Apparently Not Enough Progesterone

by Jenny
(Tucson, Arizona)

I was a raving bad tempered lunatic for about 2 weeks before my cycle each month. The husband got the brunt of it; the dogs got used to running outside when I erupted. (sigh) Didn't know what to do about it.

I'm 45 now and starting looking for help. I mean this was getting ridiculous. I was also not losing weight either even when I exercised.
I learned about progesterone and wondered if that was my problem. I got it and used it 3 or 4 days before my cycle started and the next day I became a normal human again. THE NEXT DAY! I was calmer, happier, (probably because I felt calmer) and that night, boy was I in the mood!

I stopped applying the cream on the first day and then in due course there came a day when I started to get the bitchies. I checked the calendar and sure enough, it was day 14 just like clock work. I applied the cream right away and almost instantly I felt so great and calm and like so NORMAL. Oh!

This stuff has changed my life so much. I don't worry about stuff so much now and am dealing with stressful situations a whole lot better.
I do have more energy and I am assuming that the weight loss will also follow.

Comments for Apparently Not Enough Progesterone

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Jun 30, 2009
Apparently Not Enough Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Jenny. Thanks for sharing this story! I wish more women knew this and not have to wait till their 40's before discovering progesterone. One thing to remember, stress drops progesterone levels sharply so symptoms can come back. If this should happen just add more immediately, if you know you are going to go through a stressful time, apply more cream beforehand. And it does help us handle stressful situations better! Take care, Wray

Jul 23, 2009
Pls someone HELP
by: Tammie

I am using Progesterone cream 30mg, at night. I do ok but I have had a partial hysterectomy and don't know when my period is... I am also in menopause... so, I apply it everyday ! Today, not sure WHY, but, I am soooo tearful and upset and have anxiety... is that a sign I need to put more on ? I am a little confused on how much is too much progesterone ?

Would appreciate any suggestions to get out of this funk and tearful crap.

Jul 26, 2009
Please someone HELP
by: Wray

Hi Tammie. You're not using enough progesterone! 30mg will not help, the dose is far too small, it should be between 100-200mg. Please increase to somewhere between these two figures, symptoms are the way to judge if you're using enough. As you're in menopause use it daily, you have no cycle which could be disrupted. The amount of progesterone needed is dependant on symptoms and their severity. For instance someone with post natal psychosis needs well over 2000mg/day. Please use the cream twice a day too, it keeps levels up. Once a day and they drop too low between doses. Take care, Wray

Jul 26, 2009
How do you know ?
by: Tammie

When you are having your period when you have had a partial hysterocomy ? I put the cream on everyday ! Not sure if it really is helping, I don't really feel any better or worse, still feel sad and depressed? Life should not have to be like this at 47 years old ~ Is my doc giving me too much estrogen, testosterone ? I don't know where to turn... I feel like I am just paying him to give me these shots and driving 55 miles each week to feel crappy ?

He has prescribed 1/4 tsb or 1 gram of pregesterone cream at night on my breasts. Does anyone else use it this way ? Thanks to all that can help me ~ Tammie in Missouri.

Jul 28, 2009
How do you know ?
by: Wray

Hi Tammie. Applying the cream everyday is fine with a partial hysterectomy, it should be used twice daily though. One gram of cream is not enough, especially if it's a low dose cream. Progesterone should be used at levels of between 100-200mg/day to have any effect. If you are having oestrogen and testosterone shots it's no wonder you still feel awful! Both these are 'end hormones', it's far safer to use a precursor like progesterone. The body will balance itself with just the progesterone. Take care, Wray

May 22, 2010
Anxiety
by: Danette

I am relieved that I found your web site. I have been taking Lexapro, 5 mg.for about 22 days now, for anxiety. I have some side effects but the worst is anxiety and not sleeping long enough. I was given the Lexapro in the hospital when all the tests they ran came back negative. I don't think they checked my hormones. Just my thyroid. If they did they didn't say anything to me. My thyroid was elevated a while back but in the hospital it was tested 4 times and it's fine. At that time I was taking the hormone pill for a 10 day period. I know my hormones are very low. I feel terrible. My family doctor told me I am in peri-menopause. My second obgyn told me I have no estrogen and I am in menopause.. I am 53 and having horrible tremors and anxiety and many more symptoms. I have not had my period in 3 years. I think I could handle everything else but the anxiety. I can't function. I can't drive anymore and I don't leave my house unless it is to go see another doctor. My family needs me.

