Just started taking progesterone to help with Perimenopause, night sweats and Insomnia

by Angela
(Eugene, OR USA)

Hi, my name is Angela. Two months ago I could sleep soundly through the night and within a half an hour be asleep till the next morning getting no less then six hours and most the time 7-10 on weekends. This all changed overnight where I started getting less and less sleep until I was dealing with a very chronic cause of Insomnia. I was all over the board. From two our sleep to 15 minutes here, half and hour there and awake the rest of the night. Then maybe a 4-5 hour good night. All of this was followed by intense anxiety and severe night sweats. The bed became my enemy and I actually started to develop anxiety to sleeping in my room associating it with the Insomnia. I finally made my way into a holistic doctor which gave me a blood test and said I was low in progesterone and estrogen, high in cortisol and that I was going into Perimenopause. She started me off on two 25mg capsules of progesterone at night starting the first day of my period. This seemed to help the first four nights until my cycle ended which was two days ago. She then had me increase the dose to 4 the last couple of nights which I was able to go to sleep but woke up within an hour or two of going to sleep and couldn't go back to sleep and had very severe night sweats? I have no idea what is going on? Am I taking too much Progesterone or not enough? Is this just an adjustment period? I heard that when you first start taking Progesterone that it can excite the Estrogen and cause some reaction. Is there something else I should take with it? This is all new to me and I am horribly frustrated and feel like I am never going to have my normal life back again. Does it take a long time for the holistic doctors to figure out what the imbalance is? Does it require a lot of tests? Any information or advice would be very much appreciated! Thank you!

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Apr 15, 2012
Just started taking progesterone to help with Perimenopause, night sweats and Insomnia
by: Wray

Hi Angela Oral progesterone is mostly destroyed by the gut and the liver, in fact it's the least effective Delivery system. The amount you are taking is far too low too, even if via a system which does work well, ie injections, suppositories or a cream. I recommend 100-200mg/day or more if symptoms are bad. Both oestrogen and progesterone drop the few days prior to bleeding, but often the ratio of the two becomes very skewed, which has evidently occurred with you. I have found 400mg/day progesterone is needed to stop Hot Flushes and night sweats. Progesterone is good for sleep, but enough must be used, see here, here and here. Enough adenosine, glutathione, dopamine and nitric oxide are needed for sleep, interestingly progesterone regulates or raises these. You are right, progesterone does stimulate oestrogen, leading to Oestrogen Dominance if too little is used. Peri-menopause is a difficult time too! Please consider switching to a better form of progesterone, and increasing the amount too. Take care Wray

Jul 30, 2014
Night sweats
by: Susan

I am a 49 year old female who has been having night sweats over the past six months. My doctor recommended estrogen replacement therapy; however, did not do any testing to see what my levels were. A friend of mine talked to me about progesterone cream. I ordered a saliva test and discovered that my progesterone levels were 90mg and my estrogen was 1.9 mg. A ratio of 47:1... I started using the cream according to recommendations and within five weeks I've experienced MASSIVE hair loss! And I've still had night sweats. Could it be I'm using too little cream?

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