Progesterone is a female hormone with many functions. It regulates the menstrual cycle, controls the body temperature during ovulation etc. This hormone is vital for pregnancy. Namely, progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg and maintains thickness of the lining for the rest of the pregnancy. Furthermore, the hormone thickens the cervix and this way prevents entrance of bacteria. So, in early pregnancy levels of progesterone are supposed to be high. Any drop in the level of progesterone in early pregnancy this is a matter of concern.
Causes of Low Levels of Progesterone in Early Pregnancy
The easiest way to check the level of hormones in a woman's body is with a blood test. Progesterone is normally released by a special follicle called the corpus luteum. During the first few weeks of pregnancy the level of progesterone doubles. In case this hormone does not reach a desirable level there may be some problems with pregnancy.
Insufficient production of progesterone leads to certain changes. If the corpus luteum does not synthesize appropriate amount of progesterone the uterine lining may be affected by premature shedding. The consequence of this shedding can lead to a miscarriage. Two more complications of low progesterone levels in early pregnancy are ectopic pregnancy and premature birth.
Apart from insufficient production of the corpus luteum, low levels of progesterone may be also associated with resistance to insulin and increased levels of estrogen. Taking certain medications can also cause low levels of progesterone
Symptoms of Low Progesterone Levels
Since a low level of progesterone can cause shedding of the lining of the uterus, a woman may suffer from vaginal spotting or even vaginal bleeding. Furthermore, a pregnant woman may also complain about breast tenderness and low back pain. It is essential to report any of thes symptoms to a doctor.
Treatment fro Low Progesterone Levels
Low levels of progesterone require therapy. The treatment could be with oral medications, prescribed injections or vaginal suppositories. These medications are highly effective and can assist in egg implantation. They also maintain endometrium and prevent its shedding. During the treatment the doctor controls level of progesterone and decides for how long these medications need to be taken.