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Infertility

High progesterone levels and supplementation

02/05/2009

Question:

Can high serum progesterone levels (above 200-300ng/ml)as a result of natural progesterone supplementation cause fetal harm? I was placed on 100mg progesterone troches/2x per day starting after ovulation by a reproductive endocrinologist due to previous miscarriages. I did not have any blood work to test my levels until I was weaning off at 13 weeks. I was still taking 50mg/3x per day and I was tested 7 hours after my last dose (an hour before my next dose) My level was 87.9ng/ml. I am concerned about how high my progesterone levels may have gotten when I was taking the full dose (and I even had 1 week (wk11-12) where I took 100mg 3x/day fearing that my levels might be too low) I now know they were plenty high and I`m fearing that the artifically high levels could have caused damage. Is there any research about natural progesterone causing birth defects at high levels?

Answer:

There is no evidence that would suggest that high levels of natural progesterone would cause birth defects.  Progesterone supplementation is commonly used in IVF cycles which result in higher than normal progesterone levels with no apparent ill effects.

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Response by:

Daniel B Williams, MD Daniel B Williams, MD
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati