When Should You Take Progesterone While Trying To Conceive?
The hormone, progesterone plays a key role in the female reproductive system. It can increase fertility of a woman and can also help in sustaining it. Due to this reason, some fertility treatments involve progesterone medications. They can be administered in the form of progesterone pills, injections or vaginal suppositories.
The use of progesterone for conceiving is recommended to women who require help through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). It is also consumed by women who have a history of multiple miscarriages or are having a short luteal phase as progesterone levels play a huge part in the sustenance of pregnancy.
Symptoms of Decreased Progesterone Levels
Irregular cycles or anovulation is the first sign of a hormonal imbalance. Having a short luteal phase is commonly associated with low levels of progesterone and can be a possible cause of infertility as well.
How Does Progesterone Work?
The release of progesterone happens during the migration of an egg from the fallopian tube during a natural cycle. The hormone is also responsible for increasing the vascularity of the endometrial lining and is also responsible for stabilizing the endometrium while preparing for the implantation of the embryo.
Progesterone acts as a protection for the embryo and the fetus by destroying natural killers during the first few weeks of pregnancy. The hormone also prevents complications such as abnormal bleeding and its consequences.
Incorporation of Progesterone in an IVF Cycle
Using any form of ART involves a minor surgical extraction of the eggs from the fallopian tubes. During this process, the cells that create progesterone after ovulation are extracted along with the eggs. Hence administering progesterone supplements after the retrieval of eggs is vital to prepare the body for pregnancy. The supplements thicken the uterine lining in order to equip it to be prepared when the transferred embryo attaches itself to the lining.
Progesterone supplements are required during pregnancy as well to safeguard against a miscarriage. The medication prescribed by a doctor is recommended to be continued up to 12 weeks of pregnancy in a cycle where embryo transfer is performed.