Diagnosis, test results, crazy numbers!

June 10, 2009

I had an appointment with my awesome doctor, Dr. B, a few weeks ago to go over the results of my various tests. To back up a bit, at our first appointment in February, Dr. B looked over my charts. My husband’s semen analysis looked good. My previous bloodwork looked good, but then again it might have been meaningless. My normal OBGYN had just ordered it for the day I happened to be in her office, not even asking what cycle day it was (it happened to be election day and cycle day 8). Dr. B wanted to see what my levels would be like on cycle day 3.  He ordered more bloodwork for day 3, a saliva test throughout one cycle and an HSG to see if anything was blocked.

I had already received the phone calls declaring the bloodwork and the HSG “normal.” I was very curious what he would say about the hormone panel from the saliva test. Would it show something was off? Was I just crazy?

Well, when he walked in the room, the first thing Dr. B said was: “Well, it’s not all in your head.”

My body appears to be doing OK with the basics. I’m ovulating (or I appear to be). My cycles are really long, but that does not concern Dr. B too much (I find the long cycles a little annoying, myself). The first half* of my cycle before ovulation looks pretty “normal.”  (*not really “half,” more like two-thirds — given the long cycles.) It’s in my luteal phase where things get wacky. My progesterone levels shoot up, apparently way above what any normal non-pregnant human should have.

And here I had wondered if I might have a progesterone deficiency. Ha!

The shape of the graph looked pretty good: my progesterone levels went up, stayed there, then dropped with my period. But the numbers on the y-axis (those charting my progesterone) were more than twice as large as usual, Dr. B said.

I guess I am just an overachiever when it comes to progesterone production.

Meanwhile, my estradiol is not-so-high, so the balance is all caddywampus. Dr. B thinks my progesterone is overwhelming my estrogen. And perhaps that is (one of) the reason(s) I am not getting pregnant. He said he can’t do anything to lower my progesterone, but he thinks it might help to raise my estrogen in an effort to put the two in better balance. So during my luteal phase, I’m applying an estradiol topical gel — which my sisters and I have lovingly dubbed “the lady cream.” Besides mucus enhancers, the estradiol is my only treatment right now. (not sure how I feel about that, but I am trying to just trust.)

Dr. B said if I do not get pregnant by, say, September, I should schedule a laparoscopy with Dr. L to look for endometriosis. I don’t have any of the painful “symptoms” of endo, but plenty of people have endometriosis with no symptoms. It’s the next thing to check off on the list.

I am assuming I will have surgery in the fall.

I called the office back last week to ask for a read-out of my test numbers, since there was not time to write it all down at my appointment with Dr. B. These numbers really are something to behold. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

The numbers are all from a saliva test, and I don’t know if the scale is different than the blood test results (umm… I  hope it is? Does anyone know?). Regardless, I think you can see that things are clearly off-balance.

For your viewing pleasure:

Day 5 estradiol 4, progesterone 41 pg/mL

Day 9 estradiol 4 progesterone 43 pg/mL

Day 13 estradiol 2 progesterone 56

Day 17 estradiol 7, progesterone 76

Day 21 estradiol 11, progesterone 67

Day 23 estraiol 7, progesterone 120

(wait! it gets even better!)

Day 25 estradiol 5, progesterone 701

Day 28 estradiol 3, progesterone 734 (!!!)

Day 30 estradiol 4, progesterone 725

Day 33 estradiol 4, progesterone 165

Day 35 (really day 1 of my next cycle) estradiol 3, progesterone 46



  1. Wow, that’s some high prog. Maybe you could share with some of the rest of us…

  2. I’d be glad to! How much does everyone need –maybe 20 more milligrams each? So, I guess I have enough for 30 of you. geez.
    But warning, my progesterone likes to make a big show, then head out of town. I still have a puny 10 day luteal phase sometimes. HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?

  3. estrogen should thicken your lining, which might help – have you had a sonogram, is your lining thin thick or normal during the first part of your cycle?

    mine was too thick, so progesterone thinned it

    have you seen the endo diet? that might help balance your hormones, there’s also a book by marilyn shannon, 4th edition, avail on amazon…people love her – fertility and nutrition



    if you’re thinking of a lap for endo, i’d suggest going to a real expert, someone like the CEC in atlanta, they’re amazing


    or dr hilgers, naprotechnology.com

    do you chart? these doctors can help with that



    also see sites like endo-resolved.com,

    i’d love to know how you get your high progesterone!

    🙂 are you hyperthyroid by any chance?

    dian s mills really says that many women are helped by her endo diet, and her book…i’d really try that, surgery is so not fun!!! if i didn’t have the pain and heavy bleeding and problems, i would have tried it sooner (didn’t know about wheat etc)

    is there any chance you have a gluten / wheat intolerance?

    yeast issues? yeastconnection.com

  4. Wow, crazy numbers indeed! But I’m so glad that you’re getting some results, some treatment and a plan. Keep us posted on how everything goes!

    I had a meeting yesterday about starting up an Infertility Support Group here in DC. I’m about to post on my blog. Let me know if you’d be interested in coming!! 🙂

  5. I’m definitely interested, thanks!

  6. I’ll be having a lap with Dr. L soon too. She was trained by Dr. Hilgers and, as I’m sure you know, Dr. B speaks SO highly of her, so I think we’ll be in good hands.

    Hopefully you’ll be pregnant before September and won’t need it!

  7. […] I saw Dr. B last month and learned about my ridonkulous progesterone levels, he prescribed an estrogen topical ointment for the second half of my cycle — an attempt to […]

  8. Great post!

  9. […] in the second half of my cycle.  (Just how much does my progesterone skyrocket, you ask? About 30 times higher than it should. Call me an […]

  10. […] But in both cases my progesterone — you remember that progesterone which last March was astronomically high?  — was almost nonexistent. It was 0.6 four days before my period started. Thus, I did not […]

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