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Low Progeterone but Good HCG

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

This is my 9th pregnancy, hopefully 6th baby I get to bring home. I've always suspected that low progesterone played a role in my early losses. But it was never diagnosed. This is the first pregnancy that I've been told to take Prometrium. And I'm terrified that it's already too late. I'm a worry wort and I'm not taking this well today. My number btw was 17 at about 5 wks, 1 day.

post #2 of 22

This is my first pregnancy, so I don't have the benefit of wisdom--just optimism and good company :)  

 

I have PCOS, so my naturopath warned me that low progesterone might be a concern.  The number was low (not sure how low) according to my blood test so I am taking Prometrium too, along with a moderate dose of Vitex/Chastetree Berry Extract.  My doc seems optimistic--and she is one to tell it like it is--so I'm optimistic too!  I'm 5w4d and no spotting to report--just increasing nausea, crankiness, and fatigue.  So far so good thumb.gif  

 

 

post #3 of 22

I can totally relate...I also have PCOS, estrogen dominance, and low progesterone (resulting in 1 miscarriage and progesterone cream is the only thing that saved my 2 boys. I don't get my BPF until 6-8 weeks, and then the cramping and bleeding starts.

 

sadhanamama - was it your naturopath that actually put you on the progesterone, or was it an OB or endocrinologist? My OB from last time was a freaking narcissist, and it was hell because I wanted to have input and discuss my care options with him, instead of kow-towing in humble adoration and gratitude for his superior knowledge, along with acknowledgement of my utter stupidity and dependence on him for my every breath. (OMG, I am upset tonight!! Maybe I'm preg?) So, all that to say, I have to find a new OB now, so I don't have one I can just call up at this point. 

post #4 of 22

((hugs)) MaryLang. You know if your hCG is good and you started with the progesterone, that there's nothing to worry about, right?? Only if your hCG was falling beforehand. So banish that negativity! ...sticky, sticky bean...

 

For those on prometrium: is it the oral tablet, or compounded/suppository form? I ask because the tablet utilizes the digestive tract, wherein the liver filters out 90% of the hormone before it reaches your system. Hopefully you have docs that know that stuff and it's a moot point. I have a history of every low-progesterone symptom out there, but didn't get tests before this cycle. I happened to get a test right after I ovulated (not knowing we were finally successful after 18 mos, of course) and my gyn-NP said it was normal. (I've done some things to change it over the past few months.) Then had it tested the day I had a BFP and it was also fine. My naturopath wants to know those numbers, though, so she can tell me how much to supplement. Because she knows I'm paranoid & already have the compounded (sublingual) progesterone in my cabinet. I've already started 100mg/day (half am, half pm), but have no idea if that's a good amt for me or not. Thoughts on that, anyone?

 

I'm actually looking forward to using my gyn-NP for any medical prenatal care I might need; their office is a baby factory, but since I'm having a home birth (unless something unexpected crops up), I can just sit back and enjoy their expertise. My previous prenatal care was from a doc via the "he's okay with hb'ing women & will order tests" grapevine. He was a GP and I felt less than confident in his abilities. Good luck finding a new, non-narcissistic, doc this go-round, Joyfam!

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the reassurance. The HCG is good, so I'll focus on that. sadhanamama: sounds good! Increasing symptoms are always a great sign! JoyfamMama: Good luck to you, that's got to be hard having to wait so long to learn whats going on. I hope you find a good doc soon. stegenrae: thanks for the positive thoughts :)

 

My doc put me on 200mg of Prometrium once a day before bed,suppository. I am glad I was finally diagnosed. I've always had short LP's and used to take vitex. This time though I wasn't taking it, and DH and I had just started talking about another baby. It usually takes 4-5 mnths of "not avoiding" to get pregnant. And this was pretty quick, I hadn't taken any precautions supplement wise except my normal multi and CLO. Yesterday I started vitex once a day, and now this prometrium, so hopefully that does the trick. 

post #6 of 22

 

Joyfam, it's nice to see another PCOSer on here!  I have managed to get the estrogen dominance/insulin resistance under control with a moderately low carb/real foods diet and some supplementation.  Before I got pregnant, my PCOS symptoms had pretty much completely disappeared.  I am so grateful for my naturopath (and my chiropractor) who both helped me to figure out what my body really needed.  

