Hair loss after using Progesterone Cream!

by Kay
(Ontario, Canada)

I have been using progesterone cream since May of 2009. I started to experience lots of hair loss, about 70% of my hair was lost. My last side affect was that I experienced lots of acne building up under my chin and around that area too.

My doctor sugested that he will decrease the amount of progesterone added to the cream. Please can you help me find another affective way of getting rid of my acne and hair loss.

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Jan 04, 2010
Hair loss after using Progesterone Cream!
by: Wray

Hi Kay. The reason for the hair loss was not progesterone itself, but an excess of oestrogen. This can occur during the initial months of using progesterone, please see this web page on oestrogen dominance. The excess oestrogen is converted in androgens, which are actually responsible for the loss. Pity he wants to decrease the amount of progesterone, I would have suggested the opposite, increase the amount used. Generally the amount should be between 100-200mg/day. Please see this web page on acne.

You will find taking zinc very beneficial, 100mg/day. This is a high dose, but it's needed. Once the acne is gone, reduce the dose to 15mg/day. And please consider taking 2000mg/day of the anti-alopecia B vitamin inositol, plus 2000mg of N-acetyl cysteine. The hair, nails and skin comprise about 14% cysteine, supplementing makes them all strong and healthy. Take care, Wray

Jan 29, 2010
Wild Yams - Progesterone
by: Vickie

I had been using Progesterone from Wild Yams for many years and found it to have helped with my PMT and heavy periods. Aprox 1 year ago I started spotting whilst still on the Progesterone and then started getting periods sometimes lasting for a month at a time, so I stopped taking the Yams. Since then I have experienced weight gain and problems with PMT so I went to my general practitioner who has put me onto the contraceptive pill Yasmin. It has helped with my PMT but I have since put on more weight and my breasts have enlarged a few sizes. Am I doing the right thing or should I consider going back to progesterone as I am 44 years old?

Mar 05, 2010
No
by: Anonymous

Wild Yam cream is a natural estrogen cream, not a progesterone cream.

Mar 06, 2010
Wild Yams - Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Vickie. You are now in peri-menopause, a very difficult time with dropping progesterone levels. Please see this web page. The amount of progesterone you were using was not sufficient to make up the deficit you now have, hence the spotting and long periods. All BCP's stop ovarian function, which would have lowered your oestrogen levels, this would have helped the PMT. But they stop all ovarian production of progesterone too which would account for the weight gain and larger breasts. They also cause insulin resistance which causes weight gain, please see this web page.

BCP's do have adverse side affects, you might like to read about them here. If you do decide to use progesterone again, the amount should be between 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. Take care, Wray

Jul 06, 2010
Acne & Hair Loss
by: Anna

I'm 36 and started using the IUD, Mirena, about 4 months ago. Mirena has PROGESTIN added to it - to help with the heavy periods associated with the copper IUD. That sounded fine to me - had been on many birth control pills in the past with little side effects. However, now I have terrible acne and losing my hair. I'm wondering how the PROGESTIN (if different from progesterone) is contributing to these new side effects and if I should be taking something else to try to balance me out. Thanks so much for your feedback!

Jul 08, 2010
Acne & Hair Loss
by: Wray

Hi Anna I'm not in favour of any progestin, the copper T IUD is far safer as it leaks nothing into the system, bar a small amount of copper. Yes bleeding is a bit heavier, but a small price to pay compared to the dangers of progestins. Please see this web page we have on Contraceptives Research papers. All OC's, whether a combo or progestin only, stop ovarian function, which means you are not making any ovarian progesterone. There are many progestins on the market, all have a similar molecular structure to progesterone, but all have been altered to make them patentable. The only similarity between them is the affect they have on the endometrium. Progesterone has many roles, and it's metabolites many too. The progestins cannot be converted into progesterone metabolites. Please consider the copper T in preference. Incidentally progesterone can stop heavy bleeding if enough is used. I suggest between 100-200mg/day, dependant on your symptoms. There are nutrients you can take to help hair loss and acne, but they won't do much against the Mirena's affects. Take care Wray

Aug 06, 2010
Irregular since stopping BC pills
by: Samantha

I stopped taking Ortho-Cyclen in August of last year. Since then my periods have been really irregular, sometimes lasting 3 weeks, sometimes not coming at all. I have had light spotting for at least 3 weeks out of each month for the past year! I have also lost a ton of hair but it's finally starting to come back (it took a year!). I got some Progesterone cream but now I'm scared to use it, I can't lose anymore hair! I'm only 24, I don't know what to do. Should I use the Progesterone cream or would that make things worse?

