Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ok, progesterone

So I've had this progesterone question swimming around in my head for the past week, and I've done some research. For those of you just tuning in, my progesterone level at 7dpo was 8.3.

First of all, since taking the test I have read the following:

"It is also worth noting that progesterone pulses, so the level varies throughout the day. Some doctors suggest testing first thing in the morning after fasting for the most accurate result."

My doctor did not tell me this nor ask me what time I took the test, which was after lunch. How important is this?? Have you heard and/or read about this? Should I retest in the morning?

Secondly, my dr. prescribed progesterone suppositories. I now have 30 sitting in my fridge.(I ripped off the part that says what they are just in case somebody finds them....). However, I have also read that low progesterone can be an issue with the whole cycle and that an ovulation stimulating drug is often more effective. Should I just try the progesterone I have for a month or two and then go from there?

Lastly, a friend of mine suggested I get my "free hormones" tested through a saliva test rather than a blood test. Here's some info:

What is the difference between saliva testing and serum (blood) testing?
A: Saliva tests measure "free" hormones (2-5% of the hormones in a person's body), which are the hormones that are bioavailable to stimulate receptor cells and carry out the tasks they are designed to perform. In contrast, serum testing generally measures the "total" hormones, which includes those hormones already bound to protein and unavailable for the cells to use.

Has anyone else heard of this or used it as a more accurate hormone measure?

*Disclaimer: I know I am throwing a ton of questions out there and I know that ultimately I need to talk to my doctor. However, I'm just looking for a little guidance about what I should talk to my doctor about. Thanks! :)


The Wife said...


I'm not really sure I can answer your questions but Becky over at http://anydaynowimwaiting.blogspot.com/ used a saliva microscope.

Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,

As I don't know much about progesterone I looked it up in Zita West's "Fertility and Conception" book.

For women with low progesterone she recommends progesterone therapy (such as a pessary). But also vitamin and minerals that include vitamins B6 and E, magnesium and evening primrose oil. Herbs such as Vitex agnus-castus, obtainable from a qualified herbalist can help to regulate progesterone production. Also reducing stress, not exercising excessively and increasing low body weight.

I hope that something from this book may help you! Let us know how it goes.

Find joy in every journey said...

My only experience is with the Creighton Model and that teaches that progesterone should be tested based on ovulation, specifically the 7th day after the peak day. Any time that day is good for testing. Throught the CrMS, you can get a complete hormonal series (almost every other day of the month) and have all your hormones (progesterone, estrodial, thyroid, FSH/LH, etc) tested during one cycle. It is a very complete and thorough way to find out if you have an ovulation dysfunction. For me, I did have some ovulation dysfunction (post peak estrodial and progesterone were low) but not before I was married. Then I found out that my DH gave me an infection and we have had it treated with antibiotics and I seem to be back to normal (at least what I was like before I got married). Here is more information about NaPro and CrMS and PMS: http://www.naprotechnology.com/pms.htm. If I am way overboard, please excuse me and ignore this comment, I just feel really passionately about all of this. :)

April said...

Hi Hillary,

I think that any time of the day 7dpo is okay. In general, I think that they want this to be >15. Mine was low when I was doing IUIs as well, and I went on the progesteron suppositories. They are really not that bad and can help raise the progesterone to help make the lining good for implantation. The low progesterone can also indicate a problem with ovulation...which is when the ovulation inductors may help out, too.

Every case is different, which is what makes this all suck so bad!

Anita said...

Hi Hillary,

Sorry I don't know enough to answer your questions. I tried Vitamin B for a few months to try and lengthen my luteal phase - I don't think it did much. I had similar questions about progesterone as yours but never discussed them with my Doctor since we jumped into IVF after finding out about DH.

I admire you for taking control of all this and educating yourself before you see the doctor. Information is power! :-)

That's great that you are also a bridesmaid soon! Have you got the dress picked out?

Mary said...

Sweetie, I wish I had an answer as well. I guess if I were you I would demand that they do the test again this month. My dr did it twice when mine came back at 11. If you demand it, they will do it. You need to know if it was a fluke or not.
If you have two months of low numbers I would start the suppositories. It will get your body in gear right along with Dh's. I would also plan on taking the clomid when he is all healed up...but that is a personal decison.

I think you are on your way to a great result:)