Low progesterone levels...

Hi! Some of you know that I am 3 weeks pregnant with suspected twins. My HCG levels are high, however, my doctor called me today to tell me that my progesterone levels are low. It was 7. She prescribed progesterone pills for me. I am reading on the internet and it doesn't look good for me to carry this pregnancy to full term. The information says that doctors prescribe progesterone in vain to save a pregnancy that would have otherwise ended in miscarriage. However, message boards from other women who have had this same problem have carried healthy babies to full term. I was just wondering if anyone had ever had this problem? If so, did you carry to full-term, and what was your progesterone level?

254 Replies

  • Low Progesterone
    I am just over 5 weeks pregnant and I had my blood work dont last week. The nurse called yesterday and said my Progesterone was low so i started pills yesterday. I had my HCG checked again today and it was up a whole lot from last friday. I get it all checked again on thursday and hopefully it all continues to go up.
  • Low Progesterone
    Hi! I have had 2 mc and one ectopic (from a previous marriage). No successful pg. My husband recently had a vasectomy reversal. He has 2 kids from a previous marriage. Anyway, I am very nervous and worried about getting pg and even being able to carry a pg. Anyway, I found a great dr. that has been willing to listen to me and check things out. He did a progesterone test and mine was 7 which is obviously low. He didn’t talk about putting me on a supplement. But he wanted me to come back in for a sonogram on day 12. Can you still get pregnant with a 7? Is this a higher risk of miscarriage? .
  • Low Progesterone
    I wanted to write to let people know that taking prometrium helps! I took it with my 2 year old son. He is healthy today. I am currently pregnant 6weeks and 4 days. I am having low levels again. My second test came back 8.3. The doctor put me on prometrium twice a day vaginally. I went today for an ultrasound. Everything was fine. There was a heartbeat. I went in to see the doctor, and he said he was surprised to see the baby had a heartbeat. He was worried with the progesterone drop. The baby had a strong heartbeat at that! I have to have another ultrasound in two weeks. He said if the heartbeat contiues to be strong, then I will be out of the woods. My doctor likes to say the prometrium helps to prevent unnecessary miscarriages. I like that better. It is true.
  • Low progesterone
    Hello!

    I am new to this site but noticed the posts about low progesterone. I had the exact same problem, and from my research I have done, it is very common. I thought I would share my story in hopes that it might help someone else to conceive.

    Briefly, my husband and I had tried to conceive for 3 years. In between the 2nd and 3rd year I finally went to the doctor to have him run tests on me to see if something was wrong. He couldn't find anything and all the blood work came back normal except that my progesterone level was low when I was supposed to be ovulating. I didn't really understand my hormone levels at the time and what that meant but I decided to do some research when I got home. My doctor wanted to perform a whole bunch of tests and procedures on me next to check for other problems like cysts or blockages. My insurance would not pay for any of that so I decided to look for something on my own. I figured I was low in progesterone when I ovulated so I figured why not get some progesterone to supplement during the month after I ovulated. I had listened to a teleseminar a year prior (thank goodness) about progesterone and estrogen imbalance. A very prominent doctor in the field, Dr. John Lee, devoted his life to working on helping people solve their health issues with horomone imbalance. Thank goodness I listened to it because I remembered them talking about progesterone cream. This is not a suppository, it is a cream (like hand cream) that you rub on your body in certain amounts every day to correlate with your monthly cycle. Just to let you know though, most of the time progesterone cream is used for women going through menopause to help with their symptoms but Dr. Lee talks about how estrogen dominance effects all kinds of things in a woman's body, including fertility. So, I figured what the heck, I could afford that so I should give it a shot. I bought Dr. Lee's book and in it there was a short section about how to take the cream if you were having problems conceiving so I followed his guidelines, basically taking it from day 14 to day 27 (correlating with your body's natural progesterone levels). I did this every month for about 5-6 months and then found out I was pregnant! I couldn't believe it. That pregnancy was normal, progesterone level was normal throughout and I delivered a 7 pound baby girl (she is 3 1/2 years old now). My OB/GYN didn't think it would work when I told him I was going to try it but boy, did he after I got pregnant. Even asked me where I got the cream to tell his other patient's with the same problem. We decided to have another child last year and I took the cream again for another 5-6 months and got pregnant again. My progesterone level was again fine throughout and delivered a big baby boy this time, 9 pounds (he is 9 months now).

