Can progesterone help to prevent miscarrage?
Having worked with many women experiencing multiple miscarriages, I am well aware that progesterone deficiency isn’t the only factor (if at all) why a woman would miscarry in the first trimester.
Currently in the UK following a miscarriage women aren’t referred for further investigations unless they have had three ‘consecutive’ miscarriages (fortunately some GP’s will recognise historic miscarriages and still refer on). So until you’ve experienced at least three losses you are in limbo (as if one loss wasn’t enough).
However, if you were referred for IVF you would be given progesterone as standard to ensure progesterone is maintained in the second half of your cycle (the luteal phase), and continue until the placenta takes over at 12 weeks. But if you are trying to conceive naturally and have what looks like a ‘luteal phase defect’ (this is when progesterone isn’t maintained in the luteal phase post ovulation, and as such the length is shortened to less than 10 days), you may actually benefit from taking progesterone in the second half of your cycle. Or if you’ve miscarried in the first trimester and this includes chemical pregnancies, it might be that you would benefit from taking progesterone on getting a ‘positive’ pregnancy test for 12 weeks. However GP’s are unlikely to prescribe progesterone, or give a proper diagnosis of a possible progesterone deficiency at this stage. It’s not until you have been referred for further investigations following three recurring miscarrages, that you may be prescribed progesterone.
Overall progesterone deficiency, or any other potential issue preventing you from conceiving or carrying a healthy baby to term, is a sign there is an imbalance in your body. The ideal would be to address your health and your cycle naturally through nutrition, appropriate supplementation, herbs, reflexology and or acupuncture, to help get the ratio progesterone to oestrogen (P/O), or any other underlining issues, in-balance, treating the cause not just the symptom.
The more in tuned you are with your cycle, the more likely you are to pickup any issues that could be preventing you from conceiving, or carrying a healthy baby to term. My advice to all my clients where possible is to start charting their body basal temperature (BBT) for approximately three consecutive cycles, to give us an overall picture of what’s going on. As well as drinking more water, cleaning up their diet, and reducing stress of course.