I'm 45 and a Royal Progesterone Deprived Mess !

by Pam
(Florida)

Hi there,

I sure hope I'm asking this question in the right place.

I am 45 ( will be 46 in 4 more months ). For at least 7 years I have had periods from hell. Crampy, heavy, clotty,and miserable. But they always last 7-10 days and always came on day 27 or 28. Very predictable.

On days 4 or 5 of my cycle, I stay home and near the restroom. All day.

Recently my naturopathic doctor suggested P cream because I did a saliva test that showed my progesterone was very low.

I began using it on day 12 of my cycle, and on day 15 I began bleeding again. Ugg! I saw that that was common, though, when starting P cream. ( I'm using the NOW brand )

However, I haven't stopped bleeding! I am now on a full month of bleeding! The first 2 weeks was kind of light, so I didn't worry. Now it is heavy again.

Do you think i went from breakthrough bleeding and straight into my regular period? I stopped the P cream on day 28 of my cycle, but I think I maybe should've just kept using it?

I'm taking iron 3 times a day because I can't keep my Ferritin level up. Can never get it past 10, and now I bet it isn't past 5. If I skip 1-2 days of iron supps, I can tell I get anemic because I get restless legs and weepy. I'm really worried about all this blood loss.

My question.....should I just go ahead and start the cream again? And use more this time?


Is it important to use it twice a day? I had been using it only at night ( per the directions on the tube ).


Thank you so so much for any advice. Appreciate this site and all the info.


{ Side note: I have just about every single symptom of estrogen dominance and have been so miserable and debilitated for 7 years. LOTS of anxiety and sadness about missing out on a normal life because of feeling crummy all the time. }

Comments for I'm 45 and a Royal Progesterone Deprived Mess !

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Dec 10, 2012
Hi Pam
by: Denni

Wray might be more qualified to answer your question, but as someone with first-hand experience re bleeding episodes, my advice would be to re-examine your brand of progesterone cream. I suspect you might need to increase your daily dosage of progesterone, and may need to switch to a more concentrated brand of cream. Do you know how many grams per day you are using currently?

Dec 10, 2012
Thanks
by: Pam

Hi Denni,

Thanks for responding. I read around a little more (here) and saw that the brand I was using isn't very good ( NOW brand). Today I went to the health food store and got Emerita brand (Progest) so I wouldn't have to wait for shipping.

The one I was using, I just used the pre-measured pump, which was 20mg per pump. Now I see that isn't anywhere near enough.

Last night I restarted it and slathered it on heavy and hoped for the best. I was a bleeding machine last night, and this morning it was really bad. I slathered more on after my morning shower, and it has slowed way down the rest of the day.

Tonight I will switch to the Progest brand.

This is my last hope. If P cream doesn't control this bleeding, I'm doomed. I'll have to get a medical intervention and that really scares me. As bad as I feel, I think that will be the nail in my coffin.

I'm a little confused about how to dose 400mg per day. Is that 2 tsps?

Thanks again.

Dec 11, 2012
I'm 45 and a Royal Progesterone Deprived Mess !
by: Wray

Hi Pam It's all so unnecessary, 7 years of hell. From about the age of 35 we begin getting anovulatory cycles, i.e. we don't ovulate, so no progesterone is made. During that month there is therefore no ovarian progesterone to counter the oestrogen. These cycles increase during Peri-menopause until Menopause, when we stop producing viable eggs, and ovarian oestrogen stops. So throughout P-M Oestrogen Dominance symptoms increase. You don't say how much progesterone you're using, but it would seem a very low amount. I've found 400mg/day or more is needed to stop heavy bleeding. We have more info on our Menstruation page. Please also take at least 2000mg/day NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), 2000mg/day taurine and at least 5000iu per day vitamin D. The NAC inhibits the MMPs which cause the lining to break down. Taurine is low in dysfunctional bleeding, see here. And vitamin D is the most potent antioxidant/anti-inflammatory, which inhibits proliferation. Progesterone also inhibits proliferation, suppresses excess oestrogen and the MMPs, and is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Contractions in the uterus, be they during labour or period cramps are caused by excess oestrogen, prostaglandins, cytokines and chemokines, all of which are inflammatory. One role progesterone plays during pregnancy is to quieten the uterus, by suppressing all the above, see here, here, here, here and here. Continued below

