The production of progesterone hormones is crucial during early stages of pregnancy. Before we can take a look at the importance of progesterone levels in pregnancy, let us first understand the function of these hormones in a woman’s body.
The progesterone hormone is produced by the corpus luteum of the ovaries. Every month during the normal ovulation cycles wherein the ovaries produce eggs that are capable of being fertilized, the body produces around 15 to 30 mg of progesterone every day. In case the eggs are fertilized and you are pregnant the progesterone levels continue to rise throughout the pregnancy. After around ten weeks of pregnancy the placenta is responsible for the release of the progesterone hormone.
Maintenance of the progesterone levels is essential. These hormones are responsible for thickening and development of the endometrium lining of the uterus.
This is crucial for the fertilization process itself as a thin uterus lining can make it very difficult for you to conceive. Moreover even if you do manage to get pregnant, there are higher chances of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancyin the first trimester.
In addition to this progesterone hormone helps the placenta in warding of unwanted T and B cells that cause rejection of the placenta and prevents damage to the placenta by the lymphocytes. It stimulates breast production and strengthens the mucus plug which covers the cervix and is responsible for warding off fetal infections.
Moreover an appropriate level of progesterone in pregnancy prevents early uterine contractions and ensures proper growth of the baby. During early stages of pregnancy the progesterone levels can be somewhere between 9-47 ng/ml.
In case of low progesterone levels the woman may suffer from symptoms such as spotting or bleeding, back spasms, tenderness in the breasts and vaginal dryness. She may feel tired and dizzy. Women with low progesterone levels can also suffer from insomnia and depression. Progesterone helps in blood circulation and is responsible for the fetal growth and nourishment. Low levels may cause an impediment in the growth of the fetus.
A simple blood and urine test can help a doctor diagnose low progesterone levels. If progesterone deficiency is determined then the doctor can prescribe progesterone supplements in the forma of hormonal injections, vaginal suppositories and oral medications.