Miscarriage, trying to conceive

by Elena
(North Carolina)

Hi Wray,

I am 28 years old, and a year ago my husband and I decided to try for a baby. I got pregnant on month three, but lost the baby at 5 weeks. We took a short break, and now have been trying to conceive again, but after 6 months, have had no success. I ordered a saliva test and it showed my progesterone results to be on the very low end of "normal", but my progesterone/estrogen ratio was off. I just started using progesterone cream this last month, but did not conceive this cycle.

My history is that I have always had regular cycles (have never missed a single period) and they come right on every 28 days. Because of this, I never had a reason to suspect that my hormones might be off--however, through charting, it seems that I have a slow progesterone rise at ovulation and an early drop. I also have trouble pinpointing ovulation--I always have a positive opk at day 12 or 13, but my temperatures don't seem to rise for 4-5 more days. I have also struggled with menstrual cramps, menstrual migraines, and acne.

I am so discouraged at this point and just looking for some hope. Perhaps I was foolish to believe I might conceive my first month using the cream, but it does seem to happen for many other women! What is a reasonable amount of time to expect when trying to conceive using progesterone cream?

Comments for Miscarriage, trying to conceive

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Apr 06, 2013
Miscarriage, trying to conceive
by: Wray

Hi Elena It's very useful to me your charting, as I can see why you don't have luck in falling pregnant. An early luteal rise is essential to the embryo implanting successfully. If it does implant, an early miscarriage often occurs as the implantation is not secure, see here. You don't say how much progesterone you're using, but I would suggest no less than 200mg/day, possibly more. Progesterone inhibits the prostaglandins and inflammatory cytokines that cause cramping, see here. In fact this is one role it plays in pregnancy, to keep the uterus 'quiet'. Once the child is due, no amount of progesterone will stop the process, and it withdraws allowing the inflammatory substances to cause contractions, see here. I've not heard of other women conceiving immediately after starting progesterone, well certainly none writing in here! You are obviously short of progesterone which makes me suspect a defective luteal phase. i.e. the slow rise and the early drop would make it too short. A normal length is 12-14 days, although when using progesterone I prefer it if women use it for the full 14 days to ensure sufficient. Plus menstrual cramps, menstrual migraines, and acne suggest a low level. I've explained the cramping to you, but we do have a page on Migraines and another on Acne you could look through. It does help both. Your last question is impossible to answer, as there might the other factors involved. Vitamin D plays a huge role, if low it reduces the benefits of progesterone. Low levels prevent ovulation, and causes miscarriages. Please have a test done. Low taurine is another factor, this amino acid is vital to foetal growth and after birth, it's an essential nutrient to foetuses and newborns, they have to get it from they mother, many of whom have very low levels. High oestrogen causes foetal death, high testosterone miscarriages. We do have a page on Pregnancy you could look through and another here. Please look at the videos at the end of the pregnancy page. Take care Wray

Apr 09, 2013
miscarriage, trying to conceive
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray,

Thanks for the helpful feedback. I haven't been taking 200mg per day--more like 40-50mg because that is what I've been seeing on other sites, including Dr. Lee's. I can certainly up the amount, but don't want to overdo it, if that is possible.

I have also been taking essential fatty acids and vitamin D, zinc, and folic acid. I will be starting a prenatal vitamin just to make sure I have all the nutrients I need.

It seems that in addition to low progesterone, I also have a bit of a low thyroid (self diagnosed just by bbt temps). I have NONE of the symptoms and my temps only started to be low the past 2 months (in the 96.8-97.5 range follicular phase). I have started taking iodine (as I'd been eating iodine-free salt for the past year or so) and maca, but I had also read that progesterone could help with this. My temps this month have already been better and I'm hoping to be much more hormone balanced in a few months. Thanks for all the helpful info on your site--it has given me so much encouragement in ttc.

Apr 10, 2013
miscarriage, trying to conceive
by: Wray

Hi Elena I know, all the other sites suggest about a tenth I do. But from experience I've found the low levels do nothing to help. I take my info from Dr Dalton, I gave you that page of hers on pregnancy to read. She used far higher amounts and had success with it. Don't forget in the third trimester of pregnancy we make over 400mg/day. Please make sure you take enough vitamin D. 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. The prenatal won't contain much vitamin D, and no taurine which is essential, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Low temps are also an indication oestrogen is too high, it lowers temps, whereas progesterone raises them. Very pleased you're taking iodine, there is now a deficiency, see here. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Apr 10, 2013
I conceived using progesterone
by: Shari

Hello. I conceived using a very small amount of progesterone about 8 years ago. I was very surprised as I was unable to conceive for years after my first child was born. My hormones responded very well to cream at a very low dose back then. I was able to get pregnant on the third month. I have also used maca and found that it increased my estrogen and caused terrible estrogen dominant symptoms. I think progesterone is wonderful for getting pregnant. Keep using it cyclically and I feel you will have success.

Apr 19, 2013
follow up question
by: Elena

Hi Wray,

Thanks for all the great info. Another question for you. I keep reading online that one cause of low progesterone is an immature follicle, or a "weak ovulation." If this is true, will progesterone therapy help me to have a stronger ovulation after a few months? I am really hoping to avoid taking Clomid or any kind of drugs. I am suspicious that I actually have low estrogen AND low progesterone, but am still estrogen dominant.

Apr 22, 2013
follow up question
by: Wray

Hi Elena I do go into a defective luteal phase on the pregnancy page. And yes it is possible to boost progesterone levels by using supplemental. Please also read the section about using progesterone prior to ovulation. It should be started within the 50 hour surge that occurs. I've given all the studies relating to this too. It's most important to have that surge, as it gives an initial high rise of progesterone, boosting that from ovulation once it's taken place, without which the embryo won't implant correctly. The surge comes from the brain and not the ovaries as obviously ovulation hasn't taken place. There's evidence in fact that it's this surge of progesterone which initiates the rise in LH which initiates ovulation. Progesterone does help correct the cycle. Whatever you do avoid Clomid, see here, here and here. It is possible to have low oestrogen and still be oestrogen dominant, it's the ratio which is critical not the amounts of each. Please have a look at our Saliva Test results. Do you have any test results, you could then work this out. Finally I can't emphasise how important vitamin D is. Please have a test done, it's so vital for a successful pregnancy and the health of the foetus and new born. A distributor of ours has now helped her 13th woman to fall pregnant, with progesterone and vitamin D. I haven't kept count, but very recently someone I was helping has fallen pregnant. She had lived with her partner for 7 years, not really trying but hoping. 3 months after starting the two she fell pregnant. Take care Wray

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