Am I using too much or too little?

by Allison
(Ca USA )

I'm 32 years old and I'm convinced that I have suffered from a massive hormonal imbalance for the better part of my life. I have had hair loss since I was 18, and have had irregular periods all my life. At 22 I started birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, my hair loss did not get better or worse. At 25 my hair loss got worse, by age 27 I started noticing hair where it shouldn't be. Back then I went to dr's and they ran some tests but everything came back "normal." By the time I was 30 I had developed chronic yeast infections and my hair loss and hirsutism continued and actually got worse. I'm also overweight as you could probably guess.

I promise all of this has a point. By age 32 I decided to go off the pills in March 2010, and didn't get a period again until June. My face exploded in acne, my hair got even worse and my emotions where all over the place. After years of research I started taking massive doses of probiotics and thank God that brought some control over the candida although I still have flare ups here and there. I also discovered the benefits of progesterone.

I started using an all natural cream with 6% progesterone I think back in January of this year and I'm happy to say I have regular periods again and my face has cleared up about 80%, I even saw some new hair growth which I hadn't seen in years. But now I have a problem, just these last weeks I've noticed that my hair has started to thin again, has the cream stopped working? I know I probably have adrenal and thyroid issues on top of ovary issues which is why I'm taking Maca powder but I wonder if I'm taking too much or too little progesterone. I use 2 1/4 teaspoons a day, one in the morning and one at night, I also rotate the body parts where I apply. I've read that you suggest 100 to 200 mg a day but I have no idea how much mg are in a 1/4 teaspoon. I also wonder why the cream stopped working.

Could you give me any input? I have no insurance and I've been laid off so getting a hormone test is out of the question bc I can't afford it. Buying the maca and the cream is a hardship in itself already but I'm making that sacrifice bc I want to regain my health and my hair! Please help, at this point im at my wits end and getting desperate and depressed. What am I doing wrong?

Comments for Am I using too much or too little?

Click here to add your own comments

May 11, 2011
Wait for Wray's Response
by: CamperKat

Just a quick note of reassurance here for you, in case Wray can't get to you right away.

If you say you are taking progesterone cream since January 2011 and are now experiencing hair loss...you actually aren't having a bad reaction. It can take at least 3 months to even begin to start resolving hormone issues, especially ones as serious and long-standing as yours. Your hair loss is likely just hair going into the resting stage--and it will fill in again--give it 4-6 months. The fact that you are getting regular periods and your acne has cleared has proven that you need progesterone cream and that it is working.

I'm sure that Wray will give you specifics about dosing for your condition and also feedback about nutritional supplements.

Keep up with the progesterone cream. If you are using Natpro and cooking/baking measuring spoons, 1/16 teaspoon is 10.1mg, 1/8 teaspoon is 20.8 mg, 1/4 teaspoon is 41.6 mg, and 1/2 teaspoon is 83.2mgs. If you are using other brands, the milligrams of progesterone will be different, and they will tell you on the packaging how many mgs of progesterone are in each application. For instance, Emerita's Pro-Gest is 20mg per 1/4 teaspoon and 40 mg per 1/2 teaspoon.

Good luck to you, and chin UP!!

May 12, 2011
i can relate..
by: Anonymous

I too have been on a long mission to find out what all "physicians" can't explain to me. The hair loss is just the icing on the cake.. I felt compelled to give you a few names of products that are helping me when nothing else has.. Threelac- probiotic of all probiotics! Vitamineral green- a whole food. activated charcoal will help move toxins out so that your body may try to remember how to function. And stabilized oxygen./ food grade hydrogen peroxide 35%> apple cider vinager rinses after shampoo or better yet put a cup or two in your bath water. Good luck to you. I too financially did not know how to find relief. i suppose thats why I found this... for about 100 bucks you should be able to gain much health over the next two months. Check out milk thistle too...

May 13, 2011
Thank you for your encouragement
by: Allison

Camperkat and anonymous, I thank you for the bottom of my heart for your encouragement and help. I thought maybe this blog was a dead end, but I see that someone cared enough to give me encouragement when I needed it the most. As I wait for Wray's response it was very heartening to read your comments. Once again thank you very much!

May 15, 2011
researched my current progesterone cream
by: Allison

So I did some more research on the progesterone cream I use and found out that the 2oz jar has 900mg of progesterone in it, which means in order to get over 100mg daily I need to use 1/2 teaspoon in the am and 1/4 teaspoon in the pm on day 14 in order to achieve my normal 28 day cycle. I'm thinking of switching over to Natpro, is it natural though? I use meltdown which is as natural as can be I think, but what are people's opinion on Natpro?