Aug 08, 2010
Irregular since stopping BC pills
by: Wray

Hi Samantha All BC's have adverse affects on us, some occur internally and we're not aware of them. Please see this web page we have on Contraceptives. Some affects occur after stopping them, as in your case. Progesterone will help, but the amount should be between 100-200mg/day. For more info please see this web page we have on How to use progesterone cream. Progesterone does not cause hair loss, as witnessed by most pregnant women who have lovely hair. It's the high level of progesterone we make while pregnant that encourages hair growth and beautiful hair. Progesterone will also help the irregular periods and spotting, a lack of it, plus excess oestrogen, causes the irregular periods. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, vital once a month to stimulate the endometrium each month to grow and thicken ready for a possible fertilised egg. But too much and the lining builds excessively. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP?s) are enzymes that break down protein. They play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual cycle. If they are over active, as would be the case with an excess of oestrogen in the body, (oestrogen stimulates it?s production), the result is a pathological reaction such as inflammation and excessive bleeding. Progesterone suppresses both oestrogen and MMP's. It?s only when progesterone levels drop at the end of the cycle that the MMP?s can get to work and breakdown the lining causing our monthly bleed. But with oestrogen continually stimulating more lining and the MMP's, and low progesterone, bleeding continues. I would advise starting on the 200mg/day initially, gradually reducing the amount until you find the optimum level. Please remember stress drops progesterone levels, so use more over any stressful time. Take care Wray

Aug 18, 2010
ocp and hair loss
by: Anonymous

i used to have a full head of hair while I was using the mirena contraceptive. it was the only contraceptive that was able to make me have regular periods. I had it removed after the 5 years and since then my hair has been falling out at a great rate! I was put on baby yaz and then dianette, and my hair is still falling out. I take all the regular supplements and wonder if I should the wild yam cream in conjunction with the oral contraceptives and also use an adrenal support supplement with actual dessicated adrenal glands? I am also hypo thyroid but it is the normal range with low dose levothyroxine. What should I do?

Aug 20, 2010
ocp and hair loss
by: Wray

Hi there The Mirena leaks a progestin into the body, this stops all ovarian function. Which means you were not making any ovarian oestrogen, testosterone, but more importantly progesterone. Now that it's out the ovaries are able to work again and to begin with they make oestrogen and testosterone only. It can be weeks, in some cases months, for ovulation to occur and progesterone to be made. Which means you have excess oestrogen and testosterone circulating now, as there is little to no progesterone to suppress them. These are causing the hair loss. All contraceptives cause adverse symptoms, please see our page on Contraceptives. The only safe one is the copper T IUD, as it leaks no synthetic hormone into the body. Progesterone does suppress oestrogen and testosterone, the amount to use is between 100-200mg/day. But before you consider it please see this web page on Oestrogen Dominance. A yam cream won't give you progesterone. I would also suggest you have a vitamin D test done, as hypothyroidism is in part caused by a lack of vitamin D, please see the Vitamin D council website for more info. I would also suggest you take 2000mg/day N-acetyl cysteine, 2000mg/day inositol and 2-3mg/day biotin, all three are essential for hair growth. Take care Wray

Dec 08, 2010
Me too!
by: Lynne

Will using 2000 mg Inositol, 2000 mg N-Acetyl Cysteine replace the hair loss 'if' it was due to using the progesterone cream or is it a permanent loss of hair once it's fallen out?

I understood the zinc to be for acne or is it also part of the above for hair loss?

Thanks.


Dec 17, 2010
Me too!
by: Wray

Hi Lynne Hair loss is not caused by progesterone, the reverse in fact, see here. Little is known about what causes hair loss, although some believe it to be due to an upset blood glucose. This is one reason the inositol is effective in reversing it, biotin and thiamine (B1) are helpful in this respect too. Low zinc is often a major contributing factor in acne, occasionally the only factor. Zinc is needed to stabilise blood glucose, but I've not found a study showing a direct link between it and hair loss. This doesn't of course mean there isn't one, simply that I haven't looked for a connection. If hair loss is a result of stress or de-stabilised blood glucose, it will grow back once these issues have been resolved. If the hair follicle has been damaged in some way it's unlikely to grow back. Take care Wray

Dec 27, 2010
Help?
by: Sarah

I was on Yasmin about a year and a half ago. (I'm 20 by the way). As soon as I started it, my hair started coming out a bunch, so I stopped.. but it's been about a year and a half, and my hair is still thin. (I dealt with a loss of a family member within that year and a half too, so lots of stress as well).

