Progesterone Struggles

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, in part because last cycle was a big letdown. Remember how excited I was to get a positive OPK a couple weeks ago? Well, unfortunately that excitement was short-lived because just a few days later I got my period.

That's all there is to this cycle. I got my period on Day 18.
That’s all there is to this cycle. I got my period on Day 18.

I honestly couldn’t believe it. I’ve heard of short luteal phases, but to get my period literally the day after a positive OPK? That’s pretty much no luteal phase at all (and it’s supposed to be ~14 days long!). And to top it off, it was the shortest cycle I’ve ever had: a mere 17 days. So in the last five months my cycles have been as long as 40 days, as short as 17, and everywhere in between.

The night I got my period I snuggled up on the couch with my husband and just cried. I can’t say that’s totally independent of all those PMS hormones coursing through my veins, but I honestly just felt so deflated and worried. After my first visit with the fertility doctor we all thought the problem was just mechanical: CF is causing my cervical mucus to be too thick for the sperm to swim through to get to the egg. But with the increasing irregularity of my cycles and the complete lack of a luteal phase this time around, it just seems like something is more seriously wrong. And though I didn’t use OPKs reliably on the cycle before last, I suspect I had the same luteal phase issue then too, since the doctor found a large, growing follicle (indicative of imminent ovulation) less than a week before I got my period.

From what I’m reading online this may mean that either my progesterone production post-ovulation is seriously lacking or my body just isn’t responding correctly to the progesterone being produced. I sent my doctor an email letting him know what happened this cycle and asking if there’s any testing we can do to determine why this is going on. He sent me a brief response asking that I continue to monitor my cycles and report back, and recommending that I use supplemental progesterone post-IUI when we decide to move forward with the procedure.

He didn’t seem particularly concerned. I guess that’s a good thing, but I wish he would have offered more reassurance that this isn’t a disaster. I’m feeling pretty worried by all of this, and even though it seems like these issues are treatable, it’s scary having to wonder why things aren’t normal. With every setback like this it’s getting harder and harder to imagine that I’ll actually be pregnant someday.

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