Having trouble regulating cycle with cream

by Louese
(Oregon)

I started progesterone cream after saliva rests confirmed low levels. I was having horrible PMS, breast swelling, acne, irritability etc. Prior to starting my cycles have been anywhere from 32 days to 42. I'm 31 and started out on 20 mg only at night to help with sleep from day 14-26. My cycles have been anywhere from 19 days to 31. Now this last cycle I was told to start earlier due to better sleep and overall better feeling on the cream. So I started on day 10. By day 22 I was having some returning estrogen dominance feelings so I was told to increase to twice a day 20 mg. I stopped on day 27. It's day 34 and still no period? My last cycle was 31 days. What happened? How long should I wait before starting again if I don't get a period?

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May 21, 2012
Having trouble regulating cycle with cream
by: Wray

Hi Louese I'm not sure how long you've been using progesterone, but it can upset the cycle when first starting it. You did say your cycles could go up to 42 days, so it could be adjusting still. Has anyone checked for PCOS? Plus I don't believe you are using anywhere near enough. The typical 20-40mg/day that is recommended does not raise levels to that found in the luteal phase. One study found that using 40mg/day "…. only low plasma progesterone levels were found (median 2.5 nmol/l)". Which is round about that found in the follicular phase, or as much as a man would make. We do have a page on Hormone Testing with more info. Progesterone should be used a minimum of twice a day too, as levels begin dropping after about 13 hours. As your cycle is so erratic, I feel you would benefit from using it daily, ignoring any bleeding. Do this for 2-3 months or until you feel stable. This ensures progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. When you feel ready to, begin following your cycle. I suggest you follow an average cycle to begin with, ie 28 days. Which means you would use the progesterone for 14 days, and have a break for 14 days. Your own cycle should assert itself in time, and hopefully won't be as erratic. We have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

May 21, 2012
Trouble regulating cycle
by: Louese

This will be my fourth cycle with it. I started in February. I was told a long time ago after an ultra sound that I did have one or two very small cysts and it was nothing to really worry about. Could I do a dose that high with the cream I have now? It's day 35 and still no period but I do feel breasts swelling and tenderness. So your saying to not even take the break from it? I thought you needed the break to let the period come?

May 23, 2012
Trouble regulating cycle
by: Wray

Hi Louese Your cycle should have settled down by now, I've generally found it takes about 3 months, sometimes 6. So I would guess it's the low amount you're using. I don't know what cream you're using so can't say how much you'd need to use if you want to increase it. But you should be able to work it out. The Breast Tenderness and swelling is a sign oestrogen is dominant, ie your progesterone is dropping. I've found low amounts of progesterone do not stop a period coming. Amounts of 400-600mg/day are needed to stop it completely. We do have more info on our Menstruation page. Take care Wray

Jan 31, 2013
Progesterone timing
by: Gg

Hi,
I DESPERATELY, need some help determining when I should begin using my Progesterone cream.

My cycles are usually always 1-2 weeks "late" past the 28 days. Therefore, should I delay using the cream for 1-2 wks and begin it on day 21 or day 28 instead of day 14?...Or, is the goal to try and "force" it to come on day 28 and therefore still start to use it on day 14?

Also, I have done two saliva progesterone tests in the past---a year apart and before beginning the cream---on day 20. My results were 0.5 (so basically I was making nothing!). After a year on 40mg my re-test showed I had only gone up to 1.5. I was told that the normal number was around 10, I think so I was very disappointed.

This time around, I am unsure whether to use 80mg or 100mg. I used 100mg for the first cycle but alarmingly, my period was later than it had ever been at apx 3-4 weeks late and that has NEVER happened before. So I think 100mg may have been too high perhaps? My theory is that my new supplements may be tipping the scale. I now take a B Complex 100mgs each,
chromium picolonate 400mcg twice a day,
Dim 100mg twice a day,
NAC 600mg twice a day,
Inositol 2grams twice a day,
Fish Oil including DHA 960mg and a multi vitamin.

As well, I have upped my fibre intake to help combat the extra bad estrogen.
I have no one to ask and am really trying to do all the right things. Do I need to do another saliva test before guessing how much cream to use? If so, with a 42 day cycle, do I still do it on day 20 or wait and guess at apx 1-2weeks later as to when I am most probably ovulating?
I have just turned 36 and I would like to hang on to all the eggs I've got for as long as possible!....Please Help!.....

Feb 02, 2013
Progesterone timing
by: Wray

Hi Gg The drug companies have done women a huge disservice (apart from making Contraceptives!) by packaging their pills in 28 day cycles. Doctors do nothing to re-educate women on the length of our cycles, in fact many believe it is 28 days! It isn't, a normal cycle length varies between 21 days to 35 days, this makes 28 days the average only. Not the norm. My daughter has a regular 21 day cycle. I've come across many women with 35 day cycles, and all the variations in between. The drug companies take advantage of this average, rather than having their pills in 14 different packets to suit all cycles. This forces all women taking them into a cycle which is not their own natural cycle. If you have a 35 day cycle, then you should have had the test done on day 28, day 20 should have 0.5, which is the amount we make in the follicular phase. The test should always be done ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding. A normal luteal phase is always, in all women, irrespective of their cycle length, 12-14 days long and always falls between ovulation and bleeding. We have more info on our Menstruation page. And see this paper here, which shows the many different lengths of the follicular phase. Some going up to 54 days, although one this long is regarded as lying outside the normal range. 40mg/day won't raise the level to that of the luteal phase, as you've found yourself. I go into this on our page about Progesterone Misconceptions. Progesterone can upset the cycle making it earlier or later than normal, it's nothing to worry about, as it does settle in time. The 40mg/day evidently didn't affect it. I usually recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are bad, you don't say what yours are. Has the 40mg/day helped you? All the supps you're taking are good. Continued below

Feb 02, 2013
Progesterone timing Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Gg If you normally have a 35 day cycle you should begin using the progesterone on day 21, for the next 14 days when you should bleed. We do have more info our our page How to use progesterone cream. Although you say your cycle varies between 35 to 42 days, I feel you should stick to the 35 days, as 42 days lies outside the normal range. It would mean you would be without progesterone for 28 days. I'm puzzled why it varies so, has anyone checked for PCOS? I'm not sure why you want to hang on to your eggs, if only to fall Pregnant. If so please look through this page too. Take care Wray

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