Does Progresterone Cream Prevent Pregnancy?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am to my breaking point, so I thought I'd write you.

I had my second miscarriage in April 2003. We have been trying to get pregnant ever since. Several of my friends told me to get on progesterone cream because it would help with my getting pregnant. I checked out a few web sites and they said the same thing.

Well, over the weekend two more of my friends told me that progesterone cream can keep you from getting pregnant. Then this morning, I received an email from the manufactures stating the same thing. I was so devastated!

I started taking Clomid on August 5 and was so sure this was going to be the month, but it dozen't sound like it. I tested on August 17 and got a negative test. I have had a few pregnancy signs such as my lower back hurting, a few mild cramps, a little nausea, and moody. My cycles are only 24 days. I started a new cycle on August 1.

Anyway, I was wondering how long it will take to get the progesterone cream out of my system. The good news is.... I ran out and only took if for 7 to 10 days this month. I won't be using it again.Please let me know about the progesterone cream.

ANSWER

It's true that we use prescription progesterone to MAKE women have a period (by having them take it for a few days and then stopping it), which is not what you want, of course. That said, you also need the progesterone made by the corpus luteum to sustain a pregnancy, which is the theory behind adding progesterone when trying to conceive.

In general, a pregnancy test will not be positive until the day after you miss a period, and you are not there yet (August 26). This month, you would have ovulated about Aug 11 and should have had intercourse every day from August 6-13 for an optimal chance to conceive. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.