Signs of Low Progesterone
on Aug 02, 2012
Monica Scott, BS, RN
Progesterone plays a vital role in woman's fertility. When her progesterone levels are low, implantation is more difficult to occur causing problems in getting pregnant.
In some cases, infertility can be caused by low progesterone levels. Progesterone is one of the hormones released by the ovaries, and its role is to prepare the lining of the uterus for the implantation of an embryo. Furthermore, maintaining a pregnancy is facilitated by proper levels of progesterone. As you can see, progesterone plays a vital role in pregnancy. That is why abnormal levels might significantly reduce pregnancy chances. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
The level of progesterone varies with the menstrual cycle, and is responsible for most of the changes experienced by women during a month. Right after ovulation, the corpus luteum in the ovary starts releasing progesterone. The high level of progesterone causes the increase in temperature experienced by women after ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum dies, and progesterone levels drop. As a consequence, the lining of the uterus starts to bleed and is eliminated through menstruation.
When the progesterone levels are low, the lining of the uterus might not be well prepared for the implantation to take place. Even if the implantation occurs, low levels of progesterone might make it hard for the pregnancy to develop, so the chances of miscarriage is high.
If you have problems conceiving, there are many possible causes for your infertility. Low progesterone levels have different symptoms, but, many times, they are common to those of other medical conditions. Some of the symptoms of low progesterone are appetite changes, depression, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, weight changes, fatigue, irregular menstruation, headaches, low sex drive, painful intercourse, vaginal dryness, polycystic ovarian syndrome, lack of concentration and insomnia. Most of the times, women do not suspect low progesterone levels until they encounter infertility issues. Testing remains the most accurate way of diagnosing low progesterone levels.
The causes of low progesterone levels are not well known, but some specialists hint to the fact that poor nutrition, stress and lack of exercise might play a role. Some medications might also reduce progesterone levels, causing fertility problems.
Fortunately, there are many treatments for progesterone disorders, the most common being progesterone creams, gels, vaginal suppositories or shots. The treatment is applied right after ovulation, so that progesterone levels rise to normal and facilitate the preparation of the uterine lining for pregnancy. Women with progesterone disorders undergo treatment until they get pregnant and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, although there are cases when progesterone treatment is continued for the whole duration of pregnancy.
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Ms. Scott joined ConceiveEasy after working in prenatal obstetrical care for two years in a private practice before being promoted to Director of Nursing. She has a strong interest in women's health with an emphasis on promoting fertility awareness.