The doctors look at me as if I am crazy. I am not crazy but I feel like I am losing my mind. I was practicing yoga full time and taking care of my family quite well. The second obgyn did a pap smear and said my skin was very thin down there and that I had no estrogen. That's when he gave me HRT. I did not take those pills. These doctors don't want to even talk about bio identical hormones. They would rather hand me a pill and send me on my miserable way. This causes stress just knowing that it's a simple matter of hormone unbalance. After begging for relief, my family doctor finally gave me testosterone cream and told me to wait a month to feel better. He did more blood work at my request, including thyroid. I get the results in a week. I know I probably need a large amounts of progesterone. For now I am taking some OTC progesterone (it has 20 mg of progesterone in it) but I know it's not enough. I can feel my body soaking it up. He said I have to wait a month to get on bio identical hormones. At least he is willing at my request to give them to me. A month seems like years. He doesn't know much about hormones but the compound pharmacy seems to know more about it. That's why they put me on testosterone for now. He thinks I have anxiety for other reasons because I brought in a lot of information regarding women and menopause. He said it's a red flag. I say better informed than not knowing anything about hormones. My first obgyn gave me HRT and I took it about 2 months ago for 10 days and stopped it. Can taking a HRT for 10 days help my thyroid look normal? I never wanted to go that route. Most doctors don't want to give anything but a pill that is so dangerous. I really can't go on like this. So after that long story, how much progesterone should I take to feel better? Thank you in advance.

May 25, 2010
Anxiety
by: Wray

Hi Danette. You have had a journey! We do have a web page on anxiety, it gives a list of nutrients which all help, please see here. It seems par for the course all the pills you were offered, and no word about progesterone. I'm baffled why you were given testosterone! They often give this because of the misguided idea it will raise libido, but there is no evidence it does, please see here.

I can't agree about the anxiety being caused by finding out what's wrong with you! Anxiety is caused by stress, a drop in blood glucose can cause it too, this in turn drops our neurotransmitters and hormones. HRT would normally slow your thyroid down, so there's probably nothing wrong with it other than a possible lack of vitamin D, please have a test done. Up to 50% of us are deficient in it and it can cause depression and anxiety if low. Plus a low level reduces the benefits of progesterone, for more info please see here. I normally recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, you will probably need 200mg/day to start with, as your symptoms are bad. Maybe more, but start on that and see how you get on. Symptoms of oestrogen excess could occur, which are most disconcerting, please see here. If you don't want to wait a month you could always get the cream yourself, please see here. Take care, Wray

May 25, 2010
Do these Doctor's know?
by: Tammie in Missouri

I have a question that has been really upsetting me. Several doctors have told me, since I had a partical hysterecomy and DO NOT have a uterus... I don't need progesterone! They said that it makes my chances HIGHER for breast cancer... Is this true?

I almost fell off the chair. Presently, I take 2mg of Estradiol; 100mg Progesterone and 1.5mg of Testosterone. They are all Bio-identical and it's cream that I rub on my arms. Please HELP with this alarming news!

May 27, 2010
Do these Doctor's know?
by: Wray

Hi Tammie. The doctors are confusing progesterone with a progestin, which does increase your chance. Oestradiol certainly increases your chances of it, as oestroen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, see here. And here. Progesterone has been used successfully against a number of cancers, please see here. Many also mistakenly think progesterone is only needed by the uterus, once that's gone there is no need for it. How untrue this is! There is mounting evidence it's necessary for ageing, please see these...
Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3
Paper 4
Paper 5
There appears to be be evidence it is helpful for Alzheimer's too, see here. I have no idea why you were given testosterone, maybe in the mistaken idea it helps with libido. There is no evidence it does, see here. I don't believe any woman needs extra, as it can increase the chances of facial hair, acne and hair loss from the head. Take care, Wray

Sep 07, 2011
100-200 mg!!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

According to Dr. John Lee, women should take 20 mg. of natural progesterone cream a day. Only when they first start taking the cream, is it recommended that they take 40 mg. per day for the first 3 months. After that, they are advised to drop this amount down to 20 mg. per day, as this is what the human body normally produces.

Why are you advocating for such extreme amounts of progesterone? 100 mg? 200 mgs? Are you referring to oral progesterone or to topical progesterone? If you are referring to oral progesterone, then I stand corrected. But if you are teaching people to apply 200 mgs. of natural progesterone CREAM, this goes completely against what Dr. Lee advocates.

