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Natural cycle progesterone question

FET natural cycle progesterone

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#1 hmm

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 09:55 AM



I'm new to the forum and look forward to combing through the various discussions. 


I'm 41 and I'm doing a natural cycle for a FET later this month. This will be my first transfer and I just had a few questions to folks who've gone through this. 


I have ulcerative colitis and initially I was put on estrogen for this cycle - I had a bad reaction to the estrogen which may have been do to the spike in hormones - it caused some colitis symptoms for me. After stopping the estrogen my symptoms went away almost immediately. My doctor was fine with me switching to a natural cycle as I had only taken 5 doses. 


Has anyone else had a bad reaction to taking estrogen? What was your next protocol?


My second question is around taking progesterone, I've never taken it and have no idea if I will also have a bad reaction to it. My doctor is giving me the choice of taking it or not - either as a suppository or a shot.


Does anyone have experience with doing a natural cycle and not taking progesterone?


Thanks in advance for any feedback. My doctor seemed more rushed than normal this am so I wasn't able to get all my questions answered. 

#2 Misskika007

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 10:45 AM

Hey hmm- first, congrats on the FET and I wish you a lot of success with your cycle.


I can't speak so much to progesterone, but I can to estrogen. I have had estrogen receptive positive breast cancer + endometriosis aka my body HATES estrogen and my new dr is very cognizant of this in treatment. For my upcoming FET I will be on letrozole instead of estrogen and minimal progesterone. It may be worth chatting to you dr about that. Also may be worth doing a mock cycle (i.e. take all the transfer meds for a cycle without transferring) to see how your body reacts, just to be safe.


Take care! 

Me: 36, Hub: 36

TTC 4 years

3rd IVF cycle, 3rd FET-  BFP,  due June 1 heart.gif


#3 Daisy.Eriksen

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Posted 17 July 2020 - 03:18 PM

I did a modified natural FET in December. The theory is actually pretty cool.


With a natural FET, they will monitor for ovulation, and 5 or 6 days later, they'll transfer your embryo. In theory you don't need progesterone support, because after ovulation, your follicle will become the corpus luteum, which I believe is what produces progesterone. You may just want the clinic to check your progesterone level around transfer or a few days later to make sure all is good.


With a modified natural FET, like Misskika, I was on letrozole, which was to help speed up ovulation and it usually keeps estrogen down. I triggered with HCG and then was on HCG support in the second half of the cycle. Normally the corpus luteum will disappear during the luteal phase and then your period will start, but if you get pregnant, the implanted embryo will produce hcg that keeps the corpus luteum producing progesterone. In other words, our bodies will produce everything we need in a natural cycle (ideally). So in a modified natural FET, I took HCG support, to mimic pregnancy hcg, to keep my body producing progesterone naturally. I also took progesterone cream (Crinone) for additional support. 


Long story short, if you ovulate fairly regularly, and don't seem to have issues with progesterone, a fully natural FET is probably good, especially if they check the progesterone.

If you do need a little extra support in the luteal phase, perhaps you could look into the hcg support. Caveat, you can't use pregnancy tests at home since you'll get false positives!


If you do need progesterone support, there are different kinds. They all seem to be effective, so it depends on what works best for you. Vaginal suppositories are the messiest usually. I've enjoyed the cream/ gel (Crinone) although I've only had to take it once a day, it might get messier if you need it more often. PIO injections can be sore but I find they provide the most support for me personally.


As for how each hormone affects you and your colitis symptoms, do you have access to a gastro specialist to find out whether progesterone or hcg will cause a flare up? My cousin has colitis and she was quite sick throughout her pregnancies, but I don't know if it was due to a flare up or just regular pregnancy sickies (like HG). 


I'm sorry you have to deal with colitis on top of infertility. I hope that you are able to find some answers and a protocol that works for you!


PS Misskika, I'm so glad that you found a doctor that takes your issues seriously and I have my fingers crossed for you! 

TTC since 2013

Unsuccessful IVFs 2014-2016

Unsuccessful known egg donor cycle 2018

Donor Egg Bank Assured Refund plan 2019

Two unsuccessful DE transfers 2019

Unsuccessful DE transfer 2020

DE transfer Nov 2020 - BFP

More about my journey in my profile

#4 hmm

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Posted 26 July 2020 - 02:08 PM

Thanks so much for your thoughtful replies Misskika007 and Daisy.Erikson, and sending good vibes for your treatments. 


I'm scheduled to do a transfer this Thursday and at the urging of another Dr. at the clinic (my regular Dr. was away last week) I tried an injection of PIO yesterday morning - this was a reduced dose of what they normally give people. About 8 hours later I had terrible cramps that felt like period cramps, but extra intense. And I just felt like crap in general, kind of out of it, tired, etc. but the cramps were really debilitating and I'm not sure I can handle them. Has anyone had a bad side effect like this that calmed down over time? Is it just my body adjusting to the progesterone? As far as I know, my levels are in the normal range. 


Now I'm not sure what to do? I could stop the progesterone support entirely if I want but the Dr. said it's what they give everyone during a natural cycle and why was I doing this anyway if I was so sensitive? That was a bit hurtful as I don't necessarily think a sensitivity to hormone supplements is an indication of a terrible pregnancy to come. But she wants me to do my dose today and then go in tomorrow and speak with my regular Dr. about options for me. 


Has anyone had a successful fully natural cycle with no progesterone support on here? I'd love to hear your story if so. 


Thanks so much!

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