July 24, 2009,
A.B. asks from Olathe, KS on July 23, 2009
Low progesterone...can I Still Get Pregnant?
Hey mamas. I'm freaking out a little and want to hear from anyone who knows anything about hormones. I have a 2 year old that was born 7 1/2 weeks premature. I also had a miscarriage (by surprise) about a year and a half later. Within the past 6 months, my periods have been really weird. Some months I would bleed for 3 weeks straight. I am incredibly tired, and probably most frustrating...my stupid skin looks like a teenager going through puberty. I've always had great skin, but now that I am 26 my skin is always breaking out. Go figure! 3 months ago I went to my doctor and he tested my hormone levels. He said I barely had hormones, but what I did have was testosterone driven. He said that I probably haven't been ovulating and instead just sluffing off the uterine lining explaining why I wasn't having a normal period. So he put me on prometrium, which is progesterone. He said to try this for 3 months and we'll see if it doesn't jump start my system. After the second month, I wasn't seeing any difference. I called my dr. and he upped the dosage. The first night I took the higher dosage, I had really weird side affects. I woke up feeling like I had severe restless leg syndrome in my whole body and I was incredibly dizzy. It really scared me. Come to find out, promentrium can cause issues with your nervous system. The dr. said to stick it out and to redo my blood work once I started my period to see if the levels had improved. I just did the bloodwork yesterday and the nurse just called me and said that my levels are still really low and that i'm not ovulating. They wanted me to come in next week and do somemore blood work to see if maybe I'm ovulating late; however, I'm out of town next week. But, don't you ovulate before your period? I was really encouraged because I am finally having what I thought to be a normal period. You don't ovulate after you bleed...right? Now I am freaking out because I did plan on getting pregnant again (eventually). We aren't ready now, but planned on trying in the next year or so. Is it still possible to get pregnant if you aren't ovulating? Should I throw my plans out the window and start trying to get pregnant now in case things get worse? My fear with that is having another preemie or worse yet a miscarriage or unhealthy baby. I will be absolutely heartbroken if I can't have another baby! We've always wanted to adopt, but I still wanted to be pregnant again! I could just really use some encouragement from anyone who has gone through similar experiences.
As a side note: I am not overweight. 5'5 and about 111 lbs. I looked as PCOS, but it seemed like typically people diagnosed with this tend to be overweight.
Thank you if you took time to read through this novel!! Sometimes just venting helps!
J.H. answers from St. Louis on July 24, 2009
Perhaps if you get your progesterone levels up you will be able to conceive and carry your baby to term. I do not have personal experience with this. However, I have a friend who had 6 miscarriages. She was going to a regular OB. She finally self diagnosed herself and had her dr. look into progesterone levels. The low levels were causing her to miscarry. When she was able to get her levels up she got pregnant carried this baby to term and gave birth to a healthy baby. My friend was 43 years old at the time. This was after trying to conceive for quite a few years prior.
S.V. answers from Kansas City on July 23, 2009
A few things, you can ovulate more than one time in a month, and...it usually occurs between days 14-16 (day 1 is the first day of your period). That's how that lady in the news (maybe 8-9 months back had twins, one black and one white (she ovulated twice during the month and had two different partners).
More importantly, hormones can be controlled via medication. Since you were able to conceive before (and yes, PCOS is correlated with weight, so loosing a few lbs can actually help!), I doubt it's PCOS. If your prog. is low--that can be boosted via meds--and yes, it can prevent you from getting pregnant/maintaining a pregnancy.
I wouldn't worry--just ask your doctor to refer you to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and have them evaluate your hormones and prescribe accordingly. JUST (from personal experience), avoid fertility meds...might end up with more than you bargained for.
Don't worry, things will be a-ok. Plus, if you put too much pressure on yourself, that can impact hormones... RELAX! My ob said some of the best fertility treatment involved a 6-pack o' beer and the backseat of a car...ha!
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M.J. answers from St. Louis on July 24, 2009
Yes as PP said you can have PCOS and still not be overweight. You also can have what seems to be a period and not ovulate. My husband and I have been trying for a baby for 7 years now. I have a period every 28-31 days and per blood tests I do not ovulate. If you want a child do not ignore your body and if one doctor cant seem to help then you need to move on to another. A RE could be your next option. Do you know if your doctor has checked your thyroid. This too can be a big impact on your hormones. Also insulin and prolactin play a big part in it too. Just a few more things for you to worry about.....sorry but trust me God does have a plan and it is in God's Time!
M.F. answers from Topeka on July 24, 2009
Though people with PCOS tend to be over-weight, there is also a skinny version, so it could be PCOS. PCOS has numerous symptoms of which some people can have just a few. So 2 women could both have PCOS but have completely different symptoms, it just comes down to hormones. Also, you always have a period 2 weeks after you ovulate (if not pregnant), but having a period doesn't necessarily mean you ovulated, does that make sense? Is your doctor an infertility specialist? If not, I would recommend seeing one. Try not to worry too much, it is amazing what modern medicine can accomplish (along with prayer, of course :)! Good luck!
R.N. answers from Kansas City on July 24, 2009
i am 5'5 also and weigh 134 i have psos and am now 20 weeks prego. have the drs. tested to see if you have any cysts in your overies? this is done by having a sonogram that is how they discovered that it was what i had after the bloodwork of course i had high testosterone and low progesterone the doc just prescribed metformen for me it shrinks the cysts and lowers the testosterone allowing the progesterone to climb back where it needs to be. Good luck hope all works out for you
J.L. answers from Kansas City on July 24, 2009
A., first off...I'm not some kind of herbal junkie but I had the same problems with not enough hormone and not ovulationg. I didn't want to go down the whole 'fertility drug' line so I did research and found some herbal pills called 'Vitex Angus Castus'. I got a bottle from a GNC store. I think it's like 120 pills for $9 or something way cheap. I took one a day for 3 months and they did another progesterone test which showed that I was ovulating and I ended up pregnant the following month. I would strongly suggest giving it a try or do some research on it. It did 'restart' my system, and I have been on track ever since. Best of luck to you.
T.N. answers from Kansas City on July 24, 2009
I agree with the other Mama's that you should find a specialist. I'd also add, from personal experience, that you'll want to find one willing to let you try natural remedies as well... like wild yam for progestins and/or soy for estrogen.
I know that my hormones were wacko for a year+ after I had my son. Even after I stopped nursing it took months to have a regular period, even on the mini-pill!
I hear commercials for Stark Pharmacy, right here in Shawnee Mission, all the time on the radio. They do a lot with hormone therapy, from custom blends and testing, to clinical trials and info seminars... you might check them out too.
And, hang in there. I'm sure that God has a plan for good in all this! (Rom. 8:28) And I'll say a little prayer for you, your marriage, and your family (current and future)!