Follicular Progesterone Linked to Early Pregnancy Loss

Researchers find that elevated levels are associated with increased risk of miscarriage

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated follicular progesterone is associated with early pregnancy loss after natural conceptions in healthy women, according to a study published in the August issue of Fertility and Sterility.

Virginia J. Vitzthum, Ph.D., of Indiana University in Bloomington, and colleagues studied 191 Bolivian women aged 19 to 40 who were in stable sexual relationships and not using contraception. They collected serial saliva samples throughout sequential ovarian cycles and urine samples during late luteal phases, and continued collecting samples during each detected conception.

The researchers found that luteal progesterone levels were similar in women who experienced early pregnancy loss after five weeks and those with sustained conceptions. But they found that follicular progesterone levels were significantly higher in women who experienced early pregnancy loss.

"Our results argue that more attention should be directed to follicular progesterone levels in the study of early pregnancy loss and to the factors that may stimulate adrenal production of progesterone," the authors conclude. "A better understanding of the role of adrenal progesterone may help to reduce the risk of early pregnancy loss in both assisted reproductive technologies and spontaneous conceptions."

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