Yesterday, I dropped by Diamond to get my fasting progesterone drawn before I went to work. Forgot my progesterone, had to go home and get it. Ended up being late, but Heidi fit me in anyways. Went to work hoping for the best.
I found out this morning that the level is only 6.8. They would like to see it above 15, as this is a medicated cycle. This is after being on 50mg of progesterone for 5 days (I started the evening after my IUI; the level was checked 6dpiui). Either the blood level isn't high enough because the progesterone is being absorbed "locally," or I'm just not responding to it. My dose has been doubled, but they won't even check the level with my beta this month. They'll only check it if I get pregnant, and then if it isn't high enough, they will stick me on progesterone in oil (PIO) shots. Otherwise, they want me to continue on the 100mg twice a day for my next cycle, then only switch to PIO if the 7dop level is still too low.
Honestly, I am very irritated right now. I'm feeling like a science experiment test subject, except this "study" is severely playing with my finances and more importantly, my heart. This could have been checked out last cycle, but they "didn't think it was necessary." And now, they want to play it conservatively, because the injections "are a pain."
I'm going back and forth with the "plan." I understand that I may indeed be getting enough progesterone, and it just isn't showing up. But either way, at least with PIO shots, the level can be checked more accurately. I probably wouldn't be thinking this way if the level had been borderline, but this is WAY under what should be seen with even an un-medicated cycle. My insurance will cover the injections. Yes, they are painful, and yes, I may be kicking myself in the arse after a few weeks of daily IM shots, but in the end, I want to be successful. I will do anything I have to to help ensure I get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have a healthy baby. If that means a lumpy sore rear end, so be it. I've got ice packs.
I'm even more determined to do it this way, since I am looking at an injectable cycle if this one is not successful. If I am going to spend the money on the extra U/S and E2 levels, then I should be able to have the post-IUI support that makes me the most comfortable right? There have been so many things about this process that I have no power over, but THIS is one thing I can control, and with relative simplicity to boot.
Speaking of which, I am almost as intrigued to hear this as I am irritated by it. Could this be the answer I have been looking for all these years? Was this the reason I miscarried before? Did I just not make enough natural progesterone to support the pregnancy? If so, this could be corrected. It also upsets me in other ways. Why wasn't my progesterone level checked at my first prenatal appointment? I remember the nurse stopping when I told her about my mother's history of miscarriages. They drew just about every other lab they could; so what's one more vial of blood? Maybe if they had, I would have brought my child to her first day of second grade last week. Also, when I looked for answers, I was just told to "come back when you are ready to have more kids" and slapped on birth control. I was told this for years. I know that there are so many other factors that may have caused this, and that this may not even be an issue. It's just hard to stop my mind from going there. I hope it's understandable.
I would love to hear all of your thoughts. What were your levels at 6-8 dpo? What was your course of treatment? Do you think I am correct in my thinking, or am I reaching? M also brought up an interesting thought: is it possible that I am getting enough progesterone, but my corpus luteum isn't producing enough to make up the difference due to poor egg quality? My numbers were great, and I am young(er), but is that something I should be asking about as well?
I'm sorry for all the rambling and questions, but ugh...it's so frustrating to be told you can get pregnant with "a little help," but then have all these other things come to the surface that may or may not even be happening. I know I over-think a lot of this. But when you want something so badly, that's something that tends to happen; or at least it does in my case. It's just that throughout this entire process I have had doctors
and other medical professionals telling me I am incorrect and that the things I want to explore "really
aren't necessary." According to them, I didn't need Provera to induce my period, I didn't need male hormone and insulin levels checked, I wasn't losing weight because I didn't eat right and didn't exercise like I said I did, and I certainly didn't have PCOS. But when I insist on these things being explored, it
turns out that I was correct to do so. I did have insulin resistance, I do have PCOS "or something like it," and once I started on the metformin in addition to doing everything I was already doing, almost 50 pounds fell off in a matter of months. It's frustrating, and I keep reading about this kind of thing on other people's blogs and the boards too!
And...what can I expect to go through if I end up needing to be more aggressive with treatment than I am already? Yikes!
Sigh...at least I have a day off tomorrow and a night at the movies with the girls to look forward to. And hey, maybe I am pregnant after all. It could happen....