Will Progesterone Save My Pregnancy?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
First-timer here, and incredibly nervous! My husband and I have tried to conceive for two years now. The past year have been spent at an infertility clinic and we were just about to undergo IVF when I found out I was pregnant. My LMP was 8/18, which makes me 5 weeks pregnant by typical calendars, but my periods have always been 30-32 days long. I'm sure that has an effect on my true age of pregnancy.

My concern is this: On Thursday I had an HCG and progesterone level drawn (that was day 37 of my cycle), my HCG was 520 and progesterone 5.2. My RE started me on Prochieve 8% once a day to help me with my progesterone, but gave me little hope that this pregnancy would pan out. I don't go back for more blood work until Monday morning, when I will have been on the progesterone for 2 days more. Any advice?

What are our chances of making it through this? I felt so much more pregnant on Thursday, my breasts aren't as tender, I don't have any morning sickness, I don't really feel bloated as I did on Thursday. I do still have moments were I have to void every hour or more, I have more sensitive smell and occasionally I have dizziness. I am also worried because I started having a tiny bit of staining yesterday -- bright red and brownish --I'm trying to stay positive, but finding it hard.

ANSWER

I'm sure this is a very difficult time and it sounds like your provider is doing the right things so far. Sometimes, women have to actually go on injectible progesterone to save the pregnancy -- hopefully you won't.The blood test yesterday should say if the pregnancy hormone is increasing the right way. If so, and you just need more help with progesterone, there is still hope.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Follow Up Question

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.