 

It was my naturopath that that put me on the progesterone.  I had a similarly awful experience with a gyn in my teens, which pretty much clued me in that I would be better off seeking natural healthcare practitioners, especially for my reproductive health.  I don't know where I'd be otherwise!  

 

Stegenrae, I didn't know that the liver would eat up most of the progesterone when taken orally, although that makes sense.  Since my progesterone was really only slightly low, I guess I am getting enough support between the oral Prometrium and the Vitex.  I am definitely going to pop my doc an e-mail and ask though.  Thanks!

post #7 of 22



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadhanamama View Post

Joyfam, it's nice to see another PCOSer on here!

I've been diagnosed PCOS, but doctors tell me I don't "look" PCOS. My first was conceived on clomid, but then we switched to metformin. Everything seems to go to normal when I take it. I tried diet alone and that doesn't work (and I'm bad at it). I tried vitex in the early spring and was spotting like crazy. I feel a little guilty taking the meds, but it seems to work. I also saw a study that resulting child has lower rate of insulin resistance so I'm glad my daughter will hopefully avoid my troubles. She has already shown admirable eating habits for a 3 year old and a slender, yet muscular/healthy, frame.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbkw View Post

I've been diagnosed PCOS, but doctors tell me I don't "look" PCOS. My first was conceived on clomid, but then we switched to metformin. Everything seems to go to normal when I take it. I tried diet alone and that doesn't work (and I'm bad at it). I tried vitex in the early spring and was spotting like crazy. I feel a little guilty taking the meds, but it seems to work. I also saw a study that resulting child has lower rate of insulin resistance so I'm glad my daughter will hopefully avoid my troubles. She has already shown admirable eating habits for a 3 year old and a slender, yet muscular/healthy, frame.


I wouldn't feel guilty at all for doing what works best for you :)  I am also not at all a good dieter, but this new way of eating doesn't feel restrictive at all!  I eat until I'm satisfied, and I don't count calories.  Stepping off of the carb roller coaster has also knocked out the constant hunger I used to have.  Now I don't feel desperate to eat things that I shouldn't--my body only wants the good stuff!  D-Pinitol also helped immensely with the carb cravings at first, but thankfully I was able to get off of it pretty quickly after I started my diet (it's expensive!).  

 

It is so great for you that you don't "look" PCOS!  I used to look at least six months pregnant because of my huge insulin belly.  Complete with a beard growing in faster than my husband's does, I was the PCOS poster child.  Now I've lost twenty pounds (almost completely from my midsection) and new hair growth is non-existant (the old stuff was taken care of with some laser treatment).  Ditching the bread and switching to whole milk, lots of butter, and fresh, tasty veggies and meat was not at all difficult for me after all of the hormonal suffering!

 

I spotted with Vitex too, but I was taking it incorrectly.  I was charting and mistakenly thought I ovulated a couple of times--but I hadn't.  My naturopath had me increasing the dosage during my luteal phase, so I increased at the wrong time--and that definitely caused spotting for me.   

 

In short, I think it is wonderful when well-informed patients choose the path that is right for them.  I only wish that we had better access to awesome care!  There are too many stories of women who struggle for so long because they can't find a practitioner who knows how to help them.  I am glad for both of us that we are on our paths to wellness! 

post #9 of 22

Hi all, jumping aboard. I am worried about my progesterone too. I am 35, newly pregnant with #1, so I don't have any past history to draw on or anything like that. However, I do have a history of low progesterone in general (I've been known to have some spotting before my period; low level was eventually confirmed with a blood test and my doctor had me on prescription estrogen/progesterone cream because my estrogen was low too). I was able to get pregnant, but my progesterone dropped from 15.3 last Friday (4w3d) to 12 on Monday (4w6d). I have to go in tomorrow to get it checked again.

 

I'm just really worried right now. My doc seemed to think 12 was a good number... I don't think it's good at all considering it dropped from the reading a few days ago. A lot is going to depend on tomorrow's number. I would feel a lot easier in my mind if I could get on some progesterone, given my age and my past (non-pregnant) history. On the other hand I don't want to be taking it if it's not medically warranted. I am not sure whether to push for it or not (depending on tomorrow's number).

