Low or High Progesterone Levels?

by Kaye
(California)

I am 50 years old and have been suffering from several pre-menopausal symtomes for many years. For a year now I have been suffering from extreme exhaustion and fatigue. I do not get any recuperative sleep. I wake up extremely tired even though I get adequate sleep. I stay tired throughout the day and crash several times during the day. This has greatly interfered with my work, my family, my social life, my upkeep with my self and my home. I am always so exhausted, fatigued, irritable and angry. I feel so foggy headed and can not focus or retain my thoughts. I feel like I'm going crazy and I'm pretty sure I act crazy a lot of the time but I think people are too afraid to tell me. I don't even like being around me! This is just not me and it is wearing me out completely.

I recently took a saliva and bood test for hormone level testing (saliva was taken in the morning and blood in the afternoon on the same day). My saliva test shows that I am low in progesterone and normal in estrogen. My blood test shows that I am extremely high in progesterone and low in estrogen. How can this be?

The tests were taken on day 19 of my cycle and on the same day. Is it possible for my levels to change that much during the day? I am not on any hormone replacement so I could not have contaminated the saliva test and I followed the directions to the tee (using no face creams and using fresh bedding and towels and washing my hands before handling the test tube). My doctor is also baffeled by this and not sure what to do.

My cycle is always 28 days with 5 days of moderate to heavy flowing, however over the last 2 months my cycle has been 37 days and my last cycle was a very very light flow, almost nonexistent.

Do you have any advice on how to make some sense out of the results of the saliva and blood test? I really really need some help fast! My friends, family, co-workers and employer would appreciate it too!

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Jul 19, 2008
Low or High Progesterone Levels?
by: Wray

Hi Kaye Peri-menopause has to be the worst time in a woman's life! Your symptoms sound so like those I had, I didn't like being around me either! We do have a page on our website about it, which gives detailed information:

http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/peri-menopause.html

It's interesting you had both a blood and saliva test done on the same day and the results were so different. This paradox is explained by ZRT labs. You'll find the explanation here:

http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/progesterone-levels.html

Saliva tests are the more accurate, as born out by your symptoms. These are indicative of a skewed ratio between progesterone and oestrogen.

As your cycle is now becoming typical of peri-menopause, which makes it impossible to follow, you can use progesterone every day, without a break. I did and have done for 13 years now. You could also have 'insulin resistance' which causes extreme tiredness, a foggy brain and all the other symptoms you mentioned. A higher oestrogen to progesterone ratio can cause this. If you're interested in this, please send an email from the contact us link at the bottom of the page. This info is not on the website yet. Do hope this helps. Take care Wray



Oct 09, 2008
How do I know if it's enough or too much?
by: Brie

I am a 28 year old mom of a two and four year old. I have been struggling with weight and fatigue since I had my 2nd child two years ago and after having multiple doctors test me for a hypothyroidism with negative results, one of them found I was low in progesterone from a blood test.

I have since been put on 100 mg of Prometrium. I definetly feel like it helped but still wonder if it is enough? However, also for a week around mid-cycle/ovulation time I have had alot of cramping,bloating, and sensitivity in my pelvic area. I have also had ovarian cysts in the past and wondered about PCOS, however it seems like no doctors really test or treat this condition unless you are having infertility issues. I feel like my body, weight, mood, energy levels have been unrecognizable and out of control.

The progesterone treatment is the first step in the right direction so far, but I still don't feel like it has fully rectified the problems. Why doesn't the doctor do tests for hormone levels consistently and throughout different stages of my cycle and follow up to see if they are at the levels they should be? When asked, she says they just tell by how I feel.
Thanks for your expertise and interest.

Oct 11, 2008
Low or High Progesterone Levels?
by: Wray

Hi Brie It sounds very much like you're still suffering from post natal depression. Progesterone falls sharply after birth and affects up to 10% of women. Serotonin levels also fall, causing many to experience severe PND, including post natal psychosis. This is seldom tested for!

Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, our sleep hormone. So if serotonin is low you won't be getting refreshing sleep. Progesterone does help raise serotonin levels, but it takes time. You might find taking the amino acid precursor 'tryptophan' helpful.

You say you have been given 100mg Prometrium, this is a good dose, but if it's oral capsules it's a waste of time, as up to 90% is destroyed as it passes through the gut and liver. It also puts a strain on the liver which has to metabolise it, I do hope it's not the oral variety.

Mittelschmerz (middle pain) occurs in approximately 20% of women at ovulation only and in no way is it dangerous. The pain usually subsides within hours, but can linger for a day or two. It is not a cyst rupturing, but the follicle containing a mature egg bursting to release the egg. If you've had ovarian cysts in the past it's an indication oestrogen levels are too high, and progesterone too low. Oestrogen stimulates cysts.

As for hormone tests, we're still in the dark ages! Progesterone levels were never tested when hormones were checked until about 10-15 years ago. Luckily more and more women are becoming aware of what hormones can do to them, so the more complaints received, the more the medical profession will take notice.

May 11, 2009
Progesterone level at 1000!
by: Judy

I recently did a saliva test and my Progesterone level is at 1000 (I am told it should be between 5 and 95, don't quite understand all this yet but I am scheduled to meet with my pharmacist tomorrow to go over my results. My adrenal number was a little low also.

I must tell you that I was using a Progesterone cream a short while ago. My pharmacist said to stop using it for 2 weeks before I did my saliva test. I waited 3 weeks thinking this would be safer and my results would be more accurate. My pharmacist believes this high level is still the result of the progesterone cream I was using. I was using the progesterone cream because it was thought that it was needed to balance my hormones (as suggested by a naturalist at my chiropractor's office).

My main symptoms are no energy and I am not sleeping without the aid of a sleeping pill (Dalmane 15mg). Luckily I started an aerobic/muscle conditioning class on Jan 4 and do the routine 4 days a week. I am happy to say that I have continued to do this routine and have missed very few work outs. I know the sleeping pill side effects are making me tired during the day, but without them I was getting no sleep and it was AWFUL. I had a partial hysterectomy in Nov. 07 (still have my ovaries).

The insomnia was the worst experience of my life. I had no idea what insomniacs went through. I could barely function. I fought taking sleeping pills until I couldn't fight anymore. I do also have the fuzzy brain feeling and the inability to focus or stay on task as well. My hysterectomy (I had fibroids and my uterus was the size of a 16 week pregnancy) was a snap. The only medication I had to take after my surgery was Motrin 800 - never even took a pain pill! Had a great doctor and my recover was a no problem at all - BUT NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT ALL THIS! There are days I wished I had my uterus back!

Any thoughts?

Thank you for your time.

Apr 12, 2010
High Progesterone, Low Estrodiol
by: Cathy

My symptoms coincide with those who report low progesterone levels, however, my ZRT saliva test shows progesterone at 434H (normal range 75-270) and estrodiol 1.0L (normal range 1.3-3.3). I also had low normal DHEA and testosterone.

I am 45 yrs. old and have been suffering from insomnia (waking up during the night or too early), fatigue, tiredness, foggy thinking, anxiety, and occasional night sweats, for a few years.

Any suggestions?

Apr 13, 2010
High Progesterone, Low Estrodiol
by: Wray

Hi Cathy. Interesting your progesterone level is so high, and yet your symptoms do show a lack of progesterone. ZRT is an excellent lab, so I don't doubt their figures as I do with some I've seen.

But those same symptoms are also those for unstable blood glucose. It could be this is your problem and not a lack of progesterone, although interestingly progesterone does help with controlling blood glucose. Please try to avoid all starchy carbs and sugar for supper. During the night the blood glucose will rise too high, this stimulates the pancreas to send out insulin to bring it down. But if it comes down too fast or too low, the adrenals are stimulated to make adrenaline. This in turn causes the liver to convert glycogen into glucose to bring the level up. A drop in blood glucose can cause sweats, adrenaline causes anxiety and it wakes us, sometimes with panicky feelings and impending doom.

