Diaries of a First-Time Progesterone User

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progesterone tips facts feelings #infertility recurrent #miscarriage jalina king thissideofif

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1dpo

June 13th, 2019

BBT: 99.1

Yesterday, I wasn’t sure if I’d be using progesterone or menstrual cups in the coming days, but it seems with a BBT rise (99.1) this morning that progesterone won out this cycle! Counting my first day of bleeding with my miscarriage as May as CD1, today is CD20. That puts ovulation at CD19, only one day after my typical O day during a typical menstrual cycle. This is the earliest I’ve ovulated after a miscarriage, even out of three 4-week miscarriages.

CD1 was the birthday of my mom who died in 2010, and today is the birthday of my dear nana who died in 2013. It’s hard not to let my mind wander to, “It’s a sign; this cycle is meant to be,” but I’m going to try not to put too much pressure on conceiving this cycle. I’m just glad my body is recovering from three miscarriages in three months and our ability to conceive has returned. There is so much hope in that alone.

Progesterone: I’m supposed to use two suppositories in the evening. That’s 400mg of progesterone. It’s morning, so I haven’t used them yet, but I’m curious how easily I’ll be able to get them in. I’ve read they leak, so I’ll be prepared with panty liners. There’s no info on the medication pamphlet on how to insert them or what kinds of symptoms to expect, but I was surprised to learn they contain peanut oil! Peanuts irritate my hormonal acne, so I’m bracing for a nasty breakout. I’ll take acne over another miscarriage any day, although at this point, I have acne AND miscarriages.

The doctor warned I might experience pregnancy symptoms while on progesterone. While that might mess with the minds of some, I feel it will keep me from symptom spotting because I can blame it all on the progesterone. My goal is to make it the full 14 days before taking an HPT! Test date: June 27th, the anniversary of my first miscarriage in 2015…

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” Isaiah 43:19 ESV

Related: What You Need to Know about Your 4-Week Miscarriage

2dpo

June 14th, 2019

BBT: 99.5

Symptoms: shortness of breath, round ligament pain

My first dose of progesterone was last night, and I didn’t feel much different today. No new skin breakouts and no horrible mood swings, although there’s still time for that! I did feel a little short of breath all day today like I do when I’m pregnant. (This can be a sign of an allergic reaction, but I wasn’t concerned that this was an allergic reaction in my case.) I also felt some light round ligament pain throughout the day like I do when I’m pregnant. It’s somewhat of a relief to have pregnancy-like symptoms already because I know it will keep me from symptom spotting over the next 12 days!

I wore a panty liner last night because I’ve read a lot of women have issues with progesterone suppositories causing a lot of leakage or discharge, but the only thing that seemed to come out looked like the melted leftovers of the white coating of the suppository, and there wasn’t a lot. A friend and fellow infertility warrior recommended I lie down for 10-15 minutes after inserting the suppositories. I got comfy and laid down for more like 30 minutes, which I think helped prevent leakage!

3dpo

June 15th, 2019

BBT: 99.5

4dpo

June 16th, 2019

BBT: 99.0

Symptoms: forgetful, tired, increased urination

I feel like I have total pregnancy brain today. I feel tired and forgetful. I’ve mixed up my words and forgotten my thoughts midsentence. I also had a bit of a hormonal fit in the evening where I just felt warm and short-tempered. The past 3 mornings, I’ve woken up several hours earlier than normal because I had to pee. This is not typical for this stage in my menstrual cycle. Definitely feeling the progesterone building up! I’m happy to say I still have not had a nasty acne breakout as I expected.

I remember reading somewhere that four elevated BBTs (basal body temperatures) in a row confirmed ovulation. After a few of my miscarriages, I’ve had 3-day periods of elevated BBT before my temperature plummeted the next morning. Each time that happened, I was able to confirm ovulation at a later date by a second temperature spike and continued elevated BBT for 2 weeks or, during cycles which I conceived, elevated temperatures throughout my pregnancy. I’m happy to have a fourth elevated BBT today! One less question in my mind!

