Progesterone plays an important role in health and fertility. Progesterone is a hormone primarily produced following ovulation each cycle. After you ovulate, progesterone works to thicken...
Linny got pregnant by surprise, and in the same year, she had two more pregnancies. These all ended in miscarriages, which was both confusing and deeply upsetting for Linny and her husband. This is how Linny realized she was experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss. She had gotten pregnant easily each time. After the first year of trying, in which she suffered three losses, Linny never got pregnant again. “I had assumed that getting pregnant was the easy part for me,” she said. “I thought what we had to work on was keeping me pregnant.” She and her husband have been trying for two years now, and Linny has learned a lot about herself and her body along the way.
Linny has learned a lot about her diagnosis, recurrent pregnancy loss, over time. She believes it’s important to speak out about recurrent pregnancy loss in order to raise awareness and share support. She feels like the fertility community has great support for infertility in general, but that there aren’t as many resources for those who experience miscarraige or recurrent loss. “Only 1% of the population experiences more than 3 losses. It’s something that just doesn’t happen a lot. So people don’t know about it, they don’t talk about it, and if it happens to them they don’t know what to do next,” Linny said. She shares her story on Instagram in hopes of providing guidance, information, and strength for those experiencing similar things.
As Linny began to seek medical help, her doctor ran tests and found she has a blood clotting disorder. The doctor thinks this may have contributed to Linny’s miscarriages, but there’s no way to be sure. There are a lot of reasons why women have miscarriages. Linny wanted to learn more about her body and her fertility, so she read the book “It Starts with the Egg”. She thinks that the book helps break down everything a woman should be taking to optimize fertility in a holistic, natural way. Linny learned a lot from the book and began taking supplements. After her last loss, she really wanted to focus on her health and boosting her fertility.
She decided she wanted to take a break from trying for four months, because it takes about that long to see the effects of supplements. “I was terrified of getting pregnant in those four months. I thought my body wasn’t ready,” she said. She waited until August to start trying again. When they did begin trying, Linny did not get pregnant. “I really thought I’d get pregnant the first try, because we had gotten pregnant so easily before.” Linny and her husband were shocked. She had learned so much over the past few months, and done everything she could to optimize her fertility, yet she wasn’t getting pregnant. Linny decided to start seeing a reproductive endocrinologist to get more answers. The doctor found that Linny had low progesterone levels. Linny started taking progesterone, and had her cycles monitored with the RE. They found that she had a short luteal phase and short follicular phase. Linny gets her period every 21 days.
Linny did two cycles with clomid, and one IUI with letrozole and follistim. None of these cycles were successful. Linny kept trying with medical support for a few months, but because of holidays, traveling, and scheduling issues, she took a break from this and began trying naturally again. A long time went by without Linny becoming pregnant. However, in January of 2021, Linny discovered she was pregnant. Unfortunately, she suffered another loss. “Although it was hard to have another miscarriage, it has actually helped me believe in my body again,” Linny said.
Linny still tracks her temperature, uses ovulation strips, and takes progesterone pills after ovulation. Linny and her husband are trying on their own until Linny feels ready to move forward with IVF. IVF could be a good option for Linny, because she could test all her embryos before transferring them. Until then, Linny is committed to tracking her cycle and learning more about her body. “I’ve saved all my ovulation strips. I put the date on the little paper. But it would be nice to have it all in a graph, so I can look it over and really understand it,” she said. “It was because of tracking my cycle that I was able to find out that I have low progesterone, and a short luteal phase. That’s what led me to start doing medicated cycles.” Because of what she had learned while tracking her cycle, she was able to ask her doctor important questions regarding her progesterone and cycle length. Throughout her time trying to conceive, Linny has been passionate about learning everything she can about her fertility, and doing what she can to improve her chances of pregnancy.
Linny started sharing her story on Instagram about a year ago. “Since I started sharing I’ve seen many more accounts, resources, and women being vocal about their stories. And that’s great, because the more stories are out there, the more information we all have access to,” Linny said. She believed that the more people share, the more there is for people to relate to. “Every single story is so unique”, she said. For example, she realized she could have low progesterone after she saw another woman post about it. This woman described spotting before her period, a symptom of low progesterone. Linny had always spotted before her period. When she read this post, she learned it could mean she had low progesterone levels. After she got her hormone levels checked, she realized she was right. This is a big variable for pregnancy, and the risk of miscarriage. It was an important thing for Linny to learn about herself. “That’s why I think it’s so important to share stories,” Linny said.
Even though many women do share their stories, Linny feels like there’s still a lack of available information about infertility. “It’s been such a taboo topic for so long,” she said. Not only is there a lack of information, but a lack of diversity in what is being shared and who is sharing it. “I’d love to see more diversity in the stories that are being shared. I don’t see enough diverse representation. It’s usually caucasian women. Those have been the women who have shared more,” she said. “It can be very taboo for particular cultures to share their stories- even within their own families, nonetheless on Instagram or in public.” Linny believes that all groups need representation in the fertility community. “I have friends from different cultures who tell me they don’t feel comfortable sharing because of the stigma. I’ve had friends tell me they don’t even feel comfortable telling their families about this, because in their household and culture it’s such a taboo thing,” Linny said. “I just wonder how many women are out there going through the same thing.” Linny believes that more representation of all experiences would help to battle the stigma that still surrounds infertility in many cases.
Before she started trying to conceive, Linny didn’t think much about her fertility. “I didn’t think about my reproductive health at all. I got my period every month, and that was it. I didn’t think much about it,” she said. “There’s not enough education out there about women’s bodies. We just don’t know how things work.” She believes this is a big problem, because women don’t know what symptoms to look out for in their bodies. She thought that getting her period every 21 days was fine (which it could be, for some, but not for her). She thought that spotting before her period was normal, and that her regularly intense period cramps were common. It wasn’t until she started acupuncture that her acupuncturist told her that her cramping wasn’t normal, and that it could be connected to her blood clotting disorder. When Linny had her first miscarriage, her doctor didn’t give her much information. The doctor told her it was a fluke, and that it wouldn’t happen again. “They just sent me home to be on my own.” Linny’s fertility journey has shown her the gap in education, resources, and support when it comes to all things fertility.
Linny’s experiences have changed her passions and interests. Her background is in mental health, therapy, and relationship coaching. Now, Linny is studying to become a fertility and bereavement coach and a doula. “I have so much information, and I want to help women. I remember the first time I had a miscarraige, I thought, ‘I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know who to talk to, or what testing I’m supposed to do’”. She felt like no one helped her deal with her loss, or told her how to prevent it from happening again. “My goal is to be the person that I never had, who I wish I had,” Linny said. She wants to be a voice of guidance for women, who aren’t sure what to do when trying to conceive doesn’t go according to plan. Her expertise in mental health and her knowledge about all things fertility will allow her to support and guide women who are going through infertility.
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