I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the start of our infertility testing. This past month has been filled with many trips to the doctor and hospital- blood work for Tyler, 5 labs for me, a semen analysis, and an HSG- fun stuff. This is just the beginning, but I’m happy to say that we have at least some answers at this point.
Tyler’s lab and analysis came back great so that was a relief! My HSG showed that my tubes were not blocked at all- awesome! However, my lab results were less that ideal… I’m not going to get all scientific, but many women aren’t actually aware of the process of conceiving- it’s so much more complex than doing the deed at the right time of the month. SO many things need to align up for it to happen and be successful for the full nine months. I went to get a blood draw on cycle day 22 (it’s typically done on day 21, but that fell on a weekend) and my progesterone was at .93. Most women already ovulate after 22 days into their cycle, but since mine lasts longer (around 35 days), it wasn’t a huge deal that my levels were still low as I could ovulate later. I went in again on cycle day 28, and my levels were at 2.23- not good at all. Levels should be at least at 5 or 6, but anything over 10 is preferred. This shows that I had not ovulated or had a bad ovulation (you need an adequate amount of progesterone to ovulate), yet my ovulation tests at home were giving me positive results so I have been thinking the last five months that I have been. That I don’t really understand. However, I did have a suspicion that I wasn’t or something has been off. Progesterone is also needed to sustain pregnancy in the first trimester. Without it or with low levels, miscarriage is a likely result. I know there are women out there who have gone though numerous miscarriages, and my heart aches for them. If you are one of these women, I’m giving you a huge, virtual hug right now!
There are so many reasons why progesterone can be low- stress is a huge factor as it is when dealing with any type of hormone. I’m not going to try and pinpoint why my levels are the way they are. I agonized over that for a few hours after I found out and what did it do? Absolutely nothing but leave me with puffy eyes from crying and more stressed out. It is what it is. I know I eat healthy, and although I have cut back on cardio over the past few months, I lead a healthy life. Since finding this out, I will start running again but keep it moderate. It was a huge stress reliever for me before which is needed more than ever right now.
The doctor advised me to try and keep my stress at a minimum. This sounds easy, but I’m naturally an anxious person so some days it’s more difficult than others. This and finding a job a decent job creep into my mind numerous times throughout the day, but I’ve always been like this and typically I don’t even realize I’m stressed. Does that make sense? Others have to point it out. All of the pregnancy and birth announcements that have occurred since the miscarriage didn’t help- it made my baby fever sky-rocket. Anyways, my doc suggested acupuncture a few months ago and I brushed it off, but after this last appointment and bringing it to my attention again about how it can help stress levels and fertility, I discussed it with Tyler and I’m going to give it a go. Aside from the bank (this shit is not cheap!), what could it hurt? I have my first appointment on Monday and I’m looking forward to it. If anything, I’m hoping that my body learns how to relax better!
I will continue getting blood work done throughout my next cycle to monitor my hormone levels. The doctor prescribed me Clomid to try and boost ovulation, so we shall see. I won’t lie- I’m scared and nervous. So many people told me that you’re more fertile after a miscarriage or D & C, but it’s evident now that is not always the case. I’m relieved that Tyler is okay and that we have some answers; however, I feel so bad that something is wrong. I guess it not only makes me feel like less of a woman, but like I can’t do my job. We’re ready to be parents, and I can’t wait to see him as a father. Another thing that irks me is that my doctor said that she will not prescribe me a progesterone suppository (or pill, whatever it is) if we do happen to conceive on Clomid. I don’t want my progesterone levels to decrease, thus resulting in another miscarriage, if I do get pregnant again. I’m putting that worry aside though and will cross that bridge when and if it comes.
NIE is coming up, so I know this will be a slow process. In the meantime, we will see how my body reacts to the Clomid and I’m going to continue seeking jobs and try to relax. I know it could always be worse and the best things in life don’t always come easily. Months of monitoring my cycle has become absolutely exhausting and I’m ready to take a breath and try to be at peace with just letting things be.
Have you or someone you know ever had very low progesterone?
Were you or someone you know ever prescribed to Clomid? What were the results?
Any advice, insight, or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated!