Progesterone In Pregnancy - a simple explanation

So, what can be said about progesterone in pregnancy? No doubt you’ve heard of the hormone, Progesterone that is present within us females. But what about during pregnancy? What part does this hormone play?

Well, after doing a bit of research I found some interesting information I’d like to share. Progesterone is secreted by our ovaries and basically serves to keep our reproductive system healthy and functioning.

You remember I mentioned before that at around week 13 the placenta takes over producing the hormones needed for pregnancy? Progesterone is one of these hormones that the placenta produces. (before week 13 Progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum, see my page on HCG Levels in Early Pregnancy).

The levels of Progesterone in pregnancy, that are produced by the placenta, continue to increase until just before the birth of your baby.

Here are some of the things Progesterone helps you with during pregnancy:

1. Makes the endometrium (lining of your womb) develop, which keeps the fertilized egg safe and keeps it (the endometrium) nice and thick.

2. Keeps the placenta working well and fights off foreign cells that might damage the placenta or the foetus.

3. Stops your womb from contracting and pushing your baby out until the time is right.

4. Stimulates growth of breast tissue but stops you producing milk until after your baby is born.

5. Strengthens the plug of mucus that covers your cervix. (This prevents infections from reaching your unborn baby).

6. Strengthens your pelvis ready for labour.

Considering that Progesterone stops your womb contracting throughout your pregnancy, it makes sense that right at the end of your pregnancy, when your baby is due, your Progesterone levels drop right off, and this is what starts the contractions that lead to giving birth.

Some of the effects that the increased levels of Progesterone in pregnancy can have on us women are:

1. Constipation

2. Heartburn

3. Runny or itchy nose

4. Blurry eyesight or headaches

5. An increased risk of kidney infection

Because Progesterone sustains and maintains our reproductive system and keeps it all working as it should during pregnancy, a lack of this hormone in a pregnant woman can be a cause of miscarriage.

You can supplement Progesterone, to keep a healthy balance of hormones within you, by using a natural Progesterone cream, which is rubbed into the thighs, breasts and abdomen on a daily basis. Incidentally, this cream can also help women with other problems related to their menstrual cycle when not pregnant.

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