There is help for women who are struggling with infertility and recurrent miscarriages due to low progesterone.
Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is prescribed to women suffering from infertility due to problems ovulating. Clomid works to induce ovulation and increase progesterone levels in women trying to conceive. It is usually taken on days 3-7 or days 5-9 of a monthly cycle depending upon doctor's orders. Pregnancy is usually achieved in the 3rd or 4th month of treatment.
Infertility – Possible Causes and Testing
If a women, desiring conception, fails to get pregnant after 12 months of TTC (trying to conceive) or conceives and miscarries more than once, infertility testing may be necessary. The test are simple. Blood is drawn routinely during a women's monthly cycle and a sonogram may be performed.
For many women suffering from infertility, the problem is low progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone necessary to maintain a pregnancy. In a normal female reproductive system, the body signals an increase in progesterone each month after releasing an egg. If the egg is not fertilized, the brain sends signals to the body to quit producing progesterone and a women's menstrual cycle will usually begin in a matter of days.
Although there are many causes and reasons for infertility, the most common is not ovulating. Without the release of an egg, progesterone levels fall and conception is impossible. Occasionally an egg will be released and fertilized, but if progesterone levels are too low, the body will not recognize the pregnancy and it will end as menstrual cycle or early miscarriage.
If infertility is diagnosed as a result of not ovulating and low progesterone.Clomid treatments may be an option. There are possible dangerous side effects of using Clomid. The dosage must be closely monitored by a physician. Also, if conception is not achieved within 6 months, treatments are usually discontinued. It is not recommended that anyone take Clomid for more than 6 months.
Doctors usually start their patients on the lowest dose 25mg or 50 mg. The patient takes the dosage once a day on days 3-7 or days 5-9 of their monthly cycle. The patient returns to the doctor for a blood test on or around day 21 to evaluate progesterone levels. Progesterone levels of 0-14 usually communicate that ovulation has not occurred. However, women have conceived with levels as low as 10. Normal progesterone levels around ovulation time are usually 15-20.
After the first month on Clomid, if progesterone levels have not risen to normal levels, the doctor may increase the dosage to 100mg. The following month, if that doesn't work, the dosage can go up to 150mg. It is not recommended that the dosage never exceed 150 mg.
For most individuals undergoing Clomid treatments, success is usually achieved with 100 mg of Clomid within the 3rd or 4th month of treatment. However, there are some individuals that just won't respond to Clomid. For those individuals, an infertility specialist is recommended and other avenues of conception are explored like IVF.
Clomid – Risk of Multiples and Side Effects
Whenever someone mentions fertility drugs, the conversation usually turns to the risk of multiples. Yes there is an increased possibility of conceiving twins or triplets with the high doses of Clomid. However, this only happens in about 10% of all cases. There are some individuals that won't conceive at all using Clomid. For a women wanting a child, the fear of multiples is not usually a factor. One baby or three babies are better than no babies at all.
Clomid may cause drowsiness and blurred vision during the 4 days it's taken each month. Symptoms usually disappear after the last dose is taken each month. For a few rare cases, Clomid may cause Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome. This causes the ovaries to enlarge and can cause abdominal pain and nausea. In a few extreme cases of OHSS, ovaries have ruptured. This is why it is so important that a physician closely monitor any person taking Clomid.
For most women suffering from infertility, Clomid is not a bad thing. The success rate is high and the risk are minimum. If conception is difficult, especially after a period of trying for 6-12 months, or after recurrent miscarriages, consult a OB/GYN for possibly infertility screening and testing. Clomid may be an option.
Last Friday, I got a phone call from the doctor. After three months, my Clomid treatments are working. I was beginning to give up. We've gone through so much this past year. We lost a baby in August 2009 and again in February 2010, both due to low progesterone.
I started Clomid treatments in early May with 25 mg of Clomid. My progesterone levels were only at an 11 on max days, some days it was as low as -1. It's rare, but unless those progesterone levels are 17 or higher, the body is probably not ovulating and conception will not occur.
At the end of May, we went up to 50 mg of Clomid. My progesterone only went up to a 12. Still not enough.
In Late June, we increased the dose to 100 mg. Last Friday, my test results came in ….. 18! Needless to say I was excited! It's working! Could I be pregnant? Maybe. Is it possible? Yes, it's possible. Is the wait hard? You bet. But, I'm OK. I know I'm getting well, and I know that if it is meant for me to conceive and carry another child to full term, I will.
May God get the Glory. Whatever he wants. I'll keep you posted.
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