Causes and consequences of progesterone deficiency
In case of progesterone deficiency, the corpus luteum produces too little progesterone. There are several names for this condition:
-Corpus luteum weakness,
-Corpus luteum insufficiency,
- Luteal phase defect (abbreviated LPD)
- Luteal phase insufficiency
Causes are, for example, underdeveloped ovaries, cycles without ovulation or disorders of ovulation. A short luteal phase of less than 10 days, for example, is an indication of insufficient progesterone levels. This often results in cycle disorders and a desired pregnancy is difficult to achieve or does not occur at all. In addition, low progesterone levels increase the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy. Experts therefore recommend that in these cases progesterone should be given to support the pregnancy.
Little progesterone in menopause
A low progesterone concentration is not always associated with a disorder. During menopause, the progesterone level drops naturally and then remains at about 0.2 ng/ml. This is sometimes the cause of typical menopausal symptoms, such as sleep disturbances and mood swings.
Treatment with progesterone
During the fertile phase of a woman's life, the range of applications of progesterone is wide. Here progesterone counteracts a disturbed menstrual cycle if this is due to a lack of progesterone. Furthermore, progesterone is used to support the luteal phase in the case of in vitro fertilization. The application is preferably vaginal. In certain high-risk pregnancies, progesterone can prevent miscarriage and premature birth.
Progesterone is also used as part of hormone therapy for women during and after the menopause. Here it protects the lining of the uterus from estrogen-induced adenoids when an estrogen supplement is taken and it can also be used to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Progesterone and corpus luteum insufficiency
Women with corpus luteum insufficiency often have an irregular menstrual cycle. Progesterone can help to counteract these irregularities. An insufficiency of the corpus luteum also regularly occurs during so-called ovarian stimulation in artificial insemination. Here, Progesterone is the standard therapy, which is because if progesterone levels are too low, the egg cell does not implant. If the therapy is continued up to the 12th week of pregnancy, the risk of early miscarriages due to progesterone deficiency is minimized.