Blood glucose reaches it's lowest level in the early hours of the morning, as we've been without food all night. If this is the case with you please make sure you have a protein meal at night. Too low a level of glucose causes fatigue, tiredness and foggy thinking. You might like to read more about it here.

There's only one way to tell if you do need more progesterone, and that's to use it. It won't harm if your level goes higher, ZRT have found levels of 100 000pg/ml in the saliva of women who supplement with progesterone, please see here. If you do, I suggest you use somewhere between 100-200mg/day. But you might find your problem lies in your blood sugar. The site I gave you should help you to decide. Take care, Wray

Apr 27, 2010
LOW progesterone
by: Liz

I have a progesterone level of 0, I haven't had a period for nearly 19 months, I am constantly tired and feel like I can't take a deep breath although I am not sure if this is connected. I am only 25 years old and I'm worried it could be the start of early onset menopause. My paternal aunt had the same at 29. Any thoughts would be gratelly appreciated.

Aug 26, 2010
High progesterone and high E1
by: Dayna

My doctor is stumped and so am I. I did a 24 hour urine test and my levels of both E1 (estrone) and progesterone were super high. Everything else was normal. I have many of the symptoms of high progesterone levels (fatigue, loss of libido, irritability). I can't seem to find any where how to reduce one's levels and where they might be coming from. I'm not taking any hormone supplements, although I am on 45mg of thyroid and 5 mg of DHEA each day. I'm only 38 and do not appear to be undergoing any menopausal symptoms. Any ideas?

Aug 28, 2010
LOW progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Liz A progesterone level of 0 could only mean you are not ovulating. Did they not check your oestrogen level too? One of the symptoms of low progesterone is tiredness, but it could be due to low vitamin D too, or insulin resistance. IR is also caused by low vitamin D, for more info please see our page on Insulin Resistance. Please have a vitamin D test done, most of us have too low a level and it's such a vital nutrient. For more info please see the Vitamin D council website. A lack of vitamin D affects the ovaries adversely. Interesting, but your tight chest would well be a symptom of low progesterone. It's excellent for asthma as it relaxes blood vessels, oestrogen on the other hand constricts smooth muscle. The only way to find out if it's early onset menopause is to have an FSH test done. This rises during menopause as there are no follicles left to stimulate. There are various other explanations for the amenorrhoea, one is poly cystic ovaries, have these been checked? For more info please see our page on PCOS. If you should consider using progesterone and as you haven't had a period in 19 months, I suggest you follow a 28 day cycle. This is the average length. Although I recommend between 100-200mg/day, I feel it would be best to start on 200mg/day, use this amount for 14 days then stop. You should bleed shortly after, although it can take a few cycles to settle down. If you find it doesn't help, the only thing would be to have a scan done of your ovaries and to have the FSH test too. Take care Wray

