Using Progesterone When Trying to Conceive: Facts You Need to Know

So many of you out there are like myself. You love being Momma.

There's nothing like feeling a baby's first kicks within the womb, (and of course the “conceiving” with your husband is nice too!).

But I love the whole experience! Time with my husband. Conceiving. First heartbeats. First kicks. The flood of joy when the baby is delivered! And holding that new baby. Watching them grow, change, learn and live! It's the best job in the world!

When I first started my personal blog, now called Faith Journey, it was named Called To Be Momma. Even on those days that seem so long, I realize how blessed I was to have four beautiful healthy children. Thank you Lord for the blessing of my children.

Last summer, I learned a hard lesson. When it comes to my health and monthly cycles, I'm usually consistent. Every 28 days, that visitor knocks on my door.

Back in the Spring of 2009, this family had some big changes. We moved into our new home, and at the same time there were some extended family issues that combined with all that was going on with the move and settling in, made life extremely stressful for me.

I should have given it all to God, laid it all at His feet and walked away. I didn't do that. I let it get to me……and my health suffered. In May, my cycle was only 26 days. In June, 25 days.

I wanted more children. I wasn't ready for this peri-menopause, pre-menopause. I'm not ready to shut that door.

So, I did what probably most of you do too, I began looking for answers and way to fix things. I made an appointment with my OB/GYN, but I couldn't get in for almost two months. This was June and I couldn't get in to see my doctor until July 24. I struggle with patience. No! I want it fixed now!

So I turned to ever faithful Internet and forums and groups for answers. I bought vitamins and started taking:

  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • B-Complex
  • Folic Acid
  • Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc
  • Iron
I also read about Vitex/Chasteberry, a supplement to help improve fertility. I was taking it too on days 1-14, and then to to top it all off, I read about using natural progesterone cream on days after ovulation to extend the fertile period. So, I was doing that too. I'd stop the Vitex on day 14 and start using the cream on all my pressure points day 14-21, but I would stop using the cream on day 21 to wait and see if a cycle would come or to see if I was pregnant. I was determined to get back to normal 28 day cycles and get pregnant again!

What joy I experienced July 10, 2009 when my pregnancy test read postive! Yea!! Thank you God! No. 5! Oh my goodness!!! I was elated! It worked! I was healed! I was pregnant and all was well!

I continued to take the vitamins but no longer used the Vitex or progesterone cream. I didn't need it anymore. I was pregnant.

On Saturday night, August 8, 2009, I began spotting. I had never experienced this before, but I knew what it was. I was 8 weeks pregnant. Maybe I had just over done it that day. Maybe if I slow down and rest…

 
After church Sunday, things began to get worse. I called the doctor. They told me to go to the ER. I spent the afternoon in the ER. They examined me, took blood, ran sonograms.

The sonogram showed a sac at 5 weeks, not 8 weeks, no heartbeat. Monday night, God allowed everything to happen naturally. Tuesday, as I began sharing with friends on my groups and forums, some of you knew what I did not…

If you use progesterone to help regulate your cycles and you become pregnant, you must CONTINUE using progesterone until week 14 of your pregnancy. At that point, the body should begin making the progesterone on its own. I DIDN'T KNOW! I DIDN'T KNOW! This was my fault.

The grief, at first was overwhelming. If I had just waited for God or maybe the doctor and God working together. I should have never taken the Vitex or used the cream. I had no business trying to do this on my own!

Some of the facts I've learned:

Progesterone is the hormone that helps build, nurture and establish the Uterine wall for implantation of an egg. Each month, after ovulation, your body slows the production of progesterone. If you are pregnant, normally the levels will stay a little higher and begin increasing. If you are not pregnant, the levels continue dropping until a monthly cycle occurs.

If you are using progesterone creams or supplements and abruptly stop, your body receives a signal that it's time for a monthly cycle, pregnant or not, your body registers that progesterone production has stopped, and it's time for a cycle.

This is also what happens with birth control pills. Days 1-20 of birth control pills contain a level of progesterone, but days 21-28, when you take the placebo or no pill at all, the body is signaled that it's time for a cycle. YOU CAN GET PREGNANT ON THE BIRTH CONTROL PILL!

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar talk about this in their book, ” Twenty and Counting.” After they had Joshua, they decided to wait awhile before having more children. She conceived while taking the pill and had a miscarriage. they too, were informed the truth about the effects of progesterone. You can get pregnant on the pill, but even if you get pregnant, as soon as those progesterone levels drop below a certain level, you are going to have a cycle, pregnant or not.

