Keep taking progesterone once pregnant? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 09-04-2013, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I just found out I'm pregnant (so I'm probably 4 weeks along). I am still breastfeeding my 2 year old and took progesterone to lengthen my luteal phase. My doctor said I could stop taking progesterone once I get pregnant, but I'm not sure if that's right? I'm afraid if I stop, I could get a miscarriage. Any thoughts or knowledge?

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#2 of 15 Old 09-04-2013, 05:10 PM
 
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Most people continue taking it for the first trimester, but your case may be different.  I would imagine that if you were not producing enough progesterone and your luteal phase was less than perfect, you may want to keep taking it.  Congratulations on your pregnancy!




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#3 of 15 Old 09-04-2013, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and I'm assuming it's the breastfeeding that is making the luteal phase too short to get pregnant, I just started getting my period last March when my breastfeeder was 20 months old. I didn't take progesterone to get pregnant with her.

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#4 of 15 Old 09-05-2013, 02:31 AM
 
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I had to lengthen my LP with progesterone to get pregnant and I'm planning to continue through 10 weeks when the placenta has taken over making it and it should be safe to taper off. I've had several chemical pregnancies and two losses around 5 weeks that I really think were due to low progesterone, and I think the supplementation this time is the only reason I haven't miscarried again. Personally I wouldn't discontinue it yet if you were taking it because your LP was too short to sustain a pregnancy without it.

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#5 of 15 Old 09-05-2013, 07:35 AM
 
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Get a simple blood test to check your progesterone levels and help you determine whether or not to continue taking it. I also wouldn't stop taking it, but would want to know what my progesterone levels were. When you do stop, whether it's now or after the first tri, I definitely recommend tapering off before stopping completely.


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#6 of 15 Old 09-05-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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Get a simple blood test to check your progesterone levels and help you determine whether or not to continue taking it. I also wouldn't stop taking it, but would want to know what my progesterone levels were. When you do stop, whether it's now or after the first tri, I definitely recommend tapering off before stopping completely.

 

 

:yeah  Definitely seconding the blood test to see where you are at.  I was supplemented with progesterone because of miscarriages for the first 12 weeks then tapered off.  The blood tests were around $60 (completely out of pocket expense for me) at my clinic here. I think definitely worth the extra $$.


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#7 of 15 Old 09-10-2013, 06:48 AM
 
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Congratulations Frostalina!

 

I don't think breastfeeding is what makes a luteal phase short (although that may be what your practitioner believes, even if it's mistaken). A luteal phase can be short for other reasons. Mine was short and I saw a doctor who put me on a regime to reduce stress, get more sleep, and use a biofeedback machine for relaxation, and my luteal phase lengthened after many years of a short one. 

 

If you needed progesterone to get pregnant, from what I know, you are likely to need progesterone to stay pregnant. Your body has to produce adequate progesterone through its own usual mechanisms until later in the pregnancy when the placenta takes over. In fact, I read the website of a fertility specialist who says that for women who have a history of autoimmune disease (which can be a lot of different things and it's possible to have one without knowing it), he recommends using progesterone until *16 weeks,* not just through the first trimester as most docs recommend. 

 

Since I have a history of many mild autoimmune diseases, I took the supplement I was taking (an herb that stimulates progesterone production) for as long as I could - my bottle lasted till 14.5 weeks or so - even though I think he was probably talking about women with more severe autoimmune issues. This was the first pregnancy I have had without a first trimester bleeding scare, though it may not having anything to do with my progesterone levels. 

 

I agree with testing your levels first if you are stopping.


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#8 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I had a miscarriage and the doctor says it was from breastfeeding. She says my progesterone was low and if I plan to have more kids anytime soon, I better stop breastfeeding for 3 full months, otherwise my kids will be spaced far apart. I'm planning to try to make an appointment with another doctor to get another opinion (do I need to wean my 2 year old?). My two year old breastfeeds before bed and after her naps, if she takes a nap, so about once or twice a day. I just started getting my period last march, with the short luteal phase probably because of breastfeeding which causes low progesterone. It's so hard to know what to believe, since a lot of reputable sources say it's ok to breastfeed with pregnant. But in my case I guess I miscarried because of breastfeeding. The doctor also offered to give me 4 pills a day of progesterone if I plant to keep breastfeeding and get pregnant (so I'm not sure if her message was clear, do I wean or do I take lots of progesterone?). To complicated things further, she said that my thyroid level was low, so maybe that caused the miscarriage, and also that there have been lots of miscarriges in the last few weeks, she says because of viruses. Any advice?

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#9 of 15 Old 10-28-2013, 04:05 AM
 
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I had to take progesterone (Crinone) as part of my infertility treatment, and it was explained to me that I had to continue taking it until 12 weeks to support the fetus until the umbilical cord was fully established.  I think this is a common course of treatment for any type of infertility.  Ours was unexplained, but the IUI with first cycle we caught with shots worked.   Every time I would have my prog levels checked, they would be great, but I was given the impression that they could drop at any time, and I should continue to use the Crinone- even though I hated the stuff!

