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negative effect of progesterone on baby?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay - so I'm back with more obsessing I posted before about my decreasing progesterone levels. While my hcg has been rising at a normal and healthy rate, my four checks (a week apart each) showed a steady decrease in progesterone (32.5, 29.8, 28.5, 22). My mw was still comfortable with that being high enough, but after a few voicemails and an email of concern from me (I've had two previous M/C around this time in pregnancy) she seemed to reluctantly put me on 100mg prometrium progesterone supplements a day for the duration of the 1st trimester (I'm 9.5 weeks - this would go to 12 weeks). I've been taking them for one week. SHe hasn't suggested any visit or blood draw, and our next meeting isn't until 4/20 - when I finish my 1st trimester. So I have no idea what my prog. levels are now.

I read online an article saying that too much progesterone can cause "there a risk to males of hypospadias and epispadias and risk to females for things like masculine build and too much body hair later in life". That creeped me out! I am trying to research it more, but now I am feeling like I have "meddled" with the hormonal balance in there. I'm thinking of getting off of them at 10 weeks, as I read that between 10-12 weeks the placenta produces progesterone on its own.

Any thoughts on this? Has anyone heard of things like this?
post #2 of 14
I have. I've also read a few articles that kinda debunk the myth that progesterone supplementation sustains a pregnancy that otherwise might end in a miscarriage. I've also read that the only reason your body won't produce enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy is in an otherwise unhealthy pregnancy. I'm not sure I 100% believe that but it is something to take into consideration for sure.

To me, your progesterone levels have seemed fine thus far. I've never had mine checked so I'm only going by Dr. Google here and what I can glean from this website or that. I think if it makes you feel comfortable to supplement for now then do it... but I would get off of them as soon as you feel it's possible.

post #3 of 14
I am on natural progesterone suppositories. I had my checked at it was 9. Way to low for my comfort. I do plan on having it checked later and seeing if we can stop early but I doubt that will happen. I know there is some risk. I took it for my first trimester with my son.
post #4 of 14
I conceived via IVF and protocol is for women to get progesterone shots nightly for the first 12 weeks. I'm not sure how large the dose is -- my DH is the one doing the actual shots. I too worried about too much progesterone hurting the baby, but I couldn't find anything about that when I googled. I will definitely discuss it with my doctor when I go in for an ultrasound on Thursday, though. Of course I'd love to be done with the shots if possible, too.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, can I just quit after taking them for one week? I didn't read anything online about weaning myself off of them. 100mg is lower than the normally prescribed 200mg. I've emailed my midwife, but I'm afraid she'll think I'm flip-flopping. She is also leaving for vacation soon - sigh.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I haven't found tons of research to show negative effects, but I am going to wean off them starting today. That is hard since they are liquid-filled pills. I guess I will cut them in half and swallow half the gel-cap and what liquid is in it? I'm blindly guessing that i do that for two days and then attempt a quarter dose for two days and then quit?
post #7 of 14
DDCCing to say that I'd stay on it. Just my opinion. If your levels are decreasing, it could be caused by any number of things, from draws at different times of the day, to stress level, etc... but, it could be that your body just doesnt naturally produce enough to sustain an otherwise healthy and "meant to be" pregnancy. (though, your levels do seem good. really good. But a decline made me beyond nervous in my own experience.)

I have low progesterone naturally, and I also had decreasing levels in this pregnancy. (went from 38.1 at 13DPO to 9 at 21 DPO) And in a pregnancy that's otherwise healthy, progesterone supplementation HAS been shown to maintain viability. I'm not saying that because they do it so often, it "must be safe" but many mamas take progesterone supplementation to maintain a pregnancy in the beginning of pregnancy. and, IMO, the incidence of ill effects are the exception, not the norm. You can find bad side effects of anything if you look hard enough, even if it's generally accepted as a good, safe practice.

My Dr wanted me to stay on until 12 weeks with my 2nd pregnancy, I stayed on until 13 since that's when my script ran out.

Also, going on and then stopping could cause an drop in progesterone before your placenta is reliably producing it on it's own. And a sudden drop in progesterone is the hormonal sign to the body to start menses. Just a thought to throw out there. Obviously, your baby, your body, your pregnancy, but I just wanted to give you more information from a pro-progesterone supp perspective!

If you were doing any harm to your baby with the supplements, I'm fairly certain your MW wouldnt prescribe.

*this is not medical advice

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, and many healthy and happy to you!
post #8 of 14
I'm also crashing here, sorry! I just wanted to give you I definitely know how stressful this can be. I conceived via IVF and had to do progesterone shots through my first trimester. I was worried about the effects through my entire pregnancy. When my son was born, I checked for hypospadias almost immediately (after taking in all of his beauty, of course) and was so relieved that everything was okay. I can't tell you which way to do this, because I believe this is something so intensely personal. I just wanted to offer you support.

Good luck!
post #9 of 14
My good friend had a son born with a mild hypospadia, and her dr. said that it could have been related to her progrsterone supplements. I guess it can cause it, but a miscarriage would be worse, yk? I am sure the vast majority of moms who take prog. have perfectly healthy babies.
post #10 of 14
The way I understand it, the risk of hypospadias with progesterone supplementation is between 7-8.5%. One study found a 3.7 fold risk in the development of hypospadias in women supplementing with progesterone to either help get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy. The thing is most of the progesterone products that were used in the years of this particular study had more potent androgenic properties than the micronized progesterone you are on now. The most common dosage of Prometrium is between 200-300mg well above what you are taking currently. Because hypospadias is a common birth defect to begin with, I have a hard time believing the link between hypospadias and progesterone supplementation is a strong one. There is actually a lot of very promising research on progesterone supplementation and prevention of pre-term birth.

You need to do what you are most comfortable with here, mama. I think if it's making you crazy with worry than you'd be better off stopping it.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I guess I just worried that adding abnormal levels of hormones might influence the baby (even though my levels are respectively low). Even without this study I had questions. What about the masculine traits in females (more body hair later in life, etc.)? I know that the organs - especially the sex organs of the baby are forming now. Since I have had no more blood draws, I can't tell if my level is at a nice healthy 22-48 or if it is above 100. I guess there is no research to show that taking hormones during the forming of the organs can cause hormonal shifts in the forming organs.

I did read today that sudden drops in progesterone can trigger miscarriages. Since the placenta just now starts to produce it on its own, its levels may not be enough to balance a drop if I suddenly stop taking it. My midwife wants me to take them until 12 weeks and then wean off it slowly. Hmmm... Thanks for listening - mostly thinking out loud. Ashely - what great research stats. You really know your stuff! Thanks, posters!
post #12 of 14
I'm taking progesterone, just a cream. Better than m/cing IMO. I am sometimes doing just one dose per day now, then some days with none, etc. I haven't had any bleeding so as long as that keeps up, I'll keep it going lightly until about 10 weeks. I LOVE that I haven't had bleeding like I did with DD for a month or more. Nothing like m/s AND having to wear pads all the time (I'm a tampon/diva cup girl).
post #13 of 14
I have been using the progesterone tablets too and I know what you mean about messing with the hormonal balance but after two losses I would feel worse about not doing everything to make this work
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'd feel comforted hearing from moms who have had previous births with progesterone supplements at the beginning. I'll try to see if I can find some positive stories. I'm still taking my 100mg a day. I was especially comforted by birthdancedoula's very specific data on the research out there being on older pills that aren't microgenized. Doing well so far!
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