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Off The Pill After 12 Years, No Period: Trying To Conceive, What Can I Do?


Dr. Ramirez,

I was on the pill for 12 years, and stopped taking it back in September of 2012 to try and conceive. I did not have a period for over 3 months, so I went to the doctor who gave me a progesterone injection. About a week later, I had light bleeding for one day. A month later, I had the same light bleeding for one day. Five weeks later, I had nothing.

I went back to the doctor and got another injection. Two days later I had light spotting and nothing else. Is this considered a cycle? I am suppose to start Clomid on day five, but I am worried that the progesterone is not working for me and that the absence of my period is something else. Also, is there any difference in results if I were to take Provera instead? I am 30 years old, and really want to start having children. Should I try the Provera or just go on to an infertility specialist? I am so impatient and ready to get started, but very frustrated. Please help! L. from Tennessee


Hi Lisa from the U.S. (Tennessee),

Obviously your current doctor is wasting your time (and has done so three times), so I would recommend that you go see a fertility specialist. Not only will you have an appropriate evaluation done to see why your ovaries are not working, but you'll get the appropriate treatment and get pregnant in the shortest time period.

Basically, progesterone injections and Provera (progesterone) accomplish the same thing, which is to induce a withdrawal bleed. So, using Provera won't make any difference. The reason the bleed wasn't much is because you probably did not have much of an endometrial lining formed. In that case, the light bleed would be the first day of the cycle and the counting of the cycle days would start from then. However, before starting the Clomid, a baseline ultrasound is usually done to confirm that you are on your period, as evidenced by a thinned lining, and that there are no cysts in the ovaries that might prevent ovulation. Having a cyst in the ovary is a contraindication to using Clomid or any other fertility drug.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG

Executive Medical Director

The Fertility and Gynecology Center

Monterey Bay IVF Program

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