How Progesterone Can Help With Fertility

May 24, 2021

How Progesterone Can Help With Fertility

If you’re struggling with infertility, you’ll do anything to increase your chances of having a baby. You may even have thought about trying a progesterone supplement but unsure how it can boost fertility. Progesterone, often referred to as the pregnancy hormone, is an essential hormone for sustaining a healthy pregnancy. This article will look at how progesterone can help with fertility and the best progesterone supplements for your body.

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is a woman's sex hormone produced in the ovaries, placenta, and adrenal glands. The other crucial female hormone is estrogen. After ovulation, a temporary gland called the corpus luteum in the ovaries starts to produce progesterone in preparation for egg implantation in the uterus. 

Progesterone has different roles, but the main ones are monthly cycle regulation and sustaining a healthy pregnancy. It also plays a part in sexual desire. Men also produce progesterone, and the hormone helps create healthy sperm.

Signs and Symptoms of Low Progesterone

A woman’s body produces various levels of progesterone during her monthly cycle. So, it’s normal for levels of progesterone to fluctuate. Yet if you have sustained  low progesterone levels, it can cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Spotting or bleeding while pregnant
  • Short cycles
  • Repeated miscarriages
  • Absences of period
  • Poor ovarian function

If you believe you have poor progesterone levels, speak to your doctor about having your levels tested. The process is a quick blood test, and this will help you determine the next steps. Women can also have high progesterone, but this does not typically cause any adverse health effects. 

Women also have high progesterone levels during menstruation and pregnancy. It’s thought that progesterone helps prevent ovarian cancer, so high levels aren’t necessarily a concern. 

Promotes Healthy Egg Implantation

When a woman is fertile, the pituitary gland (located in the brain) produces the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). In the second part of a female's cycle, these critical hormones cause a new egg in the ovaries to mature and release in preparation for fertilization.

As the ovarian follicle develops, estrogen and progesterone levels rise. This, in turn, starts to thicken the uterus lining or endometrium. Estrogen causes the endometrium to thicken, and progesterone encourages the uterus linking to emit unique proteins. These particular proteins nourish and prepare the lining for a fertilized egg to implant. Without progesterone, the fertilized egg wouldn’t be able to implant in the endometrium. 

Once the fertilized egg nestles down into the endometrium, progesterone and estrogen levels continue to rise to further support the developing embryo. If no fertilized egg implants, progesterone and estrogen levels lower and cause the endometrium to break down, resulting in menstruation.

Progesterone is critical for egg implantation, and any imbalance can cause the egg not to implant or for the endometrium to shed, resulting in an early miscarriage.

Lengthens a Woman’s Monthly Cycle

Typically, a woman’s cycle is 24-28 days long. Some women have a typical cycle length each month, and other women vary. Many factors determine cycle length, and one of them is progesterone. 

The higher levels of progesterone in the second half of the cycle, as mentioned, signal to the uterus lining to prepare for egg implantation. Once this occurs, progesterone and estrogen remain high to help sustain a healthy pregnancy. 

When hormone levels decrease, the lining naturally sheds, believing no pregnancy occurred. But if a pregnancy has occurred and an egg has been implanted, the drop in estrogen and progesterone will disrupt implantation and shed the uterus lining. The shortened cycle doesn’t give the embryo enough time to implant properly. 

During the early stages of pregnancy, the body builds the placenta and needs estrogen and progesterone to create a healthy environment for the developing child. If you have a short cycle due to low progesterone, you may be unable to conceive. 

Helps Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy

Once pregnancy occurs, progesterone and estrogen levels remain high. As the weeks pass by and the baby continues to grow, levels of progesterone remain high. Progesterone nurtures and protects the fetus and is vital for having a healthy pregnancy. 

Progesterone production also prevents the ovaries from producing other eggs for fertilization. Without this, you may become pregnant while pregnant—the extremely rare occurrence of becoming pregnant while pregnant is called superfetation. 

Jumpstarts Milk Production

Most people think of milk production as something that happens after the baby is born. While this is true, it has everything to do with how much progesterone or lack of it your body produces. 

Progesterone limits the amount of prolactin produced during pregnancy. Prolactin is the stuff that helps women make milk. Once the baby is born, the placenta sheds, and progesterone levels decrease and allow prolactin to increase. The suckling of the baby encourages milk production by further stimulating prolactin. 

Treatment Options for Low Progesterone 

Struggling with infertility brings about intense feelings of anxiety, shame, and worry. For the most part, women suffer in silence. But progesterone can help with fertility. The best treatment option for progesterone hormone therapy is using a topical cream. 

Progesterone transdermal applications are safe and effective. The progesterone creams come in an easy-to-apply one pump system that takes the guesswork out of dosing. Once a day, the progesterone cream is applied to clean skin and gently rubbed in a circular motion. It goes on light and easy with no greasy residue. 

All the ingredients are natural and provide nourishment for any skin. For women who want to supplement with progesterone to increase conception or boost fertility, it’s proven safe and effective. 

Progesterone supplementation is routinely prescribed during the IVF process and is considered safe for the developing embryo. Around ten weeks of pregnancy, progesterone supplementation is no longer necessary because the placenta should be fully formed and able to generate the correct amounts of progesterone to sustain a healthy pregnancy. 

Progesterone is absolutely vital for fertility—any imbalance results in dire consequences for anyone trying to conceive. If you’re experiencing infertility concerns, progesterone supplementation can help you. Please speak to your doctor about whether it’s right for you.