Update on Infertility

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!

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Awkward selfie to break up the text 😉

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.

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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!

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12 thoughts on “Update on Infertility

  1. First, testing sucks nut I am glad you are almost done. Secondly, you have gorgeous hair. Lastly, I have low progesterone I think due to pcos. In ever did clomid. I had several friends who did though and it made them go emotionally bat crazy! :/

  2. You know that I can relate to pretty much as of this! I did 2 cycles of clomid a few years back and we didn’t have success with it but everyone is different. I also have to have progesterone to sustain any pregnancy that we have. I am also getting ready to start acupuncture, well it will happen after my surgery on the 20th. I am always here if you need to talk! Hugs!

  3. Thanks, Jen! I have heart successful and unsuccessful stories about Clomid, so it will be interesting to see what happens. I’m not sure how much I like my doctor though…something just feels off. I’m eager to hear about your acupuncture! We have a lot to talk about (aside from fertility!) and I can’t wait to get together 🙂

  4. Ugh. My heart aches for you! I’m not sure if I want to have kids but I suspect if I do I may have problems conceiving given my irregular periods and hormonal imbalances (I had ZERO estrogen when I had my levels tested during marathon training.) It’s amazing how many healthy living bloggers struggle with this. From those I’ve read they were able to conceived after putting on some weight, primarily fat, and cutting back on cardio. I’ve done a lot of research on this topic in general (after I didn’t get my period for over a year) and most sources said the optimal body fat % for a woman trying to conceive was about 25 (and a BMI of 22-25.) Also, stress plays a huge part as you are already aware! I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and sending lots of fertile vibes your way!

    • I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted kids or not until I met my husband, so I understand where you are coming from! I remember reading about your hormone testing a few months back- it’s astounding how much blood tests can tell us about our health. I’ve read quite a few healthy lifestyle bloggers who had trouble conceiving, but many of them suffered from HA which is slightly different from me because I have regular periods (although they are about 35 days apart instead of 28) and I have gotten positive ovulation tests each month around days 19-21. After I started getting morning sickness during week 5 of my pregnancy last year, I cut out all cardio and haven’t introduced it back yet (I’ll walk my dog and have gone on a few jogs here and there, but that’s it). I’ve increased my fat intake (nut butters, hummus, nuts, avocado and eggs have become daily staples) and have put on a few pounds since then as well. I said I wanted to start running in the post again, but I was just fed up with being so sedentary that day with no results, haha. Have you continued to have your levels monitored or were you given any medicine for the estrogen levels?

  5. HMMM not sure why they won’t/wouldn’t give you progesterone…I had it both cycles we had treatments and continued until 10 weeks in…perhaps a 2nd or 3rd opinion? I SWEAR by acupuncture as I had it when we actually had success, other months didn’t use it. I know it is hard to hear but I QUIT…totally QUIT any cardio and just did yoga, walking, pilates…and I majorly upped the amount of healthy fats…just some tidbits from MY experience, not to say it will work or is the cure all. FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME! Prayers your way.

    • I’m wanting to get a second opinion, but need to figure out how to go about doing it and it not being a long process (you need referrals with the military insurance I’m on). I completely cut out cardio after I had severe morning (more like all day) sickness starting at week 5 of my pregnancy last July. After the miscarriage in September I ran a few times, but stopped as I didn’t want something as simple as cardio to have an effect on my cycles. I increased my fats and put on a few pounds, but things have leveled out over the past couple of months. My doctor doesn’t think exercise or food consumption has anything to do with it though because my cycles are regular (long, but regular) and I have gotten positive ovulation tests each month between days 19-21. She just doesn’t think my body is producing enough progesterone to ovulate or ovulate well, so that’s why she’s been so adamant on the stress. My first acupuncture appointment is this evening and I’m really hoping it goes well! March is our last month of trying for a few months, so I’m hoping for a few more answers at least! SO glad things worked out for you- it’s comforting to have others understand how the whole process feels!

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