Low Progesterone

28 Replies
Kennedy - October 2

How do you know that you are low in progesterone? Any symptoms noticeable w/o going to the doctor's? I've had 2 m/c in a row and trying to figure out why. Also, did any of you just go to the doctors to check your hormone level?


Shae-lynn - October 2

Hi Kennedy, I had an early m/c (just over 4 weeks). I felt that it might be due to low progesterone as I have unexplained mid-cycle bleeding. However, I got tested on day 21 of my cycle and the doctor said my level was normal so I'm just going to hope my next pregnancy goes smoothly. I have been ttc (with no luck) since June when the m/c happened. How far along were you with your m/c?


Kennedy - October 2

Hi Shae-lynn, I was only 3 weeks with the first in May and then 7 1/2 weeks in August. I just have this nagging feeling that I have low progesterone but I don't know if my doctor will see me when I'm self diagnosing myself. I have a VERY irregular cycle and there is no pattern that I have found so my cycle can start whenever she feels like. I just went back and noticed that I had about 2 cycles where it was around 54 and 57 days and one of those days was a pregnancy. I just have this nagging feeling that I can get pregnant easily but can't carry them. So have you been trying BBT or OPT's?


Lynette - October 3

Kennedy, I don't think they can tell if your problem is low progesterone unless you are actually pregnant and they test your blood. That is, there isn't a correlation between your progesterone when you aren't pregnant and what is "normal" when you are. So when you fall pregnant again, ask your doctor to do a blood test every week or so - your progesterone should be between 30 and 160 in your first trimester. If it's lower than that they can prescribe medicine to bring the levels up which you take for the first 14 weeks or so, after which time your placenta takes over progesterone production. They can check that your hcg is going up at the same time (is that what you meant by "hormone level"?). Good luck and take care!


Kenneday - October 5

Thank you so much for the info. I will definitely have my doctor check the progesterone level. You were so helpful...I LOVE THIS SITE!


Jen - October 5

Hi girls, I just went through my first pregnancy and miscarriage. I too had very irregular cycles. When I got pregnant I bled for the first 6 weeks. At 4 weeks they put me on progesterone supplements, my level was a 6 and it should have been a 12. I saw a hb at 6w4d and was ecstatic. I thought we must have caught it and beat it. I lost all my symptoms shortly after and when I went in for the 8 week uls there was no hb and the embryo had only grown a little since the last visit. I waited it out and a week later I m/c. I went to the dr. yesterday and she said that in 3 months I can try again. She said that after my 1st cycle we can test my hormone levels on day 23 to see if they are low.


Kennedy - October 6

Jen, I'm sorry to hear of you miscarriage. It's so difficult going through the whole process. I don't know if this was your first m/c but when I had one at 7 1/2 wks, I didn't know what to expect at all. It was hard enough going through the miscarriage but the unknown was so scary. It's baby making time but hubby is on a business trip....hopefully he'll be back in time. Thanks for the progesterone info. I'm getting different info. so I guess I'll call my doctor. What other symptoms did you have with low progesterone besides the irregular period?


Jen - October 6

Thanks, I'm not sure if there are any symptoms. She also said shes not sure which came first the low prog or the m/c. Its kinda like which came first the chicken or the egg.


Jen - October 7

Kennedy, I cannot imagine having two in row. I hope you are doing well. If you don't mind me asking how long did you wait til you got pregnant again?


Erin - October 8

I've had three this year - all for differenet reasons. Bad luck. I also had a mc nine years ago, but I did have a beautiful girl a year later. She's 8 now and the light of my life. Hang in there.


Erin - October 9

I am having all tests in a few weeks, hormones, clotting, immunities, etc... The tissue from last mc is at lab right now, they are a___lyzing for chromosomal abnormalities, almost always random, except for translocations which are VERY rare.


Erin - October 9

When you are first pregnant and the Dr. runs a blood test for pregnancy they measure HCG and progesterone. Most Dr's tell you anything over 10 is OK, others will tell you above 15. It's not clear. Mine was 12, Dr. thought OK. I demanded supplements. Everything looked good, growing, great. MC'd anyway at 10 weeks, looks like for reason other than progesterone, although I would take supplements if pregnant again. 12 is too low for me, I had some spotting week 5. To be honest though, I might have had some signs I was mc at 10 weeks had I not been on progesterone. DIdnt know till ultrasound showed baby had died. Upside to that is, had to have a D&C. If you miscarry naturally, they can't send tissue out for genetic/chromosomal a___lysis to see if that was in fact the problem.


Erin - October 9

I recommend to anyone on progesterone to make sure your Dr. will give you an ultrasound at least every two weeks, every week if they will go for it. That way you will find a missed miscarriage (more common when on progesterone - it hides the mc if you mc for other reason) fairly quickly and not go for another 4-6 weeks (like till week 12!) without knowing.


Kennedy - October 9

Jen---to answer your questions about how long we waited to try. The first m/c was in May and then m/c in June. We didn't wait for af and got pregnant quickly in July. This pregnancy m/c in August. We have now waited for one cycle and are in the process of waiting for ovul. but it's been difficult to track ovulation and period since I'm so irregular. I haven't had LH surge and this is CD 24. Erin---thanks for your info. I am going to see my doctor right away when that glorious "pregnant" is on the HPT stick so that I can be tested for low progesterone.


Jen - October 11

Kennedy, has your dr. mentioned the progesterone during your cycle before you are pregnant? I have heard that after your pregnant can be too late to help. I really think it just prolonged the inevitable for me.


Erin - October 12

Jen is right - progesterone supplements are most successful when started a few days after ovulation, BEFORE embryo impants in the uterus. Although, progesterone can help maintain and raise borderline or dropping HCG levels after conception. Please note though, dropping progesterone levels after conception are different in cause than low progesterone (diagnosed as luteal phase defect before you get pregnant - this is chronic low circulating progesterone). Lowish, dropping progesterone after pregnancy frequently reflect a problem with the pregnance and MC will follow anyway. Some women with low progesterone take the supplements after their pregnant and do well, but clinical studies show after ovulation is the MOST successful way to use them, and ONLY if your problem is luteal phase defect.


Erin - October 12

Diagnosing Luteal Phase Defect requires blood tests after ovulation and before menstruation, and to really be sure, an endometrial biopsy. For this reason, Dr's frequently skip all of this labor intensive and time consuming work and just toss out the progesterone, and if it works, problem solved. For women who believe this is their problem, take it, then find out it's something else... It's disappointing, because Luteal Phase Defect is so easily and successfully treated. If only all women who suffer from recurrent mc's really had it - we'd all be successfully pregnant again.



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