Fibromyalgia and progesterone

by Diane Fleming-Myers
(Philadelphia, PA)

My diagnosis with Fibromyalgia left me with very little hope that I would ever feel good or function without pain again. My rheumatologist was content to put me on an antidepressant for pain and call it a day.

I still had pain and the third week of my menstrual cycle was hellish. I could not sleep and suffered both joint and muscle pain. On my own, I began to see how people were treating themselves with progesterone for pain relief. Anxious to try anything to help myself I bought a creme and rubbed it right into the areas that hurt... lo and behold, the pain decreased and eventually stopped.

My rheumatologist was dumbfounded. I am well. The end.

Comments for Fibromyalgia and progesterone

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Dec 29, 2008
Fibromyalgia and progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Diane, thanks for sharing this wonderful story! And yes progesterone is remarkable for pain relief, as it's a natural anti-inflammatory. It increases IL-10 and suppresses the Th1 and natural killer cell cytokine response which lead to inflammation. Take care Wray

Nov 13, 2009
How much cream can one use?
by: Anonymous

Having checked the site and read the encouraging comment about FM and progesterone, the question begs - how much cream can one use? Many of us who suffer FM have extensive muscle pain throughout the body. How long would a tube last if it were applied to arms and legs daily? Or, would the act of using a recommended amount on a few more painful points introduce enough progesterone to affect the entire metabolism?

Dec 11, 2009
Progesterone cream stopped pain
by: Anonymous

Years of all over body aches, prescription pain pills and muscle relaxants. Worse after menopause. My ob/gyn had me on estrogen/progesterone pills, one size fits all. I finally started to research on the web. My body has more than enough estrogen! There are pharmaceutical grade creams available (not wild yam) that do the trick in minutes. These creams are available from major drug manufacturers, in airtight, push top containers so they don't lose potency. Rub the cream on pulse points or knotted muscles and you have relief within minutes. I don't think I can mention a brand name here, just be sure you are getting pharamaceutical grade progresterone in the cream. Available without prescription. Great also to enhance sleep. The cream delivery method is more effective than an oral dose. About 20% of any oral dose is lost in the liver so a lower dose is very effective in a skin cream.

Feb 26, 2010
Do Progesterone Pills work the same for Fibromyalgia?
by: Michelle

After reading all the comments about Progesterone Cream helping to reduce the pain for fibromyalgia, I was wondering if Cerazette (The Progesterone Only Pill) would do the same thing? Thanks.

Mar 02, 2010
Do Progesterone Pills work the same for Fibromyalgia?
by: Wray

Hi Michelle. Unfortunately not, as no contraceptive pill contains progesterone, only a progestin. This is a synthetic analogue of progesterone, which stops all ovarian function. This of course means ovulation does not take place, and it's only after ovulation that we make progesterone. You might like to see this web page on contraceptives.

Incidentally recent research has come out about a lack of vitamin D and fibromyalgia. If you do have it please consider having a vitamin D test done. Please see this web site for more information. Take care, Wray

Jan 11, 2012
Fibromyalgia and progesterone
by: Anonymous

I was diagnosed with FM in 1991. I had a hysterectomy at 26 and was on 1.25 premarin all that time until about 5 years ago when we dropped it to .9. I switched to bioidenticals 3 years ago. I take biest and progesterone. Since then the one thing I noticed is that I have little body pain, nothing like I had. Progesterone has definitely taken care of the pain as well as improved my mental clarity and sleep issues. I will never go back. I hope this helps anyone who reads it. It worked for me!

Mar 28, 2012
Bio identical Progesterone
by: Anonymous

I have suffered from fibro for 10 years since my complete hysterectomy. I tried synthetic hrt and it did not help at all. My doc had me on estrogen shots for 3 months which helped horrible hot flashes and anxiety. I then started bio indentical estrogen. I still suffered fibro. I tried all alternative therapies. They were a little helpful but cost too much. I am 45 and my estrogen began to lower again. I went to a new doc and she said I needed to increase estrogen and add progesterone. I take a sub lingual estrogen and a progesterone compound capsule. The muscle aches and pain have reduced tremendously! I do take ambian to sleep. Fibro people need deep sleep for growth hormone and muscle repair. Ambian is a band aid but still waiting for a medication that helps with deep sleep. I have always been a light sleeper since i was young . So far I am doing much better with the added progesterone. I do all the lifestyle changes and only have flare ups when I am stressed and in loud environments. So glad I added compounded progesterone pills!

