Large fibroid

by LoriLynn

I've been reading about the use of progesterone cream for the past several weeks now, however, I have read that there can be an exception when dealing with fibroids of a rather large nature.

When doing some research at another site, it stated that, if the fibroid was large (about the size of a grapefruit), that progesterone therapy is not suggested. Is this true? I have been taking progesterone for a couple of months now in the hopes of reducing two fibroids that fit in the as-large-as-a-grapefruit category. The progesterone I was using was simply something I bought at Whole Foods but I was trying to use enough to get my dosage up to about 100mg a day.

I feel terrible. I have gained weight despite my best efforts. When I say, despite my best efforts, I am in the process of training for a 1/2 Ironman, have been trying to eat 5-6 meals a day, have always juiced and shopped organic and have cut out the remaining sugar in my diet. My weight has gone nowhere.

I am convinced the progesterone has caused the weight gain but I also now have significant fatigue (not good when training for a triathlon). I just ordered the NatPro but I am concerned now that I should stop taking the progesterone given that the fibroids are so big (I look pregnant!). I was hoping I could not only benefit from the progesterone to decrease the fribroids, but also to give me some added energy. I am at a loss. Please help!!

Frustrated.

Comments for Large fibroid

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May 04, 2011
Large fibroid
by: Wray

Hi LoriLynn Progesterone initially increases oestrogen, paradoxical but true. We have more info on on Oestrogen Dominance page. Oestrogen causes water retention, whereas progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims. Oestrogen causes cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But as these also make oestrogen, a vicious cycle starts. Fatigue is another problem caused by oestrogen. Fibroids can normally be helped by progesterone, as it's oestrogen which stimulates their growth. But I've found if too large it takes too long for most people, and in some cases doesn't help. Fibroids are an inflammatory condition, often a lack of vitamin D is the cause, see here, here and here. Please have a test done. For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. A lack of vitamin D also reduces the benefits of progesterone. This is probably the reason large fibroids don't respond well to progesterone. Although it's an anti-inflammatory, it's undoubtedly a lack of vitamin D too, also a potent anti-inflammatory. So please have that vitamin D test done. Take care Wray

Jun 26, 2012
Large fibroid and vitamin D?
by: Christina

Hello,

I really don't think that large fibroids are caused by lack of vitamin D...at least, not alone. In every blood test I've taken my vitamin D has been well within the normal range. I have heard of connections between estrogen dominance and fibroids, though, as well as poor diet, etc. I believe--correct me if I'm wrong--that the large fibroids I have are due to estrogen dominance. I'm thin, I eat well, I take supposedly good vitamins, but I still get fibroids. Stress-related? Probably, because my hormones are out of whack. However, when I tried to supplement with progesterone, the fibroids began growing even more just two weeks later to the point where I was forced to have them taken care of surgically (minimally-invasive, but surgery nonetheless). I have heard of studies that showed that if you have small fibroids (<10 cm) progesterone cream can help to shrink them. Is this true?

Jun 27, 2012
Large fibroid and vitamin D?
by: Wray

Hi Christina Fibroids are caused by oxidative stress, as are most of our dis-eases and dis-orders. Even depression is now being regarded as a possibly inflammatory condition. So no I don't think a lack of vitamin D is the sole cause, but one of the major factors. You say your level is within normal range, if this is the 30ng/ml that doctors and labs regard as adequate, it would appear it's too low. Most specialists are saying it should be a minimum of 50ng/ml up to 100ng/ml. Although some feel 75ng/ml should be the minimum. I feel in any inflammatory condition it's best to get it as high as possible, ie 100ng/ml and keep it there. Please read those papers I gave LoriLynn on vitamin D and fibroids, it does shrink them. Progesterone does too, see our page on Fibroids. Both Progesterone and Vitamin D are potent anti-inflammatories, both stop cells proliferating too. Oestrogen on the other hand is a mitogen causing them to proliferate. It's also an excitatory, inflammatory hormone. Large amounts of other antioxidants should be taken to reduce the inflammation and free radicals, particularly NAC (N-acetyl cysteine). Stress causes a cascade of inflammatory cytokines to be produced, which would also affect them. Poor diet with it's lack of antioxidants too. If the fibroids grew more with the progesterone, it's evident you were told to use far too little. It stimulates oestrogen if low amounts are used, and causes Oestrogen Dominance. I also go into this on our Progesterone Misconceptions page. Please check your vitamin D test results and see if it is within the 50-100ng/ml range. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. 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 the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Take care Wray

