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Fort St John, BC, Canada
My husband, David, and I had been trying to have a baby since November of 2007. After 'letting things happen', we got the amazing news that we were pregnant in June of 2008. Sadly, that pregnancy ended at 9 weeks with a natural miscarriage. After two more chemical pregnancies, we turned to fertility treatments in 2009. That decision was a disaster, with lousy medical care and poor monitoring. In December of 2009, we made the huge decision to move onto IVF. Things fell into place like magic and we began treatment on January 15, 2010. After a blighted ovum in March, we did a successful FET in June, only to endure another blighted ovum in July. We kept up and underwent another IVF in September/October of 2010 with the arrival of our son, Brogan in July of 2011! After our lovely success (finally) we decided to undertake yet another IVF treatment and hope for a sibling for our little red headed boy. Well... so far it's worked. Our story continues below!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Q&A About Progesterone and Clomid - Ask Away!

I am getting a bit of a reputation for my 'progesterone' rants, and trying to do at least something in my power to make sure that nobody who knows me loses another baby because of some dumb ass doctor, or because we are not educated properly when TTC.

So... I am trying to create a space here where I can answer some of your common, unusual, or downright interesting questions. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a medical expert and am NOT 100% sure of anything I am copying, or websites I am linking to. I am just a mom with two miscarriages and an idiot for a doctor. Ex-doctor. Ahem. I digress.

Q. Will breastfeeding affect my progesterone levels?

A. When you are breastfeeding, the milk producing hormone, prolactin, is high while the menstruating hormones estrogen and progesterone are low. The more exclusively you breastfeed (no other fluids, foods or bottles), the higher your prolactin level will be, which will delay menstruation.

If you are no longer breastfeeding exclusively, your hormone prolactin will begin to drop. Eventually your menstrual period will return under the influence of rising estrogen and progesterone levels.

Q. Can I Take Progesterone During or Before Ovulation?

A. I searched for a couple of hours, trying to find a credible website that had information on this question, but came up with nothing except a few forum references that I didn't think were really worth posting a link to. Everything I've read tells the reader to start progesterone on the third day after ovulation (I assume to confirm ovulation has occured). The few things that I did happen to read suggested heavily that progesterone before ovulation can actually prevent ovulation from happening, or at least seriously mess it up.

So the real question is, why would you want to start progesterone before you are ovulating? Since the main purpose is to aid the body in building a healthy uterine lining, something that occurs (or should) naturally after ovulation, then it only makes sense to introduce the hormone in tandem with the body's natural timing.

Q. Will taking the progesterone vaginally seep into the uterus and harm a developing embryo?

A. Well I spent some time on this question and although there was no SPECIFIC reference to the hormone 'seeping into' the uterus (through a not quite closed cervix), there have been thousands of records of post-progesterone-supplement births, with no harm to babies. Those who use synthetic progesterone have a teeny, slightly higher rate of cleft pallet, but this risk is miniscule compared to the baby not making it past 6 weeks in the womb.

Back to the question. Progesterone inserted vaginally (or any progesterone, for that matter) SHOULD be absorbed into the body (specifically the uterus) in order to help build a strong lining. This hormone *should* be raging through the female body after ovulation, and especially after fertilization... so I don't think that something our body produces naturally will likely be of any harm to a developing embryo.

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