What is Progesterone?

Progesterone is a hormone produced by the cells remaining in this area after the egg has grown and cracked. Whether the expectant mother ovulates regularly or not can be understood by looking at the hormone progesterone on the 21st day of menstruation. If the progesterone value is above 10-15 on the 21st day of menstruation, it indicates that there is an ovulation in that month. If there is pregnancy, the certainty of ovulation occurs. If the egg is not fertilized, that is, there is no embryo, progesterone production decreases. The uterine wall is prepared by secreted progesterone. If there is no fertilization, a new menstrual cycle begins with menstrual bleeding.

Progesterone plays an important role in the menstrual cycle and early stages of pregnancy. In IVF treatments, in case of fertilization of the egg, it prepares the body for pregnancy. After the egg and sperm cell are fertilized, the endometrial glands stimulate the uterine wall to feed the embryo and allow the blood vessels to grow. Progesterone allows the fertilized egg to attach to the prepared uterine wall and helps protect the endometrium throughout pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, the placenta is formed with progesterone to support and maintain the pregnancy. After the placenta is established, around the 12th week of pregnancy, progesterone takes over production. During pregnancy, progesterone plays an important role in the development of the fetus. It also stimulates the growth of breast tissue, prevents lactation, strengthens the pelvic wall muscles.

The level of progesterone in the body gradually rises throughout pregnancy. Low progesterone levels during pregnancy can cause premature birth. Synthetic progesterone can be given to expectant mothers at risk of preterm delivery.

There are no known medical drawbacks to having a very high progesterone level. It is an expected and beneficial condition to be high during pregnancy anyway. Progesterone is used by women as a birth control pill, alone or in combination with estrogen. Normal progesterone values ​​in IVF treatments should be as follows: follicular phase: 0.2-1.4 ng/ml, luteal phase: 4-25 ng/ml, menopause: 01.-1 ng/ml, in men: 01.-1 ng/ml

It is known that progesterone supplements in IVF treatment can provide some benefit in individual cases. These drugs affect progesterone levels. Therefore, progesterone supplementation may be needed to compensate for the decrease in the ovaries’ ability to produce progesterone during IVF treatment.

During IVF treatment, progesterone supplementation can usually be started a few days after egg retrieval. Progesterone supplements are usually given as a vaginal suppository, subcutaneous, or intramuscular injection. Current research has focused on improving the effectiveness of oral preparations of progesterone, as it has been found that only 10% of progesterone is absorbed when taken orally. Progesterone supplementation can be safely withdrawn during a positive pregnancy (hCG) test in IVF treatment because the body begins to secrete progesterone spontaneously at this stage.

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