Five months with no period then a cycle? What gives?

by Rhonda

I have had lots of problems in the past eight years including fibroids, excessive bleeding, etc., but have kept them under control through the use of vitex, DIM, and progesterone. I also supplement with Maca at 1,500mg/day. I guess I'm obsessed with getting my hormones balanced and preventing a return of my fibroids and bleeding until I get through menopause. Based on information from your site I decided to use a dose of 100mg of progesterone/day. Did this without a break and had what I thought was my last period in November as I went five months without. I was so excited because I thought I was finally heading for menopause. In January started experiencing mild flushing and some mild vaginal dryness which further convinced me I was pre-menopausal. I increased my dosage of Maca and the flushing and vaginal dryness stopped in April; however I started feeling like my body wanted to have a period. I continued with the progesterone until April 21 when I decided to take a break to see what would happen. Felt swollen and started spotting a thin, watery discharge of blood. Continued to feel swollen and uncomfortable with intermittent spotting until I started what I think was a period on May 5. It was not heavy, but met the definition of a period as I had to use tampons instead of just pantiliners. From my research I have learned that Maca can bring a balance of your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone that will not require additional hormonal supplementation. I have never read a discussion of Maca on your website and wonder what are your thoughts? I am just really confused about how much, if any, progesterone I should be using;especially if I'm using Maca. I know I need to get my hormone levels checked but can't afford the tests, so I have to go by how I feel and that's not always consistent. "Every" website I've checked has disagreed with your recommendation of such high doses of progesterone; particularly without a break. It really flies in the face of conventional thinking! For the past two weeks I have had bouts of extreme nausea and wonder if it is because I'm off the progesterone. I'm also weepy, headachy, extremely exhausted, discouraged, unmotivated, sore all over, and have gained weight. Should I just restart the progesterone and will I have side effects. What are your thoughts about the Maca. Am I taking too many supplements? I'm not on the vitex any more and have reduced the DIM to one pill/day. I have no quality of life right now and just want to feel good. I hope I've not confused you with my narrative, but if you need any more information I'll be happy to comply. Thanks for your help. Rhonda from Kentucky

Comments for Five months with no period then a cycle? What gives?

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May 15, 2013
Hi Rhonda
by: CL

Yes, "websites" disagree with what you learn here but the hard scientific research AGREES! Please read the references Wray will give, and you can be confident that using higher doses is not only effective, but SAFE. I have been on 1400 mg/d for about 18 months to resolve severe symptoms, and they are resolving! My postdoctoral research at Emory University was in Molecular Endocrinology (Bone Resorption and Vitamin D). Wray clearly knows her stuff. Trust her!!! I wouldn't have done high doses if it appeared she didn't!! Best, CL

May 17, 2013
Five months with no period then a cycle? What gives?
by: Wray

Hi Rhonda No I'm not confused, it all makes sense to me. Agnus castus (vitex) has been used for many problems which women suffer from, PMS, mastalgia, menstrual irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, reducing prolactin, increasing lactation and more, see here. In days gone by it was used by monks to reduce sexual desire, hence it's name 'chasteberry'. It can also reduce prolactin levels, prolactin is an inflammatory hormone which can cause pain, see here. It can also cause luteal phase dysfunction, with subsequent problems in embryo implantation, see here. But because it has a mild oestrogenic action, levels of 17 beta-oestradiol can increase. One study found mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in the luteal phase, see here. If Prolactin levels are high both progesterone and the amino acid tyrosine are very affective at suppressing it. Agnus castus doesn't contain progesterone. DIM is regarded as an anti-oestrogen. Oestrogen is broken down into 2 principle metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 16-alpha hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1). 16alpha-OHE1 is regarded as a potent oestrogen, whereas 2-OHE1 is a weaker oestrogen. In some studies DIM (3,3'-Diindolylmethane) increased levels of 2-OHE1, by doing so it also increases the ratio of 2-OHE1:16alpha-OHE1. This increased ratio is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer in some studies, not in others. It appears to have a positive affect on pancreatic, thyroid, prostate and gastric cancers too, and leukemia. The precursor to DIM is Indole 3 Carbinol (I3C) which also has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. These are a selection of papers here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Continued below

