26 answers

Low Progesterone During Pregnancy

I am 5 weeks along and I received a call from my obgyn office stating that my progesterone was a little low and they wanted me to take a hormone called prometruium. I asked what that meant and all she said was some women are a little low in that hormone just take the prescription. She also added that the prescription will say not to take if you are pregnant and just to ignore that. She quickly got off the phone. I decided to do my own research on the internet and it scared me. First a lot of things said if you have low progesterone you are probably losing the baby. Second the prometruium they want me to take is controversial. Has anyone had low progesterone and not taken it and the pregnancy turned out fine? If anyone has taken it were there any problems?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you for all the responses! It has really helped me to hear other stories like mine. My progesterone started at 14.6 and two days later 21. They said it was tested at two different labs so it could cause the variance. I am going in this morning for an ultrasound. I am praying all goes well. Thanks again! Went in for ultrasound and saw baby's heartbeat! Also, progesterone has gone up on it's own. Thanks so much for all of your support!
D.

Featured Answers

Hi,
I took prometrium for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy (once a day) and did not have any complications or side effects from it- had a healthy baby boy who is now 8 months old!!
K.

More Answers

The red flags that you see are certainly worth paying attention to. I took progesterone shots - I asked about the warnings, and all I was told that I could be more sick. That was it. Our daughter was born with SEVERE heart defects. She had two open heart surgeries when she was 14-15 months old, spending 10 weeks in PICU at the University of Michigan Children's Hospital. Many of those weeks we thought we'd lose her. She is now a vibrant 11 year old girl, but will always be on heart medications, and will need more surgeries the rest of her life to "replace parts".

Shortly after she was diagnosed a friend gave me a copy of the legal form she had to sign before taking the same progesterone shots. The warnings told her the risks to her baby: #1 cleft pallate; #2 heart defects (followed by 8 other). I was not told this at all.

I started doing research on it (and going by memory from quite a few years ago), the progesterone shots are a lot stronger and more dangerous than the pills or suppositories. The shots I just got once a week - which was a lot put into my body at one time. The pills I think were 1x a day, and the suppositories a couple of times a day. So these were not as potent, therefore needing them more often.

NOW, if you do not take progesterone, the risk is miscarrying. The reason for taking the shots for me was I had miscarried two times previously. The progesterone definitely did help me sustain the pregnancy. I had more children afterwards, and well before I became pregnant I began using natural progesterone creme. A book I'd highly recommend reading is "What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause" by Dr. Lee. I hate the title as it is more on a woman's cycle and a lot of it explains the need of progesterone.

If you are taking the pills or suppositories, the risk is a lot less than shots. Also, you have to "wean" off of it - not stop it suddenly, as that will make you miscarry as well. Generally it is stopped around 12 weeks - GRADUALLY!

I know some of this sounds scary, but I know I wish I had been informed, yet, despite my daughter's heart defects, I am very thankful for her. I have had 12 children (yes, twelve) and she is the only one with heart defects, so it is not a hereditary type thing.

L.

1 mom found this helpful

My low progesterone pregnancy that I had miscarried since they didn't know until too late. Take the Prometrium, it will be fine. I have 2 beautiful children since then that I used progesterone for. Both were no complication pregnancies and healthy births. You only have to take it the first trimester til pregnancy and placenta are fully established. Sometimes too much info is bad info.... If you don't want to do the prometrium as them if they will do the suppositories (very messy though) for you. That's what I had. The condition will not right itself and if you end up with too much your body will just pass it anyway.
Try not to worry about it, have a great/fun/healthy pregnancy!
C.

I don't know about the medication, but I do know that if your progesterone level is low, you will probably miscarry the pregnancy. Often when women have multiple miscarriages, it's because their progesterone level is too low. I would suggest talking to your physician and skip the secretary. The secretary doesn't normally know much about the meds anyway. I wouldn't wait very long, though.

