Saturday, July 23, 2005

With the way the medical establishment is managing obstetric care many women don't get in to see their docs until they are 8, 10, 14 weeks and sometimes later. But when you have a hard time getting in to see your doctor they are also giving you a signal that they aren't available to provide care to you in those early weeks, right when there might be catastrophic problems as in ectopic or molar pregnancy, not to mention missing other things like progesterone deficiency which some of the time is likely a cause and not a result of failed pregnancy (Coming to Term mentioned this).

It's so hard to know what feels right when so many of the symptoms of early pregnancy just feel like crap anyway. And we all know that when people post on teh pregnancy board that they are having spotting in early pregnancy and people reassure them that it is normal, we know that they aren't always right. I'm sure there are a bunch of women here for which that was the case. Or how about having your symptoms lessen? Lots of people say that it can happen that your body adjusts -- well this last time that didn't happen for me; that was when my pregnancy failed. Then when you add inaccess to medical care due to practice management* of course you are going to end up with a lot of anxiety.

* Practice management has to do with how medical office manage their practices. It's become a more organized routine with workshops being offered by outside agencies to doctors and their office managers. We see it as patients when you see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor or are told you need to wait 2 1/2 months for an pelvic exam or that you can't see a doctor until you are 15 weeks pregnant and that you will see a nurse practitioner at 10 weeks. These things are not entirely based on what insurance will or won't cover, it has to do with maximinzing the number of patients the doctors can see and increasing their gross revenues some of the time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Progesterone and Miscarriage

I've found a few links that I've bookmarked about progesterone and I'll add to this post as I'm able to comb through more. I think that progesterone is part of my problem.

"I myself give progesterone. I'd rather take a chance on delaying a miscarriage than writing off a baby that just might make it..."

"Note: The normal level of progesterone is usually "15-20." If the progesterone level is ~13 or so, this is seen as salvageable. If the progesterone is <5, I've not really seen progesterone do any good."
From: Exercise in Early Pregnancy: Risk, Low Progesterone, and Miscarriage

Hormonal causes for recurrent pregnancy loss

Progesterone Therapy (PDF)

Luteal Phase Progesterone Level(s)

Also estrogen dominance can lead to prolactin excess and low progesterone production. Here's an article about elevated prolactin and miscarriage
High Prolactin Linked To Recurrent Miscarriage

Progesterone Therapy in Pregnancy

Possible Ways to Prevent Miscarriage

"The researchers found stress hormones such as cortisol are raised in the bloodstream, suppressing the production of progesterone - a hormone which is crucial to the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy."
From: Stress 'linked to miscarriages'

"Increased levels of cortisol are associated with pregnancy. Physical and emotional stress can also elevate cortisol levels."
from: Cortisol tests
Birth control patch linked to higher fatality rate/ Estrogen thickens blood?

Birth control patch linked to higher fatality rate
Report: Device has three times greater risk of stroke, blood clot
than pill

"Blood clots are an accepted risk from hormonal birth control because estrogen promotes blood coagulation."

Had you heard this about estrogen? In Traditional Chinese Medicine
blood stasis as one of the causes of fibroids. Chinese herbs that I
took last year that did cause a reduction in my fibroid size included blood thinners (which I noted since I used them during my period accidentally and had some crazy bleeding for a few hours). Very interesting...


Since I'm Ms. Infertility I've had lots of blood work done to check
on my hormones, I've tested borderline low for progesterone and
elevated estradiol (at least at last check)

How many of you have had your cycle day three bloodwork done by the
way? It's a common panel dones for women who are trying to conceive,
especially when you are experiencing infertility, but I'm not sure
how common it is for regular ob/gyn care. I don't expect that many
women to have had their progesterone level checked (7 days post
ovulation), another common blood test done for fertility. I just
wonder how many of us are running around with hormonal imbalances
that are going unchecked, treatable perhaps by diet and lifestyle
I'm doing okay.

I had my acu appointment yesterday and the practitioner asked how I was doing about my recent loss. I told her I was feeling a bit confused still about it, as to whether or not anything could have been done and that the idea of meeting with my RE makes me mad (if there was something she could have done last time why didn't she just do it). I'm feeling better than I have for weeks and I think the nice weather and having the workmen out of our house has helped with that. I've actually been doing housework again, I was slacking for a long while and the house was showing it.

I told her that my SP6 had been bothering me (point a couple inches above the ankle bone on the inside of your leg, a point associated with ovulation and the joining of the kidney, spleen and liver channels) and also the kidney points in the indentation on the insides of my ankles had been throbbing. She put in a bunch of needles and I felt better after that. She said my liver pulse was a little wirey but it tends to feel that way for most people, but the most problems were my spleen, blood and kidney were weak.

Today I will start going to qigong class again. I've been doing some on my own but haven't been to class since March.

My fear right now, and not at the forefront of my mind but just there, is whether or not I'm destined to keep losing my pregnancies. We're a couple weeks away from TTC again so that's what comes to mind (as if we should be so lucky to get pg again on the first try[:|]). I told my acu yesterday that I just don't see how the next time will be any different at this point.

I'm supposed to go in to talk to my RE but I don't see the point. I should do it anyway and not be so arrogant because maybe she'll have something interesting to say. I was thinking of bringing in my list of symptoms and see what she says about it -- I'm sure many of them she won't have any idea about though they are recognized as symptoms in TCM.

I'm making myself drink more water, struggling still but trying. I don't get thirsty and it really isn't healthy for me to be so dehydrated.