Sunday, August 10, 2008

Low progesterone in pregnancy

I am going to take a few minutes to talk about HOW important progesterone is in pregnancy. Not only is it important, it is VITAL to your baby. It won't help a baby that is destined not to be. That means a baby with a chromosomal issue. However, it means everything in the world to a baby that just needs a little ummph. I was on progesterone supplements about 6 months after Sara was born. I was first put on it because I was constantly bleeding. My ob never said I was low. In fact, I point blank asked him. He said that I just needed a little kick. The extra progesterone worked. After I lost Peyton and with tons of encouragement from my loss board and my research, I asked my ob to run a progesterone test. He never said no. In fact, he happily agreed to run it. In my research regarding low progesterone, I found out I had what was called a Luteal Phase Defect. Meaning my lp was too short. take progesterone and it extends it out. I supposed Peyton made it as long as he did because I got pregnant the first month off of it. So I asked for the test never expecting in a million years that I had this defect. I was SHOCKED it was so low. 6.8. Barely ovulating.

That was when I told the nurse I had to get on progesterone supplementation right away. My research indicated a viable pregnancy needed at least 10 unmedicated. Less than 7, you were most likely to miscarry. Well less than 5 was very dismal. She called me later that afternoon and told me my ob did not beleive in progesterone supplementation. I was devestated. I started crying on the phone saying this baby will NOT make it without supplementation. She said she was not going to argue it and hung up. I was so upset that I called my pcp and begged her to put me on it. She refused. She didn't want to step on my ob's toes. In her eyes, he was a hero. She would NEVER do anything to cross that. Thanks to D. D sat with me. She talked with me on the phone. It brings tears to my eyes for what she did and I thank her every day for it. She told me to she was very worried that because of how upset I was that I would miscarry. She told me to call his ass at home. If his nurse had taken care of the issue to begin with, there wouldn't be this situation. Yes, D is pretty blunt and that's why we love her. She said it sounded like the nurse never spoke to him. So that's what I did. I called him and had him paged at home. I felt terrible for bothering him. Not only did I bother him. I totally lit into him. I am pretty sure he has NEVER seen me that upset before. I was a hysterical whacko. I basically said how dare you not prescribe this. He said that 50% of obs believe it is garbage. I said you know what, I have read the same studies that you have. I believe it works. If I believe it works and it won't hurt and will only help, then my baby deserved to live. My baby deserved the progesterone. I also told him all the progesterone in the world won't help a baby that has a chromosome problem. It will for a baby whose mom has low progesterone. I had been on it for over 2 years before getting pregnant. I can't remember the whole conversation. I was pretty much a raving lunatic. I have been a patient for over 4 years. I know through thick and thin, he has never seen me that way. Whatever I said moved him. He promised to get it called in that night. He promised to increase the dosage if my levels didn't rise. He did. The pharmacy was waiting for me when I arrived. He found a pharmacy that would make it for me on a Friday night.

I celebrated when my HCG levels skyrocketed. It was amazing. I cried when we saw the heartbeat the first time and each time thereafter. This baby so far has thrived. When I first got through the first couple of USs where it showed that we had a baby with a heartbeat. Then the overwhelming fear of maybe I had only postponed the inevitable. Maybe there was something wrong with the baby. I was terrified of the US at my peri's office. That one proved good. Thank God for techs and drs that read your file. I feel certain that's why I was in a different room with a different tech. I feel certain that is why she gave me so many pictures. She told me emphatically here are LOTS of pictures for you. We never had a picture of our last baby. I feel certain thats why she told us right away that this one is a healthy active baby.

So a bit of advice for women with low progesterone (I am hoping one of you are doing a google search and hit my blog). Demand the progesterone test. Demand progesterone if it is low. My baby would NOT be here had I have not of done that. Your ob doesn't have to believe in it. All he has to do is prescribe it. He has to believe in you and your baby. Maybe it won't help. Maybe just maybe, it will make all the difference in the world. If you have low progesterone, run. Run from your dr if they won't prescribe it. I love my ob. I love that he is laid back and tries to do the worrying for you. I love that he doesn't put you through a bunch of unnecessary tests. I love how he takes care of you in pregnancy and labor and takes the time to answer your questions. However, if he had not of put me on the progesterone, I would have changed drs right away. I would have changed first thing that Monday morning. I would have been in another dr's office that day. That's how serious I was.

