Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Maybe This is the Problem???

Let's talk about hormones for a moment. Mainly, progesterone. My progesterone. If you direct your attention to my sidebar, the last four entries under "The Years in Review" tell you what my progesterone (P4) level has been at seven days past ovulation during four cycles. The number tells me whether or not I ovulated. Anything higher than a 5 means that I did, but Obi-Wan wants to see that number higher than 10 and some doctors want to see that number higher than 15 with a medicated cycle. So, basically, my P4 was good the first cycle, great the second cycle, okay the third, and not okay this cycle. Which, unfortunately, also means that this cycle most likely didn't work...we'll find out for sure later this week.

So, what is progesterone, you may ask. P4 is a steroid hormone, is synthesized from pregnenolone, a derivative of cholesterol. It is produced in the adrenal glands, the gonads (more specifically after ovulation in the corpus luteum), the brain, and if you are lucky enough to be pregnant, the placenta. The levels of P4 should be low before ovulation. Then they will rise after. Like I said before, if it is higher than 5, that indicates ovulation, but doctors like to see it higher than 10. If you are pregnant, those levels should continue to rise. If you aren't pregnant, your P4 will drop and trigger the release of your lining, your period. Obviously this information is in regards to females during childbearing years. P4 levels are low in children and post-menopausal women. Men also have P4 levels that are comparative to adult females during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.

I copied this graph from Wikipedia. That's also the resource I used to explain P4.

All that said, my P4 is not nearly high enough to maintain a pregnancy. Which will probably lead to progesterone suppositories. I can't wait to start those bad boys!


Courtney said...

I know your prog results were a big disappointment, but I'm at least glad that they discovered that you have progesterone issues so that you can be on prog supps next cycle. Ask for the Endometrin brand because you don't have to lay down for 30 mins after each dosage. They are not fun, but it will be worth it in the end! big hugs!

Nikki said...

Lisa, I'm sorry that your P4 is giving you trouble. I offered to you on WebMD too - I would be more than happy to ship you whatever P4 I have left over. I'm not using it any more, and I'd be glad to be of help.

I Believe in Miracles said...

Thanks for the info about progesterone. Very informative. :o)