How Taking Progesterone Saved My Baby's Life!

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!

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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

A maternity maxi dress from Zulily, and a gap shirt and shoes from ThredUP! I love finding good deals for maternity clothes online!

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 what your doctor says about your progesterone levels!

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 â…› 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!

Helpful Links

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.

19 Comments on How Taking Progesterone Saved My Baby’s Life!

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I read with interest as I have had 2 miscarriages within a year (I’ve had 4 healthy babies). I switched to a more natural doctor and she said if I get pregnant again she will test my progesterone and thyroid levels right away, and see if I need any extra support in those areas. So thankful for you that your little one is growing and healthy!

  2. Dr. Hilgers is AWESOME! I started going to him when I was 19 because of horrible cramps & heavy bleeding. By the time I got married I also had fibroids, but with the help of Dr. Hilgers & his medical care through those years previous, we were able to have 2 children…both carried to term because I was on progesterone I am sure! Fertility Care & NaPro Technology rock :0) Thank you to Dr. Hilgers & all the fine docs who work with him!

  3. After two miscarriages in 2012, I had a healthy full-term baby in 2013, and I truly believe it was the natural progesterone cream that made all the difference. I’m going to take a look at Dr. Hilgers’ website. Thanks!

  4. I know of another natural, older doctor who highly recommends using progesterone cream during the first trimester or until movement is felt. I’ve also heard that low zinc can be behind low progesterone and wondered if you’ve ever had your zinc tested [since minerals are the foundation of hormones]. Also, can you tell me what you are doing to support your adrenals during pregnancy? Thank you and take care!

  5. I needed progesterone with my first son and we have always use the Creighton Model method of NFP which uses NaPro technology. We are so blessed by the scientific discoveries about women’s health- I’m so glad you have been blessed as well!

  6. I can relate to your story. After multiple miscarriages, it appeared that I was about to miscarry my fourth pregnancy. My doctor put me on a heavy dose of progesterone, and although it made me feel terrible, my daughter survived and is now a healthy six year old! I believe the progesterone made the difference, and it was definitely worth all of the discomfort. Praying for you and your little one as you finish up this pregnancy!

  7. Timely blog to read. I’ve been taking NPC the second half of my cycle to help with borderline low progesterone. Were you only taking it the second half of cycle as well, or daily all cycle? Thank you!

  8. This is my 3rd pregnancy taking progesterone. This is my first Dr. to continuously test for levels. I hope my baby doesn’t die. My last pregnancy I lost two babies. My Dr. prescribed me a very low dose that did nothing. This pregnancy I was a level 16 at 8 weeks at 10 I was a level 118. I am 15 weeks and last test was a level 16. At the beginning of the month I was given a different brand and obviously it is not working. I got the old brand today and pray it will restore my levels. I blame my deficiency on the use of depo for a year in my late 20’s. It could be age but I never had any problems before the depo and actually had enough physical symptoms after the depo that I went to an endocrinologist after it. My Dr. is one keeping me on the progesterone long term and tomorrow I am going to call his office to see if they can give me a shot just to boost it back up considering what I was on was doing zilch. Even if I were to misery my levels should never be at a 16 taking 400mg daily. It’s unfortunate that so many Dr.s don’t bother with testing and I hope more studies are done in the future.

  9. So nice to read this! I have a miracle baby of my own :). I had a miscarriage & two months later was pregnant. My OBGYN had me come in right away for blood tests because of the previous miscarriage. My HCG levels were high, but my progesterone was only a 7! Most doctors would say this was not a viable pregnancy and would’ve sent me out the door. However, my Doctor had be take progesterone until 18 weeks. I now have a 1-year-old little boy 🙂

  10. Me too! It took 3 miscarriages and a change in doctors to go on progesterone and have my second child. She is three and beautiful!
    Congratulations on your blessing!!!

  11. Thank you for sharing. I only wish I had found this article a few weeks earlier. I was 6 weeks, on progesterone support (IVF pregnancy) and after a blood test my HCG had only risen from 2500 to 3400 and should have doubled. The nurse told me I would miscarry and to immediately cease taking my progesterone. My next blood test showed my Hcg had doubled, so I booked in for an early scan at 6w 5d, which had me at 5w5d. My Hcg doubled again, 2nd scan at 8w measured 6w3d but no heartbeat. 8 days later I had my last scan today. Now growth still no heartbeat and all my hormones dropped. I can’t help wondering g that if the nurse hadn’t been so quick to stop my progesterone support, if things would have kept on growing??? I searched the web for progesterone and found this article…

  12. Thanks for sharing! My dr just started me on progesterone shots at 12 weeks gestation given that my progesterone level came back a 14. Did you stay on shots your whole pregnancy? They’re awful. I’ve only had 1 but couldn’t walk for 2 days. Im hoping i can go back to just the oral.

    • No I begged and pleaded with my doctor and was able to switch over to pills after my first trimester. I stayed on the pills until the last few weeks of pregnancy. Don’t get off Progesterone just because you made it through the First Trimester! That is how some late miscarriages happen. :/

  13. I used progesterone with some of my pregnancies because I was staining and my levels were very low. By my last pregnancy my level was 8 by 6 weeks. I asked my doc if she can monitor it every few days and see if goes up on its own ( I hate the side affects of progesterone) she agreed and it did rise very slowly. I stained the first 3 months and didn’t end up taking progesterone. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at 40 plus weeks.

  14. FTM here. I was having spotting for several weeks during my early pregnancy. Went to the ER at 6 weeks, was able to see the baby, HCG levels were good, cervix was closed. Their response was “some people just spot during pregnancy.” They never tested for Progesterone! I was finally able to get in to see my OBGYN at 9 weeks. Had blood work done and my Progesterone level was 2.6! Which is considered not a viable pregnancy. They immediately put me on 200mg of progesterone supplements a night (which greatly helped with sleep)and within a week it was up to 23. Praise God! My concern right now as I enter the 2nd Trimester, is that I am being weaned off of the supplements and am nervous my levels are high enough and my placenta is prepared. Please say a prayer for me and my little one that we successfully and healthily make our way through this journey and that I will know if I need to push my doctor to continue them if need be.

  15. I fully believe that taking progesterone saved my babies life too! I have been fortunate enough to work with a doctor who trained with Dr. Hilgers. The day he thought I could be pregnant, he had me supplement my progesterone (I have a history of low progesterone due to PCOS). Tomorrow I will be 36 weeks and will be stopping my progesterone. It’s crazy how uninformed a typical OBGYN is in regards to this topic. I’m glad that you you were able to find success!

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