Progesterone

10 Replies
Alison - March 23

Hi everyone, As regulars will probably know I'm TTC following my 2nd miscarriage (no children yet) Well, the thing is my doctor told me that when I do conceive again I just go for the usual 8 week check with the midwife and won't see a doctor before that as there's no benefit. I asked at the time about progesterone/baby asprin but she said there's no point doing any of that as we don't know there is a problem with any of those things. There won't be any help with investigations until after 3 losses which is the general rule as far as I've been told. Anyway has anyone had extra progesterone after less than 3 losses? Did the doctor suggest it or did you have to ask? Did they do any tests first to see if you needed it? I'm temped to ask my doctor when I conceive again if I could have my progesterone monitored in the early weeks to make sure but judging by what she's said previously I'm not sure she would. I also know though that alot of women get all the tests and there is no cause it had just "happened" My 2 miscarriages were different from each other so there is no clear "link" (1st time no heartbeat at 9 wks thought to have died 1-1/2 wks earlier, 2nd time blighted ovum discovered at 8 1/2 weeks) there which makes me think my thoughts re. progesterone are maybe just me worrying unnessecarily (can't spell that sorry!) Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Julie C. - March 23

Alison, I'm definitely not a medical doctor, but I've been undergoing treatment for infertility for the last year (3 1/2 years of ttc) and have had everything tested - after my recent (second) miscarriage, the doc (an infertility specialist) is putting me on progesterone for my next cycle, so here's my two cents: chances are your first m/c was chromosonal; the blighted ovum one also doesn't have anything to do with low progesterone, so likely your progesterone isn't problematic. However, I would definitely ask my doctor to more closely monitor my hcg levels and progesterone when you do conceive again, even if there's "no reason." The reason clearly is that you've had 2 miscarriages and you're worried. The blood tests would give you some piece of mind and alert you earlier if a problem develops (an hcg level that drops or doesn't double every 36-48 hours indicates a problem with the pregnancy). Definitely don't be tempted to do over-the-counter progesterone, as anything but natural progesterone can potentially hurt more than it helps. (And, as a side note, using progesterone too soon in the cycle - before you ovulate, that is - can actually decrease your chances of conception by thickening the cervical mucus.) Anyway, the doctor should order the extra blood tests if you insist. After all, it will be your pregnancy. Good luck!

 

Alison - March 23

Thanks Julie, When I do manage to conceive again I think I will at least arrange for a chat with my doc to discuss tracking my levels. When I had the blighted ovum one of the first signs was my HCG levels not doubling as they should. (as the baby wasn't there obviously! they were rising but barely) I wouldn't take progesterone from anywhere other than a doctor. I was sorry to read of your difficulties TTC. I hope this next cycle will be the one you're waiting for. Thank you so much for your advice and best wishes to you x

 

Julie C. - March 23

Alison, best of luck to you. I hope you never have to go through it again.

 

Alison - March 23

Thanks Julie - you too xxx I am so slow! I just realised I posted a reply to your post about not being able to concentrate the other day. It was you wasn't it? There's so many names going about on this site it didn't click at first! I'm so glad we can "post" each other and encourage each other like this :o)

 

mulgajill - March 23

Alison, i think after two miscarriages you should get hormone levels checked, you can have them checked before you conceive. Here in australia (so i am certain there would be similar service in U.S.) you can send saliva sample to the lab via courier/order tests online. Only need a letter/referall from doctor to say it is ok to forward to the lab. I think a five day reading is what they do. I am not going ahead with the saliva/hormone test because at my age i am pretty certain the progesterone will be low and will only use a low dose supplement (if it ever arrives in the mail). Remember, to the doctor it is not a big deal, but it is to YOU, it is your body and your pregnancies which are ending .... Your doctor said that there is no point trying progesterone etc because you dont know if there's a problem with those things. Well tell her you WANT TO FIND OUT, 'don't know' is c___p compared to "well we know your hormone levels are fine/or not fine".... and saliva testing is not invasive or all that much trouble really. I wouldn't worry unneccessarily, your levels are probably fine, especially if you are early 30's or younger, but just to find out for sure would be great... :-)

 

Julie C. - March 23

Yes, Alison, that was me! :) Mulgajill is right - won't hurt to have your progesterone tested. It probably is fine, especially if you are pre-mid-30s, . . . I don't know about the saliva test, but when they checked mine before, it was a simple blood test that they do at a certain point after ovulation. (Of course, mine was ok then . . . and now I'm still going to take the progeterone. Argh.) I think a large part of this whole process is still a guessing game for the doctors, as frustrating as that is for us! (Hey Mulgajill!)

 

Alison - March 24

Thanks Mulgajill for your advice. I turn 27 in a couple of months so am definately pre-mid 30's. I live in the UK. I've not heard of the saliva tests - I've finished ovulating this month I think. I might give my doc a call and see what she says, thanks. Hi again Julie :o)

 

Sunita - March 24

Just been reading these posts - who is at highest risk of low preogesterone? You asked Alison about her age, is someone in 30's at more risk? Also were you saying that if someone needs extra they have to be given it before conceiving? Hearing about all this low progesterone is scaring me a bit! Is it very common?

 

Julie C. - March 24

Sunita, I suppose anyone can be at risk for low progesterone, but it tends to be more of an issue from mid 30s on. It's an easy test and is usually one of the first things they test for in cases of infertility. If you have regular cycles, chances are your progesterone is fine . . . but some women with repeated m/s find that taking progesterone supplements helps prevent m/s. The progesterone maintains the pregnancy until the umbilical cord takes over at about 7 - 10 weeks. If you took a progesterone supplement, you would take it starting in the second half of your cycle (from ovulation and after, until about week 10; at that point, the doc might wean you off of it). And you would only want to take natural progesterone. From what I've read, starting the progesterone supplement (if you really need it, that is) after you find out you're pregnant is actually too late to prevent the m/s (but, who knows, there's probably other sources that say differently - you'll even find some research that says the use of progesterone supplments isn't really proven to do anything). Anyway, that's what I know about it! (Hey Alison! If you were ttc this month, good luck!)

 

Alison - March 24

Thanks Julie, yes I have been TTC. Roll on April 4th so I can find out what's happening in there! :o)

 

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