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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My husband and I have been trying to conceive for well over 2 years now.  I have been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, but not polycystic ovary syndrome as I have very few of the associated symptoms. I began charting my temperature monthly last year, which appeared to prove that I was indeed ovulating, although our consultant at the fertility clinic we have been referred to has said that the blood test I had during our initial investigations showed that I was not ovulating because my progesterone level showed too
low. I was also told that my oestrogen level was slightly high. My husband's sperm test is normal. I have since taken Clomid for 4 months which made me ovulate although I have still failed to conceive.

After reading several books on infertility, I have become concerned that the problem may be due to low progesterone which is affecting my luteal phase. I have begun charting my temperature again and found that my luteal phase was only 10 days in my last cycle, whereas I have read that it needs to be at least 12 days for a pregnancy to be sustained. As well as this,
my periods are very light and show hardly any red bleeding but mainly dark brown bleeding with up to 2 days spotting at the beginning and end of each
period. Could these symptoms be due to a lack of progesterone which is preventing a possibly fertilised egg from implanting? Could this lack of progesterone
have indicated in a blood test that I was not ovulating when, in fact, I was?  I have also been told that I have endometriosis as my CA125 level was high.  Could this be linked too?

We are going to see the consultant again soon and I want to be armed with as much information as possible before I go so that we can discuss alternatives
to proceeding with IVF straight away. Please could you advise me. Many thanks.

Kind regards


Terri Fitter      ???
 

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The luteal phase is very important and I would suggest a second test to check you progesterone level to ensure this is an area of concern. The blood test done previously may have been a day or two early or late and so gave a low reading. I am unsure regarding the CA125 level but would advise this is checked in conjunction with a vaginal scan to check for cysts.

Sarah
 

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Hi Terri

I read your post with a great deal of interest. My probs sound really similar to yours. Really only started charting 4 months ago (had been using all sorts of other devices and was not convinced that I was ovulating properly). Through charting, it appears that I too have a short luteal phase (10 days normally) and every prog test I have had (almost all at day 21!!) seemed to indicate that I was not ovulating properly. Feel quite angry now that no-one ever looked into this properly with me because DH has low motility, they have "assumed" it is all to do with him. At least I feel now that I understand things a lot better and can go in armed with a bit more info.

Can you tell me what CA is.....I am trying to get as much info as I can before we start again. I do know that the luteal phase is very important and it seems as though anything less than 12 days is considered "short". Will find a good web link I came across and post it later.

Good luck with everything. Speak soon.

Love Martha xxx

 

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Hi Terri

Found the link:
http://www.inciid.org/lpdefect.html

It is really simple and makes a lot of sense. Given my response to the IVF drugs so far, I think that I do not develop very good eggs and that is why my prog levels are low. The "treatment" if you like for me is pretty much what I am doing but I would just liked to have known. I also have suspected that I have mild endo but again, no lap and dye because they jumped on DH'd probs and so IVF/ICSI is our only viable option.

Let me know if this is helpful to you. So nice to know I am not alone!!

Lots of love
Martha xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Martha,

Thanks for your reply. It certainly is reassuring to know I'm not the only person going through this. Thanks for the web address - will get straight onto that!

When I had my initial investigations, they tested me, amongst a million other things, for the hormone CA125 which shows endometiosis if it is high. Apparently, the level should be aroung low 20s but mine was 40 which conviced them I did have endometriosis. If you're concerned you may have it, it might be worth asking for this test.

I've recently started having acupuncture and taking chinese herbal remedies for my endo and poor quality AF. I cannot lie - it is not pleasant, but last month I didn't ahve to take any painkillers with AF! That hasn't happened for years! I've also been taking Agnus Castus for 4 months as well as radically changing my diet (loads of organic, natural foods) which I've read could be useful in sorting out my hormone imbalance.

We're off to see our consultant on 4th Aug so I'm going to ask him to retest my hormone levels and to check my progesterone to see if ihe can tell whether or not I have a luteal phase defect. I bought a book called Natural Progesterone by Dr John Lee (ISBN: 0-00-715609-X) which says that using a natural progesterone cream can sort out hormone balances. Why don't the doctors tell you that? It's all very confusing and it makes me really cross. I've had to become my own doctor and do a lot of my own research to even be aware that a 'luteal phase defect' exists!

Good luck with you next step this month - I'll be thinking of you!

Lots of love ^angel^

Terri x
 

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Thanks for this info Terri. I agree with you totally....the docs don't always know everything and it makes me really cynical. But now I feel so much happier I understand what my probs are even though it hasn't cured the probs!! I am writing to my consultant to present all the facts and see if there is anything else/different we need to do in our next cycle. Anything can help?

Good luck with everything and keep me posted!

Love Martha xxx
 

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hiya - am finding all this very interesting

you may like to read the 'leuteal phase defect' thread on this board which i have just posted an update on.......

kimj x
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Kim - thanks for the website link which I will look into shortly. Good luck with whatever you decide to do next. ;)

Hi again, Martha - here's my latest update.

I went to see my consultant yesterday who was all ready to give me two more months of Clomid before going onto IUI, before I pointed out that I had endometriosis and that my luteal phase was short and my AF isn't normal. He said the abnormal AF is due to endo (not entirely sure about this, though) but he did prescribe me progesterone pessaries to correct the shortness of the luteal phase (10 days last month). He is also arranging a laparoscopy if the next 2 months are unsuccessful to sort out the endo.

I was dreading the consultation but actually came out feeling quite positive! At least now they are trying to address the problems I have. It does nark me that I had to fiind out all this stuff for myself, though, as if I hadn't, I would have carried on taking Clomid which is making me ovulate but is obviously not solving the other problems!

I have gone back to my book 'Natural Progesterone' and in this it says that progesterone can also help to alleviate endo so I am doubly pleased! (Incidentally, the book is written by Anna Rushton & Dr Shirley A. Bond - Dr John Lee only writes the Foreward - sorry for the mistake).

Hope this helps to put another little piece of the jigsaw into place. Mother Nature certainly has a lot to answer for - if only I had her phone number!

Loads of luck with everything - keep me posted.

Lots of love, Terri x ;)
 
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