Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Low levels of progesterone may lead to miscarriage

Progesterone, a steroid hormone, is an important female hormone says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown, who specialises in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy.

Progesterone is made by the ovary during ovulation. It is also produced by the adrenal glands in small amounts. It is manufactured in the body with the help of the steroid hormone pregnenolone and it in turn helps in the production of most of the other steroid hormones like cortisol, oestrogen and testosterone. In the female body, the most important role of the progesterone hormone is to counter the effects of oestrogen and help provide an environment for a successful pregnancy and a healthy pregnancy.

Progesterone and Fertility
Progesterone helps in reproduction by stimulating changes in the uterus and also supports pregnancy by increasing blood vessel and tissue development in the layer where the embryo attaches itself. The egg attaches itself to the uterus after been released from the ovary. On conception, the egg along with the sperm forms the embryo. Progesterone is the hormone that delays the shedding of the endometrium layer where the embryo implantation occurs.

If there is a significant drop in the progesterone levels during the first few weeks of pregnancy, then it may lead to a miscarriage.

Causes of Low Progesterone
There can be many factors that could cause the progesterone levels to fall, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown. Some prominent factors are:
- Dominance of oestrogen. This condition could occur if the individual is exposed to any environmental hormone that behaves like oestrogen or in cases of liver dysfunction.
- Resistance to insulin present in the body
- Chronic stress
- Diet that is rich in sugar or does not contain sufficient nutrients
- Insufficient exercise
- Certain medications

Consequently, dietary and lifestyle changes can help to address the issue of low progesterone and to help increase it to levels that support a pregnancy, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown.

To find out more about Nutritional support during or before your pregnancy, contact UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown Dip.ION (mBANT), specialist in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy care in the city of London, EC2. I have also written a free e-book on how you can improve your diet during your pregnancy, which can be obtained by clicking on my link.