I have the same problem-extremely low progestrone in early pregnancy. I have had two miscarriages and will now be required to take prometrium in order to keep a pregnancy. Next time we try, I will have to start taking ahead of time they have told me. From my experience, I would take the advice of the doctors! Always good to research.... make sure it's a reputable site. I tend to believe most of what I read on the internet which can be not so good. So I try to make sure now that it's a very reputable site before considering information I read.

~L.

My sister in law had low progesterone and lost her baby. What she did was go on a natural body balancing cream and it helped her stay pregnant. She lost 2 babies (has something to do with the lining in your uterus). She then went on this cream and got pregnant and delivered a darling little boy and she is still taking this. If you want more information on email me ____@____.com

I have not personally had to take prometruium, but I belong to a message board community where a few of the ladies have had to take it and all of them have had healthy babies. I do know a couple of ladies who have had early miscarriages because of low progesterone, but the good news is that it's a really easy thing to fix! :) (Both of my friends didn't know they had low progesterone until they got pregnant again, and both of them went on to have healthy pregnancies.)

If you are worried about the type of progesterone your Dr. prescribed, you should call and see if you can talk to someone about it. I'm sure that everything will be just fine and that you'll have a healthy baby in your arms in about 35 weeks! :)

Progestrone has given my friend 4 boys after a previous 3 losses which followed two healthy girls with no trouble during pregnancy. One risk of progestrone is a cleft lip, which can be corrected with surgery if needed, although the risk is low. She had no problems with the prometruium. In discussion, the thought was if the progestrone saved your baby, and you even ended up with a cleft lip, you still had the baby, and you knew you did everything you could to save the pregnancy. I also encourage you to listen to the doctor over the internet. I've had lots of problems myself, and the internet just caused a lot of un due stress. However, make the best decision for yourself, and good luck.

Hi!i know how you feel,its scary! i had 3 pregnancy.(all with low progestrone.) i was also put on the prometruim.I also had ultrasounds right away at 5 weeks. all my babies had heartbeats.but.. my first pregnancy i lost. but i know have a 3 1/2 an 21 month old.you have to have high levels of the hormone for the pregnancy to last. thats why i had no!! problem taking it. good luck to you!

Hi D.,
I had seven low progesterone pregnancies... I lost all of them. Progesterone levels are what thickens your wall and keeps you pregnant. Low levels lets your body think you are not pregnant and you have what is called a "spontaneous abortion". You should only have to take progesterone for a short period of time to help increase your levels. The risk period is between 5 & 8 weeks. Once you get through that and your levels increase you shouldn't have to take it through your whole pregnancy.
Good luck... E.

I am in the same boat as you. I am 5 weeks along, just got a call from obgyn that I have a little bit low progesterone. I researched and it scared me to death and I got all worried! I am going today to get my rx of prometrium. It is scary but I am going to keep my head up and no worries. I wish you best of luck. I did not have this problem with my 1st child but that was 6 years ago...just talk to your doctor and express all concerns.

Hi D.-

I would say take it! This is a medication that thickens the lining of your uterus making it EASIER for you to maintain a pregnancy. Long-story short, I had been on Provera to start a period for 1 month before I found out I was ACTUALLY PREGNANT! I was very worried (Being a nurse doesn't help because you have too much info, yet not enough!!) but my doctor told me about how they use Prometrium for people who have had multiple miscarriages to help them maintain their pregnancies early-on. The two drugs have the same ingredient in them and not to worry, per my doctor. Well I have a very healthy and vibrant almost 3 year old!!

Please don't read TOO MUCH into what you find on the internet. Unless you get it from a credible source, which most laypeople do not have access to on the internet(Those are specially paid for sites that healthcare workers have access to via the hospital/office they work in), you can get some pretty misleading or one-sided information on the internet. Just know that your doctor has your best interests at heart and will not stear you toward something that is contraindicated.

