The information in this article is not intended to suggest treatment, medical advice or medical diagnosis in any way, as it is simply information. We strongly recommend that you discuss all health matters and concerns with your health provider before beginning a new treatment approach.
The hormone progesterone plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. Typically during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, progesterone is first produced by the corpus luteum of the ovary. Then the placenta takes over to produce adequate progesterone levels for the balance of the pregnancy. The levels of progesterone increase dramatically throughout pregnancy. Progesterone production is necessary for the safe maintenance of pregnancy, and all pregnancies will fail if progesterone production is too low.
Many women experiencing infertility, implantation failures and/or miscarriages produce low levels of progesterone. These women may require progesterone supplementation to bring them into the safe levels. Many physicians recommend progesterone supplementation through the sixteenth week of pregnancy.
When progesterone supplementation is given, its life in the blood is very short. Most physicians believe that the most efficient delivery system to insure the best blood levels and the longest survival of the progesterone in the blood is to use vaginal suppositories or progesterone injections.
Some physicians use topical progesterone via cream, as it may be more efficiently used, since fat soluble molecules allow it to be better absorbed through the skin. This is called transdermal administration. Many physicians believe the least effective route of administration is to take the progesterone by mouth because orally administered progesterone (called first pass metabolism) also creates higher levels of certain metabolites of progesterone than transdermally administered progesterone.