 

I have some OTC Emerita Pro-Gest (I stopped taking the prescription stuff a while ago), which I could at least use a little of and ease my mind (although I know the dose is too low to really do any good), but I don't want to bias the test tomorrow so I won't. Trying not to freak myself out too much because I know it's not good for me or the pregnancy. greensad.gif

post #10 of 22
 
Quote:

It is so great for you that you don't "look" PCOS!  I used to look at least six months pregnant because of my huge insulin belly.  Complete with a beard growing in faster than my husband's does, I was the PCOS poster child.  Now I've lost twenty pounds (almost completely from my midsection) and new hair growth is non-existant (the old stuff was taken care of with some laser treatment).  Ditching the bread and switching to whole milk, lots of butter, and fresh, tasty veggies and meat was not at all difficult for me after all of the hormonal suffering.


In short, I think it is wonderful when well-informed patients choose the path that is right for them.  I only wish that we had better access to awesome care!  There are too many stories of women who struggle for so long because they can't find a practitioner who knows how to help them.  I am glad for both of us that we are on our paths to wellness! 

Oh man, that's so me...I hate, hate HATE the facial hair. Its the worst ever. I had lost nearly 20 lbs before getting preg with this babyby using LoseIt and low Carb. I was on metformin (only for 1 month-just enough to ovulate. Lol) when I conceived ds2, taken off, and was supposed to go back on it this month, but now I'm pregnant again, so I'm back to waiting until this baby is about 6 months...arg! Is it normal to not be allowed to ttake metformin while nursing or bf?
post #11 of 22

scowgirl, my progesterone was 14.4 at 13dpo, and my NP said it was "good," too--WTF? I emailed my naturopath today with my numbers and she confirmed the dose of progesterone I'm taking now, but said to get it checked again next week and let her know the number to see if it's improved. On the one hand, I know healthy pregnancies have been sustained and babies born of lower numbers, but otoh, I feel like I've put 18 months into this pregnancy and I'm not about to lose it because I'm on the low end of normal, yk? I hope your test tomorrow shows at least a steadiness, if not a big ol' increase!

 

I've never been diagnosed PCOS, but started to fit the "metabolic syndrome" portion of the definition, with a few unladylike whiskers thrown in for good measure. (but I don't "look" pcos, either, lbkw) At the beginning of October, I started a homeopathic hcg diet with some friends of mine--figured the low-carb angle would work to help correct metabolic disorder, as well, and if the hcg helped my body actually ovulate, all the better. I had a freaky-short cycle that started Oct 5 (...and you can do your own math and figure out that this was the cycle we actually caught an egg!). The cycle was more "textbook" in terms of steady temps and predictable cervical fluid. Idk if it was the hhcg or the metabolic reset or both, but I totally think I need to stick with low-carb/low-glycemic diet in order to maintain a proper progesterone balance--so basically it looks like pcos and talks like pcos...

 

***~~~sticky vibes all around~~~***

post #12 of 22

stegenrae, I totally agree! I was really lucky in that I didn't have to try for very long for this first pregnancy, but I'm a worrier so of course I'm envisioning this scenario where I can't stay pregnant and end up losing a lot of time, which I would prefer not to due to my age, "just" because of borderline low progesterone. Of course it could be fine, or on the flip side there could be any number of other things wrong, but I see the progesterone number and think "what would it hurt to try to bring it up a little?" It's frustrating and somewhat nervewracking. We'll see what today's numbers say and what my doctor wants to do. I hope your numbers stay good too... fingers crossed!!

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyfamMama View Post


 
Oh man, that's so me...I hate, hate HATE the facial hair. Its the worst ever. I had lost nearly 20 lbs before getting preg with this babyby using LoseIt and low Carb. I was on metformin (only for 1 month-just enough to ovulate. Lol) when I conceived ds2, taken off, and was supposed to go back on it this month, but now I'm pregnant again, so I'm back to waiting until this baby is about 6 months...arg! Is it normal to not be allowed to ttake metformin while nursing or bf?


That's a different philosophy that you went off after you conceived. I have to stay on during the first trimester. I'm pretty sure I miscarried because I went off after I got my positive test. I had to wait until my kids were weaned before I started metformin to get pregnant again. I kind of liked that spacing, though. We waited an extra year after my daughter weaned because we thought we were ready, but changed our minds. I really think the metformin during pregnancy shaped her metabolism. I am very hopeful that she will escape the PCOS that haunted me!
 

