I officially have low progesterone, and one fewer doctor.
I also have a renewed commitment to trusting my gut.
I had promised myself to only do what felt right following our foray into assisted reproduction. Too many times I had let myself be talked into or out of things by someone in a white coat to whom I was paying a large amount of money. I promised myself that this was my body, and my money and if I was going to try to get pregnant again it would be on my own terms, and only with things I wanted to do, that I really believed would work.
Then I met my naturopath and that all flew out the window.
Looking back now, I can admit that I was uneasy the first time I met her. Without so much as a history taken she had me try progesterone cream, and said things like "you can feel it working already, can't you." I didn't know what I was supposed to feel working, but I agreed. After all, I had been told this woman was really good at treating women outside of the bio-medical model, and the book she had me read before the visit really spoke to me. Also, I wanted to believe this would be the magic bullet. I didn't even mind that the first consult was 4-hundred dollars and that she didn't take insurance. I told myself any unease was because I just didn't understand her methods yet.
For the more than a year under her care I was on Metformin, progesterone, spironolactone, and a thyroid drug. For all that time I went to see her every two months and she would tell me how much better I was looking, how much more energy I had, and how my body was aligning itself. When I had a problem she would tell me it was a cyst and give me a progesterone shot. For more than a year I saw no real changes in my body, or my reproductive health. Still I agreed with all her assessements when I sat in her office. I wanted to believe.
Then I asked her for the progesterone level test. She said no, not until another consultation. And my eyes flew open.
I went to the web and actually looked up all of the drugs she had me on. While they can help, the levels she prescribed were too low to do anything. I also learned that no one really prescribes progesterone cream for an imbalance because the dose is too low and delivery inconsistent.
After I was done banging my head against a wall screaming "damn it, what happened to trusting yourself" I called my regular OB to see if she would order a progesterone test. She did. No big deal. When it came back low she called in a prescription for progesterone pills I will start on next cycle. No big deal. And she did it all without trying to convince me she was right.
Even better? I didn't have to convince myself.