    Anyway, just wanted to share my story. Please talk to your doctor about this, maybe this would be right for you. Just to be advised though, this isn't a mainstream treatment for infertility so your OB/GYN may not think it will work. But, if your only problem is low progesterone, it may be worth a shot. It is very common because stress, health factors, environment they all effect your hormones and can cause an imbalance. If you have any other questions, please let me know! Good luck.

    Jennifer
  • Re: Low Progesterone
    I wanted to share my story in the hopes that it might make someone else rest easier or feel more positive about their situation.

    I have an 11 yr old daughter with whom I never had any problems getting pregnant and no problems thru the entire pregnancy and delivery.

    I found out 5 yrs later that I have PCOS. We tried for 7 yrs for a 2nd child and figured the PCOS was hindering our success. We elected to look into adoption instead of the costly route of fertility tratments (this was just a person choice we made after must thought). We ended up putting adoption on hold after 9/11 (we were looking into international adoption and traveling overseas seemed too dangerous at the time).

    4 months later I became pregnant! No drugs or fertility treatments of any kind. And again a successful pregnancy with no complications.

    1 yr later we wanted to try for baby #3 (and the last one we planned to have). We figured it took 8 yrs to have #2 so we better start early. As luck would have it I got pregnant only a couple of months later. However I ended up miscarrying at week 8 -- though I was not aware until after week 10. No bleed or spotting for 2 weeks after the baby died. I had a D&C.

    Since this was my first m/c my OBGYN said there was no need to test as it was perfectly normal and expected for a woman to have at least one m/c during their reproductive years.

    However, this did not satisfy me. I was worried about my thyroid because so many family members have thyroid diseas. I was surprised to learn that throid disease can play a role in pregnancy and can be a cuase of m/c. I was also shocked that my OBGYN does not test thyroid levels as a part of normal pregnancy tests. Anyway, I found out that I indeed had hypothyroidism. I was told that "could" have been the cause of my m/c.

    2 yrs later I find myself pregnant again. Hunger for knowledge caused me to research everything imaginable about pregnancy and early m/c. I happened upon an article about low progesterone. I asked my OBGYN to test this as it was not something she routinely tests! Again - shocked! Turns out my level at 6 wks of pregnancy was only 5.5. This was way too low! I asked to be put on progresterone supplements (she put me on 100mg 1x a day). I asked a week later to be retested - now at 9.7. I asked for the supplements to be increase. She did - to 100mg 2x per day. Since she did not feel that retesting was necessary she just said she would see me in a month.

    This did not satisfy me. I contacted a fertility specialist in my area. I know that they normally help women GET pregnant but they agreed to see me thru my first trimester. He diagnosed me with Luteal Phase Defieceny and had me continue my progresterone pills but also prescribed progesterone and estrogen via injections to be given daily until week 13.

    After testing my levels weekly the progesterone level eventually reached 80. - Great!

    At week 13 we stopped all pills and shots. Tested 3 days later and my progesterone level had dropped to 31. Now normally the placenta has taken over the job of producing progesterone at this stage but something was still not working with me. So, now I am just taking the pills but I am on 200mg 3x a day. I will be on these pills until week 30.

    I have had ultrasounds every two weeks and the baby is growing nicely and shows no signs of having any problems. And the placenta is also developed nicely.

    I am still optimisticly hopeful for a successful outcome and now that I am 17 weeks along I feel better and better about it every day.

    I rented a heart beat detector online (a rental) and can hear the baby's heartbeat anytime I want. I found it with no problems and it really sets my mind at ease.