They grieved!! I grieved!! Lord, we are so sorry. We should have left it all in your hands.

 
But there's more. I got pregnant again using progesterone cream in December 2009. This time my doctor prescribed Prometrium, a progesterone supplement to help prevent a miscarriage. We had a very healthy baby this time. It had a strong heartbeat and would run from the doppler. At 10 weeks gestation, the doctor told me it was safe to come off the Prometrium. It wasn't. We tragically lost another baby, February 13, 2010 at 12 weeks.

I went through a dark time. Why God why? What do you want from me? There's been quite a few changes for me over the last 4 months. I spent a lot of time walking and asking God what he wanted. I didn't have anybody else to talk to. Nobody understood why a mother of 4 wanted more children, but God does. This mother of 4, me, I am and always will be Called To Be Momma. That's me, Momma, and I love my job. I'm proud of it. I embrace it. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. One way or another, I'm always going to be Momma, taking care of others.

OK, so in the last 6 months, I changed doctors, God has brought a wonderful new doctor into my life who has helped me sort through things. She listened. She ran all the tests and she did finally diagnosed the problem, extremely low progesterone. Maybe it's God telling me no more, or maybe it's just something that needs to be corrected. I don't know, we wait and see. I'm on Clomid Treatments right now and that might help. I'd like to have more children, if it is God's will.

I started 25mg of Clomid in May, Progesterone rose from 11 in April to 12 in May, still not enough. I'm currently on 100mg of Clomid and this past month, my progesterone levels were a normal 18. There is hope. Clomid treatments work like this. Each month, you are given 5 tablets to take days 5-10 of your cycle.

 
You know what to do Days 10-21. On Day 21 the lab does Progesterone test and you wait a week to see if you're pregnant.
 
If that Progesterone test at 3 weeks shows too low of a level of Progesterone, next month you go to a higher dose and each month the process repeats itself up to 150mg of Clomid.
 
If at 150mg, I'm not pregnant and the progesterone levels are not rising……. well, I'll have to face the facts.
 
There are other things I could try, but you know…… I do realize I've been blessed with 4 beautiful children. My husband and I have been through the fires of birth control or no birth control, quiverfull or not, vasectomy and reversal. God knows what we want and what we need.
I've learned this over the years through all the trials.
God loves me. He knows my heart's desires. I still Trust in Him. If it's meant to be, it will beand if not, well, life is still good, I have my beautiful Lisa, Ariel, Amelia and Michael.
 
I'm only 38 and God still has so much more planned for me. It's all going to be OK. Feel free to comment.
 
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Roman 8:28 (NIV)
In His love.
 

12 Comments

  1. pentecostalmomof3 said:

    Amy, Thank you for this article! I’m so sorry for your losses. I have had 2 losses since Sept. and I’m switching doctors due to my last ob telling me that non-viable pregnancies cause low progesterone, low progesterone does not cause miscarriages. I had an HCG of 46,000 at 6 weeks, we saw a heartbeat, then 4 days later the baby died. My ob never even checked my progesterone level even after requesting it. This was written in August. Have you been blessed with another baby? I will definitely pray for you. I am 33. We have 3 healthy children, and long for 1 more. Lisa from IL Mom to 3, Alissa, 10, Abbi, 8.5, Tristan, 17 months and 3 Angels 12-02(7 weeks), 9-10(5 weeks), missed miscarriage 12-13-10(passed on 1-19-11, 12 weeks 3 days)

    February 25, 2011
    Reply
  2. said:

    I just came across this after having a miscarriage in August of this year and being so sad over suffering fir almost 4 years with infertility and then finally to become pregnant and then miscarry was so heartbreaking. I love love being a mom and that part when you said no one understood why a mom of 4 wanted more. Those words hit home for me. I am a mom of 6 and my heart knows what it wants and I am now turning 43 and running out of time. Infertility is such a hard and lonely journey.

    December 18, 2015
    Reply
  3. Taylor Bearden said:

    This article was truly inspiring! I’m only 23 years old and I too have been diagnosed with extremely low progesterone. I e been trying to conceive on and off for almost 4 years now and zero luck. No confirmed pregnancies, just monthly disappointment. My ob/GYN put me on 40mg of progesterone cream that I use day 14-25 of my cycle and I’ve been on it for 6 months now, still no pregnancy. I’m beginning to loose hope. Any advice would be much appreciated. Please and thank you.

