Can progesterone help with IVF?

Hi Wray
A friend of mine who is 36 is going to begin IVF treatment next year after 4 years of trying for a baby. Drs have not been able to find anything specifically wrong with her or her husband, so their fertility remains unexplained. She has never used progesterone and I wonder if it would help her IVF treatment to be more successful. Also, if she does get pregnant, is it a good idea if she uses the cream to avoid a possible miscarriage? I use Natpro myself but don't want to give her advice on how she should use the cream in case it does not help her or I misinform her. I think she has been on the pill a couple of times (not for long) and I do wonder if she has hormonal issues as she gets migraines, some PMS and I have noticed her hair is very thin.
Thanks for your help in this matter.

Comments for Can progesterone help with IVF?

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Dec 07, 2012
Can progesterone help with IVF?
by: Wray

Hi there How lovely of you to ask on behalf of your friend. The answer is yes it could help, but I would add a cautionary note, I have no idea if it would result in a pregnancy. It would certainly help her hormonal imbalance, evident by the Migraines, Hair Loss and PMS she gets. She could read our page on Hormone Balance, this gives a list of symptoms. So too does the Oestrogen Dominance page. We also have a page on Pregnancy she could read. Plus we have a page on Infertility. The medical profession tend to look for things like anti-phospholipid syndrome, chromosome abnormalities etc. But it could be something simple like a lack of vitamin D, essential for ovulation, conception, a successful pregnancy and the growth of the foetus. A lack causes miscarriages, see here, here and here. She could be miscarrying at her first period, so she had no idea she was pregnant. Or a high level of testosterone, see here. Or failure of progesterone to rise prior to ovulation. An early luteal rise is essential for successful implantation, see here. It's always been believed, and still is by everyone including the medical profession, that progesterone is only produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. But as far back as 1930 it was thought there must be another source. This was confirmed in the 1960's, and re-confirmed in the 1980's, that there is an exponential rise of progesterone about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Continued below

Dec 07, 2012
Can progesterone help with IVF? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there This surge comes from the brain, see here, here, here and here. Oestrogen also rises exponentially about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Unless there is the progesterone surge too, there is nothing to counter the oestrogen effect. This explains why many women get migraines, seizures, palpitations, panic attacks and asthma attacks around ovulation. The same reasoning can be applied to the symptoms that occur during progesterone withdrawal prior to bleeding, commonly referred to as PMS. This pre-ovulatory rise in progesterone, coupled with the rise from the corpus luteum, will ensure implantation if fertilisation has occurred. Without this combined effort implantation could take place, followed by a miscarriage at the next bleed. So again she could have been pregnant, but not knowing it. Interestingly progesterone is always given after IVF treatment, to ensure the embryo remains implanted. Amounts of 200-600mg/day are given, usually by suppositories or injections. The cream is just as effective, pleasanter too! Unfortunately the injections come in two forms, 17-OHP and 17-OHP-C. 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) is a naturally occurring metabolite of progesterone. Whereas 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHP-C), is a synthetic progestin also used to prevent miscarriages and pre-term births. Often the same term is used for both compounds. No adverse side affects have been reported with the use of 17-OHP, which is produced primarily by the adrenal glands, and increases in the third trimester. But 17-OHP-C I would not recommend, as there are safety concerns about it's use. It doesn't appear to reduce preterm contractions either. I would always favour the use of progesterone though, and let the body metabolise it naturally into 17-OHP. Continued below

Dec 07, 2012
Can progesterone help with IVF? Part 3
by: Wray

Hi there There is no evidence to date of any adverse side effects to the foetus while using progesterone during pregnancy, and it's more potent that 17-OHP-C, see here, here, here, here, here and here. One of the critical factors for me, one which is overlooked completely by prescribers of 17-OHP-C, is because it's a progestin, it's not metabolised into the all important natural metabolites of progesterone. One in particular is allopregnanolone, possibly even more important than progesterone itself. See the side effects of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate here and here. Please ask her to have a vitamin D test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Take care Wray

Feb 12, 2014
IVF and Natpro
by: Anonymous

I am about to embark on another course of IVF and want to know if Natpro can be used while I am on IVF treatment? I have been advised to get donor eggs, but would also like to give Natpro a chance to ensure that my body is better equipped to cope with a pregnancy. I am 45 years old and have not had children before.

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