I decided to get progesterone cream, but I'm hesitant to try it. I got my progesterone levels checked during my luteal phase a little while ago and my doctor said they were "low," but didn't suggest any sort of supplementation, so I don't think it was a deficiency.. just a little low.

Did the Yasmin cause excess estrogen in my body? Is that why my hair fell out?

I'm just not sure if I'm lacking estrogen or progesterone now?


Jan 01, 2011
Using Natural Progesterone Cream with the Copper IUD
by: Kimmi

Recently, My OBGYN inserted the copper iud (12/31/2010) after 5 years of being on the Nuvaring. The first day of my cycle was 12/24/2010 and ended on the following Monday. How many days do I wait to use the progesterone cream? By the way, you help me out by recommending the copper iud as a non hormonal birth control method.

Jan 07, 2011
Using Natural Progesterone Cream with the Copper IUD
by: Wray

Hi Kimmi I'm so delighted you opted to have the Nuvaring removed! I'm not sure of your natural cycle length, but if it's 28 days you should start the cream on the 8th Jan, and use it for 14 days. If it's normally longer or shorter, you'll have to work it out. Just bear in mind that all women ovulate 12-14 days before they bleed. I prefer to use the 14 days as it means enough progesterone has been used. As we only make ovarian progesterone during the luteal phase, and this starts after ovulation, if you know when you ovulate that's the best guide. For more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. But please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance first. This can occur and is disconcerting if it does. Initially progesterone can upset the cycle a bit, it's nothing to worry about, it does settle down in a cycle or two. Take care Wray

Mar 26, 2011
hairloss
by: Amy

I too experienced hairloss right after starting progesterone cream...just a couple of days ago I increased the progesterone and began taking a zinc and B-12 supplement but its too early to tell if they are working. I just came across a website about the key to safely and effectively use progesterone cream....because progesterone is highly fat soluble within a few weeks to months you will saturate the fat tissue with the hormone and it will stop working, or symptoms will worsen. This Dr. Suggest applying the cream to your mucous epithelial membrane that line the vagina. This apparently has the hormone enter the same pelvic plexus of veins that your ovaries normally empty into. And because progesterone is normally cylical, she also suggests applying the cream 14 days before expected mensus, stopping a day before (so that you would start on day 12 and stop on day 26). The body needs this change in concentration to affect a proper physiological response. Has anyone heard of this?

May 07, 2011
Have suffered hair loss since I was 18
by: Alexandra

I started losing my hair since I was 18. THe hair loss slowly tapered off but I noticed it did not grow back to it's former glory. At 22 I started birth control pills, this did not worsen or ameliorate my scalp hair, but it did help my skin clear as I had suffered with acne for most of my teenage years. At 25 my hair loss started again, I was on the same pill, so my hair loss and hirsutism was not attributed to the pill at all. By age 32 (March of 2010) I decided to get off the pill because my hair loss was getting worse. I lost even more hair, my hirsutism got worse, and I had mood swings from hell, I also did not have a period for 3 months. I finally got my period (june 2010), at this time I decided to research to figure out what was wrong with me because even though I finally got my period, it was still irregular. At first I thought I had PCOS, (I haven't ruled that out yet) but then realized that my hormone imbalance was much worse than just pcos. Unfortnatley I have no health insurance and I've been laid off so I have no way to pay for a saliva test or see a dr. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Finally I came to the conclusion that I had low progesterone, and the use of the natural progesterone cream may be the solution and the way to stop all these symptoms. I bought a natural progesterone cream call meltdown that states has 6.88 % wild yam extract. I know you must think well wild yam extract on it's own doesn't do anything, but the cream also states it has natural progesterone which is why I bought it. I started the cream in January 2011 and my cycle has become regular and my hair started to grow it! That is until last week when I noticed my pony tail felt thinner than usual. I looked closely at the mirror and saw that my scalp was even more exposed than before and that the amount of baby hairs had reduced. I also take maca in order to encourage my body to start balanacing itself out on it's own. Bottom line I have been on maca and progesterone since January and the only thing that has improved is my cyles are back to normal now (thanks to your 14 day rule) and my acne has gotten better. My question is this: I use 2 1/4 teaspoons of cream daily after the 14th day, I use one in the morning, one at night and I rotate the places where I put it, then stop when I start my period. Is 1/4 teaspoon too much or too little? I see that you say a woman should use 100-200 mg daily, I have no way of knowing how much is in a 1/4 teaspoon. I've googled it and the results are ranging anywhere from 200 mg to 1000mg in a 1/4 teaspoon. Does the 6.88% matter at all? Why did it look like my hair was coming back in, only to discover that my hair is worse than ever? Please help me with this problem, like I said before I have no extra money to buy hormone saliva tests and I have no insurance to see a dr either. Did the progesterone stop working? What am I doing wrong?