Mar 31, 2012
Bio identical Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi there I'm so pleased the progesterone helped you, but oral is the least effective Delivery system. I'm concerned you're also taking the oestrogen too, this will be an uphill battle for the progesterone. You might like to read more about oestrogen and it's effects on our HRT page. Progesterone is excellent for sleep, see here, here and here. I don't believe you're using enough. I recommend 100-200mg/day but in a form which is easily absorbed, and is not destroyed, as much of it is when taken orally. Stress does drop progesterone levels, so more is needed whenever stressed. Progesterone is a potent anti-inflammatory, so does help aches and pains. Whereas oestrogen is a potent inflammatory hormone, plus causing weight gain and water retention, see here, here, here and here. It appears fibro is caused by a lack of vitamin D, see here. Plus a lack of this also reduces the benefits of progesterone. Tryptophan has been found to help in some cases, see here here and here. Tryptophan also helps sleep too. Take care Wray

Mar 31, 2012
Progesterone compound pills
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray,
Thank you for your info. My husband was taking a testosterone cream back in 2004-2006. At that time there was no black box warning to not expose the cream to young children. My son was 4 and at 6 years old he developed all the signs of puberty. My husband switched to testosterone shots and my sons level only lowered a small amount. We had to wash all clothing sheets and have the carpets and sofas cleaned in order for my sons testosterone levels to go completely down. Unfortunately it was too late. The exposure awakened my sons pituitary and by eight years old he began full blown puberty. He goes to a pediatric endocrinologist and has lupron shots to slow down is growth. He has to have until he is 12 or 13. He is now 11. None of the docs or compound pharmacists told my husband not to use the cream around young children.

After that experience, I will not use hormonal creams. Even though Drs say that the estrogen and progesterone creams are safe. I do take 200-300 ml of the progesterone pills at night. I am aware of the stimulating effects of bio estrogen. But every time I try to lower the dose the hot flashes are so painful I can not bear it. I am sure the fibro intensifies the hot flashes.

I do take 5000 ml of VItamin D. Also, I am starting a fibromyalgia supplement program that my doctor has recommended. Hopefully when I can get the fibro under control then I can finally go off the the bio- estrogen.

I believe the progesterone has got me on the right track. My Dr said once the hormones are under control then the supplements will work more effectively. I truly believe I can finally go off all the pain and sleep medications with careful guidance of my MD who strongly believes in natural supplements and only uses pain medications when absolutely necessary. I have used all pain and anti depressants and they only provide a small amount of relief with a lot of side effects! Thx for your thoughts....

Mar 31, 2012
Progesterone for endo
by: Anonymous

Hi wray,
By the way, I wish I had been but on progesterone when I suffered endo for so many years. So glad their is so much more info on endo, fibro and progesterone! I nearly gave up until I started doing my own research. Thx for all your work!

Dec 23, 2012
Progesterone works
by: Lawgirl

I have found that the progesterone cream works quite well and I also supplement with a pill called prometrium. Unfortunately e fibro keeps affecting my ankles and my tendons keep rupturing. I am in air casts and I have started rehab again. I now have to use a motorized wheel chair for work because the pain of long term walking is overwhelming. I cannot take pain meds either. My fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to gulf war syndrome and I am looking for answers and relief. I will try the cream again on my ankles along with my magnesium gel and arnica gel which help with pain as well. They are all natural. If anyone has any other suggestions I am open to them.

