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Progesteration: An Essential Pregnancy Hormone

Sep 6, 2008
Samantha had tried everything to get pregnant. She and her husband had gone through years of marriage without a baby and it was taking it's toll on her and her husband. Yet she held out hope there would be a solution. Then one day someone suggested to her a different treatment, something she hadn't tried before...

Getting pregnant can be complicated.  Besides timing intercourse perfectly, both partners need to be healthy and have normal hormone levels.   

Progesterone is one of the primary female reproductive hormones. It is produced by the corpus luteum, which develops immediately after ovulation. Every hormone has a function and progesterone is no exception. It thickens the lining of the uterus in preparation for the implantation of the fertilized egg. It works by increasing the nutrition and blood supply to the uterine lining. 

The progesterone released by the corpus luteum helps to build up your endometrium so that is ready for implantation of a fertilized egg. If pregnancy does not occur, the progesterone levels begin to drop off, causing the endometrial lining to shed in the form of your menstrual period. 

You might need progesterone supplementation if you have:

luteal phase disorders
amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
oligomenorrhea (infrequent menstrual cycles) oligomenorrhea
anovulation (no ovulation)

Progesterone testing

Progesterone levels rapidly rise from 2-3 mg/day to an average of 22-25 mg. per day, peaking as high as 30 mg/day. If fertilization does not occur in ten or twelve days, progesterone levels fall dramatically.   
Checking progesterone levels is a reliable way to determine whether a woman has ovulated. In most labs, a level above 2.5 ng/mL indicates that ovulation has taken place.  Progesterone levels vary throughout the month, so it can be difficult to accurately tell if a woman's progesterone level is low. 

Progesterone supplementation 

This fertility drug can be administered orally, through injection, or through vaginal gels and suppositories. 
Progesterone taken orally is known by the name Prometrium. . Although oral progesterone is usually preferred to more abrasive procedures like injections and suppositories, it's success rate is lower. Suppositories have less side effects than oral progesterone, but it can lead to some discomfort when it comes to the vaginal discharge after insertion. For sure injections are the most effective and are usually administered during IVF treatments. Injections are an inexpensive way to administer progesterone. Despite the positive nature of progesterone injections there could be a chance that the woman is allergic to the suspension oil.

Even if you have a normal progesterone level, during treatment with fertility drugs, doctors may use medication to prevent premature ovulation.  Side effects may include nausea, constipation, headache, drowsiness, breast tenderness, and joint discomfort. 

Natural treatment methods include natural progesterone cream, vitamin B6, E, magnesium, and evening primrose oil, vitex agnuscastus (man jing zi, chasteberry), reducing stress, less exercise, and increasing low body weight.

Staying Focused

One most always keep focused and a positive outlook through any fertility treatment. Progesterone whether it is administered orally or through injection is no different. Many times what didn't work the previous year, could work now. The main thing is to never despair and constantly keep up with new fertility treatments.
About the Author
Debra Marlow writes about fertility issues for many websites. Learn more about progesterone.
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