Today I thought I would write another “ode to progesterone“. Progesterone and I have a long and complex relationship due to infertility and I have used it for three cycles (2 IUI and 1 IVF). Here are some things I have learned about progesterone this time around that I think would be beneficial for you to know…
1. It will make you feel different when you are on it: This varies from person to person but expect to not feel like yourself. I find that, for me, progesterone is awesome and makes me a chilled out, happy go lucky individual. Others have said that it makes them weepy, irrational and altogether not pleasant to be around. It really just depends on your body’s personal makeup and how you respond to hormone surges. Think about how you usually feel around the middle of each tww. If you are calm and collected thank progesterone. If you feel mostly like you are going to kill everything (before PMS people… middle of the tww) then progesterone may not be your friend. Even if you feel awesome during your tww, the amount of progesterone coursing through your body when on supplements may STILL may you feel haywire. Good luck, everybody!
2. It can alter things in your body that no one expects: Like weird things. Not the sore boobs, or the bloating, or the slight weepiness…Things that aren’t on the list of side effects. For me, this included making my asthma and allergies WAY BETTER. Like barely had to take meds ever better. Which, for me, is really saying something. I know this is related to the progesterone because it happened every time I was on it and after I stopped taking it my allergy symptoms always returned with a vengeance. This is why some women experience a lessening of allergies symptoms when knocked up. Some peoples bodies just really like progesterone! I have heard any other multitude of funny things cropping up from progesterone. So just because it ISN’T listed on the side effects sheet doesn’t mean it can’t be from the supplements. Talk to your dr.
3. You will have a detox time period when coming off of it: Every single time I had to stop progesterone after a failed IUI cycle I fell apart. I mean, who wouldn’t? The treatment hadn’t worked and I wasn’t pregnant and NOW WHAT?! Of course I felt like shit. Of course I cried for days and ate copious amounts of Ben and Jerry’s (…that’s a lie, I prefer Hagan Daaz). But it never occurred to me that this could be related to the meds or, at least, aggravated by it. I mean, how could it get any worse than a failed cycle? But it turns out that it WAS made more difficult by the meds. I now know that with certainty because we did IVF and used the same progesterone suppositories that we had used all the other times… and it worked, so I I stayed on it until 10 weeks. So I KNOW that I was feeling pretty good. The treatment worked and I was happy, happy. But here’s the thing, when I was able to come off the drug support at 10 weeks, I lost my shit for a good four days. I mean really lost it. I was a crying, overreacting, hysterical mess! At first I thought maybe this was just the pregnancy emotions that people talk about (had been feeling fine to this point) but you know what? After those 4 days? BAM, normal, level, Kaeleigh again! So, I’m pretty certain it was caused by the dip in the hormones. I think it’s important for anyone to know that if your cycle fails and you obviously feel like shit, that in about 5 days the progesterone will have left your body sufficiently and you will start to feel a lot less like you want to die! So that’s gotta be helpful knowledge, right?!
Overall, progesterone is pretty freaking amazing. And the fact that they can give it to you to help your body do things it should do is even more amazing-er! I just thought it would be good to have a conversation about how it really can profoundly influence a LOT of your emotions and body systems. Because I didn’t know, at least not about how far it can influence them… And it’s good to be aware of shit like that!