Jul 09, 2012
Progesterone, Vitamin D and Large Fibroids
by: Christina

Hello,

Thanks so much for your comments and information. I do remember having had a vitamin D3 blood test last year, and believe that it was between 50 and 60...whatever the units of measurement are.

I also read several different articles about progesterone replacement and large fibroids. The first place was in an article by Dr. John Lee. I think he was the first one to prescribe progesterone alone to menopausal women. On his site, he warned of taking progesterone replacement if a woman had fibroids greater than 10cm. Do you know anything about this?

I, for one, would LOVE to be able to take progesterone. I think it would improve greatly my mental clarity...but I'm really afraid that my fibroids will grow because of what I've read. Can you guarantee that my large fibroids won't grow larger if I were to begin progesterone therapy? Several years ago I had a robotic myomectomy to remove a grapefruit-sized fibroid. Last year, I had a uterine embolization to shrink another one that was greater than 10cm, as well as smaller ones. I don't want to have to go through any of that again. As I said, I'm really afraid...

Jul 11, 2012
Progesterone, Vitamin D and Large Fibroids
by: Wray

Hi Christina Glad they were of interest. The D3 measurement depends on where you live. If in the States then it's done in ng/ml and yours is at or slightly above the minimum the specialists recommend. If you live anywhere else in the world, they measure in nmol/L, in which case your level is very low. To convert the one to the other you divide by 2 1/2, which makes the 50-60nmol/L only 20-24ng/ml. But as I said, fibroids are an inflammatory condition, and it would be best to get your level up to 100ng/ml or 250nmol/L. Those papers I gave did show vitamin D reducing them. And the page we have on fibroids has plenty of papers showing progesterone does too. But it's essential to use enough, all too often too little is used, this stimulates oestrogen, so the fibroids will grow! We have more info on our Progesterone Misconceptions page. Oestrogen and only estrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to proliferate. Progesterone inhibits mitosis, so can't cause fibroids to grow. But it is essential to use more than just progesterone, vitamin D is an essential, so too are all the other antioxidants. We have a list of them on our PCOS page. Take care Wray

Jul 12, 2012
Fibroids and Progesterone
by: Christina

Thanks so much for your speedy reply. I do live in the States, in the Midwest. If you take a large amount of vitamin D, does it affect other vitamins, minerals? I've read that omega 3 affects vitamin E, others affect calcium levels, etc...

How do you know how much progesterone is enough or that you're taking too little?

Thank you again for all your insightful comments.

Jul 12, 2012
About Vitamin D
by: LoriLynn

Hi Wray,

I just wanted to comment and say that, since my post, i did have my Vitamin D levels checked. I never bothered to actually read the report myself because my doctor, a chiropractor and sports medicine specialist, ensured me that my Vit D. levels were fine.

Well after reading your post, I decided to check what my exact numbers were. They came out to being in the mid 40s with the normal range identified as being between 30-100. Per your guidelines, that would actually make me out of the range and truthfully, even according to their measurement, I was still in the low percentage of the range, if the range goes up as far as 100.

I live in Chicago and therefore, I already supplement my Vit. D but maybe I wasn't taking in enough. And so I will see if maybe increasing the dosage might not benefit me.

My only question then would be, should I still supplement with the progesterone? Just like the previous poster, when I started the progesterone therapy, I immediately began gaining weight (pronounced in the thighs which is where i was putting the cream) and i felt that the fibroids had grown because my clothes were tighter around my waist. Of course, it is possible that the tightness was due to an overall increase in weight, but it scared the be-jeezus out of me so bad that I quit applying the cream. And the weight I gained I could not get off for all the tea in China!! It wasn't until I went on a prolonged fast that I was able to get the weight of but, even now, I feel the need to be very careful. So I do not want to go down that road again.

