Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Progesterone Dilemma

As I was thinking about writing this post I realized that a lot of my fellow infertiles are now past this stage and have their own little one (in or out of the womb). It didn’t make me as depressed as it usually does but it did make me wonder if you all are tired of hearing about treatments and meds and all that. All that to say that I will try to add in some non-fertility material to mix it up some :)

After this post though..because right now I could use some input from those of you who have been through or are going through or know something about all the fertility treatment stuff.

I know I have already filled you all in on what we are doing right now but to recap (in case you missed it). I had the surgery to remove a cyst and some endometriosis and fluid. Since that could have been one of the main reasons for us not getting pregnant Dr. B wants us to try naturally for two months (along with the help of Metformin and Progesterone). Since I had gotten so used to be monitored and told every day what to do..well at first I felt a little lost. Actually I still feel a little lost and although it is nice not to have to give myself shots everyday, I miss knowing exactly what is going on (and that something is going on). I think my comfort zone is in the clinic and so this is a little out of my comfort area when it comes to baby making..although it is also a lot less clinical.

Okay so here is my dilemma. Since I haven’t really had normal cycles I don’t really know when or if I ovulate. Because of that the doctor told me to use the ovulation predictor kit. She also said that I should start taking the progesterone at about day 17 (for 10 days) incase I ovulate late (because taking it before ovulation can mess up the ovulation). Today is day 16 and according to my stupid ovulation predictor kit (I am getting so tired a POAS and only getting negative results) I still haven’t ovulated. My last cycle was about 44 days (it had been about 50+ before the surgery if I even had a period). So I am wondering if I should wait until day 22 or so to start taking the progesterone? If I haven’t ovulated then I wont get pregnant anyways so it shouldn’t harm anything to wait..should it? I don’t want to take the chance of taking it too soon and then messing up the whole ovulation thing. Dr. B said the first cycle after the surgery I might not ovulate so am I just waiting for nothing?

Boy do I miss getting the calls from the nurse and being in the know about what is going on!  In the back of my mind I know that if it is the month for us to get pregnant then it will happen..but that isn’t necessarily helping right now.

So if you have any advise or suggestions feel free to pass them along :) Right now I think I am really leaning to wait at least a couple days more (like to day 21 or 22 before starting the progesterone).


  1. I have PCOS- like I think you must if you're on Metformin- though I'm a thin PCOSer. I regularly take progesterone on Day 21 for 10 days. Taking it earlier is usually too early for me. I had no luck with OPKs because they don't work well for those with PCOS. It said right on the OPK directions that PCOS may not give an accurate result. I also take my temperatures in the morning to help determine if I ovulated. Usually the temps go up 2 days after ovulation. I also check my mucus daily. The last day of clear, stretchy mucus is usually my peak day. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  2. hmm, that's a tough situation girl. wish i had some good pointers, but all i can be is support at this point. :) sounds like you should wait a few more days, and not knowing when you are ovulating is hard - hope that gets easier. praying for you girl!

  3. I'm with the first commenter - also a "thin PCOSer"...or so they think. Either that or I have Hypothalamic Amenhorrea. We hadn't been able to tell for sure which before I got pregnant naturally. But I too found that taking by basal body temperature and checking cervical mucus was the most helpful to me. It got me so in tune with my body. OPKs didn't work for me. And even though my body would sometimes "fake me out" and produce fertile cervical fluid and then not ovulate (my temps never went up), I KNEW that if my temps went up and stayed up for 5 days consistently that I had ovulated. I sometimes had 120 day cycles, so taking my temps and charting drove me a little crazy sometimes...especially on the long cycles. But it was so rewarding when I DID ovulate because I had been able to predict it (though I was always cautious about saying it happened until after my temps went up). It's how we finally got pregnant!

    If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. You'll have to ignore the slightly feministic skew, but the info provided is amazing. You will understand your body and the way it functions so much better'll know your own body better than the doctor. And your chances for conceiving naturally will increase greatly. I will warn you though, charting and using what's called the Fertility Awareness Method takes some getting used to. And it takes a little bit to see your body's patterns. So two months may not be long enough to really get results from it. But it might be good to do even if you go back to the shots because you'll still be able to see if you ovulated.

    And last of all...don't stress. Remember that ultimately, God is in control. Not those OPKs. And don't stress too much over taking the right meds on exactly the right day. I found that when I stressed over that stuff, it never worked out right. It wasn't until I gave it over to the Lord and trusted Him with it completely that I finally got pregnant. Sorry this is the longest blog comment ever...praying for you! Feel free to email me! If you want to email me, let me know. I'll give you my email address :)

  4. 1. The month I got pregnant, I never got a positive on the OPKs. The only way I knew I'd ovulated, and therefore could start taking my progesterone cream, is because of my basal body temperature and mucus (like FAM mentioned in comment above.) Have you ever considered doing that, too? I am the 10th woman I know who NEVER got a positive on OPKs on one odd month and still got pregnant. That being said, perhaps I'd hold off another five days or so. Give it some time. If you are a late ovulater, then that would explain a lot.

    3. Ask you doc about your luteal phase. Is it too short? That's common for late ovulaters. It's also fixed with progesterone and vitamin B6. They will have to use FAM to help you figure this out, too.

    Email if you have any questions, hun. I have been where you are:) Praying hard for you.

    2. Honest to goodness, even after everything, the midwives told me my progesterone cream was not what "saved" my pregnancy. The research on progesterone is controversial at best. Still, I have friends who swear by it. Said it keeps them pregnant, if you know what I mean. But that being said, if you don't know that you've ovulated, I'm not sure you should take it.

  5. I've tried the OPKs too, and I never got a positive result - I did the BBT and mucous charting as well. Have you been doing that too? If you don't think you have ovulated, I would wait to take the progesterone, because if you take it too soon then you won't ovulate at all.

    Are they just having you take the progesterone to induce a period and keep your cycles a normal length? I assume you would be taking it through the first trimester if you got pregnant? Did your doctor say what to do if you don't ovulate? If you're taking it to induce a period, I'd be REALLY sure you haven't ovulated, because if you did somehow ovulate and you missed the LH surge, and the egg was fertilized, taking the progesterone to induce a period would just cause you to lose the baby without even knowing it. I did progesterone that one month because I hadn't had a period in forever, and my doc did bloodwork and an ultrasound before I took it to make sure I hadn't ovulated already, for just that reason.

    I hope you get it figured out soon!

  6. I wish I knew what to tell you! Hoping you find out what's best to do.

  7. I would start temping (and read that book) as has been suggested! Ideally, your temps and your OPK would line up to confirm each other that you have ovulated, and then you'd start the progesterone 3 days later. (I would definitely wait till after "confirmed" ovulation to start progesterone.) I didn't know that OPK's are hard to use by women with PCOS- my friend has that and uses a fertility monitor and gets peak readings just fine, albeit a little later than CD14 most times- but I don't know if regular OPK's are different from the monitor strips.

    Hang in there!

  8. I love your new page! Very cute! I'm thinking of you and hoping everything goes well these next couple of months. I'm glad to hear that you were working a job you enjoyed. It's always helpful to me when I feel like other parts of my life are going well. I'm sure you'll enjoy doing the spouses group as well. I can see you getting involved and loving that. Best wishes!!