Progesterone. It’s a hormone that elevates after you ovulate and usually reaches its high point around 7 DPO. It comes with a lot of symptoms that can make you think you’re pregnant when you’re not. If you’re on the supplements, these symptoms can be stronger and then you’re really in a whirlwind of wondering if this is really it or not.
The phantom pregnancy.
If you’re new to TTC and infertility treatment, I thought I would share some information on progesterone supplements so you don’t freak yourself out. Don’t get discouraged if you’re feeling these things and end up with a BFN at only 9 DPO; keep in mind that you’re not out yet but these symptoms also do not automatically mean pregnancy either. You’re not losing your mind! These symptoms are early pregnancy symptoms, too. Understanding these things can help you feel less like you’re going crazy or imagining things just because you want it to be pregnancy. It can help you feel confident that your progesterone level is probably where it should be, and that alone is something to be thankful for!
Okay, enough of my rambling. Here are the top 8 phantom pregnancy progesterone symptoms that I experience every time I take the supplements after ovulating (starting between 3-5 DPO).
1. Tender Breasts. For me, this was the very first symptom of pregnancy I had with Zoey. My progesterone level at 7 DPO was only 16, so I didn’t have the tender breasts until around 11 DPO when I was definitely pregnant. The reason? My progesterone level went up to 32 at that point. Once it rose, then the tender breasts started. We now supplement starting at 3-5 DPO, which means that when it’s time for the P4 (progesterone blood draw) at 7 DPO, I’m already feeling really sore. I try to ignore it since I clearly haven’t gotten pregnant again yet, but it’s really hard to not feel hope when I feel like there are bricks hanging from my boobs. Yep, I said boobs. Considering it was my first pregnancy symptom with Zoey, it’s really hard to not feel like “this is it” each cycle.
2. Exhaustion. When I say exhaustion, I’m talking about it’s 7:30 at night and you feel like you just took some Nyquil. It’s also twice as difficult to wake up and get moving in the morning. I have caught myself sleeping right through my alarm for 15 minutes straight. And no, my husband didn’t wake up either!
3. Deep Sleep/Vivid Dreams. There are times where I literally feel like there are 50 blankets laying on top of me because I am in this deep sleep/partially awake state and it’s actually a little scary. I cannot move. I can hear the fan blowing in our bedroom but see my dream in front of me. Sometimes the dreams are even disturbing. I actually dread going to sleep each night on progesterone supplements. I know I will sleep deep, but the dreams are not my favorite. They’re more often nightmares than “dreams”.
4. Skin Breakouts. As if PCOSers didn’t have enough issues with hormonal acne, it gets way worse on progesterone supplements, just to warn you. And quite frankly, there is nothing you can do about it. I have tried everything, but when it’s a hormonal issue, there just isn’t anything you can do. You have to let it run its course. And it sucks. You feel like you’re a 12-year-old school girl again.
5. Fatigue. My body as a whole tends to feel physically worn out. I get irritated and am generally very uncomfortable and tired. This could go hand-in-hand with the exhaustion symptom, but I feel like they are two separate things, especially during different days of the luteal phase. Sometimes it’s just physical tiredness and irritability, and other times it’s pure exhaustion where I feel like I am drugged. It really depends on the day.
6. Headaches. I already get a lot of headaches with Clomid. Progesterone is just as bad for me. I am always paranoid of taking too much Ibuprofen because I don’t want to affect my uterine lining, and yet Tylenol does nothing for me, so I am stuck. Breathing in peppermint oil helps relieve some of that pressure and helps you relax. I recommend investing in some. Actually, with it being this close to Christmas, get your hands on some peppermint bath items! Bath & Body Works has an aromatherapy line of items and I just recently purchased a peppermint body buffer.
7. Bloating. Get ready to feel fat. I wear more dresses, especially A-line, when on progesterone supplements because I feel freer… free-er… neither spelling looks correct! Whatever. That. I can feel fat but look less so with the delicate flare of an A-line dress.
8. HOT. I tend to feel overheated. If it’s not hot flashes, it’s just plain hot 24/7. I don’t know about you guys, but I hate, hate, hate feeling hot. Hence, another reason to wear a dress!
So there you have it. That’s how progesterone supplements affect me.
Do you think it’s time to test?! Check out this post before you pee on that stick:
If you’re a TTC veteran and have taken supplements, do you have anything to add?