Do Progesterone Suppositories Really Work

12 Replies
June Bride - July 11

I have had my 3rd miscarriage - I am devestated! Bloodwork came back normal for thyroid and other issues. My dr. wants to put me on suppositories after we wait the required 1 cycle. I have done TONS of research but I need to hear it from a "real person" that they do work. Maybe this will give me something to hold onto for when we get pregnant again.


Alison - July 12

Hi June I am so sorry for you losses. I too recently suffered my third loss in a row and we are in the process of the blood tests too. I was told over 90% of the women they see they don't manage to determine the cause -we're still hopeful they might be able to help us somehow but it is discouraging isn't it. I too have done research into the progesterone suppositories. Most of what I've read says it doesn't prevent miscarriage and that low progesterone is more the result of a miscarriage than the cause. What I've read has not given me much faith in it as a treatment but I too would be interested to know what women who have had the treatment have found as reading these things can be so confusing and you don't know which research/report to believe! So I'm afraid I can't offer any advice on the progesterone but I do just want to tell you how sorry I am-I know how horrible recurrent miscarriage is and my heart goes out to you. I pray we will both have a baby of our own one of these days xxx


Lucy - July 12

I too have read mixed things. One example: "Progesterone.The hormone progesterone helps to build the lining of the woman's uterus for the fertilised egg to implant into. Pregnant women have about 10 times more progesterone in their blood during pregnancy (compared to when they are not pregnant). Progesterone levels slowly increase as the pregnancy progresses. Low levels are known to be a physical sign of miscarriage during the first 12 weeks. It used to be thought that a lack of progesterone may be a cause of miscarriage. However, it is now believed that low progesterone levels are simply the body's normal response to the inevitable loss of a pregnancy (meaning that treatments with progesterone are of no benefit). Many studies have been carried out looking at the administration of progesterone hormone (or synthetic forms of progestogens) to women during early pregnancy, with the aim of preventing further miscarriages. Some companies also promote natural progesterone products and creams. Research so far has not been able to show any real benefits for taking progestogens to prevent miscarriage. Until recently, some studies suggested links with the use of progesterone during the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy and the baby developing physical abnormalities involving their genitals, stomach and gullet, heart and brain. However, this is now not believed to be the case, although we are not 100% certain." So who knows. Sorry for your losses June I hope next time any treatment they give you will help things along and you will have a healthy baby.


Mrs B - July 12

Low levels of progesterone hormone are frequently found in women whose pregnancies are miscarrying. However, low progesterone levels in early pregnancy reflect the fact that the pregnancy has not implanted successfully in the womb lining, rather than because the developing placenta is not producing enough progesterone to maintain the pregnancy. This is an important point - low progesterone is the effect not the cause of the miscarriage. This explains why giving women progesterone and/or hCG hormone injections in early pregnancy does not improve pregnancy outcome. By the way the chances of a healthy pregnancy after 3 loses with no problem identified ot treated, is still 55-75% (usually is 85%) so do not lose hope. Sometimes women have these losses then a healthy pregnancy with nothing done differently the next time so don't give up June, Alison, Lucy. I wish you all the best.


Mrs B - July 12

P.s Do they actually know your levels or progesterone are below normal or are they just giving you this so they feel like they are "doing something"? Sometimes it seems docs do this as they don't have anything else to offer. How early are you miscarrying? Problems with progesterone will prevent proper implantation resulting in a very early loss- 4 weeks or so.


June Bride - July 12

My first loss occurred at 5 weeks, 2nd and 3rd loss occurred exactly at the same time, 6w4d. For the 3rd, we thought we were golden - #'s were doubling and prog was 26, then it dropped to 12. A week later I miscarried. Each ultrasound in the ER shows no fetus, no sac.


Mrs B - July 12

I would say from what i have read that your levels dropped because the pregnancy was failing and the low number was a result of the fact something was wrong with the pregnancy already. Seeing no sac or fetus implies to me you had already miscarried each time you were scanned? If the doc wants to try the progesterone then I hope what have read is wrong and it works. You have obviously been through alot. Your first loss certainly sounds early enough to be an impantation problem at 5 weeks. Let us know how it goes. I just am wary of the whole giving progesterone thing Im afraid but I suppose we just have to take what we can get unfortunately. I take it they tested for blood clotting issues? Again I am sorry for all you have been through I sincerely wish you a healthy pregnancy the next time-all of you.