Also, I think I would talk to my MD or the office manager at the practice and let them know how the nurse handled it. She wasn't very professional and should have directed your questions to the MD. Sometimes the "phone nurse" is actually a medical assistant and not an actual RN, in which case, she has MUCH less knowledge about medications.

Just my two cents! Good luck and congrats on your new baby!!

D.. I had 2 low progesterone pregnanies and with both went on prometrium. Both were succussful and my children are now 4 and 1. They're healthy, beautiful, smart and completely normal. My pregnancies were both healthy also. Some women just have low progesterone. TAKE THE PILL !!! The first pregnancy I did the vaginal insert cream which was way pricey and the second I did the pill. I cannot encourage you enough to TAKE THE PILL.... low progesterone will cause you to have a miscarriage TAKE THE PILL! !!!!

HI D.--

Have you had an ultrasound? There was a period of about 2 1/2 years that I was having trouble keeping my babies and had lost 2, and the third time I was "pregnant", I was also put on Prometrium to raise my levels.. which it did, however when it came time for an ultrasound at about 12 weeks, it turned out I had a blighted Ovum, which is an empty sack that pretty much gives you all the symptoms of being pregnant , however the egg is empty! This is not meant to scare you or upset you, however I which I would have known earlier what the situation was instead of being on the drugs, going through tremendous morning sickness and yet again very hopeful of doing everything possible to have and keep my baby. The only way they were able to see this is through the ultrasound, and for me , it was the first time my progesterone was low. I am sure it can be low for several reasons however that was my experience of why it was, and going on the prometrium. The prometrium itself did what it was supposed to do, however there just wasn't a baby!
I wish you the best and pray this is not your situation!

D.,
You are absolutely correct to be suspicious. I do not have your answer, but you have a right to know EVERYTHING about what they want you to do.
Be persistent! and good luck.
J.

Hey there,

I had low progesterone with both children, had 2 MC's because of low prog. and was on prometrium for 13 weeks with both.....both kiddos (2 years and 8 months) are just fine! I would take it just to be safe! Happy and healthy 9 months!!!

Hi, I wouldn't worry about the progesterone being low. It is standard procedure to give women progesterone after they go through IVF, so it is obvious it doesn't hurt the baby. Also, I know many pregnancies that started with low progesterone and with the supplement, ended in a healthy baby. Good luck and congrats!
Jamielynne

D.,

If your Dr. tells you to take it I really think you should. We found out to late my levels were low and she tried to put me on it to help support the pregnancy but I lost the baby. As a mom you need to do anything to help your baby. There can be a few small side effects of taking it but a cleft lip is much better then not having a baby. I know a few women who were told the same as you and got on the meds right away and have kids now. It depends on how low your levels are. And how fast they are rising. Your Dr. will probably send you back to check your Quantitative levels again in the next few days. I just went through this the last month and unfortunately in a three week time period my levels went from 1300 to 3100 and they should have doubled ever 24-48 hours. Hang in there and try not to stress to much. Keep us posted.

Hi D.:

Yes, I took it for the first three months of my pregnancy. And I had healthy triplets!

My research showed that it is needed to keep the baby safe. Go to a medical site and research it - you may feel more comfortable.

M.

Hi D., congrats on your pregnancy! I would take it. The progesterone supports the fetus until the placenta takes over I think aroun 12 weeks. Low progest. can cause you to lose the baby, but it's not guarented. Last year I was pregnant and had very low progest. and I did miscarry, but three months later I was pregnant again, also low progest. but here I am 34 weeks pregnant:). Both times I took the prometrium. Without it I think I would have miscarried both times. The only side effect I had was extreme tiredness. Good Luck.
J.

