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The Importance of Progesterone for a Healthy Pregnancy

Progesterone is often referred to as the “pregnancy hormone,” and for good reason. Your progesterone levels not only play a key role in helping maintain a healthy pregnancy, but it also helps in preparation for pregnancy.

In our office, we check progesterone levels often during the course of a patient's cycle and treatment.  Progesterone typically predominates in the latter half of a menstrual cycle and continues to remain elevated once you are pregnant.  In a natural cycle, progesterone is produced from your ovary and plays an important role if you are to get pregnant in supporting a pregnancy until the placenta takes over and begins producing progesterone.  Progesterone levels are checked during the cycle to assess where someone is in their menstrual cycle or how they are responding to medication during treatment.  Depending on the treatment, these levels are checked and occasionally progesterone supplementation may be prescribed to help optimize for pregnancy. 

Progesterone levels are important to monitor when going through fertility treatment and can help improve chances of success and lead to a healthy pregnancy.

Why is Progesterone so Important for a Healthy Pregnancy

Progesterone levels change throughout a menstrual cycle and is the primary indicator of ovulation.  It plays an important role in helping prepare the uterus for pregnancy. 

Once an embryo has implanted, progesterone’s job is to help support the pregnancy.  It’s initially made by the ovary and later by the placenta.  In some treatment cycles, progesterone is prescribed early on and continued throughout most of the first trimester. 

Progesterone Supplementation Needed During Fertility Treatment

Reproductive endocrinologists often prescribe progesterone supplements for patients undergoing IUI or IVF. These supplements can be in the form of intramuscular injections, oral pills, or vaginal suppositories.  There are pros and cons to each method of administration and for some patients, a combination will be prescribed. 

Progesterone is often given as a way to support a pregnancy in the event that the body isn’t producing the appropriate amount of progesterone needed or there’s concern that it may not be able to.  

Since progesterone is essential for a healthy pregnancy, doctors will monitor and prescribe progesterone to help maintain the proper levels during the first trimester of pregnancy. 

Stay Connected and Learn More About Your Fertility

If you want to learn more about your fertility and how hormones work within the body, we’d love to have you follow us on Instagram and Facebook where we share valuable information and resources to help keep the community and our patients educated on their fertility.

Ready to meet with one of our expert fertility doctors? You can also schedule your first consultation by texting our office at 949-996-9522 or submitting a request here.

Author
Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Dr. Nidhee Sachdev Nidhee Sachdev, MD has trained among the most prestigious and diverse medical programs in the country, including fellowship training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the prestigious New York University (NYU) Langone Fertility Center in New York City where she conducted research on preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) and the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she earned the academic distinction of chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology, and trained under a top recurrent pregnancy loss expert. Dr. Sachdev is passionate about providing individualized, collaborative patient care. She started her medical career right here in Orange County, earning her Doctor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

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