Progesterone is first produced in pregnancy by the corpus luteum which is a cyst on the ovary. This produces progesterone until about 10 weeks pregnant, where the placenta then takes over. Progesterone levels rise throughout the first trimester and then plateau.
Progesterone is is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy in every species according to the New York Academy of Sciences
. The hormone is found in the female body at all times and it plays a key role before and after conception. Progesterone is often prescribed alongside fertility treatment
and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)
as the medication during these procedures can suppress the bodies ability to produce the hormone.
After ovulation, progesterone is produced by the ovaries to thicken the uterine lining to create the ideal environment for a fertilised egg (Healthline
). Throughout pregnancy, progesterone maintains a healthy pregnancy by increasing blood flow to the womb, stimulating glands that produce nutrients for the embryo and helping establish the placenta.
During pregnancy, progesterone helps to relax the uterus, but it also relaxes smooth muscle and blood vessels throughout the body. The relaxation of blood vessels can cause low blood pressure
, dizziness, heartburn, indigestion
, gas, nausea and the list goes on…Progesterone is also known to increase hair growth
which is good for a glossy mane but not so much fun when you have a fuzzy tummy or legs and armpits that need constant shaving.