Progesterone is a naturally occurring steroid hormone that is made from cholesterol consumed in your diet. Normal levels of progesterone help to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Progesterone plays a key role in the production of other important chemicals the body needs, such as cortisol and male hormones like testosterone. Lower than normal levels of progesterone can contribute to problems with the menstrual cycle, maintaining pregnancy, and common symptoms associated with menopause. Low levels of progesterone can be effectively treated using available prescription products and lifestyle changes.
Using Progesterone to Support Pregnancy
Talk with your gynecologist about increasing progesterone. Women that have recurrent or unexplained miscarriages often respond to treatment with progesterone, and are able to maintain the next pregnancy.
Prevent early miscarriage. Progesterone deficiency is not the cause of every miscarriage, but scientific research indicates that adequate amounts of progesterone are needed to support the early stages of pregnancy.
• Progesterone levels naturally increase during each menstrual cycle once ovulation has occurred. This allows for the uterine wall to thicken to provide support for the pregnancy. This is called the luteal phase.
• Once the released egg has been fertilized, the lining of the uterus provides protection for the egg as it begins to develop. After the first few weeks, the placenta takes over, producing the additional hormones and nutrients needed.
• Some women have naturally lower levels of progesterone. Some studies suggest that low levels during the first few weeks of pregnancy can cause the uterine lining to be inadequate to support the pregnancy, causing the miscarriage. Evidence for this is limited, however.
• Inadequate levels of progesterone needed to support the early stage of pregnancy are sometimes referred to as a luteal phase defect.
Use progesterone vaginal inserts. Using progesterone vaginal inserts may help prevent early miscarriage, depending on the cause of the miscarriage.
• The scientific literature supports the use of vaginally applied progesterone, via inserts or suppositories, to help maintain the lining of the uterus to support the pregnancy.
• While other ways to administer progesterone are available, such as injections, oral dosing, and topical creams, for women with luteal phase defects and recurrent or unexplained miscarriages, this is the recommended method of delivery.
Supplement progesterone during assisted reproductive technology, or ART.ART helps to induce pregnancy by using procedures that remove the eggs from the woman, combine them with sperm in a laboratory setting, then return them to the woman’s body, or to another woman’s body.
• There are many methods that help couples to achieve pregnancy. ART is one only one method. Women that participate in ART require supplementation of hormones, like progesterone, to help their bodies create a healthy environment to maintain the pregnancy.
Use injectable or vaginally administered progesterone. Progesterone administered by either intramuscular injection or by vaginal products have been shown to be effective in establishing the initial higher levels of progesterone needed during ART.
• Injectable progesterone is sometimes used but carries additional risks for complications since progesterone is very rapidly absorbed and is quickly changed into other chemicals.
• By altering the delivery system of the injection, the active progesterone can remain in its desired chemical form as long as possible. This means altering the liquid, or vehicle, the active drug is placed in, by using oils, such as peanut oil. Do not use this form of progesterone if you are allergic to peanuts.
• Possible complications from progesterone injections include developing an allergy to the inactive ingredients, abscesses and pain at the site of injection, and unwanted bleeding into the muscle tissue.
Postpartum is the period after one's labour and delivery. Pregnancy and postpartum are a time when a woman's body changes to a great extent in order to first accommodate the baby and then go through labour and delivery. A vaginal delivery can have many implications when it comes to the postpartum. The same goes for a Caesarean Section or C Section as well. Let us find out what your postpartum care routine should include.
Taking care of your body in postpartum is a matter of bringing it back to normal gradually even as you deal with the side effects of delivery. Ensure that you are in touch with your doctor.