    January 18, 2016
    Reply
    • Krista said:

      Completely understand.. πŸ™ I have been attempting pregnancy since I was 24, and I am 29 now. No luck.. As much as I feel horrible for those who cant conceive once having children, they should feel blessed to at least have one. They have no idea how painful it is to not even have the love from one child. I am re-broken every month when I see the negative results. I pray God gives you a tiny little love. As women, at least I believe, one of the many reasons we are put here is to carry and raise beautiful children. I am praying for you …

      May 3, 2016
      Reply
  4. said:

    I am 53-years old with four children, ranging in ages from 34 to five years old! It is NEVER too late! God can do miracles…I see it every day in my 5-year old daughter’s eyes! People who hear my story always ask me if I am going to have anymore babies…I always answer, “God willing.”

    February 22, 2016
    Reply
    • Shelley said:

      I am 44 and I’ve had 4 miscarrages. I yearn to have another child. I’ve prayed and prayed and sometimes feel so devastated. It gives me hope that there are others that understand or have lived through the same experiences. Pray for me..I want to conceive and deliver a healthy baby to add to my two boys.

      November 13, 2016
      Reply
  5. Elizabeth Freeman said:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I too have a mother’s heart to have more children. We have 6 amazing miracles, but last year I miss carried as well. I feel God has told me I’m too have one more cold, but the waiting is challenging. I also find it challenging to surrender it to Him. Thank you again for sharing!

    March 12, 2016
    Reply
  6. Amanda said:

    My name is Amanda im 27 have 2beautiful daughter’s Shaniah 6and Brooklyn 4 my n my fiance have been trying for months.one pregnancy that I lost at 7 weeks . We saw a heart beat and I passed it the next day . I had bleeding for weeks prior . He said everything was ok . I begged god for a heartbeat n he showed us one but then yook our little miracle on 4/16/16. I was so hurt .I still cry but were still trying .ive put all faith and trust in god .
    β€œAnd we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Roman 8:28 (NIV)
    In His love.
    I am praying for any and every one that has a rainbow baby . God knows best in all situations.

    June 5, 2016
    Reply
  7. Perla said:

    My name is Perla and I am 26 yrs old. Me and my husband have been trying to conceive since I was 22 yrs old. We finally got pregnant earlier this year in February and didn’t even know it till early March. Once I found out I immediately called my obgyn and schedule my first appointment which was 1 week later. Though before I even got to go to my first appointment I started having cramps and spotting. So I went to the emergency room and got to see my baby when they did an ultrasound and the happiness I had was incredible. I fell in love. But sadly I was told I had a threatened miscarriage and later I had miscarried. Still trying though. It’s all in gods hands.

    August 17, 2016
    Reply
  8. Abim said:

    that was a beautiful ending. thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us here on the internet trying to conceive and dealing with that ACHE of a negative pregnancy test. trying to figure out what is wrong and or the why’s. i loved the scripture you placed with it. it is among one of my favorites that i have been constantly reminding myself of lately as well as john 14:14 and 1peter 5:7. i will continue to lift us all. just remember it is He that has the final say so in all things. it is written where we should lean for understanding. abundant blessings to all and I do thank you again…….Abim

    September 4, 2016
    Reply
  9. nicole alex said:

    I was married at 32 and immediately tried to get pregnant. When I was unable to conceive I had blood tests for fertility and was told that I had an FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) of 54 and would not be able to have children. Even though the doctors knew that I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis since age 25, no one bothered to check my thyroid levels. my TSH was measured at .001. My Synthroid dosage was lowered. a friend advise me to contact a spiritualist who help with fertility with her medicine, i collected her contact an explain my situation to her she prepared for me a herbal medicine which i took as describe I by her. became pregnant very quickly, I had a successful pregnancy. I have my baby august 2014. to get pregnant at age 35 with my 2nd child in september 2016, thank you mama.

    February 13, 2017
    Reply
  10. Lyndsy said:

    Thank you Amy. I had a belighted ovum miscarriage this last December after trying for 6 months to conceive. With my daughter it only took 1 month and I had a complete healthy pregnancy with her. My husband and I have been trying now for about 2+ months it seems like my period is coming sooner every month also. I’m in the same boat I was blessed with a beautiful daughter but pray everyday for more children. I have an appointment on Friday to have some tests done to see if I have low progesterone levels and if I need something more than prenatal vitamins. Fingers crossed that at 31 it’s not to late for me to have more babies. I know that sounds weird but my mother and grandma both started menopause early.

    February 20, 2017
    Reply

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