Jun 11, 2011
Hair Loss from using Progesterone Cream
by: Dharma

I started using progesterone cream a few years ago to help balance out my hormones as I was experiencing pms and in my late 30's so maybe perimenopausal. I used progesterone for two years and noticed during that time that my hair was thinning. Unfortunately I never made the connection to the cream. It was at the end of the 2nd year on the cream that I started getting a burning scalp and extreme hair loss. I went to a naturopath and he helped me understand that the progesterone cream caused an imbalance in my hormones. I stopped the cream however I have not been able to get my hormones rebalanced. It seems once you mess with the hormonal system it is difficult to correct. I continue to lose hair and have less than half of the beautiful long hair I use to prior to taking progesterone cream. I do think progesterone is good for some women but I would suggest that you get your hormones tested by a qualified naturopath (saliva test are best) before buying and using the over-the-counter creams. A compounding company can make exactly want you need and will provide you with a dispenser so you are sure of amounts. Also your naturopath can monitor your hormones and adjust things before your health gets impacted negatively.

Progesterone cream absolutely causes hair loss if the wrong amount is used. This isn't a harmless cream that can be used by everyone. Please be careful and seek professional advise before using progesterone cream. I wish I had of.

Jun 21, 2011
hairloss
by: Wray

Hi Amy I've never, in the 15 years I've been using progesterone daily, experienced any saturation or worsening of symptoms. The web is being flooded with this information now and it's putting people off using progesterone. It's simply not true. If progesterone is needed it will be 'used' up. The body knows how to metabolise it, in fact one of it's metabolites, allopregnanolone, is a potent analgesic. Excellent for headaches and migraines, see here, here, here, here and here. Most brands of progesterone cream advise using far too low an amount, in the region of 20-40mg/day, I recommend 100-200mg/day or more if symptoms are severe. Unfortunately, when first using progesterone, it stimulates oestrogen production. But oestrogen first has to be converted from testosterone. So initially testosterone rises, before converting to oestrogen. The conversion occurs in the thecal cells in the ovaries. Testosterone causes hair loss, acne, oily skin and facial hair. This is the reason you experienced hair loss when starting it. Progesterone is lipophilic, so is preferentially absorbed by the fat cells in the skin. From there it's picked up by red blood cells, to be transported round the body. The vagina doesn't have a fatty layer, but does have ample blood vessels. The red blood cells pick up the progesterone and it's then transported round the body. I often recommend using it there, a finger or syringe are the best ways of applying it. It's an excellent anti-inflammatory and helps protect against Candida. We do have more info on How to use progesterone cream. If there is a cycle, it is best to follow it, progesterone should always be used from ovulation to bleeding, ie during the luteal phase when it's naturally made. Unless symptoms are severe, in which case I suggest using it daily for 2-3 months and then following the cycle again. A normal luteal phase is always 12-14 days long, in all women, and always occurs between ovulation and bleeding. Take care Wray

Jun 21, 2011
Have suffered hair loss since I was 18
by: Wray

Hi Alexandra I've tried to find out how much progesterone is in meltdown too, but can't. If it is a 6.88% progesterone cream, then 1g contains 68.8mg of progesterone. Which means a 1/4 teaspoon contains 86mg progesterone, so you are currently getting about 172mg/day progesterone. Do the instructions not tell you how much progesterone is in a 1/4 tsp? It is important to find this out, as it could be less. The balance could be wild yam extract which is the plant sterol diosgenin, progesterone itself is not extracted. It's synthesised from many plant sterols, one of which is diosgenin. Contraceptives have many adverse side effects, so I'm pleased you've stopped them. Your symptoms do have many links to PCOS, please read through this page for any clues. If you do think you have it, it is possible to reverse, but progesterone alone won't do it. It is an essential part of the protocol, but there are many nutrients needed too. The most important being vitamin D, please have a test done. I know you're struggling financially at the moment, but have a look at the following websites, Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth. GrassrootsHealth are currently doing a study on vitamin D, and the testing is much cheaper. Incidentally a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. Maca is good, but very expensive, see these papers here, here, here, here and here for more info. I'm running out of space, so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Jun 21, 2011
Have suffered hair loss since I was 18
by: Wray