Aug 29, 2010
High progesterone and high E1
by: Wray

Hi Dayna Although some practitioners favour the urine test over blood or saliva, it doesn't appear to give an accurate assessment of the hormone levels in the body. For instance oestradiol metabolism occurs primarily via two pathways, giving the two metabolites 2-hydroxyestrone and 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone, which presumably they picked up. The ratio is sometimes used as a marker for cancer risk, please see here. The metabolism and inactivation of progesterone occurs primarily in the liver, but it's excreted primarily by the kidney. The liver conjugates two thirds of circulating progesterone, so there is substantial bilary excretion and reabsorption. The hydroxylated metabolites, plus the sulfate and glucuronide conjugates of progesterone are eliminated mostly in the urine, while the ketonic compounds are excreted mainly in the bile and from there to the faeces. So pregnanediol, allopregnanediol, pregnanolone and progesterone are found in both urine and bile. Pregnanediol is one of the major urinary metabolites of progesterone. But it's measurement only gives an indirect idea of progesterone levels, due to the variation in hepatic metabolism and therefore does not represent the total endogenous progesterone production. I believe having a very high level of excretion in the urine leaves you very short in progesterone, that you are excreting more than you should. This is the reason you are tired, have libido loss and are irritable, not from an excess, but a deficiency. Progesterone is excellent for fatigue, particularly if myopathy or muscle weakness occurs. There is evidence that progesterone is responsible for increasing libido, not testosterone, please see here. Progesterone has neuromodulatory affects, thereby calming irritable moods, please see here and here. I believe you need to increase your progesterone levels. I generally recommend 100-200mg/day. If you should consider using progesterone please see this web page on Oestrogen Dominance. DHEA is a hormone and increases levels of both testosterone and oestrogen. It can cause cancer and cysts, please see here, here and here. Take care Wray

Dec 03, 2010
High progesterone symptoms
by: Anonymous

A word of caution please. Don't be too quick to conclude that progesterone needs to be increased. After battling for months with symptoms of tiredness, fatigue, irritability, lack of sleep quality, etc. while being on nhrt blood tests clearly showed that my progesterone was way too high in comparison to my estrogen levels. Unfortunately, symptoms of high progesterone can sometimes be very similar to symptoms of low progesterone. Increasing the progesterone levels in such an instance only increased the symptoms. I am now increasing my estrogen levels via nhrt and decreasing progesterone at the same time in an effort to get the balance back to normal. Blood tests, regularly done, are the best way to find which hormones need increasing or decreasing. Saliva tests cannot be easily compared with blood tests as they measure different things. It very much depends on how you body metabolizes the various hormones.

Dec 10, 2010
High progesterone symptoms
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for the word of caution, but I don't think there's cause for too much concern. After all Dr Dalton would use 2400mg/day for her patients with post natal psychosis, traumatic brain injury victims receive over 1200mg/day via IV transfusion, women with endo need 500mg/day and heavy, continual bleeding needs between 400-600mg/day. The argument with all these is of course they need high amounts, but so do many of the symptoms which trouble us. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone. Using any form of HRT, even natural as you are, increases levels of oestrogen, which I don't believe any women needs more of. Please see our page on HRT. I have yet to experience symptoms of low progesterone while using high amounts as you suggest, and I know of no woman who does. In fact high levels of progesterone give a sense of euphoria, it has calming and sedative effects, see here, here and here, and can be used as an anaesthetic. The symptoms you describe, tiredness, fatigue, irritability, lack of sleep quality, are those of low progesterone in ratio to oestrogen. The range normally given for saliva tests is 200 to 2000, but women often write in with ratios as low as 9:1. We've found from saliva tests that to feel well the ratio should be 600:1 and over, please see Saliva Tests. These are generally regarded as being the more accurate of the two, and tests are helpful. But the one thing they cannot tell is how we are feeling, they can only give levels. Unfortunately the ratio is often overlooked and this is the critical factor, not the levels. By increasing your progesterone you experienced Oestrogen Dominance, this often occurs and is disconcerting and confusing when it does. Take care Wray


Jan 25, 2011
Balancing Hormones
by: Sherry

Kaye,

I have seen even the underdeveloped child level out their imbalances. I work with a Dr. Joe that I have seen a lot of tranformations with normalizing hormones, etc. Part of the issue is more than likely a Vitamin D3 deficiency. It is truly an epidemic especially in women - they say 85% of population. New science does not believe in the low quantities at all - in fact it does nothing. How much is too much is the question. There's not enough space to input enough help one understand. Dr. Joe has been working with taking large quantites for over 30 yrs. My twin sister was allergic to estrogen and thyroid medication when taken together. She was tranfused and was a mess - the doctors gave her 2 yrs to live. Depression, Mast Cell, Fibromyalgia, Respiratory, Chronic Fatique, Blood pressure - her insides were way off. She couldn't even grow hair on her under arms or legs, nor could she perspire ---- Well she is now, as of 5 mths ago when I changed her protocols. She's not happy she has to shave after 9 yrs. of not. But her life has truly changed. The D3 played a big part of it, without a question and 1st time she is getting her life back. I just did up an article on the D3 to help people understand - I've done a lot of research even outside of Dr. Joe. An gal with rages - they are gone. It's been awesome.

