As Meredith Vieira and Jenna Bush Hager discussed Dylan Dreyer’s experience with secondary infertility, they both addressed their own challenges with having children. But Vieira shared that she made a mistake that made getting pregnant a little harder — though she's laughing about it now.
“Can I tell you the funny side of my infertility?” Vieira said. “I never had trouble getting pregnant but I always had trouble holding onto pregnancies.”
After about three miscarriages, her doctor recommended that she take progesterone suppositories to prevent another miscarriage. When she was starting her family more than 30 years ago, Vieira only knew of laxative suppositories, which work when inserted in the anus.
“I’m using the suppositories and I think ‘This is so weird,’” she explained. “Because it’s a suppository and I assume you put this in your butt.”
She did it for a while but still felt confused.
“And I go to Richard, my husband, and I say, ‘I don’t understand the science — like, does it get into your blood stream? I don’t get this,’” she recalled.
Richard felt just as puzzled, so Vieira called the doctor to clear up the mystery.
“I said ‘I’m sorry to be ignorant but I don’t quite understand how putting these suppositories in my rear end is going to help me,’” she said.
She says the doctor was shocked.
“He said, ‘What are you talking about? They go in your vagina,’” she said. “Which I didn’t know. And then I started doing that and then I did have a child.”
Vieira and Jenna laughed at the hilarious mistake.
“I don’t know what would have happened, I definitely wouldn’t have had a child,” Vieira said.
Progesterone helps prepare the lining of the uterus for successful implantation of an embryo and supports healthy pregnancies. Doctors once believed if they gave progesterone to women with histories of miscarriage it would help them have live births. But a 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that prescribing progesterone doesn't help.
"We do not have evidence showing that there is an increase in the live birth rate for women who have recurrent pregnancy loss when they take supplemental vaginal progesterone therapy," Dr. Christine Greves, an ob-gyn at Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology at Orlando Health in Florida, told TODAY, via email.
But Vieira shared her story to encourage others who are struggling.
“For those of you going through stuff, know that I have gone through it too and it’s the lighter side of infertility,” she said.