Progesterone, also known as “the pregnancy hormone,” is a female hormone found naturally in the woman’s body. It plays an essential role before and during pregnancy. It is often prescribed as a hormone supplementation during Assisted Reproductive Technology procedures like IVF due to the fact that the medications women may use during these procedures can suppress the body’s ability to produce progesterone. All women need progesterone to help their uterus prepare for and maintain a pregnancy if they wish to conceive. Here’s how progesterone impacts fertility and pregnancy:
Before Becoming Pregnant
When it comes to overall fertility health, progesterone helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy. The ovaries begin to produce progesterone needed by the uterus after ovulation occurs, which causes the uterine lining to thicken. Having a thick uterine lining is essential in creating a suitable environment for a fertilized egg/embryo within the uterus.
A consistent supply of progesterone to the endometrium helps nurture the developing fetus during pregnancy by maintaining a supportive environment after implantation. After 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, the placenta takes over progesterone production, substantially increasing it.
Forms of Progesterone
There are a variety of types of progesterone available, including vaginal products that deliver progesterone directly to the uterus. One form of progesterone includes vaginal gel, which is used once a day for progesterone supplementation. There are also vaginal suppositories, vaginal inserts, and progesterone oral capsules that are used vaginally. Injections are also used, which require a long, thick needle to be injected into the buttocks once a day.
Which Is Right For You?
Progesterone is an important part of infertility treatment. You should communicate with your doctor to decide which supplementation is right for you.
The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.