Recently, I was talking to a young woman relative who had a miscarriage with her first pregnancy, a successful birth with the second and is now taking progesterone as soon as she found out she was pregnant with her third on the advice of her Natural Family Planning instructor and doctor.
I was a bit perplexed about this until I read the May 28, 2019 National Catholic Register article “New Study Supports Catholic Research on Progesterone in Pregnancy” .
Based on a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “A Randomized Trial of Progesterone in Women with Bleeding in Early Pregnancy”, it was found that those women taking progesterone supplements during pregnancy had a 15% increase in live births.
This came as no surprise to Teresa Kenney, a women’s health nurse practitioner in Omaha at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction where being Catholic is not required for services.
Research there has shown progesterone to be “a significant factor in pregnancies who are at risk for miscarriage or premature labor.” She also noted that progesterone is routinely used during the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process, a process that the Institute does not offer because of moral and ethical concerns.
Dr. Hilgers who founded and directs the Pope Paul VI Institute has been studying progesterone and pregnancy for decades and found that pregnancies that were not normal-for example, those ending in miscarriage, premature labor or other complications-often had lower than normal progesterone levels in the mother’s blood.
Not every miscarriage can be prevented with progesterone in the estimated 10%-25% of pregnancies that end in miscarriage. Fifty percent of miscarriages happen because the baby has a chromosomal problem and there are other medical problems that can lead to miscarriage.
Dr. Kathleen Raviele, an OB-GYN and former president of the Catholic Medical Association, said that if a woman has undergone a miscarriage – particularly very early in pregnancy – she recommends that her progesterone levels be tested following ovulation during a normal cycle. If numbers are low, she recommends supplementing progesterone.
That is why my relative is now taking progesterone for her expected baby.
According to Nurse Kenney and Dr. Raviele, they use careful timing and only bioidentical progesterone perfectly matching the progesterone made by the woman’s body herself-not the synthetic versions.
As I wrote in my 2018 blog “What You Need to Know About Medical Abortion and Abortion Reversal” , medical abortions can often be reversed by taking progesterone if the mother changes her mind after the first abortion pill to block progesterone is given but she hasn’t yet taken the second pill to expel the baby. There is now a website at www.abortionpillreversal.com for information on abortion reversal that includes a hotline phone number at 1-877-558-0333.
But according to Planned Parenthood :
“…(only) a handful of states require doctors and nurses to tell their patients about (abortion reversal treatment) before they can provide abortion care. But these claims haven’t been proven in reliable medical studies — nor have they been tested for safety, effectiveness, or the likelihood of side effects — so experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reject these untested supposed treatments.” (Emphasis added)
Nurse Kenny replies that:
“It’s frustrating to me that these pro-abortion people are saying that this science is completely bogus, when we have studies like this [Birmingham study] that prove the absolute essential nature of progesterone to support and maintain pregnancy.”
I have long been a big supporter of Natural Family Planning and NaPro (Natural Procreative Technology) since I met Dr. Hilgers and visited the Pope Paul VI Institute decades ago.
I have told many women experiencing infertility or multiple miscarriages about these options. I believe it is essential for women to know all the options, risks and benefits when it comes to true reproductive health.
And thanks to this article, I am constantly learning more myself!