Should I Monitor Progesterone During IVF Treatment?
Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries during pregnancy that aids in the implantation of a fertilized egg. What’s the connection between progesterone and IVF, you ask? We’ll examine this hardworking hormone to see what role it plays throughout fertility treatment. So, if you are wondering if you should monitor progesterone during IVF treatment, this article will provide the answers.
What is progesterone, and what does it do?
Progesterone is a hormone that is produced naturally by the ovaries and helps to prepare the female body for pregnancy, creating a favourable environment for the embryo. It does so by thickening the uterine lining for the implantation of a fertilized egg.
The mid-cycle change in progesterone levels, which occurs at ovulation, is triggered by the release of an egg from a woman’s body. Once fertilized, the egg “sticks” to the uterus lining that has been prepared and waiting. However, if the egg does not implant or get fertilized, progesterone levels will plummet, causing a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The ovaries will continue to produce progesterone for around 8-10 weeks after conception in the case of a successful pregnancy when the placenta takes over hormone production until birth. Progesterone derived from the placenta helps to sustain the pregnancy through two simultaneous functions: preventing the uterine lining from shedding and suppressing the uterine wall’s capacity to contract until term.
Reasons why it’s utilised during fertility therapy
Unfortunately, the medications used to prevent early ovulation in IVF can have an adverse impact on and/or dampen a patient’s natural production of progesterone, which is required to thicken the uterine lining. Additionally, harvesting mature eggs through follicle aspiration may also remove a significant number of progesterone-producing ovarian cells, limiting the body’s natural production of the hormone.
This is why the finest fertility clinic specialists will look to prescribe a progesterone supplement to restore balance, allowing the fertilized egg the best chance possible to implant and develop into a full pregnancy.
How does progesterone come into play during IVF?
Progesterone treatment will begin two days after the initial egg retrieval procedure and before the embryo implantation if prescribed by your fertility expert. The progesterone treatment may be administered for 10-12 weeks after a pregnancy has been confirmed, or throughout the first trimester of the pregnancy.
The treatment can then be stopped when the woman’s body has re-recovered its natural capacity to make progesterone hormone during the remainder of her pregnancy.
Supplementation with progesterone forms
Progesterone may be administered via intramuscular injection or as a vaginal preparation during in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Vaginal therapies are available as a suppository, gel, or tablets that must be consumed/administered daily.
There is no actual distinction between the two approaches, and your IVF doctor’s recommendation will ultimately determine which method you choose to ensure the correct level of progesterone is maintained during IVF.
Progesterone therapy’s possible adverse effects
Some people who use injections may feel some discomfort or swelling near the injection site, while vaginal applications can produce discharge or irritation. Other non-life-threatening potential negative effects include bloating, nausea, cramping, and tiredness.
Progesterone treatment in IVF can safely be stopped once a successful pregnancy has been verified. However, you should report any concerns or unusual symptoms to your doctor or fertility specialist, just as you would with any other therapy.