I just scheduled my lab appointment for Wednesday to get my peak +7 bloodwork drawn. Last month, I never took the time to look up what exactly the doctor was testing. All I knew was that his office called with the results and told me, “the numbers are okay, but next month Dr. G would like you to raise your Clomid dosage.” It was a little discouraging to hear the doctor talk about next month when I hadn’t even had my period yet. Could he tell from my progesterone and estradiol levels seven days after ovulation that I would not be pregnant? Anyone know? I’d love to hear what you other IF ladies have come to know about these two hormones in your journeys – I hope you’ll leave comments!
Last month, I had been taking half a Clomid pill for a dosage of 25mg. This month I was instructed to take 3/4 of a pill for a dosage of 37.5mg. I have troubles with diminishing mucus and a side effect of Clomid is mucus reduction. So the doctor is trying to find the balance of just enough Clomid with the least effect to my mucus. To help the mucus, I’ve been taking 1200mg of Mucinex 2x a day and have been using Preseed lubricant.
My peak +7 numbers last cycle were:
Progesterone – 11.8 ng/ml
Estradiol – 224 pg/ml
I’ve spent a little google time checking out what functions these two hormones play since I had never even heard of Estradiol before seeing the lab order.
(info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progesterone)
Progesterone is sometimes called the “hormone of pregnancy”, and it has many roles relating to the development of the fetus:
-Progesterone converts the endometrium to its secretory stage to prepare the uterus for implantation. At the same time progesterone affects the vaginal epithelium and cervical mucus, making it thick and impenetrable to sperm. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels will decrease, leading, in the human, to menstruation. Normal menstrual bleeding is progesterone-withdrawal bleeding. If ovulation does not occur and the corpus luteum does not develop, levels of progesterone may be low, leading to anovulatory dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
-During implantation and gestation, progesterone appears to decrease the maternal immune response to allow for the acceptance of the pregnancy.
-Progesterone decreases contractility of the uterine smooth muscle.
In women, progesterone levels are relatively low during the preovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle, rise after ovulation, and are elevated during the luteal phase. Progesterone levels tend to be 5 ng/ml after ovulation. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels are initially maintained at luteal levels. With the onset of the luteal-placental shift in progesterone support of the pregnancy, levels start to rise further and may reach 100-200 ng/ml at term
(info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estradiol)
In the female, estradiol acts as a growth hormone for tissue of the reproductive organs, supporting the lining of the vagina, the cervical glands, the endometrium, and the lining of the fallopian tubes. It enhances growth of the myometrium. Estradiol appears necessary to maintain oocytes in the ovary. During the menstrual cycle, estradiol produced by the growing follicle triggers, via a positive feedback system, the hypothalamic-pituitary events that lead to the luteinizing hormone surge, inducing ovulation. In the luteal phase, estradiol, in conjunction with progesterone, prepares the endometrium for implantation. During pregnancy, estradiol increases due to placental production. In baboons, blocking of estrogen production leads to pregnancy loss, suggesting estradiol has a role in the maintenance of pregnancy. Actions of estradiol are required before prior exposure of progesterone in the luteal phase.
In the normal menstrual cycle, estradiol levels measure typically <50 pg/ml at menstruation, rise with follicular development (peak: 200 pg/ml), drop briefly at ovulation, and rise again during the luteal phase for a second peak. At the end of the luteal phase, estradiol levels drop to their menstrual levels unless there is a pregnancy.
During pregnancy, estrogen levels, including estradiol, rise steadily toward term. The source of these estrogens is the placenta, which aromatizes prohormones produced in the fetal adrenal gland.
Serum estradiol measurement in women reflects primarily the activity of the ovaries.