5dpo

June 17th, 2019

BBT: 99.1

Symptoms: tired, foggy, mood swings, high body temperature (up to 99.9) nice fingernails, increased nasal phlegm, achy legs (similar to period)

This is the point at which I began experiencing pregnancy symptoms with several of my pregnancies, including my pregnancy with Theodore. I’ve been feeling foggy and hormonal the past couple days but nothing worthy of symptom spotting. Ten more days till test day! I also noticed today that my fingernails seem to be shiny, strong, and growing more quickly than usual!

6dpo

June 18th, 2019

BBT: stopped tracking due to stress

Symptoms: excessive thirst, hormonal fit in evening, sentimental/emotional, hormonal “pregnancy” brain, occasional sharp twinges in ovary areas, acne breakout in unusual location for this point of my cycle

Going strong so far! It’s been really nice having something to blame all these pregnancy-like symptoms on. This is the point at which I start obsessively thinking about testing during my previous two cycles since I started getting symptoms at 5dpo with both of them. Almost through the first week of the two-week wait! I’m still not sure what to expect on test day. I’m currently envisioning myself having to do a few more cycles of progesterone. Also, still no leaking so far!

7dpo

June 19th, 2019

Symptoms: slight crampy feeling, occasional round ligament pain, hormonal “pregnancy” brain, achy legs

Halfway through the two-week wait today! I have to admit I tested today but only because I knew it wouldn’t be a reliable result. The earliest I have received a positive result on an HPT was 8dpo, and even then I didn’t believe it. I wanted to get the urge to POAS out of my system before I get to the point where I really could get a positive result. After conceiving three cycles in a row, I’ll be surprised by the result either way!

The round ligament pain is new and typically a pregnancy symptom for me. It’s hard to say which symptoms are from progesterone and which symptoms are linked to HCG, but as of now, I’m still blaming everything on the progesterone. I don’t currently have any symptoms that make me feel like I really might be pregnant.

8dpo

June 20th, 2019

Symptoms: strong round ligament pain (esp. left side), irritable, fatigued, foggy

I tested. It was positive. Tomorrow will be the 4-year anniversary of finding out we were pregnant the very first time. June 27th will be the 4-year anniversary of our very first miscarriage. I was starting to feel anxious about the upcoming week, so I decided to take a cheapie HPT test, which showed a faint but discernable positive result. FRER confirmed the result. I’m going to stop documenting now since I don’t know which symptoms are coming from the pregnancy and which ones are coming from the progesterone.

Here’s what I suspect

Symptoms from progesterone:

  • increased urination
  • sentimental/emotional
  • nice fingernails (shiny, strong, fast-growing)
  • no spotting as of 5 weeks gestation! (7/2/19)
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • early round ligament pain (before 5dpo)

Symptoms from pregnancy:

  • brain fog/pregnancy brain (I’ve had this start as early as 3dpo with previous pregnancies.)
  • round ligament pain
  • irritability
  • hormonal fits
  • excessive thirst
  • increased phlegm
  • unusual acne breakout

Overall progesterone experience

July 2nd, 2019

I was happily surprised not to experience excessive acne or mood swings while on progesterone. I’ve been taking progesterone every evening for about 3 weeks now, and it’s been a good opportunity to have some alone time and unwind every day. I still haven’t had any problem with leakage and don’t wear panty liners anymore. I believe that’s thanks to lying down for 30-45 minutes after inserting the suppositories and also due to inserting them as far as my middle finger can reach. The RE recommended I take them until 8-10 weeks gestation, but I’m going to ask him about staying on them until the second trimester. Overall, I’m thankful for my RE who took me seriously, my insurance for covering this medication, and that I have had no spotting as of 5 weeks gestation. This is the furthest I’ve gotten in a while and the longest I’ve gone without pregnancy spotting!

 

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