Low progesterone in pregnancy: what is the role of this value?
The birth of a new life
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The birth of a new life represents a beautiful event, and the process leading up to it is long and complex.
We have previously discussed the importance of certain hormones, such as prolactin, during the gestation period. Today, in Fertilab’s blog, we will talk about another crucial hormone not only for pregnancy but also for a woman’s well-being: progesterone, and what low progesterone levels during pregnancy entail.
As always, being aware of your body can help you navigate the journey to motherhood with serenity.
Progesterone: what is it?
Progesterone is a crucial steroid hormone not only during pregnancy but also throughout the menstrual cycle. Each month, this hormone prepares the female body for potential gestation. During the first phase of the cycle, estrogen stimulates the strengthening of the uterus. After ovulation, the follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, which increases progesterone levels to facilitate the implantation of the egg. In the case of fertilization and pregnancy, the placenta produces this important hormone.
In addition to being an important indicator for monitoring pregnancy, progesterone also performs other essential tasks. It prevents the occurrence of further ovulations, inhibits contractions, contributes to the proper development and nourishment of the fetus, and stimulates the production of breast milk after delivery.
In the opposite scenario, when fertilization by sperm does not occur, progesterone concentration starts to decrease, and after approximately two weeks, a new menstrual cycle begins. About 1,000 eggs are lost during each menstrual cycle, and if there is a need to preserve one’s ovarian reserve, oocyte vitrification can be considered.
What are normal and abnormal progesterone levels?
Although progesterone is typically a female hormone, it is also produced in small amounts in males. Regarding the female population, specific levels indicate a condition of normality:
- Follicular phase: between 0.2 and 1.55 NG/ML
- Ovulation phase: between 0.8 and 3.00 NG/ML
- Luteal phase: between 1.7 and 27.00 NG/ML
Values below or above these normal ranges indicate an atypical condition.
Furthermore, in women of reproductive age, measuring progesterone levels can be a vital investigative tool when experiencing difficulties in conceiving.
Low progesterone levels: causes and consequences
In general, low progesterone levels can be associated with various causes, starting from irregularities in the menstrual cycle (accompanied by related symptoms) to conditions such as endometrial hyperplasia and the onset of menopause.
If the concentration of this hormone is not sufficiently high during pregnancy, the risk of early miscarriage increases. In such cases, therapeutic intervention may be necessary through hormonal administration via oral, vaginal, or intramuscular routes. Additionally, this condition could also affect future conception, highlighting the vital importance of monitoring hormonal levels to resolve the problem optimally.
Conclusions and considerations
In light of the aforementioned information, it is evident how crucial it is to monitor progesterone levels and identify the causes of reduced levels. In many cases, the issue can be resolved simply through hormonal supplementation. However, when experiencing difficulties in conceiving, understanding these values can help you comprehend if other factors are contributing to the problem.
The fertility specialists at Fertilab Barcelona recommend seeking assistance from a reputable fertility clinic to find an effective solution for a peaceful pregnancy journey.