Fertility and progesterone, a lovely success story

I recently interviewed a 36 year old woman and wanted to share her beautiful story.prenancy

It is a story of self-discovery and self-education. It is also the story of the heart-wrenching loss of a newborn, but also, a story of future hope for more children.

Nikki has a 4 year old daughter and a 15 month old son, and they are hoping for another in the future. In between the two she had been pregnant with a baby girl and went into preterm labor with her at 21 weeks. The little girl delivered very prematurely but soon thereafter developed a brain bleed. Nikki and her husband made the difficult decision to let her go peacefully.

After their tragic loss they then had even more heartbreak with two miscarriages prior to her carrying her now 15 month old son. With her son she went into preterm labor at a little over 34 weeks and thankfully, he is blessedly healthy.

Through all of this she kept thinking, “What is going on with me?” She had always been healthy, eaten healthily, and couldn’t quite understand why she’d had these issues. Her first pregnancy had gone perfectly.

Lab testing pointed to some issues

After the loss of her baby girl and suffering the two miscarriages Nikki’s OB did some testing. Two things came out of that assessment.

1) Low progesterone levels

First, Nikki’s progesterone levels were very low, in single digits. This is considered a luteal phase defect. What’s important about this? Well, the length and quality of the luteal phase is directly linked to fertility and a healthy pregnancy. If the luteal phase has less than optimal progesterone levels a woman will likely have a difficult time getting or staying pregnant.

Nikki’s OB put her on a fertility medication, Letrozole, for a week, and happily she did get pregnant again. Her OB also kept pregnant womanher on progesterone the entire pregnancy (which ended in the birth of her son, although she still had preterm labor with him).

I myself have always had patients in their mid-to-late 30’s support their luteal phase with vaginal progesterone when their menstrual cycle day 21 progesterone was less than 18, especially if they’ve experienced miscarriages or other pregnancy issues.

2) Thyroid issues

The other thing the testing found was that she had subclinical hypothyroidism. To deal with that as naturally as possible Nikki did a lot of research, and found Dr. Amy Meyer and her thyroid support books. She immediately started on thyroid support vitamins. And it was through Dr. Meyer’s books and blogs that Nikki found me.

With the results of her OB’s testing in hand, Nikki felt that if she could increase her progesterone levels naturally she could conceive again and also have a healthy pregnancy.

As Mighty Maca® Plus provides overall adrenal support (as an adrenal adaptogen) as well as alkalizing health benefits, she started drinking it along with further improving her diet.

After 3 months of drinking Mighty Maca her OB did a day 21 lab to see what Nikki’s progesterone levels were and they were now an 18! (In the past they had always been  at 6 or a 9). Nikki attributes this benefit to Mighty Maca!

Although there is no progesterone in Mighty Maca, along with the above benefits (adrenal support and alkalinity), I suspected that Mighty Maca could have been the factor that improved Nikki’s bioavailable progesterone.

Mighty Maca and bioavailable progesterone

I knew that Mighty Maca improves DHEA because I had studied that.  We also have a growing list of “Mighty Maca babies”, but I had never thought to look at studying progesterone levels.

Nikki didn’t know if her DHEA-S levels had changed, but I suspect that they had. DHEA levels improve as a result of balanced cortisol due to improved adrenal function, we believe. That would create a more natural hormone balance on Nikki’s body as she was running heavily on cortisol due to the emotional stress from the death of her newborn, the miscarriages as well as her ongoing concerns.

I have talked about this “progesterone steal” in the past. When we suffer from chronic stress our bodies start “stealing” progesterone to make cortisol!

progesterone steal graphic

I knew that if you can decrease cortisol demands that definitely results in more progesterone availability; it addresses that progesterone steal phenomena.

There is no magic pill

I think whatever you can do in terms of adhering to a Keto-Alkaline® Lifestyle is also important when you are addressing fertility challenges…or frankly, any health concerns! And yes, remember there is no magic pill to good health. You need to make better lifestyle choices all-around.

Nikki actually did a little self-discovery on her family’s diet as well. She said her family had always eaten a healthy diet…BUT, that they were a family that did eat pastas, sandwiches and whole grains. So she has cut out gluten and tried to eliminate as much processed sugar and carbs as possible so that she can prepare for a future attempt at pregnancy.

parents with baby shoes

Progesterone cream for hormone balance

Another recommendation I have for improving fertility and overall hormone balance is my Purabalance PPR cream.