    Good luck to all of you. Never give up on your quest and never stop learning and questioning. If I had sat back and not taken action I am sure I would have had another m/c!

    Jennifer
  • In reply to Gaby:

    Re: Low Progesterone
    I am so glad I found this web site. I actually just had my second miscarriage yesterday and pleaded with my Dr. to see me instead of sending me to the ER. So I went in to see the Dr and they ran a blood test even though she was pretty sure from my 1 month of keep track of my BBT that it was due to the short luteal phase. My Dr. called with with the results today and she is pretty sure the two early miscarriages were due to low progesterone. I plan to use the suppository since my Dr. has a personal reason for not liking the pills since she has a child with a peanut allergy. Although she said its not medically proven, she prefers to avoid the high amount of peanut oil in-utero. She explained to me the difference between and pill and the suppositiory and I also agreed with her and will try to use the suppository. I like your idea of using the pantyliner. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Now my Dr. would like me to go back for another blood test right before I ovulate before I use the suppository. I am assuming she will continue to monitor my progesterone levels closely via blood tests. It helps to hear your story and know that this is not a major issue in the grand scheme of life.
  • Low Progesterone
    Hi Ladies! I can certainly identify with most of you...I am 28 weeks pregnant (Second pregnancy-first one ended in miscarriage) and the questions regarding progesterone you are asking are SO important and often overlooked by physicians. Two things I wanted to point out based on my experience...if possible you really need to have progesterone levels tested prior to pregnancy. Someone mentioned that their level was only a 4...you can tell by your progesterone level around the time of ovulation whether you even ovulated or not. Some of you that are experiencing low levels may not even be ovulating so please ask your doctor to do a hormone study...of course this will require that you pay attention to and inform your doctor of your cycle and when you are ovulating.

    Also...there is no reason why you can't start progesterone or other follicle development therapy (low dose of clomid) while you are trying to concieve. Often times when low progesterone is diagnosed it is too late to bring the levels up to save the pregnancy...not always but often! When I was diagnosed with luteal phase defect (low post ovulation progesterone levels) and PCOS the Dr. started me on clomid at a low dose to improve the quality of the corpus luteum cyst (which produces progesterone post ovulation) so that in the event I did get pregnant the levels would be sufficient at conception to sustain the pregnancy until I knew of the pregnancy (some two weeks later). In the month I did conceive the day after a positive home pregnancy test my progesterone was 11.6 (just inside the normal range). Then immediately she started me on IM progesterone injections in the hip twice a week and monitored my levels bi-monthly and eventually just monthly. At one point my levels were still on the low side so she then started me on the oral progesterone (pills) to supplement. According to my Dr. this is just a quick dose and doesn't really build up or stay in your system and should be used as an additional safe guard but not the primary source of therapy.

    She contacted me within the past month regarding my progesterone levels and asked me to stop the injections since my levels were on the VERY high side of normal for the first time in my pregnancy. I just received a call from her today and at my current stage...28 weeks...my levels were high enough to stop all progesterone therapy...All indications at this point are for a healthy baby boy! Apparently by this time of pregnany most people's placenta is doing all the work and what your body was lacking in the beginning is no longer an issue.

    My heart goes out to all of you...and don't doubt your concerns regarding progesterone levels. As I said earlier...your Dr. may not listen or be concerned but you should be. If necessary find a Dr. that listens. I have since learned that had my Dr. not been informed and interested I would have continued to miscarry time after time...so I am grateful for all she has done for me and my husband. There is hope ladies...but you might take some time to educate yourselves about this issue before you continue trying to concieve. It may save you some heartache in the end.