May 16, 2011
Natpro Ingredients
by: CamperKat

Look on the website here for Natpro's ingredients...they are as "natural" as you can get, i.e., no fake preservatives like pheno's found in Emerita's Progest and and in Life Flow's Progesta-Care. Also good is the all-natural product made by the family of the late Dr. John Lee (who did all the original research about/coined the term "estrogen dominance") but his product contains only half the progesterone milligrams as Natpro does...at the same price...so Natpro turns out to be more economical. You can find the Dr. Lee progesterone at drjohnlee.com (I think that's the site...google his name if this is wrong).

And NO! You are NOT alone here...I know very well what it feels like to feel desperate and alone and have nowhere to turn because of money constraints or because the medical community condescends to us...Keep up with the progesterone cream, give it 3-6 months for full effect--if you've been using it since January 2011 and you have already seen benefits--you are on the right track. And while your hair may be shedding right now--it is only in a resting state and will grow back fuller--give it time. By July at the latest (6 months from January), you will see baby hairs at your temples--and probably they're even there now, but you haven't noticed them. Good luck!

May 16, 2011
Divide your 100 mg Daily Dose into Two
by: CamperKat

Forgot to mention...you must use your progesterone cream at LEAST 2x per day, because progesterone is processed out of the body completely within 12 hours (starts to circulate within seconds of application, is completely absorbed from skin within 15 minutes, reaches blood circulation within 1 hour, reaches its highest use at hour 4, and then starts to diminish by hours 6-8 and is completely out of the body by hour 12). So it's best to take 2 doses minimum per day, not one. So if you need 100mg per day and you have 100mg per teaspoon in your current product, then use 1/2 teaspoon in the morning and 1/2 teaspoon in the evening.

You may want to divide that 100mg into 3 doses, if that works for you. It may.

For some reason, my body likes about 80--120mg per day. And I learned by trial/error that I feel better with smaller doses spread out throughout the day. When I used just 2 larger doses per day (one when I got up in the morning, one before bedtime), my body didn't respond the way other people reported--I'd do my big morning dose and then I felt achey by hour 4 or 5. But rather than upping the daily dose, I decided to try using smaller dabs more frequently--and that worked great. So now I use 20-30mg first thing in the morning, and about every 4-6 hours I use another 10-20mg depending on how I'm feeling. I use my last daily dose at 10:30pm. This multi-dosing is not really a pain the rear...it's made me pay attention to how my body responds, and as I become more balanced, I know I won't have to apply it 4-5x per day. But for now--that's what my body likes.

One thing I've learned: LISTEN to your body. If you're body-achey or headachey or crampy or having a lot of stress or anticipate pressure at work or home--use a little more (5-10mg more) in the morning, and see how you feel. If by mid-day you feel you need more, use another 5-10mg. Pay attention to how your body reacts. That's the nice part about dividing up your doses--you can always add a little more, but like in cooking--you can't take away...always best to use the smallest dose that works for you. So take that 100mg per day and divide it up and see how that works.

Good luck!


May 18, 2011
Am I using too much or too little?
by: Wray

Hi Allison It sounds as if you have PCOS, has anyone checked for it? All your symptoms point to it. Although your test results came back 'normal', often oestrogen and testosterone are at the high end, and progesterone at the low end. This would make oestrogen and testosterone the dominant hormones, and explain your symptoms. All Contraceptives can cause problems whilst on them, and when stopping them. We do have a page on Candida. I've found MCT oil is the best means of getting rid of it, plus the probiotics which you take. Progesterone is actually helpful, whereas oestrogen exacerbates it, another reason for me to believe your oestrogen is too high. You say you don't know how much progesterone you are taking. Well if it's a 6% cream, it means each ml contains 60mg progesterone. You say you are using 2 1/4 tsp per day, I take it this means 1/2tsp per day, and not 2 1/4tsp per day? 1/4tsp therefore contains 75mg progesterone, meaning you are using in total 150mg/day. This is a good amount, but you haven't been using progesterone for long and you're going through extra stress having been laid off. Stress drops progesterone levels, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. I believe this is the reason you are again experiencing adverse symptoms. I hesitate to ask you to use more, as you are struggling as it is, but if you can please do. I've found supplemental progesterone very helpful for adrenal issues. The adrenals make progesterone before converting it into progesterone, but if they are stressed they'll rob other sources, notably ovarian progesterone. This is turn upsets the reproductive cycle, in fact stress can stop ovulation. This means no progesterone is made. Please have a vitamin D test done, a lack of this upsets ovulation and reduces the benefits of progesterone. For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. We also have a page on How to use progesterone cream. I'm running out of space, so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