I'd love to share more.

Sherry in Minnesota
612-272-7599

[note from webmaster... sorry Sherry we have a policy of not publishing email addresses as this can encourage spam]

Feb 02, 2011
Balancing Hormones
by: Wray

Hi Sherry Thanks for your input. I agree with you, vitamin D is the most important nutrient there is. I regularly ask people to have a test done, as most of us have too low a level. Take care Wray

May 11, 2011
HELP!!!! PLEASE!!!!
by: Anonymous

I was on the Wiley Protocol using very high doses of E/P using cylical dosing with their beliefs that using this method will bring a menopausal woman back to her 20's and bring about the return of her period. I was only on the protocol for 7 weeks. I stopped it cold turkey after not feeling well. I would wake up prior to, during and after the hormones, anxious, shaky, jittery, depressed, etc. I am a basketcase. I am now seeing a new gyno who ordered saliva tests. my results came back today and the results were very, very high estradiol and progesterone, high cortisol levels in the PM (thought I would have high cortisol levels in the mornings) My thyroid is okay except my reverse T3 is very high in comparison to the T3. My DHEAS is high, testosterone is high and now I am experiencing heart palpitations and my blood pressure is spiking in the mornings. I am currently taking atenolol 50mg every morning (have been for yrs) I can't function, always anxious, have terrible muscle pains, jitters, diarrhea, head pressure, all the signs of anxiety, I went the route of antidepressants which one didn't work and the other, made me very sick. too much progesterone is not a good thing either. my gyno now decreased the doses of both E and P, but I am wondering if I should just stop and give my system a rest from all the hormones. I just don't feel well at all. I can't exist like this one more day. maybe I am mentally ill. oh, I was given pregnenoloen with the progesterone pill I was taking at night but it gave my worse palpitations. gyno suggested taking holy basil to help the cortisol levels for 2 weeks and see how I feel with lower doses of hormones. I can't take this much longer and feel so out of control. I need help...PLEASE...any suggestions. Thanks so much

May 18, 2011
HELP!!
by: Wray

Hi there I can't agree with all that oestradiol you were given, in fact I don't believe any women needs more oestrogen. I don't agree with increasing the amount until you're ready to explode either. And following the lunar calendar? I've not found many women do. Cycles can vary from 21 to 35 days, there's nothing lunar about that. The average might be 28, but that's no more normal than a woman who has a 21 day cycle, or one at the other end who has a 35 day cycle. The manufacturers of Contraceptives also follow a 28 day cycle, which forces every woman into the same mould. Oestrogen stimulates cells to multiply and divide, it's also an inflammatory hormone. It causes water retention, cravings for sugary foods, Anxiety and more. Oestrogen also causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here and here. So I'm not surprised you had palpitations with the amount of oestrogen you were getting. I don't believe you are emotionally sick, but that you've been messed up by excess oestrogen and drugs. Maybe you would consider just using progesterone, nothing more. If you do, I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. Yours are bad, so I would suggest starting on the 200mg/day. But before you do, please be aware that Oestrogen Dominance can occur. You already have a great deal in you, so symptoms could become worse for a bit. If it becomes too much for you, I can only suggest increasing the amount. I'm running out of space, so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

