What is Progesterone and Why is it Important?
Progesterone is an essential hormone in the fertility equation. This hormone is the driver behind protecting the uterus and preparing it to hold a healthy fetus for nine months.
Your menstrual cycle is affected by the hormones your body produces. These hormones also influence your fertility - follicle stimulating hormone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone and progesterone. Each hormone has its role in preparing the female reproductive system for pregnancy, and if one of them isn’t functioning correctly, it can put a kink in the efforts to get pregnant.
Proov testing kits allow women to test and track progesterone levels for multiple days and provide more information from one blood test. With Proov, you can test your from the comfort of your home and see test results within 5 minutes.
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What is Progesterone?
In most cases, people with uteruses get their periods after about 28 days if a zygote has failed to implant in their uterine wall. This is the body’s way of essentially “cleaning” out the uterine lining to make it ideal for growing a baby. Each month, the body prepares the uterine lining to become thicker to accommodate that baby. The process of thickening the uterine lining is triggered by a hormone - specifically, by progesterone.
Progesterone is a hormone secreted by the corpus luteum - or empty follicle from which the egg was released - during the second half of the menstrual cycle to prepare for pregnancy. If a zygote does attach itself to the thickened lining of the uterus, the progesterone’s job steps up a notch. It creates and maintains the blood vessels in the womb, which provide nourishment for the fetus during the first few weeks of pregnancy, and then creates the placenta, which nourishes the fetus later on during the pregnancy.
Once the placenta is created, it then plays a significant role in nourishing the baby. However, progesterone is still vital for pregnancy. It strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and influences lactation post-birth. Progesterone increases continually throughout the pregnancy, eventually going back down to pre-pregnancy levels after birth.
What Happens If My Progesterone Levels Are Not at the Right Levels?
Often, an imbalance of hormones in the body leads to issues, and progesterone is no different. If your progesterone levels are low, there most likely will be notable side effects - even if you are not pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
Low progesterone levels might be caused by issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Sometimes, progesterone levels are just not where they need to be even without a diagnosed condition. For those who are not trying to become pregnant, this would likely lead to heavy or irregular periods, as well as issues attempting to become pregnant. If a person with low progesterone manages to get pregnant while they have problems with their hormone levels, it can be potentially serious for the pregnancy. Miscarriages and early labor are common with those who experience a drop in progesterone during pregnancy.
If you experience irregular and heavy periods and have not been tested for hormonal imbalances, it is worthwhile to test. This is especially true if you plan on becoming pregnant in the next year. If you experience issues with the production of progesterone in your body, and you plan on getting pregnant, there is still time to prepare your body for pregnancy. If the deficiency is only slight, lifestyle and diet changes can sometimes be enough to get progesterone to where it needs to be. If the deficiency is more severe it’s best to talk to a doctor.
How Can Proov Help?
Proov can help you understand if progesterone may be a barrier to conceiving - right from the start. Testing with Proov allows women to track progesterone levels multiple days in a row, which can provide even better information than a one time blood test. See, progesterone levels need to go up and stay elevated to support conception. Because Proov is non-invasive, a woman can test multiple days in a row to ensure that progesterone not only goes up high enough but that it stays up for long enough.
It works by measuring a metabolite of progesterone in your urine, much in the same way that pregnancy tests measure the levels of HGC in your urine. Proov can be done from home and is simple and easy to use. When used in conjunction with an ovulation predictor test, you can be confident in the levels of progesterone in your body. And if levels aren’t quite where they need to be, you can take action to boost them. There are lots of natural ways to boost progesterone, or you can talk to a doctor about supplements.
If this month isn’t the month you plan on becoming pregnant, that is fine, too. When used with an ovulation predictor test, you can gain a better oversight of your fertility health and cycle so that when you do want to become pregnant, you will have a better chance of becoming pregnant.
Understanding your body can be hard. Proov can help you better understand your cycle so you can conceive on your terms.