May 18, 2011
Am I using too much or too little?
by: Wray

Hi Allison There are a number of nutrients which help hair growth, please consider taking 5000iu's/day vitamin D, 2000mg/day N-actyl cysteine, 2000mg/day inositol, 2-3mg biotin and 100mg thiamine (B1). Please check your iron levels, and there is some evidence the amino acid lysine is beneficial too, see here. Vitamin D is vital for the anagen phase of hair growth, see here, here and here. Take care Wray

May 18, 2011
Wait for Wray's Response
by: Wray

Hi CamperKat Bless you for your input! I can't always answer as quickly as I'd like to. Thanks for giving the measuring advice too, kitchen spoons are the best means, until you get used to the amount you need. Take care Wray

May 23, 2011
Use more
by: Wray

Hi Alison If you want to use 100mg/day with the cream you are currently using, you would have to use more. 900mg progesterone per 60g means it contains 15mg progesterone per gram of cream. 15 goes into 100 6.6 times, or you would need 6.6ml of cream. This is equivalent to 1 1/3 tsp per day, or 2 2/3 if you wanted to use 200mg progesterone. As for natural I like to think it's as near as we can get! Some of the ingredients have organic validation, it's also a very simple cream. Containing nothing more than is needed to get progesterone into the body. We know it does this very well, as a naturopath who's prescribed it for 15 years now, runs Saliva Tests for us. This page shows some results, giving both the before and after tests. If you want to read about the ingredients, please see our page here. You'll have to scroll down a bit to find them. Take care Wray

May 23, 2011
Thanks for your response!!
by: Allison

Thanks Wray, I appreciate you getting to my questions, I really really do appreciate it! I've started to use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons per day, and noticed that my energy shot up dramatically. I will start to follow your indications on the the dosage you are reccomending to achieve at least 100mg per day, but I also plan to switch to natpro as soon as my current stock of cream is used up. Seems like I can use less cream because it has a higher progesterone content.

The fact that my energy levels evened out after starting the progesterone again indicates to me that I have thyroid and/or adrenal issues on top of the PCOS that I suspect I have. I say star to use the progesterone bc I only use it on the last 14 days of my cycle. But another question arises: what do I do on the days when I'm not using the progesterone? Like I said before, I notice my hair is getting worse, and my energy levels are on the floor when I'm not on the cream. What do you suggest I do during the first 14 days of my cycle when I'm not on the cream. I plan to buy the other supplements you suggestes on the prior comments, but can that help with my other symptoms such as fatigue and depression during the first 14 days? I'm also taking maca, started taking 2 tablespoons a day, but I don't see or feel a great difference, only when I"m on the cream do I feel a difference. What is your opinion on maca?

May 30, 2011
Thanks for your response!!
by: Wray

Hi Allison Thanks! And yes the Natpro does contain more than most creams. I would suggest you use the progesterone all month, ie not taking a break. Do this for two to three months to top up your progesterone level, and reduce your oestrogen. It's easy enough to start the cycle again once you feel better and confident to do so, see our page on How to use progesterone cream If symptoms come back, then it's so easy to start the cream again. There's no hard and fast rule to using it, some people make it out to be rocket science, it's not. It should be used as and when needed, hourly if symptoms are bad. The amount varied according to symptoms too. The other supplements are mainly for the hair, although vitamin D is good for depression, a lack causing it. Maca is good, but I find very expensive. I've also tried it, but found no difference, maybe I didn't take it for long enough. Or the fact I take a complex I make up containing many aminos, vitamins etc for fatigue etc. There's more info on our page on Insulin Resistance. These are the papers I have on maca, see here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jun 28, 2011
Cycle's all off
by: Anonymous

Ok so I have another question, back when I first started the cream back in January I wasn't bleeding so I started the cream on a random day. Eventually I started to bleed and then after that I started the cream on the 14th day according to your how to use progesterone page because once upon a time when I was regular I usually had 28 day cycles. Well now that I'm paying attention to my cycles I've noticed that I start to bleed anywhere between 21 to 25 days since my first day of my period. Is this normal? I don't get it, this is happening with me starting the cream on day 14, should I keep doing it? Or should I change it to day 8? Why is this happening? Is it normal?

Jun 29, 2011
Cycle's all off
by: Wray

Hi there Progesterone can upset the cycle, making it either early or late. But it does settle down. I would have to know how old you are, as cycles can become erratic when in Peri-menopause. They can start off by becoming shorter. If this is the case, it would be best to use the progesterone daily, ignoring your cycle. Take care Wray

Aug 27, 2011
Three month update
by: Allison

Ok so I've been using approximately 150mg of cream on the last 14 days of my cycle, my cycles are still between 21 to 23 days instead of my normal 28 days, so I hope this will work itself out. My acne has calmed down considerably although I still have small break outs here and there but they are more far in between now. My hair is sort of the same. It seems that it's still thinning, I see new hairs, but not as much as I'd like. I wanted to know when do you think I'll start to get my hair back? I know it's only been three months, do you think I'll see full results within a year? It's so hard to be patient.