June Bride - July 12

Thank you Mrs. B - yes, all of my bloodwork came back negative (thyroid, clotting, etc.). With everything being said, I just hope that I don't have bad eggs or my hubby has bad sperm which makes each try a result of chromosonal abnormalities. It is going to be hard to get excited each time we get pregnant again for fear of another miscarriage. I just want to be a mother . . .


L - July 12

I have heard that a short leuteal phase can signify a problem with producing enough progesterone so the baby doesnt have time to attach properly.


Kristin - July 12

Hi ladies - here is my 2 cents about progesterone suppositories. I have also had 3 losses, one at 12w2d (empty sac) followed by two chemical pregnancies at 5w5d and 7w3d (I o'd late on this one, so it was still early). I had an endometrial biopsy (among many other tests) to check my progesterone levels. They did the biopsy between days 23 and 28 of your cycle (you cannot be pregnant and must have used barried contraception before the test), regardless of the cycle length - the results are then interpreted based on day af next comes. For me it came back "out of phase" which means my progesterone levels were too low for where I was in my cycle, so my dr prescribed 200mg Prometrium at bed from ovulation until af or until 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is my first month using it. I am on cd 40 today, but I o'd on day 25 so I am only 3 days late now. I had blood test yesterday and got bfn so dr said to stop the progesterone now and wait for af. I think it is why af is late and temps are still up. Hoping for af soon to move on to next month. I will be asking my dr more about the progesterone this week. I have done research as well and all studies say it cannot hurt as long as you take it after ovulation, but many studies disagree about whether it helps or not. I will keep checking this post to see what others say because I am not sold it yet, but I have heard success stories too.


Louise - July 12

Kristin can you maybe explain how the endometrial biopsy works? How long are your cycles usually? Do you always ovulate late in your cycle? You are on cd40 is this very long for you or are your periods sometimes irregular? I'm pretty sure I ovulate 2 weeks before end of cycle whch as far as I'm aware is normal. Are progesterone problems still possible even with normal ovualtion and cycles? Also what is a chemical pregnancy?


Kristin - July 12

To Louise - The biopsy is not pleasant, in fact it's extremely painful, but the good news is that it only lasts a few seconds. They use a long plastic tube that looks like a drinking straw and they put it in your uterus and the move it back and forth 10 times to get pieces from different places to biopsy (sorry, that's the nicest way I could put it). As soon as they remove the tube the pain is over, but it hurt alot for the those 10-15 seconds. I have been on the pill for a very long time and went off for the requisite three months last summer, so I just learned about my cycles. They were 28-29 days for 3 months, then I got pregnant. I think I ovulated right on day 14. After the D&C, my cycles were longer and regulated at 32 days which is where they have been since December so this is very long for me. I just started charting my temps in mid-March and found out that in my 32 day cycle I usually o'd on day 20 - until this month. I didn't o until day 25, but I think that was due to stress since this is the first month I was cleared to ttc again. As long as the luteal phase is at least 10 days, mine was 12 on the dot each month, then it doesn't matter how long the cycle is and many things can cause it to be longer, ex. stress. I have never had irregular periods until the stress of TTC. As far as know, progesterone can be a problem in any woman, regardless of her regularity. A chemical pregnancy is basically a pregnancy that never implants, or trys to implant, but is unable to stay attached. Your hcg levels rise and you might get some symptoms, but otherwise you wouldn't know because you usually miscarry quickly and af is only late a week, at most. I am told that these are extremely common and many have them and don't know unless they are TTC and are checking things and taking hpts. Hope this helped!


Tamara - July 14

Well, I have done IVF twice now....m/c the first (blighted ovum) and the preg I have now, is said to be blighted ovum as well. When you do IVF, they put you on progesterone shots/suppositories. Its mandatory at my clinic anyway. I cant say they didnt work, cause the baby wont form if mother nature does not want it to form. But, I cant say they work awesome either...cause I am having another m/c and have been on progesterone the entire time. It cant hurt I guess. Good luck.



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