So pls let me know if I should restart the progesterone therapy if, in restarting, I now incorporate the increased dosage of Vit. D. Or if you think possibly just the Vit. D would help. Again, they are large (2 grapefruit size; 8 total). I went to the Mayo Clinic and they suggested a robotic myomectomy. I REALLY don't want to go that route if at all possible.

Signed: Frustrated

Jul 13, 2012
Fibroids and Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Christina Your vitamin D would have been measured in ng/ml, so your level is not too bad. Although as I said I would get it to 100ng/ml and keep it there for a few months to reduce the inflammation. And thereafter always keep it within the 70-100ng/ml region. Vitamin D does affect calcium levels, please see those links I gave you, they are the best sites for info. The only way to tell if you are using enough progesterone is via your symptoms. If they improve you have found the optimal amount. Bearing in mind that initially if you use too little symptoms will become worse. Take care Wray

Jul 14, 2012
About Vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Lorilynn I'm so pleased you had your vitamin D levels checked. All too often a phone call is all the person gets, and as in your case, you're told they're normal. I've found with any inflammatory condition it's essential to make sure the vitamin D is really high, i.e. 100ng/ml and to keep it there until the problem is resolved. And then keep it in the 70-100ng/ml range, mine is currently 92ng/ml. I feel the normal range of 30-100 far too large, in fact meaningless. You did say you were trying to get your progesterone to 100mg/day, I don't believe that's anywhere near enough. Fibroids are stimulated by oestrogen, which means you have excess. The higher the oestrogen, testosterone too, the greater the amount of progesterone is needed. I've found in any severe condition far higher levels are needed. I found this out to my cost, as I was overly cautious in helping Mateja with her weight gain. She had asthma, and I know this is caused in part by excess oestrogen, a lack of vitamin D too. But when starting progesterone it can exacerbate it if too little is used, and the last thing I needed was for her to have a bad attack. She initially used too little, you'll see I asked her to increase the amount, but by too little, causing more weight gain. Finally I asked her to use 400-500mg/day, which she did and not only did the weight gain stop, but so did her asthma. I do understand your reluctance to use it, and to have the myomectomy. I would suggest you increase your intake of vitamin D substantially, for instance take 20,000iu's per day then have another test in a month or so to see if it's risen. Once at ±100ng/ml keep it there. It will take time to shrink the fibroids. You'll notice in one of the papers it does say 'A slight stimulation (<4%) of cell proliferation was observed with the lowest 25(OH)2D3 concentrations." Exactly what happens with small amounts of progesterone, but the higher level of vitamin D did reduce the growth, as progesterone does. Whether they went entirely the paper doesn't say, probably because they did not continue with the study until they did. I suggest you try this first before the progesterone, unless you're able to use very high amounts. I've found the synergism between Progesterone and Vitamin D very interesting. Take care Wray

Jul 15, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids -- research
by: Christina

Hello Wray,

I've looked around the site, but I'm unable to locate studies done on the effects of progesterone on large fibroids. As I said in a previous post, Dr. John Lee, who coined the phrase Estrogen Dominance, advised against progesterone for large fibroids. You're saying that this is not true...from what I gather. Can you point me to the studies that confirm this asssertion?

Thank you so much for your assistance.
Christina

Jul 17, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids -- research
by: Wray

Hi Christina I'm really puzzled as I gave you the page on Fibroids, the studies are on it. Dr Lee did coin the phrase oestrogen dominance as his patients got it. But Dr Dalton, who gave far higher amounts of progesterone, never mentioned it in any of her papers, books or articles. The reason being her patients never got it simply because of the high amounts she used. You said "…advised against progesterone for large fibroids. You're saying that this is not true...from what I gather". No where did I say this. If you read what I have written to you and LoriLynn I said they are caused by oxidative stress and large amounts of antioxidants are needed to reverse them, in particular vitamin D. I also said to LoriLynn "Fibroids can normally be helped by progesterone, as it's oestrogen which stimulates their growth. But I've found if too large it takes too long for most people, and in some cases doesn't help." I couldn't have made it clearer. There are very few studies done looking at progesterone and fibroids, see here. Most are on the page I've given you. I have found three more, see here, here and here. This last is actually on the effect pregnancy has on fibroids, rather than a study on progesterone per se. Interestingly even phytoestrogens, in this case genistein, can cause them to proliferate, see here. Take care Wray