The funny part is how I have changed as a patient. I used to be that shy patient afraid to ask questions. Now I am a partner in my care. I have a responsibility to be as informed as I can be (can I say how much my peri's office LOVES this!!!). He's the doc too and you have to respect his years of practice and schooling. Although he is a doc and everything, I like that he asks what I want to do. This past appt my bp was on the rise. I had tried everything to get it down. Nothing was working. So he asked me what I wanted to do. I said both. I guess I want to be aggressive too.

Back to the progesterone. We have evolved from 50% of ob docs think it is garbage to you are staying on it till 14-16 weeks. Hmmm, looks like someone was doing some research too. Ladies, demand progesterone testing. Demand supplementation if it is low. The only thing you have to lose is your baby.


Sonya said...

Hi... I am in tears because, like you, I begged for the progesterone... and my obgyn refused to give it to me. Then my pg test came back faint. Then my temp fell, and I knew it was too late. My beta, after ten days of really nice lines on tests, was only 6. I was miscarrying the baby. He gave me the progesterone after a huge discussion, but I thought it was too late, and I started miscarrying the next day. I have the supplement now, and am just waiting for my next BFP. I am so ANGRY at my doctor and myself!! We live in a small down and he is 'it' for RE issues.

PE Mommy said...

I am so sorry you went through that. Honestly I had mine tested on a whim and I requested the test. Then when it came back so low I was shocked. I did progesterone supplements for 19 weeks. I had PTL as soon as I stopped (which they use progesterone to stop to). I had PTL for 20 weeks (starting at 16 weeks when I decreased the dose to wean off). If my ob had not of called in that script that night, I would have changed drs immediately first thing on Monday morning. I already had the phone number to another obgyn 45 minutes away that a couple of girlfriends used and would prescribe the progesterone. There is NO reason that an obgyn will not prescribe progesterone. It is a naturally occuring hormone in the body. It can only HELP a pregnancy survive. Without it, the baby has no chance. My daughter Cate is proof of it.

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you get your BFP very soon. You may want to google silent grief. It is a website forum for women that have lost a baby. They were an enormous source of support for me. They still are in the moms after a loss forum. Be good to yourself. You didn't know. Now you do. Now you can do something about it. If your ob refuses to prescribe it, go elsewhere even if it is an hour away like my town. Hugs.

Brooke said...

Ok, you may not see this comment because it is an old post, but I found you on a google search.

I just had my second m/c at 4w3d. My first m/c was at 6w1d (2006). I had a beautiful baby girl in 2008.

I have been looking into progesterone issues. I just have a gut feeling that I have a problem. Do you know if it's possible to have the problem and still carry a healthy baby for one of your pregnancies? I have been doing BBT, and during my last cycle, my post O temps were all over the place and very low above the coverline. This makes me worry. I also have a 11 day LP, with spotting on day 9 and 10 of the LP. Doesn't this seem like a problem too? You just seem to have a wealth of information about progesterone and I can't seem to find much about it. How do they test you for low progesterone? Do I only need it if I am TTC or would I need it for every cycle even if not TTC. My last m/c was a surprise pregnancy, but we plan on TTC #2 in a few months. I have an appointment at the GYN next month. What should I ask? What shoudl I mention?

Help!! My e-mail is

Corby said...

my progesterone cam back 9. so i demanded it as well(had m/s in march) my Dr was also not going to give it to me. Problem not is I dont think I o'ed. so do i still take the proges. I had clomid this cycle and I heard you can o late. Called dr. and they were not concerned... so frustrating!!

Any advice??

Anonymous said...

Hi I just read your post and it brought me so much hope. I'm about 5 weeks pregnant and I had the blood work done yesterday. The nurse called me today to let me know my progesterone levels were extremely low and she prescribed progesterone suppositories for me. I am waiting for the call to pick them up but i was wondering what your thoughts were for me. Is it too late for me... My progesterone was at 3 and that's below 10. I am so worried but I am trying to stay positive and trust God. This is my first and I really want to have a healthy child. Please reply and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks and God bless you

Anonymous said...

Anon- how did it turn out?

Anonymous said...

I had 2 miscarriages. Never tested it before. This time my ob took extra precaution and tested for everything under the sun. She never told me what my levels were. But prescribed progesterone the day she got my results. Told me my low progesterone may have very well been the cause on my first 2 miscarriages. So I got on it and so far so good. I'm 13 weeks today. So...I have to believe it works.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you as well. I am 8 weeks and just got the bloodwork results back today. My progesterone level is 7.7. My obgyn was somewhat callous when I asked about supplements, stating "why don't we just wait until after your viability sonogram to see if this is likely to go anywhere". Reading your testimony has given me a little more faith in my self, the mother. If I want to start on the supplements asap to give my baby a fighting chance then I need to speak up and demand them!