How Does Progesterone Affect Infertility?
Infertility is personal and can have a wide variety of causes. For many people, becoming pregnant is no easy task. If you’ve had problems becoming pregnant and carrying to full term, or if you have had menstruation issues in the past, you might have low progesterone. Progesterone is a lovely hormone that helps prepare the body for pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining.
That’s where Proov comes in. Our at home progesterone testing kits help you see whether your progesterone levels are high or low, allowing you to have educated conversations with your doctor, and knowledge needed to take educated next steps in your fertility journey!
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What Does Progesterone Do?
First, it’s important to understand that the processes in your body rely upon the production of hormones. The fertility cycle is no stranger to hormones, and one of the most essential hormones in the equation is progesterone.
Progesterone acts like a bossy but extremely helpful midwife during your fertility cycle. It’s the hormone that announces its presence once a month by balancing and preparing the uterine lining - a way to tell the body that it’s ready for a zygote (fertilized egg) to come on in and take its nine-month stay in your womb. When a zygote doesn’t come along, the body breaks into its usually monthly menstrual cycle.
However, if a zygote does happen to latch onto your uterine lining, progesterone kicks into overtime. It kickstarts the creation of blood vessels along the thick lining of the uterine wall. It ultimately kickstarts the production of the placenta - a necessary element for the healthy growth of your baby. Once the placenta is fully-formed, it takes over “looking after” the baby.
However, progesterone is as vital for a developing embryo as it is for an expectant person. Therefore, the body continues to make it, even as the placenta takes over caring for your growing baby.
What Happens When You Have Low Progesterone?
Low progesterone levels are more typical than you might think, and having low progesterone levels can cause issues for your body. Low progesterone is most usually caused by the ovaries failing to function normally, such as in the case of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Low progesterone levels often cause issues like irregular or painful periods, heavy periods, depression and anxiety, headaches, spotting between periods, low blood sugar, sore breasts, low libido, mood swings, and more. When you are trying to become pregnant, low progesterone can severely inhibit fertility efforts. For one, it does not allow your body to build up the thick lining the uterus needs to be hospitable to a developing embryo. Additionally, low progesterone can cause miscarriages and early labor for those who do manage to conceive.
Pregnancy is an extremely complex equation. It requires so many different parts of the body to work together to foster and sustain life inside that body. If your body suffers from low progesterone, it might seem like a huge blow. Luckily, there are ways to boost progesterone and ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Next Steps For Those With Low Progesterone
The great news about having low progesterone is that it’s highly treatable! You may just have to do a little extra monitoring and perhaps supplementation to ensure your baby has a healthy ride for nine months.
Depending on the severity of a progesterone deficiency, it is sometimes possible to boost levels via lifestyle and diet changes. Adding progesterone boosting foods to your diet like kale, Brussel sprouts, beans and pumpkin are good for supporting progesterone production. Additionally, pursuing light exercise and managing stress - which can disrupt hormones - can also help.
If you suspect your low progesterone issue is more severe it’s best to talk with your doctor. They will go over any potential low progesterone symptoms with you as well as coming up with a treatment plan if you do suffer from low progesterone.
Treatment plans may include vaginal suppositories, gels, and injections, as well as any other dietary or lifestyle restrictions or supplements recommended by your doctor. Studies have shown these treatments have high success rates when used with traditional fertility planning.
Amping Up Traditional Fertility Planning With Proov
Traditional fertility planning usually requires a person trying to get pregnant to track their menstrual and ovulation cycles to best plan to get pregnant. Ovulation typically happens about fourteen days before your next period but might vary from person to person. Tracking ovulation with ovulation (LH) tests or through cervical mucus monitoring can be a great way to help determine when ovulation is about to occur.
But what happens if you are having intercourse in your fertile window, but still are not conceiving? Proov can help you understand if low progesterone may be preventing you from getting pregnant.
- For those who have experienced issues becoming pregnant, a Proov test can help a woman understand if progesterone levels are high enough or too low. If they are too low, the fix can be so simple. If they are high enough, you are still one step closer to figuring out what might be a barrier to conceiving.
- For those who are new to trying to conceive, testing your progesterone levels with Proov can give you the confidence to know your body can support conception. If levels aren’t quite where they need to be, you now have powerful information.
- For those with PCOS (or those who suspect they have PCOS), Proov can help track progesterone to uncover if this may be a barrier to trying to conceive.
- For those who have lost pregnancies in the past, Proov understands how hard it can be to try again. In fact, our founder and Proov inventor, Amy, has experienced 7 losses. However, testing progesterone levels with Proov is a great step you can take toward gaining a clearer picture of your body - and toward a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Proov is not a treatment for low progesterone levels. However, it is a reliable at home tool that can help you gain a clearer understanding of what your body needs to successfully conceive - and to keep yourself healthy. For more information about Proov and how it might be able to help you, click here.