Aug 01, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids -- research
by: Christina

Hello,

I'm very sorry. I didn't mean at all to sound antagonistic, because I'm not. I'm just very concerned about trying progesterone with a large fibroid. I realize that there is a link between vitamin D and fibroids. I read all the studies you sent me, and I thank you for the links.
What I didn’t see, and can’t find, are studies about how progesterone can help decrease a large fibroid (= or >10cm). Rather, I’ve found articles that have advised against using progesterone with fibroids this size and larger. I was under the impression that you suggested trying large amounts of progesterone for fibroids of any size, and I was simply trying to verify that this is what you meant. I’m sorry if I misunderstood you. I’m just trying to get information, and sometimes it’s difficult to convey “tone” over the Internet. I’d love to be able to take progesterone because I’m really lacking this hormone and am experiencing the consequences of a deficiency. I took bioidentical hormones at one time, both estradiol and progesterone. One of my fibroids was about 8cm. I knew nothing about why fibroid growth occurred, what could make it worse, and neither, apparently, did my doctor. After a couple of weeks, I felt great! My legs weren’t heavy anymore, I could think more clearly, I could sleep more soundly. I’d not felt this way in years. Then, the fibroid started to grow. It grew to a little less than 12cm. It was hell, to put it mildly. I learned three things : 1) hormone supplementation made some problems go away. 2) hormone supplementation made other problems worse.

Two procedures later, I can finally say that my fibroid is not bothering me, but I also have to say that I have mind fog, heavy legs, sleep disturbance. The only way for me to be able to take bioidentical hormones again would be to have a hysterectomy, unless…unless progesterone alone in correct dosages either won’t affect fibroid growth or will cause it to shrink.

My question for anyone out there is this: With the understanding of the role that Vitamin D plays in fibroids, and assuming that your Vitamin D levels are within the normal range, as is defined by the Vitamin D studies linked to this site, have you experienced a decrease in the size of your large fibroid (= or >10cm) by taking progesterone? If so, what amount was necessary in order for them to decrease? Has anyone experienced, actually, an increase in a large fibroid while taking progesterone? If so, what amount were you using?

PS: The link you posted after this : “There are very few studies done looking at progesterone and fibroids, see here.” didn’t open to any page. Would you mind terribly reposting? Thank you for the other sites and studies. I’m afraid to say that I don’t understand exactly what they said, but I think the first one said that estradiol alone doesn’t shrink, but when combined with progesterone it was found to shrink.


Thank you for your time and your help.
Christina

Aug 06, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids -- research
by: Wray

Hi Christina Sorry if I sounded rather sharp. The problem with fibroids and progesterone there are very few studies, the ones done in 1954 appear the most positive. It's possible to find studies where the researchers are adamant progesterone causes them. As it inhibits mitosis, I find this very difficult to believe. There are many studies on other problems where progesterone is blamed. But if one knows it's properties, and when it rises or falls during the cycle, plus it's relationship to oestrogen, it's easy to see why this mistake is made. It would help me if you could give me the links to the papers showing progesterone causes large fibroids to grow. I would ask you to use the search field and look for other comments about fibroids and progesterone. I'm not sure if anyone with fibroids will pick up your message. I do have one link I can give you here. Thanks for pointing out the link was broken, I've corrected it and checked that it does open. It starts by saying "Ovarian steroids, particularly oestrogen, are important factors for fibroid growth". The next study says much the same, that oestrogen causes growth, whereas progesterone suppresses oestrogen and therefore growth...."both progestins and antiprogestins inhibited E(2)-stimulated cell proliferation". Take care Wray

Aug 08, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids -- research
by: Christina

Hello Wray,

Thanks for your response. Here's one of the websites I read (both article and comments).

