Progesterone is a very important hormone for the women’s body while pregnant, as without progesterone it would not be able to carry a pregnancy to term. Progesterone is commonly known as “the pregnancy hormone”. This hormone is produced by the ovaries.
What is the normal progesterone level during pregnancy? Check the chart below.
Progesterone Level Chart in Pregnancy
Normal levels of progesterone during pregnancy are as follows:
- In early pregnancy normal levels of progesterone are: 1 – 28 ng/ml (3.18 – 89 nmol/L)
- During the first trimester normal progesterone levels are: 9 – 47 ng/ml (28.5 – 149 nmol/L)
- During the second trimester normal progesterone levels are: 17 – 146 ng/ml (54 – 464 nmol/L)
- During the third trimester normal progesterone levels are: 55 – 200 ng/ml (175 – 636 nmol/L)
In late pregnancy, just before the due date, the female body produces about 250 mg of progesterone a day. About 90% of the progesterone hormone produced from the female body in late pregnancy reaches into the maternal blood circulation. Once the baby is born, the progesterone levels drop significantly.
Relationship Between Progesterone Level and Variability of Pregnancy
|< 5 ng/mL (16 nmol/mL)||Low level, non-viable pregnancy|
|< 10 ng/mL (32 nmol/mL)||Low level, abnormal pregnancy|
|< 25 ng/mL (80 nmol/mL)||Ecquivocal range|
|>25 ng/mL (80 nmol/mL)||Normal level, normal intrauterine pregnancy |
|< 40 ng/mL (125 nmol/mL)||Low level|
|>40 ng/mL (125 nmol/mL)||Normal level |
|< 80 ng/mL (255 nmol/mL)||Low level|
|>80 ng/mL (255 nmol/mL)||Normal level|
What Does Progesterone Do in Pregnancy?
After knowing the progesterone level chart, you may wonder why it is so important. The main functions of progesterone in pregnancy are as follows:
- It prepares the uterus lining for implantation of the embryo.
- It keeps the necessary thickness of the uterus lining which is necessary for having a normal pregnancy.
- It creates a perfect environment for the embryo and later for the developing fetus to grow inside the uterus, by increasing the arterial blood flow and glycogen levels.
- It prevents uterine contractions during pregnancy, until the right time for delivery.
- It thickens the uterine cervix and creates a mucous plug, in order to prevent the bacteria from entering the uterus and harming the developing fetus during pregnancy.
What Will Happen If You Have Low Progesterone in Pregnancy?
Low progesterone levels can lead to a miscarriage. In about 99% of miscarried pregnancies in the United States, the levels of progesterone are lower than normal, meaning that a pregnancy could not have been supported. In general, these miscarriages due to low progesterone levels occur before the 10th week of pregnancy, when placenta has not yet developed.
If more than one miscarriage in a row occurs, you should seek medical help, including checking the levels of the progesterone hormone. You can also refer to the above progesterone level chart.
If low levels of progesterone are suspected, you should get tested before conceiving. Signs of low progesterone levels include:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Frequent menstrual periods
- Persistent fatigue
- Low libido
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Weight changes
- Ovarian cysts
- Migraines, etc.
What Causes It?
The real cause of low progesterone levels is often not known. However, certain factors can interfere with your progesterone level, such as:
- Poor nutrition
- The use of certain medications for various medical conditions
- A lack of physical exercise, etc.
How to Boost Progesterone Levels in Pregnancy
Seeking Professional Help
When you assume your progesterone levels are low after checking the progesterone level chart, seek professional medical help. Certain supplements can help boost the progesterone levels such as suppositories. However, it is not guaranteed that these suppositories will help.
Prometrium or Clomid is usually prescribed by your doctor when trying to boost progesterone levels. Hormonal shots are another option for certain women while trying to conceive. Taking a good care of yourself and daily commitment are required while taking these hormonal shots.
Changing your lifestyle can help you boost the progesterone levels. Certain foods or nutrients such as dark leafy greens, animal proteins, turmeric, magnesium or vitamin B can help boost progesterone levels.Stop Smoking
You should stop smoking when trying to conceive, as nicotine found in the cigarettes can interfere with the production of progesterone from the female ovaries, not to mention all the other negative health effects of smoking for your own health and the health of your baby.Reduce Stress
Stress can interfere with the production of progesterone. Try to reduce the stress as much as possible. Get a massage, use relaxation techniques, eat healthy, sleep well and exercise regularly.