Hormonal changes are very common in the phase of pregnancy. These are often accompanied by other related problems that could be referred to as the early symptoms of pregnancy. Progesterone, along with hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone), plays a very vital role during pregnancy.
It also plays an essential role in the menstrual cycle. Every cycle is characterized by the production of a mature egg. The production of this egg results in an increase in the level of progesterone. Progesterone, thus, prepares the uterus for fertilization and supports its lining to hold the baby. Here, if the egg gets fertilized, the levels of this hormone increase, to further support the fetus. In case the egg is not fertilized, the levels drop and give rise to menstrual periods. However, during pregnancy, the levels of progesterone increase as much as 10 times and continue until the delivery of the baby.
One needs to carry out certain tests to know the correct levels of this hormone in the body. It is understandable that optimum levels suggest healthy working of the ovaries as well the uterus. Check out the progesterone levels in the table given below.
|Pregnancy Phases||Expected Progesterone Levels|
|Pregnancy 1st Trimester||11.2 - 90.0 ng/mL|
|Pregnancy 2nd Trimester||25.6 - 89.4 ng/mL|
|Pregnancy 3rd Trimester||48.4 - 442.5 ng/mL|
Reasons to Check Progesterone Levels in an Early Pregnancy
✔ The most important reason to carry out a progesterone test is to check the efficiency of ovulation in females. A smooth ovulation cycle is a must for conception, and abnormal progesterone levels suggest irregular ovulation cycles and in many cases is the leading cause for infertility.
✔ Another reason for testing progesterone levels in an early pregnancy is to check the efficiency of placenta and ovaries so that they can support the fetus without any hindrances. It is generally done by females having troubled pregnancies or miscarriages.
✔ Normally, pregnant females are expected to show high progesterone levels; however, high levels could also be associated with ectopic pregnancy in which the egg gets implanted outside the uterus, either in the abdomen, fallopian tube, ovary, or cervix. This does not result in a normal pregnancy.
✔ Molar pregnancy is another reason in which the nucleus of the egg is lost resulting in a duplication of the sperm. Thus, implantation of the fertilized egg does not take place.
✔ Apart from these very common reasons, other probable causes could be ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, overproduction of progesterone, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
✔ Conditions like toxemia (pregnancy induced hypertension and anxiety) and dysfunctioning of ovaries could cause the progesterone levels to drop during early pregnancy.
The normal levels of progesterone during pregnancy should be more than 20 units. Any value above or below it is a matter of concern and needs appropriate diagnosis and medical intervention. Therefore, always remember to carry out the tests on time to avoid unpleasant consequences.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.