Dec 24, 2012
Progesterone works
by: Wray

Hi Lawgirl How much progesterone are you using, it could well be you need to use more. Unfortunately the prometrium will not add much progesterone, oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system. "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. To get the full benefit of the progesterone, empty a capsule into a small amount of skin cream and apply that to your skin. I feel you will need at least 400mg/day to have any meaningful affect. Progesterone is a potent anti-inflammatory, but enough has to be used, see here, here and here. This paper here is about other nutritional deficiencies. And these papers here, here, here and here, are about tryptophan which has been shown to help slightly. Please have a vitamin D test done, as a lack of this can cause pain, see here, here, here, here and here. It has helped fibro patients, see here. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Continued below

Dec 24, 2012
Progesterone works Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Lawgirl Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. A lack of magnesium, the most important co-factor for vitamin D, also causes pain. It allows an increase in the level of substance P, a nociceptive neuropeptide which causes pain and nausea. With a rise in substance P, inflammatory cytokines also increase, see here here. These are further papers on inflammation, see here here, here, here, here, here and here. Please have your levels checked. You might be interested in looking through the EFT website. They are currently running treatments and studying the effect EFT has on Gulf War and other veteran related problems. Take care Wray

Sep 07, 2014
by: Anonymous

Hi guys. Prometrium is a bio identical form of progesterone and can be taken orally or vaginally. Vaginally allows it to be directly absorbed into the blood stream vice being processed through the liver. My fibro has improved since staring back on progesterone (I use Prometrium) but I had to fight tooth and nail to get my gyn to prescribe it again. I had a total hysterectomy years ago. Unopposed estrogen can wreak habit on your body! Hoping to find an endocrinologist that will be better able to help balance my hormones! I have also started using essential oils for some of the pain as well with good results.

Dec 28, 2014
What brand?
by: lady

What brand did you use, and where did you buy it? No law states you can't give the brand, that I know of. I think all you have to do is give a disclaimer.


Feb 09, 2016
by: Anonymous

Hi all,
I have had Fibro for many Yr's & I am improving. However I am never without pain.

Last month I had the Depo contraception injection to help regulate periods. ( I am 43) I am amazed at the little amount of pain I have had since this injection! The 1st few days I was a little weepy & didn't care for much! I have come out in hives but they are settling. I have just done a yoga class & im amazed at my flexibility.... I've been doing yoga for 4 yrs & struggle every week.

I am still sore if someone touches me on my feet or massages me but to be able to move so well with feeling my body wanting to give way was fantastic. Even my Yoga Teacher question my remarkable change. I haven't done yoga for 9 wks as well so I was expecting to be grunting & groaning!!

I have changed nothing else....

May 19, 2016
Mirena coil
by: Anonymous

Would the mirena coil ( progesterone) work in this way? Along side an estrogen gel?

Aug 26, 2016
Pain Relief, Energy and Return of Cognitive Clarity after only 2 weeks on Prometrium
by: Cynthia Royal in San Diego

I have been debilitated in bed with fatigue, excrutiating pain to the point I have on occasion considered suicide and significant cognitive decline confirmed by neuro-psych testing for the past 18 months. Unable to bath, cook or clean for myself. 1 month ago, I even received an electric wheelchair so I could go farther than from bed to bathroom. I've seen a plethora of doctors from top medical centers from Scripps to UCSD to Rady's, as well as Balboa Naval Hospital and Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Hospital. Yet none of these doctors was able to give me any relief and I'm unable to take opiates or ketamine due to allergy.

Yet, low and behold, I begged my primary care doctor at Camp Pendleton to give me prometrium to stop unbearable hot flashes and 10 days later, my energy has started to return, I can now speak and write with clarity and my pain is 80% better. So I am flabbergasted to say the least that none of the myriad doctors I've seen from rheumatologists to neurologists to endocrinologists to metabolits specialists even broached the subject of my hormones. Worse yet I had doctors at Scripps, UCSD, Rady's, Balboa Naval Hospital and Camp Pendleton said I may have fibro (although I didn't meet the classic tender points test), so they all told me it was most likely a somataform illness, meaning it is all in my head. All they wanted to do was medicate me with antidepressants, cannabis, heavy opiates, and sleeping pills all of which produced severe side effects and in some cases anaphalaxis. Yet, 10 days on Prometrium and I am a new person. So you are all definitely onto something here on this forum and in addition, I am going to add in D3 to my regimine.