Hi Alexandra I believe the reversal you've had is the result of progesterone stimulating oestrogen, causing Oestrogen Dominance. This does occur when first using it, and when increasing the amount. There's no way of telling when it will occur, normally it's in the first few weeks, but I've found it can occur later. Stress causes progesterone levels to drop sharply, and you've been through great stress by being laid off and no health insurance. This could account for the return of symptoms, I don't know when you stopped worked, but please check the dates, as they could coincide. I'm pleased you're using the progesterone as it should be used, ie from ovulation. In case you haven't seen the page, we have more info on How to use progesterone cream here. Take care Wray

Jun 21, 2011
Hair Loss from using Progesterone Cream
by: Wray

Hi Dharma As I've explained to the women above, using too low an amount of progesterone will cause hair loss. And it will continue too, as it keeps stimulating oestrogen production. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone to prevent adverse symptoms occurring. This is only possible by using 100-200mg/day, or more if symptoms are severe. From Saliva Tests we run via a naturopath in the UK, we've found the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be 600:1 and over to feel well. You might be interested in reading these comments from other women who struggled on the low amounts, and had to use very high amounts before finding relief, see here and here. Take care Wray

Jul 06, 2011
re-hormone testing
by: Bettina

I read on one of the posts that Saliva testing is best. I disagree. A 24 hour urine test will be more accurate as it will be the results over a long period of time. I don't see how a saliva test, after a night sleep, as it is done early in the morning, can reveal your hormone levels when you are active, which is most of the time.

Jul 12, 2011
Hair loss & awful perimenopause symptoms
by: Paige

Hi Wray, I started getting hot flushes, nausea, migraines and severe hair loss around 6 months ago. My doctor tested my hormones, and said I was perimenopausal. I was still having periods, but they were irregular and very heavy.

I went back to the Doctor recently, and asked for something to help with the awful daily symptoms, which made it hard to function. The migraines were so bad, they would often wake me from sleep, and I was weepy and miserable. My Doctor put me on 1mg Elleste hrt tablets. She said my estrogen was 8, which wasn't too low?

I researched all my problems on the internet, and bought progesterone cream, which I'm now using twice daily. I am feeling much more myself, but I'm still suffering a lot of hair loss. I eat well, and take vitamins. My Doctor suggested the cream I was using causes hair loss, but the hair loss started before I began using the progesterone cream. I've now been using the progesterone cream for around 3 months. Will the hair loss stop soon?

There is so much conflicting advice around!

Nov 16, 2011
Continous use
by: Alexandra

Was wondering how many mgs of progesterone cream I would need to use for daily Continous use? I want to top off my progesterone levels and wanted to use the cream for 2-3 months to get rid of my remaining estrogen dominance symptoms.

Dec 12, 2011
Please help
by: Tryingtostaypositive

Hello Wray,

I'm wondering if you can help me. Here's a quick summary of me.

-24 year old female
- both mom and dad have severe hair loss (mom's was gradual, dad's fell out in high school)
- took BC pills for ~2.5 years, but haven't been on them for 3 years now. I'm wary of taking anything that'll affect my hormones.
- my hair loss started when I was 18 years old (before I even went on the pill, and I don't think coming off the pill made my hair loss any worse or better - I went on it for my skin)
- my older sister also has hair loss, but mine is worse
- Thyroid problems run in my family. I went to a dermatologist in Toronto, ON and he had my blood checked for testosterone, thyroid, iron, etc... I have to go get the results.
- I'd say I've lost ~75% of my once thick brown curls

Who will actually take the time to look over my blood test thoroughly and help, not hinder my hair loss? This is so so so important to me. I don't want to mess around with doctors who aren't up to date on hormones and hair loss. It's so aggravating that hair loss is so poorly understood.

Can you suggest someone to see in Ontario Canada who will actually treat me like a person, not a number, and try to help my hair loss? Naturopath? D.O.? Endocrinologist? I'm so wary of putting hormones into my body. I recently switched to organic meat, and am thinking about organic milk. Also, my husband and I are wanting to get pregnant in January 2013, so if I was put on some sort of hormone supplement, could I continue taking it while trying to conceive or whilst pregnant?

I'm sorry that this message is unorganized and probably not the most coherent. Thanks for your time.

