During the first year of us trying to conceive, I experienced a miscarriage back in 2012…such a sad day. My doctor at the time had no real explanation of why this happened but suspected that my progesterone levels might have been too low. She recommended that I come in the following month to have my levels checked. So I did.
What is the 21-day Progesterone Test?
When you’re trying to get pregnant one of the tests you can request or your doctor might suggest is the Day 21 progesterone test, which happens around day 21 of your cycle (depending on your usual cycle length).
The test is done to check the levels of progesterone and estradiol (E2) in your system, as well as the thickness of your endometrium (your uterine lining).
It is called the Day 21 test because it is usually done on the 21st day of your menstrual cycle (day one is the first day of flow, not including any spotting) if you have an average 28-day cycle when your progesterone should be at its peak in your cycle. Checking progesterone levels are healthy at this point helps to show that you are ovulating and that your progesterone levels are at a normal level.
A low day 21 progesterone level shows that you didn’t produce an egg (anovulatory), which means you cannot get pregnant this month.
Side Note: If you are not having 28-day cycles and your periods are irregular, then let’s chat because I’m sure there are other things you can be doing to support your hormones + promote a regular cycle.
Why Should I Care About Progesterone?
Well, because it’s kind of a big deal, and here is why: Progesterone also referred to as “the pregnancy hormone,” is a common female hormone found naturally in a woman’s body. It also happens to play an essential role both before and during pregnancy.
Progesterone is an extremely important hormone for sustaining a pregnancy. It has to maintain the uterine lining to ensure that your uterus is a friendly environment for an embryo to implant. In addition to showing whether you have ovulated or not; if you don’t have enough progesterone, your uterine lining may begin to shed before implantation even has a chance to happen, making it more difficult for you to get pregnant.
The bottom line is this — all women who wish to become pregnant need progesterone to help their uterus prepare for and maintain a pregnancy. If your levels are low, then you need to supplement. Period (pun intended)!
Progesterone During Pregnancy
Progesterone balance in pregnancy is essential. A consistent supply of progesterone to the endometrium continues to help nurture the developing fetus throughout the pregnancy. Following successful implantation, progesterone also helps maintain a supportive environment for the developing fetus.
After 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, the placenta takes over progesterone production from the ovaries and substantially increases progesterone production.
There Are Different Forms of Progesterone
Not all forms of progesterone are created equal. There are several types of progesterone available, including vaginal products that deliver progesterone directly to the uterus, including vaginal gels, suppositories, vaginal inserts, oral capsules, and injections.
The problem for me is all of the above are all synthetic forms of progesterone that may be messy, difficult to administer on my own (injections), or have undesirable side effects. No, thank you. So, when I found out that my Progesterone levels were, in fact, low, I was introduced to a natural form of progesterone that is bio-identical to our bodies, derived from natural yam, and is a serum that I could easily apply every day. Plus it came highly recommended by my Naturopath (natural doctor) + she carried it in her clinic.
Which Progesterone is Right For You?
This is a decision that you and your health care provider can make together. Most women prefer a progesterone formulation that is easy, convenient, and comfortable and for me, the answer was Progessence Plus… more on why I still love using it consistently coming soon. I’m a super fan for life!