Hi D.,

I have a healthy beautiful daughter, dyllan and she is 16 months old. My obgyn put me on Prometrium after I found out I was pregnant with her. I was about 5 or 6 weeks along. I would advise that you take the hormone. If your levels are low there is a reason that they want you to take it. My levels were low too and I took it until my 10th week of pregnancy (which they had advised)and everything turned out fine. The baby was healthy. I did have more morning sickness from taking it but I think it was well worth it. The internet is good at scaring people. I would listen to your doctor/nurse- he/she is the expert and wants to do what is best for you and your baby. I took it and I'm glad I did. I have a wonderful baby to show for it.

D.,
I had to take this with both of my pregnancies and with the first one, felt the same way you do. I did my own research and read about the possible birth defects and freaked out. My doctor basically told me that its a one in a million chance anything could be wrong if I took it but if I didn't take it, I would most likely lose my baby. That clenched it for me. They also told me that the birth defects happen when someone has too much of the hormone in their body and in my case (and it sounds in yours)I didn't have enough to begin with. I also had lots of blood tests to closely monitor my levels. I am happy to tell you that I had no issues with either baby and I took the supplement almost into my 13th or 14th week. Try to relax, its better for you and your baby:)

I've had low progesterone during both of my pregnancies. The first one I took a suppository and I was fine. The 2nd one they perscribed prometrium for. I also read this warning and was very concerned. The reason is that at these high doses, they haven't been tested on pregnant women or in other words, it's not FDA approved for use in pregnancy. The reason they give the Prometrium anyway is because it is very hard for the body to assimilate especially in pill form and it's mostly a placebo. This was also confirmed by my pharmacist. When I finally figured everything out, I was passed the point of needing progesterone supplementation anyway and didn't end up taking anymore. For whatever it's worth, inspite of my concerns, both my babies were born healthy and full term... in fact, the one where I had the least progesterone I went past 41 weeks! If I were you, I'd request suppositories if it helps your peace of mind. Otherwise, you will probably be okay inspite of the low progesterone. I think it's once you get to 10 or 14 weeks successfully, you're in the clear and don't need to take anything more but you can confirm this date/length with your doctor. Blessings with your bundle of joy to come and may you have a healthy, safe pregnancy. HTH

Hi,
I took prometrium for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy (once a day) and did not have any complications or side effects from it- had a healthy baby boy who is now 8 months old!!
K.

I had the exact same thing happen with my second baby (third pregnancy right after miscarriage). I was scared too, but I took the meds and it all worked out fine! The meds made me extremely naucious, tho. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor, not the nurses. That really eased my mind.

I was diagnosed with low progesterone after going to the emergency room with bleeding at about 3 weeks along. They immediately put me on the prometruium. This is what saved my pregnancy. If your dr. is recommending that you take it, you should! My understanding is that you cannot have too much progesterone when you're pregnant. You need this hormone until your placenta can take over. We also went through several failed IUI and IVF procedures and this is the same hormone the fertility dr.'s give to every single patient in an attempt to get a successful pregnancy. My advise is to definitely take the drug and do it faithfully until you're at least 3 months along. I have a miracle baby conceived naturally at age 39 here today to prove it works.

Hi D.,

I have low progesterone issues as well, called Luteal Phase Defect, people like us need to be supplemented with progesterone suppositories or cream, to keep the pregnancy going. You are right if you don't take the medicine you might lose the baby. However, you could ask your doctor to call in a prescription to a compounding pharmacist to custom make you progesterone, you need to research where there is a compounding pharmacy around you, the progesterone they use is much safer than what you were given. This comes in a tube and you insert if vaginally twice a day, and you have to lay down for 20 minutes. The other thing is my husband and I have been going to Belgium for IVF and we conceived and now have a 16 month old baby boy, Nicolaas, I received progesterone little capsules, they are really cool, and you just insert them three times a day. No problem. In fact, a study said that babies exposed to high levels of progesterone during the early parts of pregnancy seem to have easy going nature. If you live in the detroit area, I can give a name of a compounding pharmacy. Let me know, the capsules from Belgium you may be able to buy over in Canada are safe and they are called Utrogestan. Good Luck. C.

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