Tryingtostaypositive

Dec 31, 2011
copper coil with natural progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

hi Wray, i have severe endometriosis and also along with this i have a bad reaction to bc pills of any sort ive tried numerous ones, i was told to try the mirena which i now have and im already having horrendous headaches. i have already been prescribed some natural progesterone cream and what i would like to know is could i use the cream if i have the mirena coil out and replace it with a copper coil?? i understand that copper one is not great with endo as it can cause heavy bleeding etc but do you think the two would work?? many thanks k

Feb 11, 2012
Hair loss
by: Anonymous

I have low progesterone of 0.2 I am having thinning hair I have tried bio progesterone cream but I was putting on weight so I started agnus castus but I feel so depressed, should I go back on cream or try maca or stay on agnus castus

Jun 22, 2012
PROGESTERONE DROPS
by: MISSY

i have been on progesterone drops for 2 months and my hair has been falling out since i started using the drops. my compounding pharmacist suggested i take orthro-tri-cylen low also with my progesterone drops to stop my hair loss. i did complete saliva testing and my progesterone was at the low end of normal, as my estrogen was also at the low end of normal. but testerone levels were higher than normal. i have bought hair vitamins and i have also tried using biotin. nothing is helping, any suggestions?

Jun 25, 2012
PROGESTERONE DROPS
by: Wray

Hi Missy You don't say how much progesterone you're using, but the drops will not be supplying you enough. You need to use about 100-200mg/day progesterone or more, dependant on symptoms. Although progesterone is absorbed well by the mouth, the amount in the drops is insufficient, plus some of it is swallowed. Oral progesterone is not the best Delivery system. All drug based Contraceptives suppress progesterone, so you are getting even less by taking them. The Hair Loss is caused by the initial stimulating effect progesterone has on oestrogen, this leads to Oestrogen Dominance, sufficient progesterone must be used to prevent this. Testosterone is responsible for hair loss, and you say yours is higher than normal. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose (all carbs are converted into glucose), reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. We have more info on How to use progesterone cream on this page. Please consider switching to a system which delivers progesterone more effectively. Take care Wray

Sep 26, 2012
Bald spotsfrom progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

I have been on topical progesterone cream, 20mg once a day starting at beginning of my cycle and continuing for 14 days...i recently noticed massive amounts of my hair falling out each day and just this week noted 3 areas at base of scalp towards my neck with half dollar sized bald spots..bald as i dont see any hair regrowth..could this be from the progesterone cream? i was originally put on it because my estrogen levels were thru the roof..I also am 40 years of age with only one ovary...please help...

Sep 27, 2012
Bald spotsfrom progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi there Testosterone is responsible for Hair Loss. Unfortunately the 20mg/day you are using is stimulating oestrogen production. But before this occurs, testosterone is first produced. Women make more testosterone each month than oestrogen, but the enzyme aromatase converts most of the testosterone to oestrogen. The amount of progesterone you are using does not raise levels to that found in the luteal phase. I go into this on our Progesterone Misconceptions page. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. Progesterone does suppress excess testosterone. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. You say you are using the progesterone from the beginning of your cycle, i.e. from day 1 of bleeding. If so, you have been told to use it incorrectly. It should be used from ovulation for the next 12-14 days of the luteal phase. We do have more info about this on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Mar 03, 2013
Hair loss
by: Jan

I started to experience sticky areas of hair, then dry and brittle hair. This, after experiencing a lot of strange skin changes on face and hands. My once thick and long hair began to suddenly fall out. In 5 months, I lost 50%. It has been 19 months, 2 dermatologists, 2 rheumatologists, numerous tests and visits to my gp. I have low body temperature, cold hands and feet, dry eyes. All tests are normal. My hair loss has gotten worse instead of better. I have taken N-Acetyl Cysteine, MSM, Fulvic Minerals, Inositol, Vitamin D, C, E, Zinc, Selenium, digestive enzymes, the list goes on. Still, it gets worse. I am postmenopausal and all doctors say it comes with age. My friends all have full heads of hair. My only hope is progesterone. Scared to take it because everyone says you lose more hair. Can this be avoided if you start out at a high dosage? I miss feeling normal and having hair. I cannot touch it, run my hands through it, comb or brush it without tons falling out. It feels like wires and is always tangled. It used to be thick, soft and shiny. HELP.

