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Will Progesterone Cause Weight Gain?

Question: Barbara, will progesterone cause me to gain weight? I’m scared. I am already 30 pounds higher than I want to be!

Dear Friend:

If you have gained weight unexpectedly (between 5-10 unwanted pounds) within a short period of time, take a look at Hormone Imbalance.

After age 35, perimenopause can begin. A woman stops ovulating, which means she is not producing much progesterone and she has become “Estrogen Dominant.” With estrogen controlling your hormones, the pounds can pack on in the lower belly, and anxiety and moodiness disturb your peace & cause anxiety / stress eating. Progesterone will oppose these symptoms, and if your progesterone has dropped, it can’t do its job. Too often, menopausal women are prescribed estrogen without progesterone. No! This creates an even worse ratio of Estrogen Dominance.

Our estrogen does MANY wondrous things for our bodies, but without ample progesterone to keep it under control, we feel bloated, crampy, and cranky. We may also experience hair loss, brain fog, low libido, sleeplessness, and high emotionality.


Estrogen causes us to retain salt and water, whereas progesterone is a natural diuretic that reduces that extra fluid. The water weight tends to make women feel constantly bloated and could add 5 more pounds to the scale. Estrogen also promotes storing energy as fat (particularly in the breasts, stomach, and hips), and progesterone tells our bodies to metabolize that fat and burn it for energy.

Estrogen dominance can also increase insulin levels. This leads to sugar cravings. By balancing excess estrogen with progesterone, we can normalize insulin levels. You will eat less carbs and sugar and this will help normalize your weight.

Lack of progesterone also causes the body to make more of a protein called “TBG,” or “thyroid binding globulin.” TBG binds up thyroid hormones and makes them inactive. The thyroid gland will be producing the correct amount of thyroid hormone, but with high TBG, symptoms of a hypoactive thyroid can occur. One of these primary symptoms is weight gain.

To put it simply: progesterone does not directly cause fat loss, BUT it DOES address the hormonal imbalance in your body that causes weight gain.

So…be consistent with your progesterone crème. I have been using it for 35 years and though I have occasionally gained weight, I always am able to lose it. I still fit in my wedding dress and THAT’S my success story!

I am completely on your side with weight gain in perimenopause and menopause and beyond! I have been studying hormones and weight issues for over 30 years.

Need more help? I am here to be your Hormone Cheerleader!

Email me:

XOXO, Barbara


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