Studies Show that Progesterone Supports Pregnancy for Infertile Women
The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction has over a 25-year experience in the use of progesterone support for pregnancy. Between 1980 and 2001 a study was conducted with data on the level of progesterone in normal pregnancy. This study followed 610 patients through 930 pregnancies and 8,545 progesterone levels were studied and statistically evaluated.
The patients had either primary or secondary infertility and some of the patients also had a history of previous spontaneous abortion or recurrent spontaneous abortion. The study revealed the levels of progesterone in first and second trimester spontaneous abortions were decreased. The role of progesterone as an indication of placental function may be more significant than what had been previously appreciated and is especially important into the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
Serum progesterone levels have been noted to be premature labor, threatened premature labor, premature rupture of the membranes, amnionitis and abruption of the placenta, & decreased in cases of intrauterine death.
Progesterone support in pregnancy has been in use for nearly 60 years. Its initial use was in patients who had habitual spontaneous abortion caused by luteal phase deficiency. Luteal phase deficiency is due to a failure of the function of the corpus luteum in the production of progesterone. It is known that progesterone from the corpus luteum is indispensable during the first seven weeks of pregnancy. The study showed a reduction progesterone to prevent preterm labor has been documented in medical literature for over 30 years.
Progesterone has the following important functions:
- It stimulates the growth of the uterus
- It causes "maturation" of the endometrium, converting it to a secretory type
- It stimulates the decidualization of the endometrium required for implantation
- And it inhibits myometrial contractions
Progesterone is very safe for both mother and baby as evidenced by the fact that the retroplacental blood pool contains progesterone levels that are three to six times the maternal level during late pregnancy. In addition, fetal serum levels are seven times the maternal levels.