Mar 05, 2013
Hair loss
by: Wray

Hi Jan It's interesting all those nutrients haven't helped you, possibly you weren't taking enough? The ones I recommend are inositol, at least 4000mg/day, vitamin D at least 5000iu per day, more if levels are low, NAC at least 2000mg/day, biotin 2 to 3mg/day, 100mg/day thiamine. We do have a page on Hair Loss you could look through. There is some evidence progesterone can help too. But I do suggest you use a high amount to start with, at least 200mg/day, if not more. One of the reasons for hair loss in women going through Peri-menopause or Menopause, are higher than normal androgen levels. Testosterone causes hair loss. Progesterone is dropping during Peri-M, and is very low in menopause, whereas testosterone is still being produced by the ovaries, in fact the menopausal ovary is an androgen producing organ, see here. Progesterone suppresses testosterone. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. Take care Wray

Jun 11, 2013
Hair loss
by: Sharon

I recently started using Progesterone 200 mg (Subst. for Prometrium) for heavy periods. I use it from day 16 thru day 25 of my cycle. I have noticed hair loss. Is this temporary till my body adjusts to it?

Jun 12, 2013
Hair loss
by: Wray

Hi Sharon We do have a page on Hair Loss you could look through. It is a problem when starting progesterone, as are the many other Oestrogen Dominance symptoms. I'm puzzled why you are using it only for 10 days, a normal luteal phase is always 12-14 days long. And is your cycle only 25 days? If so you should be using it from day 11. Progesterone should be used from ovulation, which is always 12-14 days before bleeding. I have found 400mg/day is needed for heavy bleeding, plus a number of other nutrients. These are all listed on our Menstruation page. There's also more info in my reply to Missy 'Jun 25, 2012 PROGESTERONE DROPS'. Take care Wray

Jul 25, 2013
Perimenopause/Hair Loss
by: Anonymous

I'm 49. Been losing hair for years, worse lately.have lost half my hair over time. Picking up, not slowing, Cycle very irregular (1-2x/yr), so I can't use that as guide for when to use prog. My doc recommended Restored Balance PMS prog cream, but I can't find a mg amount. I use 1/8 tsp twice daily. I went for 2 months, then ran out, started cycle 2 days later. Doc told me to stay off for 2 wks, then on for 2 wks (bc of my hair loss). But hot flashes returned, so I went off for only 10 days, then restarted prog. 3 days later, hair loss increased! I take thyroid (kelp iodine), adrenal support, biotin 5mg, B complex, zinc, omegas, Vit D (6000/d), shatavari (for hot flashes). I also have weight gain and swelling all over. I'm afraid to increase prog arbitrarily in case it increases hair loss and bloating. How long should it take to see a difference in hair loss? Has anyone on here experienced decreased hair loss with taking high prog?? Thanks so much.

Jul 26, 2013
Perimenopause/Hair Loss
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately you are not using a 'high' amount of progesterone but very low. The 1/8 gives you 10mg progesterone, so double that and you're getting 20mg/day. I've found this usually exacerbates things, which it seems to have with you. Initially progesterone stimulates oestrogen leading to Oestrogen Dominance. Using the amount you are, it will merely continue to stimulate it, and not suppress it. I recommend 100-200mg/day often more is needed, see here, here, here and here. We do have a page on Hair Loss you could look through, it gives a list of nutrients which help, some of which you are taking. Please have a vitamin D test done. Although you are taking a good amount, if your level is low you should increase the dose. As you are now in the last stages of Peri-menopause before Menopause, you cannot follow your cycle. So don't, just use it daily. If and when you bleed continue using it, no harm will come of this. Many Contraceptives and some HRT scripts prevent any bleeding. But they come with many adverse side effects, whereas progesterone has none. I've found for Hot Flushes 400mg/day is needed. You might also like to read through the info I've given to the women above. Take care Wray

Jul 27, 2013
Perimen/Hair Loss conti
by: Anonymous

Thanks, Wray. Yes, my D was low so doc prescribed that. I was luteal phase defect and had to use prog supps to carry my children to term. So obviously a problem there. So there are no harmful side effects from taking high doses prog? You can't take too much? I also noticed that when I'm on it, I get minor breakout on my forehead.

Jul 29, 2013
Perimen/hair loss (conti)
by: Anonymous

I've read all your pages repeatedly. Very interesting. I upped the prog to 200+/d, hair loss has increased but no hot flashes. How do I know when to increase amount versus just wait to see if that dose is effective? How long does it take to affect the falling hair? I really don't have any severe symptoms, only the hair loss that really concerns me, so I don't want to create more problems. I'm concerned that I'll just have to increase prog for the rest of my life. Is that the idea? One doc told a friend that it's impossible to "catch-up" bc the prog will just continue to awaken more dominant estrogen receptors. Thoughts?

