Low Progesterone Level in Pregnancy

Question

Hello!
I am currently breastfeeding my 9 month old son (5 to 6 times per day), and I just recently discovered I am pregnant again. My initial HCG level was 38,180 (I have no idea how far along I am because I haven’t menstruated since giving birth to my son), but my progesterone level was only 7.7. I supplemented my progesterone with Prometrium and suppositories during my two prior (successful) pregnancies, but my levels were usually around 15-20 before starting the supplementation.

My question is, could my low progesterone with this pregnancy be caused by my breastfeeding? I do have PCOS, and my two prior pregnancies were Clomid pregnancies, which might have made my progesterone levels higher in my previous pregnancies (versus this pregnancy which was conceived naturally without meds). My doctor has prescribed Prometrium again, but I’m worried there may be some kind of defect with the baby, causing such a low level. Should I be concerned? Or could breastfeeding be contributing to the lower progesterone level, and should I consider weaning my son from the breast?

Thank you for any help you can offer!

Answer

Last Updated: July 24, 2013
A low progesterone level is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. I recommend you go on progesterone in sesame seed oil (can be compounded to a concentration of 100mg/ml) 200 mg intramuscularly twice a week. You should also have an ultrasound exam soon for dating.

After the first trimester, you can have a progesterone “trough” level to see if you will need more supplementation. All of the above can best be accomplished by a physician aware of the principles of NaProTechnology.

Dr. Delgado

Answered By:

George Delgado, M.D., F.A.A.F.P.
President and Founder of Steno Institute and Medical Director of Culture of Life Family Services (COLFS), San Diego, is a Professional Member / Supporter of CANFP. Board certified in both family medicine and hospice and palliative medicine, Dr. Delgado received his medical degree from the University of California, Davis, and completed his residency at Santa Monica Hospital/UCLA. Dr. Delgado is a Natural Family Planning Medical Consultant, trained in NaProTechnology.

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