May 18, 2011
HELP!!
by: Wray

Hi there Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. The process also removes other substances, including toxins, drugs, bilirubin, androgens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase breaks the oestrogen/glucuronide bond, which allows oestrogen to be reabsorbed. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here and here. Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Please also consider taking calcium D-glucarate to metabolise your oestrogen to reduce levels. Finally please have a vitamin D test done, it's low in most of us, and a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone plus causing depression and anxiety. For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Take care Wray

Sep 30, 2011
My Progestrone level was high.
by: Denise

For the past 6 months my cycle has been very unpredictable. I was getting my cycle sometimes 2-3 times a month lasting between 4-5 days. I went to my GYN he took a Pap Smear that came out normal. Then he did an Endometris Biopsy everything was fine so we thought. Well low and behold the blood work said different. The cause to my cycle coming the way it does was because my Progesterone level is very high so that is the cause of the frequent cycles, and also I am peri Menapausal which somewhat made sense to me because I had symthoms of that also. Well he did tell me I am just about the right age but the women in my family are peri menapause in their mid 40's and full menapause by 50. Well anyway that is how nature works when it comes to women but our concern was the frequent cycle. I was told I can take Provera but no that would not work because I have high blood pressure and a heart condition which is called Wolff Parkinson White Sydrome so 86 the Provera, then there were other methods but I am too old. Then there was I should get an IUD put in but there was no guarentee that would work so me and my Dr. had a long talk for about 2 hours and we decided I am not having anymore kids not at my age and there is nothing really that can help me so it is best that I get a full hysterectomy. Ladies if you do have frequent periods and your GYN can't figure out why I suggest you ask him to check your Progesterone level because chances are it's to high and it can be lowerd but in my case there was nothing that can help me.

Oct 05, 2011
My Progestrone level was high.
by: Wray

Hi Denise It seems to me from your description that you actually need progesterone, that you have too much oestrogen. Oestrogen stimulates the endometrium each month to grow and thicken ready for a possible fertilised egg. But in excess it stimulates endometrial cells to continue growing, and without sufficient progesterone to suppress the oestrogen, they will continue growing. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP?s) are enzymes that break down protein. They play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual cycle. If they are over active, as would be the case with excess oestrogen in the body, as oestrogen stimulates their production, the result is a pathological reaction. A high level of MMP?s can lead to inflammation and excessive bleeding in the uterus. If a low level of progesterone is present, and a high level of oestrogen, the lining will continue to grow. With a high level of MMP?s the lining will also continue to break down. Progesterone suppresses both MMP?s and oestrogen. Peri-menopause is a very difficult time, with erratic periods, sometimes flooding, sometimes spotting, it's normal and nothing to worry about. Please do not have a hyst, you might like to see this website here. In many women it only makes matters worse. Progesterone rises to over 400ng/ml in the third trimester, this certainly does not cause bleeding, the reverse in fact. It's a lack of progesterone which causes bleeding and miscarriages. Take care Wray

Oct 28, 2011
3 early term miscarriages and now Pregnant - Worried about progesterone levels.
by: Anonymous

I've had 3 early term miscarriages, one just last month. Now I am pregnant again and scared of miscarrying. I'm at 4 weeks, the longest I've gotten to was 5 weeks. I've also been recently diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and my TSH levels are finally stabalizing. My miscarriage problem could be due to my hypothyroidism or not, but it is now being treated progressively so I'm content that its not the total cause. Now I'm concerned that progesterone may have a hand in my problem, because they have all been early term miscarriages. MY most recent HCG level was 62 at 3.5 weeks, which my OB/GYN thought was low. So, freaking out about this I asked to be put on prometrium. She prescribed 100 mg of prometrium. Is that enough? They have not done a progesterone test on me either, just the beta HCG. I think she just wrote the script to suit my worrying. Also, is it best to take it orally or vaginally, she said either way was fine but I want to do what is best to keep this baby. Any words of advice would be helpful...