Purabalance PPR cream is a beautiful over-the-counter formulation of bio-identical Progesterone and Pregnenolone, the “mother of all hormones.” I formulated it for maximum absorption, using all non-GMO ingredients and high quality USP progesterone and USP pregnenolone. Learn more about it by watching this video.

Purabalance PPR cream,

  • Supports hormone balance…with protective and health-promoting properties
  • Improves sleep and your stress response (so important to counter the fertility robbing progesterone steal!)
  • Promotes a balanced mood (your husband or partner will appreciate this!)
  • And even supports bone metabolism…yeah, strong bones!
  • Learn more detailed information here

And know that my cream contains natural progesterone.

Why is this important?

Most synthetic progesterone-like products actually contain progestins, which are synthetic analogs of progesterone; progestins are far more powerful than the body’s own natural progesterone. Progestins can be metabolized into toxic by-products that may interfere with the body’s own natural progesterone, creating other hormone-related health problems and further exacerbating estrogen dominance.

Natural progesterone, on the other hand, is identical to the progesterone that is produced by the body. It is manufactured in scientific laboratories from wild yams and soybeans (natural progesterone should not be confused with “yam extracts”).

Pregnenolone levels, like many health-promoting hormones, drop with age.  It is an important hormone for many aspects of health and aging well, including bone and brain health.

My Mighty Hormonizer Duo!

Hormone harmonizer duo!

I’ll be talking more about the benefits of natural progesterone in future blogs.

I hope this information is helpful.

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6 thoughts on “Fertility and progesterone, a lovely success story

  1. I’m a bit confused after reading this and other info on the Pure Balance PPR Cream…

    My story is eerily similar to the one above, even down to the name- my friends and family call me Nikki…. I’ve had several miscarriages, and this year lost a baby at 23 weeks in utero. My baby had bilateral cleft lip, bilateral cleft palate, and bilateral club foot. I’ve been blessed with three healthy boys over the past 9 years, but the miscarriages were always a mystery to me, and this last death at 23 weeks really shook me to my core. I’m now pregnant, 7th pregnancy, at 13 weeks and just diagnosed this past week with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

    A friend passed this article along to me, and I have no idea what my progesterone levels are. No doctor has ever suggested getting them checked. What is up with that? It infuriates me that there is information out there about these problems, and doctors are so far behind the curve at learning this info and testing patients. I ONLY found out about Hashimoto’s because I pushed the testing, I knew something is very wrong with me and I need answers.

    So to my confusion about the cream, it seems like someone like me would only use it as a means to get pregnant? And upon 20 weeks or so gestation I would discontinue use? I don’t understand why it would be used this way. I’d love if you had an article depicting why it is used in the ways you recommend, because for someone like me who is clueless about this kind of cream, it would be helpful for specifics. Once past menopause this would be a daily use item?

    I feel at this point, being 13 weeks, it’s probably too late to use this cream if I’d only be stopping at 20 weeks. Plus I’m unsure what my levels are since no doc has thought to test them. I’m sure with my history I have serious hormonal imbalances. But I don’t know if this product could help at this point, I need more info. I would appreciate more info. (I have read everything in the Learn More sections on this page as well as the product purchase page and all the extra data I could find on it)

    Thank you!

    1. Nicolette, I hope your pregnancy has been successful. For future reference, you can start progesterone even at 13 weeks. Insist that your doctor test for it — even at 13 weeks. Or get it tested yourself. If Dr. Cabeca doesn’t do it, try Dr. John Lee’s site (https://www.johnleemd.com/) or a DUTCH test, although those will take longer (too long if you are already pregnant). Some women simply do not make enough progesterone early in pregnancy to maintain the pregnancy, but often make enough later on (after 20 weeks) since progesterone levels increase dramatically, like exponentially, if I remember correctly. I would continue to follow Dr. Cabeca for more information. You could also get a book by Dr. John Lee, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life from Thirty to Fifty” that explains much about hormones and the importance and uses of progesterone.

      1. Thanks for your comment. I used to be on the board for the Dr.John Lee Institute and a speaker. Serum progesterone testing in pregnancy is the fastest way to get results back and we’d like to see it well above 20 ng/ml. This is not something usually tested for in pregnancy however, especially if you’ve had miscarriages, it is worth testing and supplementing P, typically I recommend vaginal progesterone suppositories.

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