 

post #14 of 22
Well...I think her jerking me off of it, without even weaning off, contributed to my near miscarriage with ds2, and I ended up with GD so bad I was taking 120 units of insulin/day by the time they took him. My pharmacist told me he'd never seen anyone on that much insulin ever in his career! I have some serious fears about this pregnancy :-(
post #15 of 22

Hi ladies, just wanted to say that I, too, have the insulin resistance monster.  Was never officially diagnosed with PCOS, but I was diagnosed with insulin resistance and the PCOS symptoms fit, too.  I HATE those stupid facial hairs!  duh.gif  I am on Metformin and am going to keep on taking it at least through the first trimester.  I'm afraid to come off of it to be honest...  I never want to go back to being the way I was before.  It's scary.

 

Anyway, I just wanted to lend some support and say that you guys aren't alone.  Hugs all around!  grouphug.gif

post #16 of 22

Hi ladies, another PCOS'er here! This thread has been so useful for me, as since we'd only really just started to think about conceiving to be honest I'd never even thought about what my progesterone levels might be and how that would relate to me getting/staying pregnant. I'd really like to find a naturopath and have always been put off due to the price, but hearing what you're all saying I think it is a path I need to look into. 

 

Sadhanamama - I also am a poster child, big tummy, facial hair, etc and I would LOVE nothing more to banish those symptoms and just feel healthier. It's really encouraging to hear that you've been able to use diet to combat them so successfully, and even though I know I'm going to find it hard at first you've encouraged me to give it a go! I haven't heard of D-Pinitol, is that something you got from your naturopath?

post #17 of 22

Hi DoulaRebekah :)  D-Pinitol was prescribed to me by my naturopath, although it is available without a doctor's prescription--lots of women with PCOS take it for insulin resistance issue.  I am not a doctor (nor particularly good at science), but I think it is supposed to provide you with a certain enzyme that they have found lacking in people with our type of metabolism.  It is expensive (mine was ~$80 for a one month supply), but in my opinion it really helped me get started and not deal with the sugar cravings and associated mood swings anymore.  I am not sure about taking it during pregnancy, so you should definitely check with a doc who is knowledgeable about supplements.

 

The supplementation through my naturopath has really helped, but the biggest change that I've made could have been done without her help if I had just known how to feed my body properly.  For over three months I cut down drastically on carbohydrates while increasing my fat intake--essentially the opposite of my high-fiber, low fat diet I had been following for years with no result.  The fats are specific kinds - grass fed animal fats (including milk and butter), coconut oil, eggs, etc.  My body had to relearn to get energy from fat instead of carbs, so I felt pretty low for the first few days.  You should probably ease into it while pregnant if that is the way you choose to go.  

 

There are a lot of great resources out there.  My favorite blogs are cheeseslave.com and nourishedkitchen.com.  Nourished Traditions by in Fallon is a great book/cookbook if you are not turned off by folks that are passionate about their causes.  My chiropractor also recommended I read The Schwartzbein Principle by Dr. Schwarzbein (can't remember her first name) because it would give me a good insight into how the body processes food and how that affects our health, but that I shouldn't necessarily follow her recommendations to the letter.  So I've blended NT with the Schwartzbein Principle.  That seems to have worked for me.  I really recommend finding a good naturopath who is very knowledgable about hormones (I went through a few before this point that didn't offer any concrete answers), but if you can't it will make a huge difference to just change what's in your pantry!

 

 

post #18 of 22

Personal experience: With DD2 at 6 weeks my progesterone was at 7 and my doctor was not concerned in the least to put me on anything but DID have me come in to retest. Retest it was 21. I found out then that progesterone levels change throughout the day so your level depends just as much on when it is taken as how much you are producing.

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaerynPearl View Post

Personal experience: With DD2 at 6 weeks my progesterone was at 7 and my doctor was not concerned in the least to put me on anything but DID have me come in to retest. Retest it was 21. I found out then that progesterone levels change throughout the day so your level depends just as much on when it is taken as how much you are producing.



Interesting...if the testing is at the same time of day each time, does that help to ensure more "accurate" level changes over time? I'm getting tested again this coming week, and probably the only time it works with my schedule is the same as last time (blech--end of the day).

post #20 of 22
According to my doctor it comes in spurts throughout the day so no you can't time it

According to my research, be well fed and well hydrated to give yourself the best chance of an accurate reading (i forget the connection, I did that research over two years ago)
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