Oct 31, 2011
3 early term miscarriages and now Pregnant - Worried about progesterone levels.
by: Wray

Hi there Early miscarriages are often caused by low progesterone, or a sudden drop in it. Stress causes it to drop sharply, I had 5 early miscarriages all brought about by a sudden stressful event. Including stopping a dog fight. It does appear that thyroid antibodies can affect pregnancy, see here. Please have a vitamin D test done, a low level of this vital nutrient not only affects the thyroid, see here, here and here. But reduces the benefits of progesterone and is vital for a successful pregnancy and the growth of the foetus, see here, here, here, here and here. These are excellent videos to watch too, see here and here. For more info on testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml and not the 30ng/ml labs and doctors regard as adequate. And 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. I've run out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Oct 31, 2011
3 early term miscarriages and now Pregnant - Worried about progesterone levels
by: Wray

Hi there Your hCG is not too low, although it could be higher, see here. As you've had 3 miscarriages already, I don't believe 100mg/day progesterone is sufficient. The minimum normally given is 200mg/day, up to 600mg/day, and it should be used a minimum of twice a day, as levels drop after about 13hrs. We do have a page on Pregnancy with more info. Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system. Vaginal is very good, but at night only, because if used in the morning it tends to leak out. Alternatively open the cap and add the contents to a small amount of cold pressed oil or a natural skin cream, and rub it into your skin. Take care Wray

May 29, 2012
What's wrong?
by: Dawn

Hi
I am a 37 year female who hasn't had any children. I was taken off the pill aged 35 has I smoke and have had nothing but problems with my monthly cycle. Whilst my cycle is very regular it's the way I feel from the day of ovulation through to a couple of days into my period that is the problem. I know exactly when I have ovulated due to the symptoms I suffer....tireness even after a good nights sleep, night sweats, moody, anxious, unsocialable, foggy head. Once I start my period, a couple of days in, I feel like myself again. About 14days later it all starts again. I have seen my doctor, she put it down to PMS and prescribed Paroxatine. Please help me understand what is happening and if there is anything help I can get.

May 30, 2012
What's wrong?
by: Wray

Hi Dawn It's very simple what's wrong, but it seems too many doctors don't understand the Menstrual Cycle. Oestrogen surges about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Progesterone should too, this surge comes from the brain and has nothing to do with ovulation. In many women this surge doesn't take place, which leaves oestrogen the dominant hormone, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. From about age 35 we begin getting anovulatory cycles, when no progesterone is made that month. This accounts for the adverse symptoms throughout your luteal phase. Oestrogen peaks mid-luteal phase, progesterone should too, but if it doesn't it adds to the existing symptoms. Of if ovulation has taken place, but the corpus luteum doesn't make sufficient progesterone which can also happen, the symptoms will also persist. Plus progesterone withdrawal at the end of the cycle causes adverse symptoms. It's not until oestrogen has dropped to it's lowest level when bleeding starts and the few days following, that symptoms clear up. Anti-depressants are only treating the symptom, not the cause, which is excess oestrogen in ratio to progesterone. We've found from Saliva Tests we run that the ratio of P:E2 should be about 600:1 and over to feel well. We do have more info on How to use progesterone cream on this page. I feel this is probably all you need. But please make sure you use sufficient, I suggest 100-200mg/day, anything less merely makes symptoms worse. We also have a page on Progesterone Misconceptions with more info. Take care Wray

Oct 24, 2012
How does progestorone cause arrythmias?
by: Sheri

Can you please explain this, I am having frequent palps. I am 47 yr old, have palps checked out with haltor monitor and they are PACs with some tachycardia. I started taking natural progesterone cream even though I just started my period. Thank you.

