I truly believe that taking Progesterone saved my baby’s life. We are entering the third trimester of pregnancy and I have been on progesterone almost the entire pregnancy. This is our sixth pregnancy, and it’s only my second time to ever be on progesterone.
I’ve received a lot of questions about the progesterone support I’m on. How did I know I need progesterone, what doses am I taking, and how long in the pregnancy am I taking the progesterone? I’m going to share the answers to those questions, just keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, this is not intended to diagnose anyone, and this is my personal story. Everyone will have different results!
Please remember that I’m currently still pregnant, still taking progesterone, and I’m a normal hormonal pregnant mama. 🙂 I’m under the care of a doctor and midwife, and I’m very happy with the care I’m being given. I’ve had lots of suggestions thrown my way concerning what I should be doing (I can’t even begin to count the times that I have been told to be on the Young Living Progesterone Serum). Be gentle with your suggestions and comments
Why I Started Taking Progesterone
When my husband went back to college we knew that we wanted to naturally space our next baby until he was close to being done. It was a crazy, stressful time in our lives, and my pregnancies are not the easiest. When he was in his last year, I started really longing for another baby. Sean still didn’t think it was the best time, but we were more relaxed in our natural prevention. Time went ticking on, he eventually graduated college and still I was not pregnant. This was not normal, I had never had trouble getting pregnant with our five previous children.
I finally went and saw my MD who was treating me for my thyroid and adrenal problems. He is a true blessing, as he is an MD who used to be an OBGYN, but finally switched over to a regular MD practice with a natural emphasis.
He wanted me to get my progesterone levels checked, and after getting the results felt like they were on the low end. Now this is the important part…they were not out of range. But they were on the low end. Many doctors believe that if the range is from 5-20 and your blood work comes back at a 5, even though you might have all the symptoms you are just fine. The ranges are just that, variables that do not always hold true for every woman.
Don’t Trust the Lab Ranges!
In order to be diagnosed and treated with the best care possible, you need to have a doctor who thinks outside of lab ranges and looks at you as a person, considers your symptoms and what the optimum levels would be based on your age.
I started taking progesterone cream (I used the Oasis Serene Brand), and applied a generous ⅛ tsp. at night. Finally after three months of taking the cream I got a positive pregnancy test! I had been told that as soon as I received a positive pregnancy test that I needed to go and have my progesterone levels tested again, so the doctor would know if I needed to stay on the cream or not.
The results came back, and once again they were not out of range, but were low for what my doctor wanted. I was at a 15, and my midwife told me that a 9 was a very dangerous level to be. I wasn’t far away from that point. My doctor wanted me to start taking progesterone shots twice a week, a total of 4 shots.
It was not a fun first trimester, I could barely walk in the house after getting my first round of shots. The progesterone really zapped me of my energy, and the car drive home was spent with many hysterical tears being shed (another progesterone side effect!).
I had to keep reminding myself what the end goal was, a healthy, full term baby. I’m at 28 weeks (third trimester!) and feel very blessed that I have a healthy, active baby still growing inside of me! When my midwife heard the baby’s heartbeat at 12 weeks, she finally told me that she was actually surprised we were hearing a heartbeat. My HCG levels had also been extremely low, along with the lower progesterone levels. It just seemed a miracle to everyone involved that a healthy baby was growing!
Who You Can Trust
Through this journey I discovered that there is an expert in the field of progesterone levels in pregnancy. A doctor by the name of Thomas Hilgers has extensively studied optimum progesterone levels, the effects of supplementing with progesterone during pregnancy, and the best ways to do that.
My doctor wants my levels to be at the optimum levels that Dr. Hilgers suggests, so we have worked hard on keeping them at a higher level than what the normal lab range comes back at. I’ve recently been able to drop my dose of progesterone down to 200 milligrams each night, whereas I was taking 400 milligrams before. I will stay on that until I hit somewhere around 38 weeks, and taper off and get ready for a baby to be born!
Here are some websites that are helpful to read through.
Progesterone Support in Pregnancy – this shows the optimum progesterone levels that Dr. Hilgers wants a pregnant mama to be at.
A success story of fertility, miscarriage and low progesterone levels – This is written from a catholic perspective, which I am not, but it is really encouraging to read through this success story.
Dr. Hilgers Website
Fertility Care Center – some helpful links and resources on different issues regarding fertility and pregnancy.
Direct Labs – If you don’t have medical insurance and/or are dealing with a difficult doctor that won’t even test your progesterone levels, you can order them yourself! The results are emailed straight to you.