Ectopic Pregnancy

by Jennifer

Hello Wray, Over the last 2 years I have had 2 ectopic pregnancies. After my last one (last March) I saw a naturopath and after testing, was diagnosed with Adrenal fatigue.

I've also been treated by an osteopath and we've since discovered some structural issues... which have been addressed. My naturopathic Doctor had felt that perhaps my adrenal fatigue and therefore very low progesterone may have played some part in the ectopics. I was wondering what your thoughts were on this?

Thank you!

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Mar 16, 2011
Ectopic Pregnancy
by: Wray

Hi Jennifer It's very interesting, but all the studies on ectopic pregnancies have used progesterone and/or hCG levels to check if the pregnancy is ectopic, see here, here, here and here. They are using it as a marker, but I question this. To me there's an intriguing possibility that the low progesterone level, which is always the case, is the cause of the ectopic pregnancy. And not merely a marker. Unfortunately I can't find one study to support my argument! Obviously your naturopath has given this some thought too. I've found progesterone excellent for adrenal fatigue, for two reasons. Firstly the adrenals produce progesterone before converting it into cortisol. If they are stressed they rob ovarian progesterone, this plays havoc with our reproductive cycle, not to mention our moods. Secondly progesterone, and it's metabolite allopregnanolone, are potent anxiolytics, see here, here and here. It we are stressed, progesterone levels drop for the reasons given above, so a vicious cycle starts. By using supplemental progesterone this cycle can be broken. I do recommend 100-200mg/day, as I've found too low a level merely exacerbates symptoms, and can cause Oestrogen Dominance. In fact this invariably occurs if oestrogen is high, but if enough progesterone is used, it usually passes quickly. I always recommend starting progesterone long before falling pregnant. Oestrogen dominance is not what any woman needs when pregnant. Besides, supplemental progesterone can upset the cycle when first using it. This normally settles down after a few cycles. We do have a page on How to use progesterone, plus another on Pregnancy. Take care Wray

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