NPAN

In this link, it is advised that those with large fibroids keep all hormones low.

WHNS

There's also talk of this on: drlam.com. For some reason, I can't access the website, though.

I can't find the other links that I'd seen before, but these are two of them. I wish I knew a doctor that was well-informed on the subject and knew what to do with me! As I said before, I'd LOVE to take progesterone. I have increased my vitamin D intake (6000 IU/day + whatever I get in a multivitamin and food). My last blood test showed 47.7 ng/mL (3 weeks ago). I increased the vitamin D at about the same time. What do you think? When should I see an increase? Am I still taking too little?

Aug 18, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids -- research
by: Wray

Hi Christine I've looked at the articles. Both are taken from Dr Lee's book. This study here shows progesterone is required for fibroid growth. Unfortunately the abstract gives no indication of how much progesterone was used, and whether in fact it was progesterone and not a progestin. The term 'progesterone' is used interchangeably by doctors and researchers. Small amounts of progesterone are needed to stimulate the oestrogen receptors, and interestingly the study points out that without the addition of progesterone, oestrogen did not stimulate growth. This is the reason I always suggest large amounts of progesterone, which prevents the stimulating effect, and suppresses excess oestrogen. As you are so undecided about the progesterone, I would stick with the vitamin D for now. The amount you are taking is good, although I feel you could increase it to 10,000iu's per day. Please have a test done 2-3 months later to see how high it's got. I also suggest you take large doses of the other antioxidants too, particularly the NAC. It's essential to reduce the oxidative stress and the inflammation it causes. I wish I could help you with a doctor who knew about fibroids and progesterone, but I don't. One thing I forgot to ask you was your age, are you in Peri-menopause? This is always a difficult time anyway, and fibroids tend to increase during these years, and then disappear in Menopause. If you are, I feel taking the vitamin D and high dose antioxidants will probably tide you over till menopause sets it. Take care Wray

Aug 21, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids
by: Christina

Hi Wray,

Thank you for your insightful comments. I will increase vitamin D amounts and get retested in 2-3 months.

I do take vitamin C in different delivery systems. I get them from a distributor called supplementclinic.com. Two of these antioxidants are in "nano" form and are liquids. I take glutathione in nano liquid form, said to increase absorption. Is NAC a precursor to gluthathione?

Yes, I'm perimenopausal, have had fibroid issues since 2004. I'm now 48 yrs old. It's so frustrating that I can't take bioidentical hormones, as I believe that this would alleviate the problems I'm having. I've even considered having a hysterectomy in order to be able to take them, but I have no idea what negative consequences the removal would cause. The devil you do know...;)

Aug 22, 2012
Progesterone and large fibroids
by: Wray

Hi Christine I don't think you should feel so threatened by the progesterone. You are 48, the average age of menopause is 51, although a good indication of when you will go into it, is to ask your mother when she did. So probably only a few more years to go, I can't see how the progesterone will hurt. To my mind a far safer option than a hyst, even waiting it out is far safer. They can help some women, and yet others suffer greatly from the deprivation of progesterone. Even leaving the ovaries in, they shrivel after a few years. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant, but I prefer the aminos as they are the only substance the body can use to repair itself with. The vitamins act as co-factors for this. The NAC in particular is very good at repairing the uterus, inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress, it inhibits the MMPs too which break the lining down excessively, leading to heavy bleeding. NAC is one of the precursors to glutathione, the others are glutamine and glycine. I have no experience of the liquid form, but do know glutathione, being a tripeptide, i.e. a small 'protein' molecule, is broken down by the gut enzymes, just as any protein is. Some more papers for you here, here and here. Take care Wray

Feb 02, 2016
fibroids..
by: fiona

great thread.. just adding so I can follow. also 46, large fibroids.. 9cm+, would prefer no surgery. I tried all kind of detox, nueral therapy and now looking at robotic surgery.. but I am about to jump in and give the progesteron a try though I too am super scared to mess things up more, I am pretty slim so this big belly for me is really uncomfortable! it would be terrible to get bigger! Ahh the joys. Thank you all for your knowledge and research. Wray, ;-))

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