Progesterone is a natural hormone, produced by ovaries after a woman ovulates (when an egg is released into the fallopian tube). This hormone is also called the pregnancy hormone and plays a key role in fertility and pregnancy. It is called so as it helps in getting pregnant and promotes pregnancy. Progesterone makes the uterus ready to accept and keep a fertilized egg. A woman’s progesterone level is generally low during the first few days of her menstrual period. But her progesterone levels rise for around five days once she ovulates and comes back down.
Progesterone Tests for Fertility Problems
If you are having difficulty getting pregnant, your doctor might suggest a blood test for progesterone to see if the ovaries are healthy or if you are ovulating.
Further, though you are pregnant, your progesterone level is low, your doctor might recommend a blood test to check if there are going to be any risks for pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery or miscarriage.
Signs and symptoms that you have to look out for which suggest low progesterone levels are:
- Missing your periods, having irregular or abnormal periods.
- Uterine bleeding.
- Repeated miscarriages.
- Spotting and pain while pregnant.
The Role of Progesterone in Pregnancy
Progesterone is produced by the ovaries and later when pregnancy occurs, it is produced by the placenta. This hormone maintains a healthy pregnancy. Progesterone prepares the uterine lining (endometrium) to receive the fertilized egg (embryo), in the second half of the menstrual cycle after ovulation. If implantation succeeds and pregnancy occurs, progesterone supports the uterine lining ensuring the perfect environment for the growing embryo. For the first ten weeks, pregnancy depends on the ovary for progesterone production, after which, the placenta is fully capable of making sufficient progesterone for pregnancy support. If pregnancy does not occur, then progesterone levels come down, leading to menstrual bleeding.
Progesterone is prescribed after in vitro fertilization (IVF) as the cells which produce progesterone are either removed or damaged during the egg retrieval process. Some of the most commonly implemented methods of applying formulations of progesterone are intramuscularly, vaginally, or sequentially. Progesterone holding pills or in skin patches are not effective. Most centers advise discontinuing progesterone when the placenta is able to maintain the pregnancy on its own, which is after ten weeks of gestation. However, the timing at which it is to be stopped varies from one fertility center to another. Oasis fertility center ensures correct prescription to its patients for a comfortable pregnancy.
Progesterone can be prescribed for women with complicated reproduction, such as for women who are attempting pregnancy but not having IVF particularly in cases where ovulation dysfunction exists, in women over 40, and in women with a history of repeated pregnancy loss. In these cases, progesterone administration is mostly given by vaginal inserts or suppositories.
Side effects of progesterone include breast tenderness and tiredness. This hormone may also delay the onset of menstruation. Hence, most centers usually recommend pregnancy testing at the time menstruation is typically expected or around 12 days after an embryo transfer in cases of IVF.
Oasis fertility center provides top-notch treatment for any fertility problem that you have with a team of experienced doctors.