    I am NO expert...just well educated about my own experience. I could go on and on but just know that I am willing to talk about it more if you are interested! Best of luck to you all!

    mandymccaw
    due date 6-27-07
    Baby Boy-Avery!
  • Re: Low Progesterone
    I had low progesterone level with my first pregnancy and took the suppositories until the end of my third trimester. I had my son at 37 weeks gestation. I had other complications but I don't think they were related to the low levels of progesterone, since this time with my second pregnancy I was fine with the progesterone levels but had the same pre term risk as with my first.
    The suppositories are not that bad, I wore a panty liner because you may leak some oily stuff that will stain your clothes but I don't recall any side effects.

    Hope this is helpful, best wishes and sorry for your loses.

    Gaby
  • Low Progesterone
    Hello,
    I just had my second miscarriage and was trying to do some research on low progresterone and came across this site. I seem to miscarry very early - this happened both times and my Dr. has recommended taking Prog. to increase my changes of carrying. I was wondering if anyone has taken this and have you done the supp. or the pill? Also, would love to hear some success stories!
    Thanks.
  • Re: Very Low Progesterone
    Hi sunshinebee

    With my first pregnancy my progesterone level was low, I don't even know how low, but I was put on progesteron suppositories until the end of my first trimester. I would ask your doctor if you could start taking progesterone to help your levels, I know that they are very helpful in preventing miscarriages. Check with your doctor and see what he/she thinks.

    Gaby
  • Very Low Progesterone
    Hi there, I am trying to get pregnant since I had my miscarriage. Had my MC end of June 2006 and till today, I am still trying. Earlier months, I have spotting in the middle of my monthly cycle. However, it stopped in December. Recently I saw my doctor, and he has been doing progesterone blood test. For last month, I had 7 and this month only 4 . How can I increase my progesterone level . Can I get pregnant with only 4 or 5 ?
    :frown:
  • low progesterone levels and also had twins
    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I also miscarried...twice. Then we had problems getting pregnant. We tried infertility medication through our regular OB (clomid) and two days before we went to our first infertility specialist appointment, we had a posititve home pregnancy test. The infertility specialist saw us for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Since I was about 4 weeks pregnant at my first infertility appointment, they performed bloodwork. My HCG levels were very high (more than double what they should have been) and they suspected a twin pregnancy. My progesterone levels were also around 7-8. I was prescribed progesterone cream, that you actually insert exaclty like monistat. I had to do that daily until my 14th week of pregnancy. We did find out that it was twins, and I did go into preterm labor at 28 weeks. Luckily our care was turned over to a high risk OB (peritanologist-- not sure of the spelling) but I was able to keep the girls in until our 34th week. My biggest suggestion is if it is twins, don't listen to your normal ob-- they all state they can handle a twin pregnancy. In your (and my situation) if you have had previous miscarriages and you are carrying twins, you are considered high risk. I couldn't believe the change in care (for the better) when the high risk doctors stepped in to care for me and my girls when we went into preterm labor at 28 weeks. I have also had previous discussions with other moms that carried twins, that wished they went to a high risk doctor-- unfortunately their stories didn't turn out like mine. My girls are almost 2-- and healthy.

    Best of luck to you... I hope you have an "uneventful" pregnancy!! (wink, wink) :)
    Keep us posted on your progress with the pregnancy. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Heather
  • Thank you so much!
    Charlene-
    Thank you so much! I feel much better because it seems like all of the miscarriage websites are naming low progesterone as a symptom of miscarriage, but I haven't had any pain or spotting, etc. My doctor didn't seem worried about it, so I guess I shouldn't have been. However, all of the message boards show that women have carried to term. It's nice to hear something positive. Even though this pregnancy isn't planned, we are so excited. I don't think I could handle another miscarriage. Hope your son is doing fine!
  • MasonsMom-

    Congratulations on your pregnancy. With my first pregnancy I had low progesterone levels too, (not sure how low)but I was given the suppositories, which I took until my 12th week of pregnancy. I was never told that I would not carry to term because of it though. I did go into preterm labor at 24 wks with my son, but it had nothing to do with the progesterone levels, I had previa, and ultimately a abruption.

    Good Luck
    Charlene
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