Dec 11, 2012
I'm 45 and a Royal Progesterone Deprived Mess ! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Pam It's not until progesterone withdrawal prior to labour, or the few days before bleeding, that the above bio-chemicals can take over. But if in excess, the pain can be acute. You might find you need more than 400mg/day, as you say you have many other symptoms too. I've found the more severe and the greater the number, the more progesterone is needed to overcome them. But I suggest trying 400mg/day to start with, plus those other nutrients I gave you. Progesterone alone won't stop the bleeding, well you'd need far more, and it would take far longer. When first using progesterone it can upset the cycle, making it either earlier or later than normal. It does settle down in time. It's most important to use it a minimum of twice a day, as levels begin dropping after about 13 hours. Some use it hourly if symptoms are severe. I would suggest you use it daily, through any bleeding, for at least 2-3 months to suppress any excess oestrogen and make progesterone dominant. Please have a vitamin D test done, a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone, plus it's needed to stop any inflammatory process. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. 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. You might find encouragement from these comments here, here, here and here. Thanks for the kind words about the site. Take care Wray

Dec 11, 2012
Hi Pam
by: Wray

Hi Denni I do agree with you, by all accounts Pam isn't using enough, I've also asked how much. The brand she's using contains only 14mg/g, one of the weakest on the market. Take care Wray

Dec 13, 2012
Thanks
by: Wray

Hi Pam I'm delighted the higher amount slowed the bleeding down. But the brand you are using only contains 14mg/g. Although it's a larger container, i.e. 90g it only contains 1300mg progesterone. So if you wanted to use 400mg/day, the container would last you 3 1/4 days. You would have to use 5.7 tsp of cream. The Progest is slightly stronger with 15mg/g, but the container is only 900mg, so would last you 2 1/4 days. You would have to use 5.3 tsp of cream. When you ask if you should use 2tsp, I'm not sure which cream you're referring to. 2tsp of the Now cream would give you 140mg/day, and of the Progest 150mg/day. 1 tsp is 5ml. Although the specific gravity of a cream is slightly less than that of water, I ignore the difference as it's too small to bother about. In other words treat a gram as a millilitre. Which means you can use a volumetric measurement, instead of weight. I hope by now you have received my reply, as I've told you what else to take besides the progesterone. Take care Wray

Dec 21, 2012
Help
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray and friends...

I am so sorry to keep pestering you all about this. I know you are incredibly busy answering other questions, but if you have time to reply again I would very much appreciate it.


Today is day 12 on the cream ( Progest from Emerita ). I feel so awful. I mean, reeeeeeally awful. I completely understand this is normal because of waking up estrogen receptors.

I am looking over my old ZRT labs from 2010. The one where my doctor told me that saliva testing is not reliable ( I Know he is wrong ), and he said my numbers weren't that bad, not enough to be causing me to feel so bad.

My lab results from ZRT in 2010 were:
Estradiol 2.8 ( 1.3-3.3 )
Progesterone 61 ( 75-270 )
Ration Pg/E2 22 ( 100-500 )
Testosterone 32 ( 16-55 )
Morning cortisol 3.8 ( 3.7- 9.5 )

I have suffered soooooooo much these past 7 years. Do you think this is a lot of the reason why?

Right now I feel like I've been beaten with a baseball bat ( sore all over ), my tongue is on fire and feels scalded, I have crepitus where my joints pop and snap like crazy, especially my spine, my ears ring, awful fatigue, and just constant depression because I always feel so crappy. I felt awful before the cream, but now I feel even worse.

I did have my vitamin D checked and it was ok, but I'm supplementing anyway.

I just need to hear what you think about all this. Opinions, thoughts, advice...I'm all ears.

I thank you so much for your time. Much appreciation.

Dec 22, 2012
Help
by: Wray

Hi Pam How much cream are you using? I said you would have to use 5.3 tsp of the Progest cream to get the 400mg/day I feel you need, are you? One container would last you 2 1/4 days, is this how quickly you're using up the cream? Because if not, this could be why you're feeling so awful. Or it could be you need more than the 400mg/day. You might like to read Sage's comments here Your doctor, in looking over your test results, was only looking at the levels, not the ratio. This was obviously meaningless to him, a pity, as ZRT go to the trouble of giving it. Unlike other labs, they know this is the critical factor, not the levels. And your ratio is very low at 22:1. We run Saliva Tests periodically and have found from these that the ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. I know how you must be feeling, as my tests showed a ratio of 5:1, and I was a basket case! No longer thank heavens. And your vitamin D, do you have those levels? Unfortunately labs, and doctors too, go by the FDA 'adequate' level of 30ng/ml, which is far too low. And how much are you taking, the minimum needs to be 5000iu per day, more if levels are low. Please come back to me with answers to my questions. Take care Wray

Dec 22, 2012
Thanks
by: Pam

Thank you, Wray.


