Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Progesterone and Miscarriage

Miscarriage can be a fairly devastating event for a couple, especially if they’ve been trying to conceive for some time. What makes matters worse is that it’s often not readily apparent what caused the miscarriage. This means that there are often feelings of guilt or responsibility, in addition to the normal feelings of loss that can and usually do come along with a miscarriage.

It’s rare, however, that a miscarriage is caused directly by your actions. More often than not, there are other factors that cause the miscarriage, and they are usually quite unrelated to anything you do.

Take, for example, the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that is necessary for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.  If you have low levels of progesterone it may result in a miscarriage.  It has not been proven that the lack of progesterone causes miscarriages, some doctors believe that a low progesterone level found in early pregnancy only shows that a pregnancy was already failing.

During the early part of your pregnancy, your body makes progesterone in a small part of the ovary known as the corpus luteum. As the placenta grows, it will begin to take over this task, and by about the tenth week of your pregnancy, the placenta will produce enough progesterone to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Sometimes, however, the corpus luteum doesn’t produce quite enough progesterone. When this happens, it’s possible that you may miscarry. There are even some doctors that will prescribe a treatment involving progesterone supplements to help avoid this problem, especially if you have a history of miscarriage and it’s not sure why.

There is some debate about whether this is effective or not. The good news is that these progesterone treatments are considered as safe for use during pregnancy, so it’s not as if they’re going to interfere or make the risk of miscarriage greater.

If you’ve had more than one miscarriage, it’s likely that your doctor may want to do some testing to discover other possible causes for miscarriage, beyond the potential of only low progesterone.

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