If you are struggling to get pregnant, progesterone infertility is likely part of the cause. Progesterone is an important hormone for a woman’s reproductive system, and things do not work properly when it is in short supply. It serves a number of functions, including aiding in the preparation for ovulation and the much anticipated implanting of a fertilized egg. Even after conception a progesterone deficit can lead up to a miscarriage. For these reasons, it is crucial that the body contain the appropriate amount of progesterone at exactly the right time. When this doesn’t happen, infertility due to insufficient progesterone is the result.
Keeping this in mind, it is worth the time to obtain a better understanding of this hormone and its effect on a woman’s fertility. It is also worth looking at a few ways modern medicine now deals with low progesterone levels.
Progesterone is one of the most vital hormones in a woman’s body. It is produced by egg follicles located in the ovaries shortly after ovulation. The menstrual cycle is regulated by the production of this substance. It also prepares the uterus for conception and causes the endometrial lining to thicken in anticipation of the soon-to-arrive egg. When enough is not produced, the proper thickening of the wall does not occur. This hormone also conveniently causes a woman’s basal temperature to increase slightly during ovulation; which is a telltale sign ovulation is occurring.
In the event the egg is not fertilized, the source of progesterone disappears within several days. This drop in the hormone means the uterus will be unable to maintain its extra thickness. Soon after, the lining exits the body during the last phase of the menstrual cycle.
Low levels of progesterone can also result in a shortened “luteal phase.” This is the portion of the cycle when ovulation occurs, as well as other things. This phase will typically last 10 to 16 days, although a woman will only be ripe for conception for the first couple days after ovulation. In the event of a shortened luteal phase, there will not be enough time for this choreography to run its natural course. As a result, there will be no pregnancy
In the event the egg is fertilized, progesterone levels continue to elevate, providing protection for the multiplying and rapidly growing human life. If the levels somehow drop too low during the pregnancy, miscarriage is a possibility. This hormone is actually quite the workhorse and performs other functions as well.
The description here is obviously an extreme simplification of a very complex process. Bottom line, progesterone is one of a few hormones that must be present at the right time and at the right levels for pregnancy. The good news is that it is possible to diagnose this type of infertility and it can often be corrected with the addition of a natural or synthetic boost of progesterone. In some cases, the problem may be caused by too much estrogen in the system. A fertility specialist will have to look at that problem.
Progesterone therapy has proven quite effective, with the treatment starting two or three days after ovulation. This timing is designed to prevent a quick dry up as a result of the lack of progesterone. Hormone therapy may involve progesterone in oral form, as an injection, or as a cream. It depends on how the specialist decides to handle it.
Studies have found hormone therapy can reach a success rate of over 70%, as long as the source of infertility has been determined. Those results are pretty encouraging. Of course there are some other causes for a shortened luteal phase, but progesterone infertility is still one of the more manageable infertility problems. Proper diagnosis and non-invasive treatment can help a patient conceive relatively quickly. Hopefully you will use this information to form helpful questions when you meet with your infertility specialist.