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Low Progesterone- advice please!

(8 Posts)
TheNewShmoo Fri 05-Apr-13 21:14:52

Hi all, I am really stressed and panicking. TTC#2 has been really difficult, and after a chemical pregnancy in Jan we unexpectedly got a BFP yesterday at 10 days past ovulation. I have a short luteal phase at 10 days long and the follicular phase of my chart this month has been AWFUL so really didn't expect a positive test. I have thrown quite a few supplements/aspirin into the mix this cycle, and acupuncture, so not sure if this has this has helped...

Anyway today my test line is lighter than yesterdays, which is what happened with the last (unsuccessful) pregnancy. I'm worried it's a progesterone issue to do with my short luteal phase. Does anyone have any ideas what I can do? My doc won't give me progesterone, so I've ordered Emirita Progest cream from Amazon. Will only get a specialist referral if I miscarry so am really clutching at straws.

My progesterone was measured at 36 at 8DPO (CD21 blood test). I've read conflicting views that 30 shows that you have ovulated but above 50 is needed to sustain a pregnancy.

Any suggestions really gratefully received. Desperately want to hold on to the little thing.

willitbe Sat 06-Apr-13 09:58:27

Did not want your post to go unanswered.

Firstly the test today being lighter than yesterdays, could be a sign that things are going wrong, but it also could be that your wee was more dilute, so you can't really take too urine tests purely like that, you will have to test again in a couple of days to see if it was really a chemical pregnancy or not. I have found when testing early that the tests can be a bit hit and miss in the very early days. You are very early so you need to be a little patient and try not to think the worst straight away (difficult I know)

Next, progesterone supplementation has not yet been proved to help! For me, progesterone supplementation only lengthened the time til miscarriage rather than stopped it. The greater than 50 or 60 to maintain a pregnancy also is not really proven as far as I know.

Short luteal phase is really less than 10 days, so I don't think that there is necessarily a problem there, although others might disagree with me on that I suppose.

I hope that today's test is more positive than your yesterdays and that this pregnancy is successful for you.

lastboxoftampons Sat 06-Apr-13 11:10:29

Hi there - I also have a 10 day LP with spotting for a few days before AF starts. I noticed it with DS who took 7 months to conceive after a mmc at 11 weeks back in 2008. We're now ttc #2 for 17 months with no luck. My progesterone always comes back normal and both GP and consultant at the acu (we've just started treatment) have said that a short LP with spotting is "normal for you". I'm really not buying that at all!

My point is though that it's possible to have a sustained pregnancy despite the short LP. Even my miscarriage had nothing to do with low progesterone since it went on until 11 weeks. I agree with the PP about the HPT - there are so any reasons why it's lighter. Just try not to panic, it's up to your body now, there's no way to change the outcome. Best of luck. Fingers crossed for you xx

TheNewShmoo Sat 06-Apr-13 15:40:53

Thanks for your responses. Tested again today with different HPKs, all different sensitivities but my favourite one, the early First Response, was the one that gave a lighter line. My early Superdrug test was slightly darker, but realise this early on just need to wait to the hcg to double for a better reading.

willitbe Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Can I ask how long you were on the progesterone for and why was it prescribed?

This link:

provides a review of published papers on the research and the conclusion seems overwhelmingly that progesterone does help with recurrent pregnancy loss

With regards to HPTs, I have read that for some women second morning urine (SMU) gives better results. But since I was comparing like with like (FMU with FMU) I would'nt have thought this would be an issue.

lastboxo Reassured to hear that your 10day LP resulted in your DS. Lots of docs don't acknowledge luteal phase defects or even care what cycle day you ovulated on- it's so frustrating. Through temping etc with TTC#1 I know that my current LP is a problem- the knowledge just allows to me to better informed when I go to the doctor so I know what to ask for.

With TTC#1 I had a textbook ovulation at CD14 and about a 14 LP. But my cycle is so different since having DC1. Earlier this cycle a CD3 scan showed I had polycystic ovaries (I don't have the syndrome), which explains why I ovulate late in my cycle now (CD19-20) as it take longer for my follicles to mature, which means a less than healthy corpus luteum to produce the all important progesterone during the LP= short LP= potential for womb lining to shed just as a fertilised egg tries to implant.

However! Looking back at a journal I kept when pregnant with DC1 (I had so much time back then!!) I found that my progesterone level was at 83 at 8 weeks. So if I'm 36 at 3 weeks, and progesterone is supposed increase 1-3 per day, then add another 35 days increasing by 1 would take me to that level by 8 weeks... but that was on a healthy LP.

I just don't have faith that my short LP will come up with the goods this time. Today my order of cyclogest pessaries arrived- bought enough to take me up to the 12 week mark (once the placenta takes over prog production). I'll spend the rest of the day doing some research and decide whether to take or not as it's not a decision not to take lightly I know.

willitbe I must admit I am scared that progesterone might just delay the inevitable (although the research does suggest that progesterone won't prevent a miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities). But I also feel like I need to do everything I can to prevent a possible miscarriage, especially if the problem is as 'simple' as low progesterone.

Wow that's one long post.

TheNewShmoo Sun 07-Apr-13 13:55:45

Took the progesterone pessary last night. This morning took my temp and now have the classic 'triphasic' pregnancy bbt chart! Not sure if this is a result of the progesterone or just the pregnancy strengthening on its own (progesterone is what causes the bbt thermal shifts), but my HPTs are darker (all 5 of them today!!) grin.

Either way I'm now committed till week 12 with the progesterone as don't want it to drop off suddenly. Maybe once I have a few rising hcg/progesterone blood tests I'll start to slowly reduce the dosage. Annoyed that I'm having to self-diagnose, self-prescribe and self-medicate and best guess what to do next. FX it was the right choice.

willitbe Sun 07-Apr-13 16:33:22

Congratulations on your progressing pregnancy.

I have had 12 miscarriages, without progesterone they ended before 7 weeks, with progesterone they went on to 11 weeks. I have 3 healthy children as well. No known cause for my miscarriages, good doubling of hcg with them, many tests done and I tried, asprin, heperin, progesterone and prednisolone at different times with different pregnancies. So I gave it a good go, but to no avail for me!

The evidence with progesterone is still being tested, I am not sure if the PROMISE trial at St Mary's in London has been published yet. I had high hopes with the progesterone, and it came as a big shock the first time I got further along only to miscarry again. But having said that if I ever was pregnant again, I would start the progesterone, heperin, asprin and prednisolone and continue them all till 12 weeks if I got that far, I would not care if it was placebo effect or not!!!

I hope that the next few months of pregnancy go smoothly for you, and you end with babe in arms in due course, wishing you all the best.

TheNewShmoo Sun 07-Apr-13 22:23:00

My goodness willitbe, there I was pointing to the research whilst you have more than experienced the harsh reality of using progesterone... astounded how you were able to cope with so many losses, yet here you are with three healthy children. Gosh.

The PROMISE study seems to be still recruiting so something to watch out for. Read briefly about a study at Hammersmith Hospital which found it was the job of a functional endometrium to recognise chromosomal abnormalities and act accordingly, whereas a dysfunctional one could miscarry healthy pregnancies. I wonder if low progesterone affects this functionality also?

Can I ask if you had a LPD? Thanks for the well wishes- nice to get some love whilst having to hold my tongue about this pregnancy!

yadiyadiya Fri 24-May-13 14:47:32


Hoping for a quick update, how are you getting on with the cyclogest?

Is it multiples??? (looked at your other thread awell) :-)

I am also using cyclogest. What does are you taking?


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