What is the deal with progesterone supplements - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-19-2012, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I am 6 weeks 5 days or so by LMP. I know I ovulated around day 19.

Went in for some sharp lower pelvic pain and ended up getting labs drawn which shows Hcg at 656 at 6w3d and early us that showed nothing in the uterus or tubes. Hmmmm. Progesterone levels were 6.7. They wanted me to start prometrium supplements.

My question is, what is the controversy regarding taking progesterone? Reading some doctors just always supplement for levels 10 or below, and some don't believe in supplementing.

Do u need to supplement? Can NOT taking the progesterone cause me to miscarry? Or does it matter? I had spotting with almost all of my other pg and I did use the natural progesterone cream. Not sure if it did anything tho, cuz I still spotted some.


Super mom to a 5 1/2 year old girl, almost 4 yr old girl, and 2 year old boy.

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#2 of 3 Old 07-19-2012, 09:59 PM
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I had to take progesterone supplementation with my last two pregnancies.  With my daughter the injections and this pregnancy Crinone gel.  The doctor started me on them because my level was a 7 this pregnancy and they like to see it higher. What I read is that it can help prevent miscarriage but that if the pregnancy is not going to make it it's not going to help, so it's pretty confusing. I read that in some cases the synthetic progesterone is linked to problems with boy babies, and natural is better. I tried to just take the natural but my doctor wanted me to take the Crinone. My daughter who I had the injections with is perfectly healthy.  We were always told we could never conceive on our own and this pregnancy we did so I just felt like I should do the progesterone if it's going to be helpful.  I have PCOS which makes you have low progesterone as well.  Good luck with everything!

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#3 of 3 Old 07-20-2012, 08:08 PM
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An RE would likely tell you that the most effective time to take progesterone, if needed, is before you even get a BFP--so right after ovulation. That is helpful to women dealing with IF already until monitoring, taking pills, etc., but not helpful for the average woman. Once a pregnancy is detectable, it is unclear if supplementation helps. Many OBs do have women take it if a level tests low as a preventative measure, but I don't know that it has been proven that "late" supplementation actually saves pregnancies. Also, many OBs have women take it for longer than may have an impact as a preventative. Apparently the latest research says the placenta takes over progesterone production by 8 weeks (the placenta is not fully formed, obviously, but it is functioning to a certain degree), though many OBs who have women supplement suggest it through the whole first trimester. We dealt with IF with with DS and I stopped at 8 weeks, per my RE and OB who follow the stopping-sooner mentality. As for pill vs. natural cream--in all honesty, the cream is not going to be a strong enough dose to help.


Given all of that, I'd say that if it has a physical benefit for your baby is debatable, but if there is an emotional benefit to feel like you've covered your bases, that has value. Only you can answer the tough question of if you had a loss which path might you look back on with fewer regrets. Different women would feel differently about either path--supplementing or not. There is no right answer, save for what feels right to you.


Good luck and I wish you a happy, healthy pregnancy.


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Success after loss and infertility! Joyful mom to two boys (1/11 and 8/12)



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