Nov 27, 2011
100-200 mg!!!!!!!
by: Wray

Hi there According to Dr Dalton she advocated no less than 200mg/day, and often prescribed 800mg/day. For her patients with post natal psychosis she would prescribe 2400mg/day. While she was alive I would turn to her for advice, always given willingly. She would use injections or suppositories, never oral, which as you point out is not as effective. The problem I've found with low amounts of 20-40mg/day is they don't work. If they did none of us would need progesterone, we would have no adverse symptoms. Because, as you point out, we make that each month. But with severe symptoms far more is needed. One study using 40mg/day topical progesterone found it only produced a sub-luteal phase level, evidently we need more if we want it to get to the luteal level, see here. Hundreds of studies have been done on progesterone, in many disciplines, and all but a few have used high amounts. The most fascinating for me was the one carried out on TBI victims. They gave over 1200mg/day IV progesterone and found after 30 years of trials, it is the only thing which helps. Incidentally over 70% of the victims were men, see here, here and here. Take care Wray

Feb 06, 2013
Dr. Lee's Progesterone Cream
by: Christy

I just started using Dr. Lee's Progesteral Cream a few days ago and after reading all that I can on Progesterone cream, I'm confused now!! I have read that too little can cause more symptoms than what I had. I'm using it twice a day as said, which are two dots of it a day and I feel a little better but I still feel like I have a fog in my head. I had a partial hyst several years ago, I am 51 and was told I was in menopause just this past year. I have searched and searched for help bc the depression and irritability is getting HORRIBLE!!! I don't really care about the hot flashes or night sweats, which the cream is helping with, I wud just like to feel normal again. I'm kinda of scared of the cream bc I read that it's gud for u, then I read that it isn't!! I wish there was somewhere to actually go and have someone tell me for sure this is what I need. Also, I have read that u shud take estrogen with the Progestrone....so I'm really confused. Can someone help straighten all this out for me????

Feb 08, 2013
Dr. Lee's Progesterone Cream
by: Wray

Hi Christy It can be very confusing, there are too many Progesterone Misconceptions. It is safe, no question about that, see our page here. The amounts to use vary greatly, I've found 100-200mg/day is the barest minimum which should be used. As too little can cause Oestrogen Dominance. You're probably using about 20-40mg/day at the moment. I've found for Hot Flushes and night sweats 400mg/day is needed. It does help depression and Anxiety, this page gives a list of nutrients which help too. Please consider taking some of them. Peri-menopause and Menopause are such difficult times. We have excess oestrogen in ratio to progesterone. This is due to anovulation when we don't make any progesterone. But the ovaries continue to secrete oestrogen. So the last thing any woman needs is more oestrogen. Progesterone does not have to be used with oestrogen. But there's no question if using oestrogen, progesterone must be used, to prevent the cellular proliferation that oestrogen causes, which often leads to Cancer. Please have a vitamin D test done, as a lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone. Take care Wray

Feb 08, 2013
Thanks Wray
by: Christy

Thank u Wray.....that was very helpful. I'm probably using too little then bc it says that a dot is 1/8 tsp and 2 dots is 1/4 tsp and a tsp has about 20 milligrams, so I guess I need to use more. Thank you for ur response. I also realized the other day, after reading on the internet, that I am going thru grief too bc my father, which was the last parent, passed away 6 months ago, so not all of my syptoms are due to menopause, but it sure doesn't help. Both together feel as if they are killing me!! The little progestrone that i have been using seems to have helped alittle, on top of realizing it is also grief, and that I am perfectly normal in what I am going thru, has helped also.

Take Care Wray!!!!

Feb 11, 2013
Thanks Wray
by: Wray

Hi Christy I'm pleased it was of help. Stress of any sort does drop progesterone levels, so loosing your father certainly didn't help you. Nothing like that occurred with me, but I did have stress, which made Peri-menopause far worse than it need have been. One good thing about progesterone it lessens the Stress response, so we are better able to cope with it. I would suggest increasing the amount you're using. Take care Wray

Feb 11, 2013
Thanks
by: Christy

Thank you Wray....I appreciate all the help u've given, it has really helped!! I have increased the progestrone some but since it comes in a tube, I'm not sure how much I'm really using. It's hard to figure what the dosage is without some type of measuring devise. LOL I have just been using 3 dots to 4 dots....and they say a dot is equal to 1/4 tsp and is between 20-40 mgs, so I figure 4 dots is 1 tsp which should have 80 to 100 mg of progestrone!! I see a little improvement on things, but not that much, but I'm not giving up on it!!!!

Feb 13, 2013
Thanks
by: Wray

Hi Christy There is a site which sells ml measuring spoons which you might find helpful, see here. 1ml of the cream you are using contains 16mg progesterone. 1/4tsp or 1.25ml would contain 20mg, but it's far bigger than a dot! I've just squeezed some into a 1/4tsp, and my best description is it's the size of an almond. Please make sure you use at least 100mg/day if not more, I'm sure you'll see a bigger improvement then. Take care Wray

Feb 20, 2013
still confused
by: christy

thanks wray...so then 1 1/4 tsp wud b 100 mgs but thats a whole lot of cream...i cud put that much all over my whole body...i still may be confused about the dosage i think...if im right 100 mgs wud b bigger than an almond...shud i change to natpro???