Jul 29, 2013
Perimen/Hair Loss conti
by: Wray

Hi there No there are no harmful side effects from using high amounts, see here. And you might like to read these comments from users of high amounts, here, here, here and here. The breakouts are caused by the stimulating effect of progesterone. There's more info on our Acne page. Take care Wray

Jul 30, 2013
Perimen/hair loss (conti)
by: Wray

Hi there I'm pleased the hot flushes have stopped, unusual as I've found 400mg/day is generally needed. It is always trial and error finding the right amount. I find symptoms are the best guide, if still troublesome then increase the amount. The idea is to get rid of them, and once gone to reduce the amount very slowly, i.e. about 20mg at a time. I've not found anyone yet who has to keep increasing the progesterone. I've been using it for 16 years now, and round about 170mg/day. When first starting it, when increasing slowly or decreasing too quickly, these will all cause oestrogen to rear it's ugly head. Take care Wray

Apr 28, 2014
Hairloss
by: Karen

Hi Wray,
I am losing quite a bit of hair. You emailed me before. Here's what I have done.

I started on bio identical pellets in Oct. Testosterone and DHEA of last year. Three months later a second set of pellets with increased testosterone as my symptoms were the same. I have been on thyroid T3 and T4 for several years.

I decided to stop the pellets after finding a book called What your doctor may not tell you about menopause.

I found Paraben Free Progesterone by Kal local and it contains 500mg per ounce.

I started using 1/2 tsp per day more if stressed.
Now my hair is falling out quite a bit,looks like male pattern baldness.

My hot flashes have all but stopped, I sleep better. Just having the hair problem.

HOW LONG DOES TESTOSTERONE STAY IN YOU SYSTEM?
I take 6000 D3 per day.

I'm going to go get the amino acid you recommend and the inositol.

I have fatty liver so I am taking liver supplements for that. Mainly milk thistle.

Any other ideas on the hair. I have read the forums bare. I'm thinking I should increase the progesterone, but not sure.Thanks Karen

Jun 30, 2014
Progesterone,Hair loss and Vaginal atrophy
by: Anonymous

I am 59 and postmenopausal. have been on too low a dose of Progesterone ( 25mg) for years ( Dr Lee ), and have just increased it to 100mg a day ( on advice of doc)
I am also hypothyroid and on NDT. Since increasing the Progesterone I have noticed large amounts of hair loss - particularly at the front hairline which is very upsetting as I have always had thick hair.
I have severe vaginal atrophy and have also just started using Estriol cream but the Propylene Glygenol in it causes terrible burning so will have to stop.
Can Progesterone used vaginally help reverse the atrophy/bladder problems or is it only estriol that can do that? Will the Estriol used vaginally cancel out what the Progesterone does?
Also - I have noticed that my Testosterone level is above normal level but the others hormones are below.
I am very confused - please help!

Jul 17, 2014
A possible reason for Progesterone related hair loss.
by: Anonymous

I, too, have experienced hair loss when taking Progesterone cream. I was fine taking it for a while, and then it became a problem and I'm not able to tolerate it now. I can take it for a couple of days at a very low dose, and then hair loss will occur along with facial acne eruptions and a depressed/low feeling. The hair loss is also always in the front of my hair line. I have observed this systematically, and it is very clearly linked to the progesterone cream.

It is possible to convert progesterone into testosterone, which may be the source of the issue many women are experiencing with the supplemental creams. This fits with the facial hair growth, acne, and hair loss. Why this occurs, I don't know, but it is possible, and may be the reason some people cannot take the progesterone while others can.

How to stop and reverse this pattern, I have no idea. Nor does my Integrative MD. Even with very little of my own progesterone being produced, I cannot take anything but very small doses of progesterone without issue. This is not typically what is seen with progesterone supplementation, but it is how I'm responding at this point in time, although it wasn't always so. It appears I'm not the only one, which is reassuring, but I'd rather have my hair loss stop and reverse!

Jul 28, 2014
Hair loss at 200mg progesterone. Increase?
by: Anonymous

I'm 36 years old. I started using 200mg natural progesterone cream just over a week ago. My hair loss is getting worse every day! I'm wondering how long to stay at this dose, and how do I know when or if to increase my dose? I'm almost positive I had estrogen dominance even before starting the progesterone cream. I've been losing too much hair for 5 years. All of my tests are normal except progesterone was low in a saliva test. I'm already using inositol and NAC. Please help!

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