I've been using 1 tsp in the am and 1 tsp in the pm. Yesterday I added 1/4 tsp in between that. I honestly can't afford to use more than that, which is a HUGE problem...I know. I understand I need to figure out how, though, because this isn't a game and my body doesn't understand or care about budgets ( I haven't been able to work because of this. I was a teacher for many years and had to resign. )


I'm taking 6,000IUs of vitamin D ( 1000IUs in an Omega 3 supplement, and then 5,000IUs in a supplement of its own. ) My blood test for vitamin D was done through Spectracell Labs and was a 74 ( the range was anything > 50 ). I live in Florida and make an effort to get sun, so maybe that's why.


~ Have you ever heard of burning tongue/mouth problems from low progesterone? Feels like I licked a frying pan! But it's not fungal related.


~ Will raising progesterone also raise/improve cortisol levels?


I appreciate your time and thank you.




Dec 23, 2012
Thanks
by: Wray

Hi Pam The 2tsp you're using is only giving you 160mg/day, not enough. I do understand the cost, so I'm going to suggest something I never normally do. Please consider using our cream, it's double the strength, and the price is almost 3 times less. We also give a 30% discount on 20 tubes, making one tube $17.25. Some women buy a box of 20 to share amongst friends or family. You can read about it here. But please take those nutrients I gave you, they are essential for stopping the bleeding and for the healing process. Progesterone alone is going to have an uphill battle and take too long. I am delighted to hear your vitamin D is high, and that you're taking 6000iu too. No one seems to know the cause of burning tongue syndrome (BTS). These are a few sites with info on it, see here, here and here. It does appear to be more common in women who are stressed. And of course you've been through 7 years of Stress. But as it affects more women than men, and it's more prevalent during the last three years of Peri-menopause and into Menopause, than during our earlier years, this makes me suspect oestrogen, it's an excitatory, inflammatory hormone. The following is purely my take on BTS. There are ample nerve fibres in the tongue containing substance P. This is a nociceptive neuropeptide, causing pain and nausea. No one seems to know why substance P is in the neurons, but one study concludes "These data suggest that substance P may play a role in taste and/or in oral pain", see here. Oestrogen appears to amplify it's signal, but substance P suppresses progesterone, see here. Progesterone does suppress substance P, but only if enough is used, see here. Continued below

Dec 23, 2012
Thanks Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Pam The paper says "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." There is a higher incidence of dry mouth with BTS. In it's most severe form it's called Sjogren's syndrome, oestrogen is always high, see see here. Mood changes, especially anxiety and depression have been consistently found in people with BTS. This is again indicative of high oestrogen, low progesterone. Another interesting feature is a disturbance in taste. This could be due to zinc, as a lack of zinc reduces our ability to taste. And a lack of zinc has been found in people with BTS. Oestrogen suppresses zinc, and increases copper. Copper can cause severe depression and psychosis. Progesterone raises zinc and suppresses copper. You have to get your progesterone level up high, and please consider taking zinc if you find a lack of taste a problem. Although your vitamin D is in the range specialists advise, it could be your magnesium is too low. This will also cause pain. Studies have discovered magnesium depletion allows substance P to increase, and subsequently inflammatory cytokines to increase too, see here and here. Magnesium is the most important co-factor for vitamin D, an imbalance between the two causes pain. Please consider taking some if you're not. I take it your cortisol is low, hence the question. Progesterone lessens the stress response, but if we're stressed, levels drop. They drop because the adrenals rob other sources of progesterone for conversion into cortisol, in addition to making their own progesterone. Cortisol then rises, but if over stressed, cortisol drops as the adrenals are now exhausted. Using additional progesterone will help the adrenals in two ways. One, by lessening the stress response, the adrenals will be less stressed, and two, by supplying needed progesterone for conversion into cortisol. This gives the adrenals a break! Take care Wray

Dec 23, 2012
Thanks
by: Pam

Oh my gosh, you are the best!

This was so informative. I will take your advice and switch brand of cream. I didn't realize that there was such a difference in strength.

I so much appreciate you taking so much time to help me.

{{hugs to you }}

Dec 23, 2012
Thanks
by: Wray

Hi Pam Bless you! Having been to hell and back myself, I like to give as much info as possible to help someone else come out of it. Please do keep in touch, as feedback is essential to me. But it's also a bumpy road, as you've experienced, and can still be even using 400mg/day. I don't even know if this will be enough, but a good start point. Hugs to you too, take care Wray

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