Feb 22, 2013
still confused
by: Wray

Hi Christy You are quite right, and you're not confused. 100mg/day would be about 5 almonds. 1 1/4tsp of the cream you're using would give you 100mg progesterone. It would cover your body, not that that's a bad thing. But you can divide the amount. It should always be used a minimum of twice a day anyway. Three times is even better. If you're happy with the cream you have then stick to it. I'm not here to force people to use Natpro, it's up to them. All I try to do is help people get better, and I've found high amounts are needed to do this. I suggest continue as you are, and see if the 100mg/day helps you. Let me know if it does. Take care Wray

Feb 22, 2013
perfect
by: christy

wray...i understand now and i really appreciate u clearing that up for me...i will continue wat ive been doing...i really feel it is helping me!!! thank u for helping so much!!!

Feb 24, 2013
perfect
by: Wray

Hi Christy I'm pleased. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Feb 25, 2013
Anxiety
by: Danette

Thank U for enlightening me about progesterone.
Currently I am on bio identical hormones. I do have to take anxiety medicine because my daughter was killed on August 10, 2012. I was taking anxiety medicine before that but I was told by the top doctor that take the surgeons and nurses that are addicted and abuse medications, that I need to be on anxiety Meds. He refused to take me off of the anxiety medicine. And now that my 21-year-old gorgeous beautiful twin daughter is dead I have no intentions of going off my anxiety medication. We are in a huge lawsuit because of this and my anxiety is off the charts. My grief it's something that's un bearable. I am also taking progesterone cream on top of 300 mg up to progesterone. . I can't get a doctor to give me any more progesterone than that. I am constantly putting the cream on. I just bought two bottles of the Renaissance progesterone cream and I'm almost out. I am taking yoga and acupuncture and I did go to grief therapy and to a therapist that nothing seems to work. I am probably the most devastating human being on this earth in my opinion. It's not natural to bury your baby before you die. My whole job and life was to raise my children Into productive human beings in society not bury my child! If I could find a way to get 2000 mg of progesterone I would. I also take seven natural herbal remedies. I have I had been through a lot of stress in my marriage but my daughter's death has topped it all. I take 5000 mg of vitamin D and other good supplements on top of bio identical hormones. Thank you for your help.

Feb 25, 2013
Anxiety
by: Wray

Hi Danette I'm so very sorry to hear about your daughter, it is devastating to a mother. I know of one other mother who lost her daughters through a divorce. Although no where near as tragic as your loss, it has still affected her very badly. She currently uses 2000mg/day and constantly puts it on too. We do give discounts for 20 tubes, and for 100 tubes, she was at one point getting 100 tubes, as her whole family had been using it. There is one therapy I think could help you and that's EFT, please consider finding a therapist from the site. They are having great success with PTSD, which is what you are suffering from. There is an introductory video at the bottom of our page on Stress, please take a look at it. Please have a vitamin D test done, this drops with stress, much as progesterone does. The 5000iu you're taking is good, but it's a maintenance dose, I don't believe enough for your current stress levels. We also have a page on Anxiety which gives a list of nutrients which can help. Please consider taking some of them. Take care Wray

Feb 27, 2013
Anxiety
by: Danette

Thank you for your kind words. I have heard of EFT. I don't know that much about it but I am wiling to try anything. Will it help with the crying and sobbing? I am glad the woman that lost her daughter, is taking lots of profesterone. I will up my dose of VD. I will also look into buying 100 progesterone creams. We have to find the best price because I soak up the Progesterson. I know the anxiety is fierce and causing havoc in my body because of our serious law suit we have started. I can't talk my doctor into giving me shots of progesterone. My mother in law was a doctor and used to give me shots daily until I got pregnant. I need it for anxiety, stress and staying calm when my mind wont shut pff. I will check out the food for anxiety also. Thank you again for getting back to me. I really appreciate you and your wonderful site. It's like mini therapy and a lot of information. I totally believe in progesterone. But 2 bottles have gone so fast. I could bathe in the cream, that's how much I know I need it. Thank you again for your nice note and all the helpful information. Namaste, Danette -

Mar 03, 2013
Anxiety
by: Wray

Hi Danette Bless you for the kind words, I know what you must be going through. I'm sure the EFT will help you, its helped numerous people with grief and as I mentioned with PTSD too. Please try to get your vitamin D level to 100ng/ml, many women have found getting it high has helped considerably. I do agree about progesterone helping with anxiety, it's a potent anxiolytic. Please look at our page here. It might help you with getting the progesterone cheaply. Namaste, take care Wray

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