When to start taking progesterone supplements for keeping possible pregnancy?

by W
(Miles City, Montana)

I have been having quite a bit of difficulty maintaining a pregnancy for the last 4+ years. I have 2 children, both who were conceived seemingly without difficulty. After we started trying for more I have had at least 5 miscarriages, and possibly more. We have both been tested for everything under the sun and feel like we have been nothing but cash cows for the 8 docs we have seen in the last 4 years. I have asked every single doctor to test my progesterone and they never would. They said it would just be easier to treat once I had a positive pregnancy test. Even though by then it is too late and for educated doctors in reproductive physiology they know next to nothing about when progesterone is important. I am animal scientist and would try to explain to them why their information is flawed and instead they would talk a blue streak and send me off to take yet another obscure test.

My previous and fabulous ob, had retired and moved away but after 4 years moved back and returned to practice. I went to see him right away and he was furious with the level of care I have received. We immediately determined that I did in fact have a luteal phase defect and let's test my progesterone. It's low, so he prescribed Crinone. But after I have been reading your site, I am concerned that I again did not start taking the Crinone at the right time. He said to take it 48 hours after ovulation. According to your information I should have started to take it 2 days before ovulation. Is this correct? I tend to ovulate early, on day 10 or 11 of my cycle. Should I use ovulation test strips to help determine when to start taking the progesterone supplement? Also if Crinone does not provide sufficient progesterone should I supplement with progesterone cream? I have tried ProGest and plan to order yours as well. Or quite possibly could Crinone be replaced entirely with the progesterone creams? The reason for this is Crinone is ridiculously expensive and hard for my pharmacy to get in and keep in stock. I can order something much faster and with greater trust. And if creams are a worthy replacement how many times a day and at what level? From the information it looks like it should be taken at least 2 to 4 times a day at 1 teaspoon at a time?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! We've been praying for answers for 4 years and as I get older I only lose more and more time. Thank you!

Comments for When to start taking progesterone supplements for keeping possible pregnancy?

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Apr 18, 2013
Maintaining a pregnancy
by: Kaylana

I just wanted to encourage you in your attempts.

I suffered for 2 1/2 years with infertility. My other problems have been shared on other pages here regarding skin issues, etc.

Right now I am 22 weeks pregnant. I used progesterone cream steadily for over a year before I was able maintain a pregnancy. Who knows how many miscarriages I've had over the past few years! Each month was a disappointment.

I've had regular checks on my progesterone levels each month since the pregnancy was confirmed. While the levels are 'low' I am feeling the best I ever have during a pregnancy!

I was worried during the early stages and was very careful with doses. Now I use it when I feel I need it.

Let your body tell you what you need. Wray gives wonderful advice regarding dosage. Best wishes and keep us all updated!

Apr 18, 2013
When to start taking progesterone supplements for keeping possible pregnancy?
by: Wray

Hi W If as an animal scientist you are up against the odds, what chance does someone with no background in either animal or human studies have, like most women! It's usually far too late to have a progesterone test once pregnancy is confirmed. And of course if you have a defective luteal phase, well that explains everything. How appalling ignorant. Difficult, but please avoid stress if you can. I had 5 miscarriages before my daughter, all caused by stress, including stopping a dog fight! If you should encounter additional please apply more progesterone. You are right about starting progesterone before ovulation, it's so interesting this and yet so little known. An early luteal rise is essential to a successful implantation by the embryo, see here. We normally do have a rise in progesterone before ovulation, but it seems you don't or possibly infrequently. This lack of rise is the cause of all the adverse symptoms women experience around ovulation, often worse than those associated at the end of the cycle. And the cause of so many women failing to fall pregnant. 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. 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 second paper above is a 2011 republication of the abstract of a 1983 paper. I can't give the full paper as I had to buy it, but unlike the abstract it gives the graph showing the rise of all hormones around ovulation, it's fascinating. The abstract is quite comprehensive though.
Continued below

Apr 18, 2013
When to start taking progesterone supplements for keeping possible pregnancy? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi W Ovulation strips are fine, although I prefer the mini microscope as it can be used many times, unlike the strips. They do take the guess work out of ovulation, which can proceed quite quickly. Neither strengths of Crinone are adequate to my mind, only giving either 45mg or 90mg. The minimum I suggest is 100mg, but I would recommend using 200mg/day and see how you get on. Please start it before you intend falling pregnant, as Oestrogen Dominance can occur. The symptoms are identical to those in early pregnancy, but with many more! If you should get it, please increase the amount. It's best to overcome them first before conception, the last thing you need is to battle it out while pregnant. It should be used a minimum of twice a day too, more frequently is excellent. Once you fall pregnant, I would increase to about 400mg/day to prevent miscarriage. We've had such success with the cream, one of our distributors is now helping her 13th 'baby'. I haven't kept count, but have just helped a woman who's been with her partner for 7 years and no pregnancy. 3 months after starting the progesterone she fell pregnant. I would ask you to have a vitamin D test as a lack of this not only reduces the benefits of progesterone, but also causes failure to implant. It's vital for the growth of the foetus too, both from a behavioural point of view and physical. There are some excellent videos at the end of our Pregnancy page, please take time to watch them, as it's critical for the child's health after birth. We do have another page on pregnancy here. Another nutrient you might consider taking is taurine. An essential amino acid for both foetal growth and the neonate. It doesn't have the ability to convert it from cysteine, see here, here, here, here, here and here. If you do wish to use 2tsp (10ml) please bear in mind the Natpro is twice the strength of Progest. So your 10ml would give 330mg or 160mg progesterone respectively. Likewise the 4tsp (20ml) of cream. I'm always happy to answer more questions. Take care Wray

Apr 19, 2013
by: Wray

Hi Kaylana Bless you for the kind words! So happy things are going well. Do let us know how you get on. Take care Wray

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