by Dr. Anna Cabeca May 17, 2018

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Fertility and progesterone

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

Fertility and progesterone

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.

Fertility and progesterone

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!

mighty maca

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

I hope this information is helpful.

Dr. Anna Cabeca
Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN and Anti-Aging Medicine expert who helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.



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