Progesterone is a hormone your body produces that is essential to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Ovulation (release of a ripe egg to be fertilised) during your menstrual cycle normally causes your body to produce increased levels of progesterone, which trigger changes in your uterus, preparing it to receive the fertilised egg. Once the fertilised egg implants in the endometrium (uterine lining), your body's levels of progesterone continue to increase drastically, keeping your uterus from contracting and inhibiting your body from rejecting the growing foetus. Since low progesterone levels may result in miscarriages during early pregnancy, raising progesterone levels to get pregnant could help maximise your chances of carrying your pregnancy to term.
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Things you need
- Menstrual cycle records
- Blood test results
- Progesterone supplements
Determine the best time of your menstrual cycle to test your body's progesterone levels. Your menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of your period to the first day of your following menstrual period. According to Laurie Morse, L.Ac., a licensed acupuncturist and the director of Holistic Health Services in San Diego, CA, days 21 through 23 of your menstrual cycle provide a good window to check your body's progesterone levels since your progesterone levels should be very high during that time of your menstrual cycle.
Obtain a blood test to verify your body's low progesterone levels. Make an appointment for a progesterone level blood test with your obstetrician or gynecologist. Staff at your doctor's office may conduct the blood test or they may send you to a hospital lab to get blood drawn. You will typically need to wait several days before the results from your blood test are ready. Make sure you arrange a follow-up appointment with your doctor to discuss the results of your blood test.
Talk to your doctor about options for progesterone supplementation. Your doctor will use the results from your blood test to provide you with the progesterone supplementation options that will work best for you and your body. Although some natural progesterone supplements are available over-the-counter, these contain lower percentages of progesterone than prescription progesterone supplements and may not provide the amounts of progesterone that your body requires, according to the Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education. Be sure to discuss any questions and concerns that you might have regarding progesterone supplementation, as well.
Choose a progesterone supplement and take it as your doctor directs. According to the Alan E. Beer Center for Reproductive Technology, you can typically take progesterone supplementation orally, through injections or through vaginal suppositories.
Monitor your progesterone levels. Schedule regular appointments with your doctor to monitor your progesterone levels to ensure that they are not too high. If your progesterone supplements aren't working correctly, your doctor can adapt your medication levels. Once your doctor has determined that your body's progesterone levels are responding correctly to supplementation, he can give you the green light to try to conceive.
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