You can’t have a baby without it. The production of progesterone during pregnancy is essential!
Your body naturally produces progesterone, and it has many health benefits. It supports bone, muscle, thyroid, and breast health, improves mood and sleep, boosts your energy, increases your sex drive, regulates immune function, and even protects against cancer.
Progesterone is also necessary for a healthy menstrual cycle and reproductive system and essential to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Because of this, it should be of no surprise that “progesterone” literally means “pro-gestation”.
As an essential hormone for fertility and reproduction, understanding how progesterone and pregnancy go hand-in-hand will help you make the best choices for your health with the guidance of your doctor.
Sex hormones impact sexual development and are essential for reproduction. Progesterone is one such sex hormone that your body needs to have a regular menstrual cycle each month and achieve pregnancy.
The corpus luteum produces progesterone in your ovaries after ovulation. The corpus luteum is a structure that forms from the empty follicle that has released the egg. This structure releases progesterone during the second half of your menstrual cycle to support a possible pregnancy if conception occurs.
Progesterone is also produced in small amounts by your adrenal glands. And it might surprise you to know that even males produce small amounts of progesterone in their adrenal glands and testes.
Progesterone takes on several important roles before and during pregnancy.
To prepare your uterus for a possible pregnancy, progesterone:
During pregnancy, progesterone:
The chart below shows the normal range of progesterone levels for an adult female before and during pregnancy.
Ranges vary depending on which lab checked your levels. Remember to talk to your doctor about your lab results.
Progesterone levels can fluctuate during early pregnancy. Each pregnancy is different, and levels can fluctuate more in some women than others.
Don’t worry! As long as your levels stay within the normal range of hormone production, there should be no cause for alarm.
Although low levels of progesterone are not entirely to blame, research shows they can contribute to infertility.
Low progesterone levels can cause menstrual cycle irregularities and may prevent an embryo from implanting in the uterus.
A rise in progesterone levels confirms ovulation. Low progesterone levels may mean that ovulation did not take place.
Keeping track of your hormone levels can tell you if you have ovulated each month. This is important data to share with your doctor if you are having a difficult time becoming pregnant.
Learn more :Low progesterone: All you need to know
The most common way to track your progesterone levels is through a blood test at a lab.
But you can also use technology like Inito to tell you when you ovulate by measuring the rise of progesterone levels in your body. Remember, a rise in progesterone levels is a confirmation that you have ovulated.
Currently, Inito is the only ovulation test that measures your estrogen and LH levels to predict fertile days and progesterone levels to confirm ovulation. Traditional ovulation tests can help predict your ovulation, but they don’t actually confirm ovulation.
And unlike lab tests, technology like Inito allows you to measure your hormones at home, so you don’t have to make a trip to the doctor’s office.
It is beneficial to track your hormone levels in early pregnancy. This data will provide information for you and your doctor about your pregnancy. Measuring your levels of progesterone may tell you if your pregnancy is viable and healthy.
For a normal pregnancy in the first trimester, progesterone levels should value above 25 ng/mL about 98% of the time. Pregnancies with progesterone values below 5 ng/mL are usually considered nonviable.
However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your progesterone levels. Your progesterone levels could value below 25 ng/mL in your first trimester, but you may have a healthy pregnancy.
Miscarriages and preterm birth can be signs of low progesterone. To counteract this, doctors sometimes prescribe progesterone treatments.
Progesterone treatments can be in the form of creams and gels, suppositories, oral pills, and injections.
Injections are the most commonly used progesterone treatment prescribed by doctors.
Progesterone injections contain 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, which is a synthetic form of progesterone. These injections are also known as 17P injections.
Generally, doctors prescribe this treatment when there is only one baby and not twins. The shots are administered weekly beginning in the second trimester up until week 37 or until delivery.
You may use progesterone injections to prevent miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and preterm birth if you:
If you take the 17P shots, common side effects may include itching, swelling, or soreness at the injection site.
In general, progesterone treatments in any form may have these common side effects:
If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a rash or trouble breathing, you should also notify your doctor right away.
Great news! There’s currently no research showing a significant risk of adverse side effects for either you or your baby when using progesterone treatment.
The FDA has approved progesterone injections to reduce the risk of preterm birth.
Also, we know it’s tough to hear, but using progesterone injections does not guarantee that you will not miscarry or carry your baby to term.
Now that you know all about the importance of progesterone during pregnancy, you can decide the best way to track your hormone levels to confirm ovulation and a viable pregnancy. And if you believe you may need progesterone treatments, you can talk to your doctor about your options.
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Progesterone production and its role in early pregnancy. Retrieved fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659905/
Progesterone fluctuations in early pregnancy. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2199478/
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