Most women do not need progesterone or vitamin C supplements during pregnancy. In fact, taking these supplements unnecessarily may cause adverse reactions or undue risks to the pregnancy. However, these supplements may prove useful for women who have difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy. If you believe you would benefit from either of these supplements, always talk to your doctor first. Do not take either of these supplements during pregnancy without your doctor's permission.
Vitamin C helps to heal wounds, fights infections, prevents cell damage, repairs tissue and aids in bone growth. Although it is important to get enough vitamin C during pregnancy, it is possible to get too much. Generally speaking, most healthy pregnant women need about 85 mg of vitamin C a day through food and their prenatal vitamin. Getting significantly more than this amount through additional supplementation may cause adverse effects, including possibly increasing the risk of preterm birth, the medical advisory board of BabyCenter notes. Always talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C supplements during pregnancy.
Progesterone is a natural hormone found in the body. Before pregnancy, the hormone helps prepare the body for pregnancy by thickening the lining of the uterus or endometrium. Women who have low progesterone levels may need to take progesterone supplements to become pregnant. During pregnancy, progesterone nurtures the fetus and helps maintain a supportive environment so the unborn baby can grow and thrive. Women who have low progesterone levels during early pregnancy may need progesterone supplementation to help sustain the pregnancy. Progesterone supplementation may also help women who have already had a premature baby prevent premature birth, according to the March of Dimes.
Although no research indicates any benefit from using vitamin C supplements with progesterone supplements, no known negative interactions exist either, according to Drugs.com. However, this does not necessarily mean that taking both supplements at the same time is without any risk. Always talk to your doctor about all the other supplements and medications you are taking so your doctor can make an educated decision about whether taking one or both of these supplements is appropriate for your situation.
Women who have a luteal phase defect may benefit from taking vitamin C supplements to increase progesterone levels, according to a study published in the August 2003 issue of "Fertility and Sterility." The luteal phase is the latter part of the menstrual cycle, occurring after a woman ovulates. During this phase, progesterone levels typically increase so that the uterine lining thickens and develops additional blood vessels, which helps an embryo attach to the uterus. The progesterone also suppresses menstruation. This phase typically lasts for 12 days, but it lasts much shorter for women with a luteal phase defect. These women typically have very low progesterone levels during this phase. Vitamin C supplements may increase the levels of progesterone in these women and extend the luteal phase so the likelihood of pregnancy increases, although more research needs to be done to confirm current findings. If you are interested in using a vitamin C supplement to increase progesterone levels to become pregnant, talk to your doctor.
- BabyCenter; Vitamin C in Your Pregnancy Diet; August 2009
- Resolve: Progesterone and Pregnancy: A Vital Connection
- March of Dimes; Preterm Labor; April 2008
- Drugs.com: Interactions Between Progesterone and Vitamin C
- "Fertility and Sterility"; Effects of Ascorbic Acid Supplementation on Serum Progesterone Levels in Patients With a Luteal Phase Defect; Hirofumi Henmi, et al.; August 2003