May 17, 2013
Five months with no period then a cycle? What gives? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Rhonda Interestingly maca apparently has no affect on oestrogen or testosterone levels according to this one paper, see here. And yet this paper said it increased oestradiol levels, see here. It does appear to increase diastolic blood pressure slightly too, see here. These are two more papers here and here. There is no evidence in any of the studies that maca affects any hormone. No evidence it can balance hormones either. Most of the studies have been done on men, a few on women. It does appears to decrease psychological problems and enhance libido, although none of the researchers knew why. Probably because they all think testosterone enhances Libido, when in actual fact it plays a minor role. It could be it raises dopamine levels which does play a role in libido and motivation, high prolactin suppresses dopamine. Yes I do recommend much higher levels of progesterone for the simple reason I've found it works. The web is littered with stories from women of how awful progesterone is, and all because they were using too little. Luckily I met Dr Dalton who did advocate very high amounts of progesterone, so I've taken her lead. It sounds as if you have a shortage of both vitamin D and magnesium, both these if low cause pain. Low progesterone does too, oestrogen is an inflammatory hormone, if levels are too high pain can occur. Please have a vitamin D test done. Interestingly low magnesium and high oestrogen cause substance P to rise, this neuropeptide causes pain and nausea. Substance P inhibits progesterone, see here, but if enough is used, progesterone suppresses substance P, see here, "Accumulating evidence indicates that the neuropeptide substance P is predominantly involved in neurogenic inflammation and pain perception...... Intriguingly, decreased pain sensitivity is found to be associated with high plasma progesterone levels. We hypothesize that progesterone may attenuate nociception and associated inflammatory response." Continued below

May 17, 2013
Five months with no period then a cycle? What gives? Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Rhonda Oestrogen stimulates substance P, see here. A lack of magnesium causes substance P to rise, see here and here. Please consider taking 800mg/day magnesium to get your level up. Also at least 5000iu per day vitamin D, the dose is dependant on your levels, if low more will be needed to raise it. I feel you will need more as you have fibroids, these are caused by oxidative stress, vitamin D shrinks fibroids, low levels could be the reason they occur, see here, here, here, here, here and here. You are now in Peri-menopause which is such a difficult time. Cycles are far too erratic to follow them, hence my recommendation to use progesterone daily. Once in Menopause I see no point in having a break either, there is no cycle to follow. I would suggest you try the progesterone again. And yes it is very possible you will get Oestrogen Dominance symptoms, it is trial and error finding the right amount. But if you get your vitamin D up high and your magnesium I feel you will begin to see a benefit. Take care Wray

May 20, 2013
by: Anonymous

I can personally say that Maca does increase estrogen within 2 days of usage my breasts were sore ankles puffy etc same with rhodiola ( worst offender)

May 21, 2013
Hi Rhonda
by: Wray

Hi CL Bless you for this support! Take care Wray

Feb 15, 2014
Maca experience
by: Anonymous

Just want to chime in here. I tried Maca for 7 months. It was Feminessence which is advertised especially for menopause. They also have another one for younger women. They're virtually both the same. It did not help positively with my hormones at all! Also I gained almost 10 lbs. It seems that it made me more estrogen dominant.
When I discontinued it, within 2 days I lost 5 lbs. and the rest of the excess weight I had gained continued to shed.

Feb 18, 2014
Research on Maca
by: Rhonda

After reading Wray's comments, I took her advice and went to the links regarding Maca research. Although most of the reports were full of medical terminology I didn't understand, I was able to determine from the graphs that were shown as well as the final written conclusions, that Maca definitely raises estradiol levels and that is the one thing I need to avoid since I'm battling estrogen dominance.

From a study conducted on peri and post menopausal women by Natural Health International they concluded that..."Low initial estradiol levels showed a highly significant increase after one and two months on MacaGO." And, with continued use the levels continued to increase. I ordered a bottle of Maca and sent it back unopened after finding this out.In fact, when I previously used Maca I began to experience hot flushes for the first time in my life and after discontinuing use,they stopped. The research shows that Maca offers many benefits to women, but increased estrogen levels is not a benefit I need right now! I took Wray's advice and increased my progesterone to 136mg/day, as well as supplementing with vitamin D, vitamin C, the B vitamins, Tri-Magnesium DiCitrate (which new research shows is supposed to be great for migraines), Myomin, Dim, Calcium-D-Glucarate, and Vitex.I am not bleeding anymore, have no more swelling and discomfort,and overall am feeling better.

One thing I've learned is you have to be careful what herbs you use if you're battling estrogen dominance because many of them are estrogenic so you have to do your research. I really appreciate Wray's in-depth response to my question. The information you need to educate yourself is out there and Wray will point you to it!

Dec 19, 2014
What herbs Do work in the battle against estrogen dominance?
by: Cynthia

in addition to progesterone, what herbs if any would you recommend to battle estrogen dominance? There are many blends on the market having many different herbs in them, all intended for the "transition" into menopause. What should we avoid and/or take?
Thanks very much for the help.

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