Friday, September 20, 2013

Low Progesterone?

Calling everyone in the low progesterone boat! 
I have some questions! 
It's been an issue for me for a while, 
all the way back to my second miscarriage. 
When I got pregnant the third time it was under the care 
of my OB Dr. W if you read back through my blog posts
I have a conversation posted that I had with Dr. W
in November of 2011
about my progesterone being low... 
he put me on it on CD14 while doing clomid.. 
he did this all three months and by the third month 
it had worked and we were pregnant! 
When we lost baby 3 we switched to Dr. B 
I had mentioned to him before that I have had 
a history of low progesterone. But he would always say
"well when you get pregnant we will check your levels and 
if we need a supplement we will add one"
After my phone call with the nurse 2 days ago 
it occurred to me that I have heard this 
"Well your test was negative and your progesterone is low so you 
should be starting soon" thing a time or two before.. 
and you know what? I NEVER start on my own. 
I always have to take provera.. 
So here are my questions...
Has anyone had repeat progesterone tests done?
if so did they give you supplements while you were in mid cycle?
I mean if you read how much progesterone affects 
every single step in the pregnancy process its a no brainer 
that someone with low progesterone should be on 
supplements while trying?! right?!
After talking it over this morning 
I decided to call another Dr. in the area that 
many woman have raved over.. We shall call him 
He is a OBGYN but he has been known to work magic 
on woman who suffer from RPL and PCOS
I meet with him on Oct. 1st to see if he can help me out! 
Could it be something as simple as progesterone? 
Something I had mentioned time and time again to the RE 
that time and time again he pushed into the corner
while he offered me more "expensive" methods?
while me made me believe that IUI and IVF were my only choices?
He never even offered to retest my progesterone..
or take a few minutes to look back in my files..

Could this really be the sole reason we can't get pregnant and stay pregnant?!

I hope Dr. D has the answers we are looking for! 

Some info my darling mom helped find on low progesterone: 
Progesterone treatment may also help infertile women. Those having trouble conceiving or who have had unexplained first trimester miscarriages are urged to discuss the possibility of progesterone deficiency with their physicians; according to the article, physicians often treat infertility with strong medications or surgery without first checking progesterone levels. Progesterone therapy has helped many women become pregnant and carry a child to term. Therefore, it should be considered as an alternative, before more drastic measures are taken. (source unknown at this time.) 

Low levels of progesterone prevent egg implantation.
If a test finds low levels of the hormone, you may have infertility progesterone problems. Low levels mean the uterine lining starts to disintegrate before the fertilized egg can properly embed itself. In short, the uterus does not have the type of welcoming environment that allows the egg to grow; instead, it’s a hostile place that makes it impossible for a fetus to thrive.
The medical term for low progesterone levels is Luteal Phase Defect (LPD), and specialists treat it with progesterone therapy. If the condition isn’t treated, experts say even when a woman does become pregnant there is a high miscarriage rate. source 

What Does Progesterone Do?

  • Progesterone maintains the lining of the uterus which makes it possible for a fertilized egg to attach and survive
  • Makes cervical mucous accessible by sperm
  • Allows the embryo to survive
  • Prevents immune rejection of the developing baby
  • Allows for full development of the fetus through pregnancy
  • Helps the body use fat for energy during pregnancy
  • Prevents secondary sexual development
  • Increases libido around ovulation
  • Activates osteoblasts to increase new bone formation
  • Protects against endometrial, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer
  • Normalizes blood clotting -(Source unknown at this time) 


  1. I was on progesterone every month while TTC from I believe 3 DPO until, well, until I was fully convinced I wasn't pregnant. My RE and I were convinced that I was a late implanter and since my LP was on the shorter side (11 days) the egg didn't have time to implant before the lining started to shed. I am convinced it was a big reason it took us so long to get a sticky baby. With my rainbow baby, my HCG on 14 dpo (and I had a trigger shot) was only 12, so I had implanted very late. Three days later my progesterone level was still only 9 (prometrium suppositories don't reach the bloodstream, so they don't impact the level shown on a blood test) so I am fairly certain I would have lost the pregnancy if not for those supplements. Instead, my little guy will be one in just a few weeks! I hope that constant supplementation helps you get a nice sticky baby!!

  2. I hope it is something as simple as low progesterone and that you won't need to go down the path of IUI's and IVF's. I find this super interesting as well because I had to supplement with progesterone my pregnancy.

  3. I can't prove it, but I honestly believe that my pregnancies have been successful because I was on progesterone. I was not on it with my first two miscarriages and had . I also had 6 failed Clomid and Femara cycles without progesterone. During that time, I had progesterone levels drawn midcycle to assess for ovulation. I never got over like 11. My luteal phases were also really short (bleeding on day 10-12). When I mentioned that to my RE (plus two miscarriages with no apparent reason), he let me do progesterone supplementation. I started it three days after ovulation. I was suppose to continue it until I either had a positive pregnancy test or negative blood test. My RE said that it needed to be started early because by the time you have a positive or negative test, you should already be on it and your levels should already be up. My first month on progesterone, I had a chemical pregnancy. But my second month on progesterone, I got pregnant with my viable pregnancy. My RE's partner tried to take me off it at 7 weeks but my levels got low and I had to go back on it until 10 weeks. I got pregnant again after my first baby. I wasn't seeing an RE but I had a lot of bleeding in my first trimester. I thought I was miscarrying and went to see my OB. I mentioned to him that my progesterone was usually low and he agreed to test my levels. I was only 11.something at 6 weeks (my RE always said that 15 was the lowest he wanted it while pregnant). My OB supplemented me too until 10? weeks. That pregnancy stayed viable as well. I can't say for sure that the progesterone is what did it, but I DO think it is worth a try. I know in my experience, I had a lot of success with it.

  4. I completely agree that progesterone should be tested and treated. at my clinic no one gets any intervention without progesterone support. it is a no brainer. if your doctor hesitates i would move on fast. waiting until you are pregnant is almost always too late. at my clinic the thought is could help wont hurt. i have normal progesterone always but still am on progesterone support. i am sorry you have to go through this at all.

  5. I have super low progesterone, and was just told that when I am pregnant to let the doctor know as I would need medicine. I wasn't told it would prevent getting pregnant. Hope that helps!

  6. I almost always had low progesterone on my CD21 bloodwork. A few times she would have me start supplements after the level came back low. Most of the time she would just tell me "if I can get you to ovulate correctly you won't need supplements bc the follicle will produce all the progesterone you need". I never believed her and worried everyday during the first part of this pregnancy. I don't see that progesterone supplements hurt at all so really they could only help to be added to each cycle. Based on your research I think you have a good cause for concern on if that is the missing key. Praying this new dr can give you some insight!!

  7. I think this is a good theory and can't wait to hear what the doc says on Oct 1! Hope this is the missing piece for you!

  8. your mom is such a sweetheart, alexis. i'm excited to hear how your appointment goes next week! i always wondered if i had low progesterone because almost every pregnancy, i'd have the crappiest progesterone levels. i was tested about 4 or 5 times. and given the supplements to take on and off for about a year of our ttc journey. i think it was more that they pregnancies weren't "good" but i have heard so many success stories when progesterone supplements are taken. i have a gf who is pregnant right now after lots of trying...this was they cycle she used progesterone. i am ALWAYS thinking of you and praying for you. <3<3<3