? And vitamine B6 beeing very important I suppose? I’m halfway through your Woman Code book, thank you for valuable information!
I was o. Vitex for about 5 weeks and decided to go off it cold turkey due to the effect on my moods and anxiety.
Since then my cycle has been messed up and insomnia has hit really hard…2 weeks on. Guess my body didnt need it. Will stick to b6 and see how it works
Did the B6 help?
Thank you for this wonderful article. I have had series of misscariage and inplantation failure, with high prolactine but ever I started vitb6 100mg every night b4 coming to bed I feel great again, I can even quiz fluid out from my breast again is all gone hope to see a pain and cramp free period or possible positive PT. THANKS.
I took Vitex based on this article and it made me severly depressed and ruined a family vacation. I couldn’t stop crying and had thoughts of suicide like I never had before. By the time of this trip, I took Vitex for two cycles, and spent each time crying during my period. It finally dawned on me vitex was the problem after the trip. Seriously, it ruined the experience for my brother, mother, and me at an ashram in the Bahamas of all places. I went off it and never had that reaction again, which was over a year ago
how much b6 is a normal dose?
can i overdose on natural cervisiae vit e, or too much from food?/ how much is a normal dose?
If you are getting your Vit E from whole food sources only, it would be hard to get too much, or for it to be harmful.
How much vitamin B6 should you take daily? I’ve heard it also helps increase your cervical mucus.
Please speak with one of my coaches to find the right dose for you! There may be other steps you can take as well so support CM.
Alyssa A Murray says
I’m not sure if I have I’m Estrogen dominant or low on Progesterone. I’ve been on my prenatals for 4.5 months and seem to have spotting sometimes after my fertile window and sometimes right before my period. My husband and I have been actively trying for the last 4 months but haven’t gotten pregnant yet.
I’ve just upped my supplement of Vitamin D within the last month and started taking a B6 supplement. Do you think this is safe to do?
My doctor says I’m fine and young still (30 years old; 31 in July)
Rebecca Dwyer says
Oh my gosh this is exactly what I’m going through!! I always spot after my fertile window, all the way leading up until my period… thinking it’s low progesterone. Breasts are sore during this time as well, with low libido. I’m desperately looking for answers. Just started vitex and going to take b6 as well. Any update with your situation??
I have the same! Spotting from a day after ovulation up until my period. Do you have any updates on your situation? Thanks!
I know this is an old comment but this is happening to me too for the past 6 months.:( do you have any updates it’s so depressing when TTC 🙁
Hello this is also happening to me now:( did you find any solution? Thank you
What about vit B6 if i have low levels of estrogen, does this make it worse?
No, it would not make that worse.
Hi all, I’m so glad that I found this article. I have been spotting since April 2019. I went to the doctors and they ran all kinds of tests, blood works, Paps and I even had a transvaginal ultrasound. After all this she said that it’s nothing serious and that I am very healthy. She said that I needed a “hormone reset” so she prescribed birth control for two months to help regulate my period. The great thing was I did not have any spotting whatsoever for these two months and I felt normal again without fearing I would see blood after wiping. Well, now that I am off birth control It has came back as was, exactly 5 days after my period finished and I have been spotting ever since. My period is due in 1-2 days. I am thinking it must be low progesterone. I bought some B6 100mgs so my question is when is the best time to take it? how often, and should it be everyday? I would rather this work than having to be on birth control. I am 33, never been pregnant or miscarried. Any advice is greatly appreciated as there is not much “talk” about this online.
Hi DN, just wondering if this worked for you? I’m exactly the same and about to try b6 supplements!
Midnight Path says
What about if you have low estrogen AND progesterone? My testosterone is too much.
My estrogen is severely low for a woman in her early 20s and it reduced the softness and elasticity in my face, skin, and hair.
Does vitamin b6 lower estrogen because I keep seeing that all over in research. I understand too much is bad but I never ovulate and I’m supposed to be in fertile and reproductive state in my early 20s.
You have the same thing I have. Low on both estrogen and progesterone. I took b complex vitamins and ate lots of deviled eggs. Then at night before I sleep I drink a cup of warm water with one table spoon of apple cider and vinegar. It helps my body absorb all nutrients while I’m sleeping. It helped me. You should try. And take prenatal vitamins as well.
I had been on 75mg of b6 vit for 2months.this month I had very little cervical fluid for ovulation so came down to 25mg & had 2nd oestrogen surge at 4dpo.Dont know if progestrone low after cut down b6 but wasn’t helping my ovualtion.
P Wood says
Hi, I found I had a short luteal phase and spotting in between ovulation and my period so I started taking vitamin B6 and it really helped and lengthened my luteal phase by a few days. I am now 11 weeks pregnant and have continued taking the B6 throughout. When should I stop taking it? Should I stop at the end of the first trimester when the placenta takes over? Thanks for all your help.
FLO Coach says
Please speak to your doctor about this! Also, have them monitor your progesterone levels to make sure they are high enough.
XO, Christina – FLO Coach
Jordan Van Beck says
How long did you take b6 before conceiving?
Emily Kettell says
My husband and I are trying to start a family and each time I get my blood tested for progesterone around my peak day I only have .03 which is extremely low. My dr. Proscribed 200mg of progesterone from my peak until 2 days menses. I started taking your balance vitamins two months ago. How long could it take for my body to start producing progesterone on its own with your vitamin package and do you think taking progesterone is a healthy choice?
FLO Coach says
You will want to take a whole lifestyle approach – progesterone suffers with stress from poor blood sugar management, eating habits that don’t work for your body, over exercise, lack of sleep, micronutrient deficiencies to name a few things. Healing progesterone production requires exploring all of these areas. If you would like to learn more, I recommend you pick up a copy of Alisa’s book WomanCode, or look into doing the Monthly Flo program – you can learn more about that here: https://www.floliving.com/natural-cures-period-pcos-pms/.
XO, Christina – FLO Coach
I always start my period with brownish color and my luteal is around 11 days long. I started the balance supplements this week. Does that have b6? Or do I need extra? Should I wait to see if it’s gets better? I also suffer from acne on my jawline that comes and goes from day to day. Very weird.
FLO Coach says
Hi Michelle, Balance supplements do contain B vits! I would see how this supplement works for you before adding anything else in. It is a great idea to test your blood too to check for vitamin levels – over supplementing is not a good thing.
XO, Christina – FLO Coach
Christian J says
I have recently noticed brown discharge during ovulation. I currently take 100 mg of Vitamin B6 each day. If I increase it to 200 mg per day will that help with the brown discharge and hormone imbalance?
FLO Coach says
Hi Christian, If you are already taking enough B6, I would focus on foods like whole grains (cooked in a pot), sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens! Make sure your Vit D levels is in optimal range and and that you are eating balanced regular meals – this will reduce the stress in your body and allow progesterone to build.
XO, Christina – FLO Coach