 

I guess it doesn't hurt to stay on (it's just messy and can cause a little spotting).  The important thing is that you do whatever makes you feel better.  If you're the sort of person who couldn't rest without knowing you'd done everything you could to help your chances, maybe you could ask your doctor to keep you on?

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#10 of 15 Old 10-28-2013, 07:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Frostalina View Post
 

Well, I had a miscarriage and the doctor says it was from breastfeeding. She says my progesterone was low and if I plan to have more kids anytime soon, I better stop breastfeeding for 3 full months, otherwise my kids will be spaced far apart. I'm planning to try to make an appointment with another doctor to get another opinion (do I need to wean my 2 year old?). My two year old breastfeeds before bed and after her naps, if she takes a nap, so about once or twice a day. I just started getting my period last march, with the short luteal phase probably because of breastfeeding which causes low progesterone. It's so hard to know what to believe, since a lot of reputable sources say it's ok to breastfeed with pregnant. But in my case I guess I miscarried because of breastfeeding. The doctor also offered to give me 4 pills a day of progesterone if I plant to keep breastfeeding and get pregnant (so I'm not sure if her message was clear, do I wean or do I take lots of progesterone?). To complicated things further, she said that my thyroid level was low, so maybe that caused the miscarriage, and also that there have been lots of miscarriges in the last few weeks, she says because of viruses. Any advice?


What? I'm sorry, but that is a load of ****. A lot of women get pregnant while breastfeeding. Sometimes they miscarry, other times they don't. I have gotten pregnant while breastfeeding twice. I also had miscarriages before I had my DS1. For me, in all cases where the pregnancy continued past 6 weeks, I was taking progesterone (4 pregnancies) and when I had an early loss, breastfeeding or not, I was not taking progesterone (3 pregnancies) (I also had an ectopic and a second trimester loss which I am not counting because progesterone was not an issue in those cases.

 

Obviously, that is just my experience, but I have never anywhere read that breastfeeding can cause low progesterone and/or cause miscarriage. If you do have low progesterone, then indeed you should continue to take it through the first trimester. And, as PP mentioned, most people who need it to become pregnant also need it to stay pregnant.

 

I would look for another doctor. She doesn't seem to know what caused your miscarriage (mentioned 3 possible causes) and yet blames it on the breastfeeding. That is not right. There is no way to know exactly what caused it, and while progesterone could have been it, all you need is supplementation through the first trimester to avoid that happening again. There are only a few illnesses that can be directly linked to miscarriage, and typical cold viruses are not linked to miscarriage. There could be thyroid issues as well, but that can also be dealt with medically with synthroid. However, I would seek out someone more knowledgeable in pregnancy loss, such as a reproductive endocrinologist. You mentioned pills -- the most effective way to get progesterone is through suppositories, such as crinone. The second most effective is shots (progesterone in oil), and the third most effective way is pills. Taking progesterone orally your body cannot absorb as much. (This is all from my RE, who has written various articles about the role of progesterone in miscarriage.) So, consider seeking out suppositories as well. Ultimately, progesterone supplementation does not HURT, so you may as well continue it in case it is helping.

 

Best of luck!

ETA: I just re-read your last post and understood that this pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I'm so sorry for your loss. Did you continue the progesterone or not?


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#11 of 15 Old 10-28-2013, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did continue the progesterone, but I was just wiping some emerita progesterone onto my skin once a day. The dr tested my progesterone level after I was already bleeding (so the baby had already died). I will take a list of questions to a different doctor (one who I know has helped others with progesterone and thryoid problems). I will see the new doctor for a second opinion Nov 20 (in the meantime I may ovulate and want to take progesterone if we try to get pregnant, although most doctors recommend waiting a few cycles, I've read other studies that you can try right away? I don't want to not try because my husband is older and may have low sperm count).

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#12 of 15 Old 10-28-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss :Hug


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#13 of 15 Old 10-29-2013, 06:37 AM
 
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I'm glad you will be seeking answers from another doctor. I hope you get someone good!

 

I have been told that you can start to try right away. I know it varies by doctor, but if you are worried about sperm count and even being able to get pregnant again, I don't see any reason to hold off. You would definitely want to be closely monitored, though, if you did get pregnant again, with progesterone levels taken early on.

 

Wishing you the best!


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#14 of 15 Old 10-29-2013, 08:57 AM
 
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you're finding a new doctor, and I would keep taking the progesterone if I were you until you can see the new doctor.

 

I was told after my miscarriage to wait for a cycle before trying again, only to establish a "Last Menstrual Period" to help with figuring out a due date. Without that, you could have ovulated later than normal after the loss (depending how far along you were) which could lead to thinking you're further along than you are causing you/doctor to worry about another miscarriage, etc.

 

Personally, I didn't wait to start trying again, but it ended up taking me 4 cycles to get pregnant anyway.


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#15 of 15 Old 10-29-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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Im on my phone so I cNt type a lot but oral progesterone worked the.best for.me. Prometrium

You need a different doctor. That is unacceptable fir him to place blame like that.
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