Also a quick note, do you think that copper toxicity can be correlated to pcos and other hormonal imbalances? I've heard bcp and the iud have ridiculous amounts of copper. What is your opinion on this?

Aug 29, 2011
Three month update
by: Wray

Hi Allison It's so difficult to say when your hair will start actively growing again. Often other symptoms are helped first, before that is. I've heard from others with the same problem, that the hair definitely growing within a year. Please try those nutrients I suggested, as they do help too. But particularly have a vitamin D test done. And most definitely excess copper is the cause of hormonal imbalances, it reduces progesterone levels and increases oestrogen levels. Not only that but it's a cause of depression, psychotic behavior, and worsens any PMS symptoms. It also increases the adverse symptoms of post natal depression and peri-menopause and menopause, see here and here. Ironically the only contraceptive I recommend is the copper T IUD. It's easy enough to counter the copper with zinc if this method is used. In fact zinc is low in most of our soils, so it's advisable to take it anyway. A lack is one cause of Acne. Take care Wray

Oct 26, 2011
Still need help
by: Allison

Hi Wray, I wasn't planning on bothering you with more questions, but I'm still having issues. I have been keeping up with the progesterone cream, but now I am more confused than ever. I have been using the cream as you indicate: wait for day 14, use until day 28 then stop and a period should result. In my case, I was using the cream only until day 23-25 because then the next day I would start to bleed, so then after my period again I would wait until day 14 to start over. What's happened this month is on 10/2 I was due to start the cream, when day 23 came and I didn't get my period, I thought no big deal, it'll come on day 25. Well day 25 came and went too, so I thought it's fine, my body is finally adapting and getting back to it's 28 day cycle. 10/16 was day 28 so I stopped the cream. I started to spot until 2 days ago, when the spotting stopped, and I have yet to get a full period. I have been extremely emotional (which hasn't happened since I started using the cream), keep getting small little cramps, I've been a little bloated, and tender in my lower abdominal area, like my body is preparing to start, but nothing happens. At this point I have no idea what to do. What has caused this? I've also been under a good deal of stress, like serious stress, so to compensate I used a little more cream, so instead of my usual 150mg I was probably using 175mg. Now I'm not spotting at all, and all signs that my body was about to get my period have gone, except for the emotional part. I think it's strange that I'm 7 days late, and I doubt I'm pregnant, we've used condoms. What did I do wrong? And now since I haven't gotten my period, I have no idea if I should start the cream again, or wait 1 more week and then start it? I have no idea if I'm ovulating and don't want to use the cream beforehand bc then it will prevent ovulation right? Can you help once again?

Jan 29, 2012
Still need help
by: Wray

Hi Alison I'm so dismayed I missed your post, it's now months later, and of course I have no idea how you are faring now. I do apologise. If you do get this reply of mine, and would like help please come back to me. Take care Wray

Jun 22, 2013
How Much Progesterone?
by: Traci

I have been taking 1/4 tsp of 6% natural progesterone cream for about 5 months. I'm gaining weight around my mid section, to the point that I feel like I'm wearing a child's swim ring around my belly. Upon reading articles, I'm thinking that I may not be taking enough progesterone, but I have no idea how much I'm currently taking in mg. Can you explain how much I'm taking? I don't want to be estrogen dominant, bc at this rate of weight gain (approx. 1 lb @ month), I'll end up as big as a house by the end of the year. I've recently started to have a bit of swelling in my feet. I have no ther health issues, saliva test showed low progesterone only. (partial hysterectomy 3 yrs ago, still have my ovaries)

Jun 23, 2013
How Much Progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Traci The 6% cream means it contains 60mg progesterone per millilitre of cream. A 1/4tsp is 1.25ml so you're getting about 75mg/day progesterone, which I agree is not enough. The swelling feet is probably water retention caused by oestrogen. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, for more info about this see our page on Traumatic Brain Injury. So it won't be the progesterone causing it, but if the level is too low it stimulates oestrogen. There's more info on our Oestrogen Dominance page. Oestrogen is a mitogen stimulating cells, including fat cells, to proliferate. Progesterone inhibits mitosis. I suggest you increase to at least 100mg/day, you'll have to play around with the amount, it's impossible for me to say how much you'll need. You might like to see our pages on Peri-menopause and Menopause. Take care Wray

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.


Search over 7,500 pages on this site...