So we all need to spread the word to other's w/fibro to try this relatively simple treatment. And I'm going to take the advise of another post on this forum and try to take the capsule vaginally instead of putting one more thing in my already delicate GI system. So thanks to you all, continued healing and best of success in your healing journey.

If you're so inclined, you can visit me on Facebook ( ) or correspond w/me directly at

Aug 26, 2016
Pain Relief, Energy and Return of Cognitive Clarity after only 2 weeks on Prometrium
by: Joy

Hi Cynthia

OMW, flabbergasted to say the least! I get so angry when I read stories like yours and believe me there are many. How dare they tell you that it is all in your head, how dare they!!! I commend you for refusing medication, it’s their easy way out for everything. There are three drugs which they love pushing. Anti-depressants, HRT/Birth Control and antibiotics. To them they are the answers to EVERYTHING. It’s simple really, you are battling with Estrogen Dominance symptoms and probably low Vitamin D3 and Magnesium. Once hormones are balanced, and by that I mean, making progesterone the dominant hormone, a multitude of health issues begin to improve. I certainly would prefer taking a natural product over drugs! Do you know what I used to ask doctors when they wanted to push drugs on me, I would ask them if they would take it and would they be happy if their wives or husbands took it. They looked at me gobbed smacked. I had my answer!

You do not state your age, but you could well be in Peri-Menopause or Menopause where natural progesterone is vital. Fibro responds very well to natural Progesterone, Vitamin D3 and Magnesium. Please read this page, progesterone certainly helped her:
Another thing, it is so sad why we have to ‘beg or persuade’ doctors to give us progesterone or even have the correct hormone tests done. It’s our body, we have rights! I am so pleased that your doctor did eventually give you progesterone however, is it oral? Oral is not the best delivery method as 96% gets destroyed by the gut and liver. Also how much are you taking? I suggest 200mg, possibly more of the correct progesterone method. Improvements are often felt in the beginning, but if it is not used correctly it will merely aggravate things. So please look into that and read the pages that I give you below.

A word on Vitamin D3. A deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone and is connected to every single function cell in our bodies. So you can see that it would have an effect on fibro sufferers. The same applies to Magnesium which is an important co-factor for vit D3.

I love Facebook, I will definitely take a look at your page, thanks for sharing.

Don’t give up Cynthia, fight for what you believe in. No one knows your body and how you are feeling, like you do. I wish you well.

Please read these pages as well as the references:

How to use Progesterone Cream -
Delivery Methods -
Estrogen Dominance -
Peri-Menopause - Peri-Menopause -
Menopause -
Anxiety -
Progesterone Cream -
Vitamin D3 -
Magnesium -

Sep 15, 2016
Addt'l Info
by: Cynthia Royal in San Diego

Thank you for the kind and thorough response. I will read the info @ each link provided.

Per your inquiries:
- I am 57
- I've suffered from fatigue most of my life, but it became more severe around age 50 (right at peri-menopause)
- The sever, often intolerable muscle pain started 3 years ago (right at menopause)
- I take magnesium, but not D3 (am adding it TODAY!)
- I currently take Prometrium capsules 100mg orally in AM. Am going to try vaginally as mentioned here and also switch to taking in PM. (NOTE: I get this for free on-base through my veteran spouse, which is a major contributing factor given my inability to work and no income for several years which translates into not enough funds for living, let alone OTC drugs.
- I still have severe post exertional fatigue from any stressor (physical, emotional, mental), but hopfully this will improve as well over time.

I'll report back my experience as this unfolds.

And here's a beautiful video from 10 years ago of me on the beach with the world's most famous movie star horse, before all this happened:

Sep 15, 2016
CA Dr. Who's done a prodigious amount of progesterone for pain relief research
by: Cynthia Royal in San Diego

Past the pink ads, you'll find pages and pages of progesterone for fibromyalgia and other pain types, articles written by a number of pain management and related doctors who have published hundreds of articles and studies about this topic:

Enjoy! ~ Cynthia

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