How to use progesterone to cope with stress

by Sue

Hello Wray! I wonder if you can advise me how to use the cream when going through stressful moments. I use around 5ml per day which was working well for me and had even taken a few short breaks during my period after a few months of constant use, but then last month and this month I have had a few minor stresses to deal with. I have noticed I feel more estrogen dominant now as a result - more headaches, weepiness, hair shedding more and generally a bit more fed up and anxious than usual. Should I carry on using the 5ml throughout my period too to sort of "bump up" my levels and so deal with the stress more? Should I do this for a couple of months? I am 40 and would like to wean down to around 3ml if possible and have breaks in line with my period, but I am aware that lower doses don't always work so well during stress. Thanks Wray!

Comments for How to use progesterone to cope with stress

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 28, 2013
progesterone and stress
by: Anonymous

This subject interests me too - hopefully Wray will reply soon.

Jan 28, 2013
How to use progesterone to cope with stress
by: Wray

Hi Sue Stress! What can I say?! None of us realise what it does to us, particularly when younger, as are ability to cope and recover is far greater then when older. It's only when progesterone is dropping are we conscious of the affect. I won't go into the details here, as it's on the page I've given you. Suffice to say progesterone does help enormously. For one thing you are now in that phase where levels are dropping, this begins round about age 35 when we start getting anovulatory cycles, so no progesterone is made that month. Secondly it's a very calming hormone, as it activates GABA one of our most calming neurotransmitters, so lessening the stress response. The adrenals secrete progesterone, which they then convert into cortisol. If stressed they rob other sources so progesterone drops, a vicious cycle. In fact stress can stop ovulation entirely. Supplementing helps the adrenals, and the stress response. The other stress hormone the adrenals secrete is adrenaline, high adrenaline prevents progesterone entering the cells. So much more is needed to overcome this. But adrenaline is made from tyrosine, this amino acid gets hugely depleted when stressed, as it's going to make adrenaline. The stress response takes precedence over any other system, a left over from the past when it got us out of danger. But this means the thyroid is affected as T3 and T4 are made from tyrosine plus iodine, with selenium as a co-factor. Tyrosine is also the precursor to dopamine, one of our major neurotransmitters. This drops when stressed leading to depression, a drop in Libido and increased levels of prolactin, the hormone of lactogenesis, but also an inflammatory hormone. Tyrosine is also the precursor to melanin, the pigment found in hair and skin. Some people find their hair turns 'white' when stressed. And finally it's part of the enkephalin peptide involved in regulating and reducing pain, and increasing pleasure. Having given you that mouthful, please try incorporating more tyrosine in your diet. Highest is found in animal protein, better to supplement though, saves the body having to break down the protein to extract the aminos. Stress slows digestion anyway, so production of nutrients is limited when it's needed most. There's info on how to take tyrosine on our page about Natural Antidepressants. Continued below

Jan 28, 2013
How to use progesterone to cope with stress Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Sue So you do need more progesterone over a stressful time. It's better if you increase the amount prior to the stress, not always possible of course. You use the same amount I do, about 170mg/day. I always rub on extra when stressed, then lower it when calmer. Can you try this? Alternatively you could try your suggestion and go back to using it daily. Then when you feel more relaxed, revert to following your cycle. Well sort of follow it, if you only stop for your period! You might find you don't need to do it for 2 months, it depends of course on whether you get hit by more stress! Vitamin D is another nutrient which drops when stressed, that also affects all our systems and mood too. Plus a low level reduces the benefits of progesterone. And prevents tyrosine being converted into dopamine. It's like a game of dominoes, but finding which one fell is often so difficult. Have you checked what your vitamin D levels are? Might be an idea to have a test done. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Jan 28, 2013
Progesterone and stress
by: Sue

Thanks so much Wray! I shall use the cream throughout my cycle for a month and see how it goes. I do feel much calmer after using the cream. I also take 5000iu vitamin D3. Thanks again!

Mar 23, 2013
Drops VS Topical Cream VS Oral
by: MarieB

Hi Wray--

I'm just starting progesterone supplementation. I'm 44 and still having regular 28-31 day cycles. I have a baby at 43 and since then, have not been able to drop weight, especially around my mid section. I'm taking DIM and taurine to help with detox.

I'm working with a great naturopath as well as an anti-aging doctor here in Austin, TX. I'm hearing a few different perspectives from them: the MD put me on oral, sustained released, and compounded progesterone--25mg from day 5-after ovulation and 50mg from ovulation tip my period. The naturopath recommends starting at 50mg of oral sublingual drops. She prefers it to cream.

Can you provide your thoughts? I've read elsewhere that a combination of methods is a good strategy.

Thanks,

M

Mar 24, 2013
Drops VS Topical Cream VS Oral
by: Wray

Hi Marie Doctors prefer to work with 'doses', but they are irrelevant when it comes to progesterone. The amount to use is dependant on symptoms, nothing else. We have some women using 1000mg/day and more to overcome theirs, see here, here and here, scroll to 'Having a Hard Time' or 'Information on Hidden Copper Toxicity'. If the only symptom you have is weight gain, then I can guarantee that the amount you've been told to take will cause more! If you do have other symptoms they could become worse. We do have a page on Delivery systems, the least effective is oral....."The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues", see here. You could look through this page here, it will give you an idea of what too little progesterone can do. The women were all given the standard 20mg/day cream, some 50mg/day, or oral progesterone, and in every case put on weight. You'll also see my repetitive answers to them, to use more! I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, but in a form which is absorbed well, i.e. injections, by all accounts painful, suppositories or creams. I've not heard a combo of methods is a good idea, I can't see the point to it. Progesterone is progesterone, and the only concern is 'is it absorbed well'. We run Saliva Tests on our cream and know it is. Take care Wray

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.


Search over 7,500 pages on this site...