Progesterone and Preterm Labor

by Elizabeth
(Minnesota)

I am 31 and I have 3 beautiful children. My oldest was born at 33 1/2 weeks, it was a scary time but Addie is a fighter and she pulled through. She is now a bright 9 year old at the top of her class.

I started my second pregnancy with high hopes of a full term delivry. Unfortunately I started bed rest at 25 weeks after a series of contractions. My son was born at 36 weeks. He is healthy now, but he struggled after birth.

Taking a chance, we decided to have one more child. This time my doctor prescribed progesterone shots weekly from 16 weeks till 36 weeks. This pregnancy went so well. I was able to work until I delivered at 37.5 weeks!! Technically full term and healthy. The progesterone really worked.

My 3rd child is now 4 and we just found out we are pregnant again. We don't have traditional insurance, and these shots are outragious to pay for out of pocket. I am wondering if your cream could substitute for the shots. I am currently 7 weeks and I would like to start as soon as possible so that I can continue in my daily routines. Let me know your thoughts, thanks!

Elizabeth

Comments for Progesterone and Preterm Labor

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Jul 23, 2013
Pregnancy
by: Kaylana

Hi Elizabeth,
Just a quick note -after 2 1/2 years of infertility involving several miscarriages, I started using progesterone cream. I am set to deliver any day now and I am completely thrilled and blessed to have made it!

My midwife suggested that I stop using the cream gradually one month prior to delivery so that there isn't any trouble with the placenta detaching. (Wray - comments on this?)

One other note. I had a strange cycle only two weeks apart when I thought I became pregnant. But the size of the baby kept putting it 3-4 weeks further along. And now with pre-labor contractions starting I have to agree that the dates were wrong. In fact, my midwife said that women can conceive during a cycle or maintain a pregnancy when experiencing bleeding. The estrogen dips aren't low enough or the second peak causes another egg to be released out of the ordinary.

Hope all goes smoothly!

Jul 24, 2013
Progesterone and Preterm Labor
by: Wray

Hi Elizabeth The answer is yes, in fact we've helped many women to fall pregnant, and those at risk of miscarriages and pre-term births with the cream. We do have a page on Pregnancy and another here. There are many research papers on the page too, but this is one which might reassure you, see here. It concludes with "These results demonstrate that topically applied progesterone is rapidly absorbed transdermally and that its patterns of distribution and metabolism are comparable to those previously reported for intravascularly administered progesterone." I don't know how much progesterone was in the shots you received, but it's generally only 50mg. This to my mind is too low, although it did help you. Studies using suppositories have varied between 200-600mg/day, so I suggest you use no less than 200mg/day. As you've used it before you will be aware of possible Oestrogen Dominance symptoms when starting it, so please keep a watch for these. You can use it till you enter labour, as once this begins naturally, the exogenous progesterone will have no affect on it, i.e. it won't stop it. This paper here ends with "Progesterone withdrawal induces preterm labor and delivery (which can be blocked by progesterone substitution) but exogenous progesterone, even in substantial quantities, does not prevent parturition at term." These are two more papers here and here. This paper here explains the inhibitory affect allopregnanolone has on oxytocin, thereby preventing preterm labour. Allopregnanolone is a potent metabolite of progesterone. So without sufficient progesterone it cannot be produced. This is a similar paper here. Continued below

Jul 24, 2013
Progesterone and Preterm Labor Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Elizabeth Please have a vitamin D test done, not only is it vital for a successful pregnancy, for the growth of the foetus, to prevent miscarriages and preterm births, but a lack of it reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. These are a few papers on preterm births/miscarriages and vitamin D, see here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jul 24, 2013
Pregnancy
by: Wray

Hi Kaylana I'm delighted to hear you're about to deliver! I've addressed the issue of using progesterone till birth, do take a look at the papers I've given Elizabeth. I'm puzzled when you say "I had a strange cycle only two weeks apart". Surely you have no cycle now you're pregnant?! I can't find any evidence of pre-labour contractions, besides those which herald the actual birth. So if you've started them then the baby is due. Or you are having a preterm birth. Have you stopped the progesterone? If you are not due now, then please start it again. The papers I've given show it can prevent preterm birth if given immediately. But it cannot once full term is reached and contractions start. I've also never heard of a woman conceiving during pregnancy. It goes against everything progesterone does, one of which is to stop ovulation if levels are high, which of course they are in pregnancy. It's used as a contraceptive too. It's not oestrogen that releases an egg, but LH. And there's strong evidence it's not oestrogen which causes an increase in LH, but progesterone. Both oestrogen and progesterone surge about 50 hours prior to ovulation. The LH surge comes about 12 hours after the progesterone surge, by which time oestrogen is dropping, see here, here, here, here and here. Let me know how you get on! Take care Wray

Jul 24, 2013
sorry for confusion
by: Kaylana

Hi Wray,
Sorry, I meant nine months ago I had a strange cycle that was two weeks apart. I gave my midwife the latter date as the starting point for the pregnancy. It appears on all accounts that I was pregnant with the first date.

I am full term and am experiencing pre-labor. The excitement is building!

Thanks for the information. It has helped immensely as always!

Jul 24, 2013
sorry for confusion
by: Wray

Hi Kaylana Well I'm relieved! How exciting and please do keep in touch, such good news. And bless you for telling me, in labour too, heavens that's more than I would do! Take care Wray

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