Oct 25, 2012
How does progestorone cause arrythmias?
by: Wray

Hi there Progesterone doesn't cause arrhythmia etc, but oestrogen does, in fact it can cause sudden death. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. This is why more women get these problems than men, they have very little oestrogen, whereas we have a great deal more. I'm guessing you're using the normal recommended amount of 20mg/day, possibly 40mg/day. I've found this merely increases the Oestrogen Dominance symptoms and creates new ones. Progesterone stimulates oestrogen, the converse is true too. To prevent this much more is needed than 20-40mg/day. Besides which, these amounts do not raise levels to that found in the luteal phase. I go into this on our Progesterone Misconceptions page. You are also now in Peri-menopause with dropping progesterone levels and normal oestrogen levels. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone, to prevent any symptoms of oestrogen excess. I recommend 100-200mg/day, often more if symptoms are bad. Take care Wray

Dec 29, 2012
High or low progesterone?
by: Laura

I have been on some form of bioidentical hormones for 2 years. Had my last pellet of estradiol July 26. Currently only on prometrium 100 mg at night and 30 mg cream in the morning every day except Sunday. Saliva showed prog to estrogen ratio low. Still very depressed. 51 in April, skipped 3 months of period then had one for 2 days with lots of clots and cramps. Also have hashimotos and take armour.wonder if prog is making me more depressed

Dec 31, 2012
High or low progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Laura If your Saliva Tests showed a low P:E2 ratio, it shows you are not using enough progesterone. Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. So you are getting only about 40mg/day progesterone, including the 30mg via the cream. This won't raise levels to that found in the luteal phase, see our page on Progesterone Misconceptions for more info. You have also been taking oestradiol too, which would depress you, it takes time for the affect to be reversed. Progesterone is a potent anxiolytic, see here. We also have more info on our Anxiety page. Whereas oestrogen stimulates glutamate, our most excitatory neurotransmitter, see here, increases free radicals, plus destroying beta-endorphin neurons in the brain, these produce endorphins which promote a feeling of well being and relaxation. This paper says "Although it is widely accepted that exposure to estradiol throughout life contributes to reproductive aging.... Recent evidence ..... of chronic estradiol-mediated accelerated reproductive senescence now suggests such a hypothesis. It has been shown that chronic estradiol exposure results in the destruction of greater than 60% of all beta-endorphin neurons in the arcuate nucleus .....This loss of opioid neurons is prevented by treatment with antioxidants indicating that it results from estradiol-induced formation of free radicals.", see here. Continued below

Dec 31, 2012
High or low progesterone? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Laura You have been exposed to chronic oestradiol exposure, with levels of progesterone so low they won't make a difference. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, often more is needed if symptoms are severe. You might consider taking some of the nutrients listed on the anxiety page too. We do have a few more pages you could look through, How to use progesterone cream, Peri-menopause, Menopause and Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Dec 31, 2012
Progesterone and anxiety and depression
by: Laura

Thanks for the response. It's funny you mention glutamate. I had neurotransmitter testing done and it showed elevated glutamate. They recommended Theanaq and endo plus supplements. And kavinace. So you don't think I need estrogen? I just can't help but wonder if the progesterone makes me more depressed and anxious

Jan 01, 2013
Progesterone and anxiety and depression
by: Wray

Hi Laura Interesting you have high glutamate as it fits. I don't believe any women needs more oestrogen, we already have over 100 oestrogen mimics in the environment to cope with, see Our Stolen Future. Plus it's in our food as phytoestrogens. And if you want further convincing please see our pages on HRT and Contraceptives. And of course the progesterone is making you more depressed, as the amount you are using is just stimulating oestrogen all the time! I worked out you would be getting about.... '40mg/day. This won't raise levels to that found in the luteal phase.' And please take time to read the anxiety page, plus all the papers I've given you, you'll find that progesterone cannot cause anxiety! We have a further page you should read too on Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Jan 02, 2013
Increased anxiety and depression
by: Laura

Is it typical to feel worse after increasing progesterone cream? Since I've added the 30 mg of compounded cream to the 100 mg oral prometrium two weeks ago I feel worse. More anxious and much more depressed. I'm debating whether I should just stop using it. It's all so frustrating. Night sweats have also returned which had been much better for a few months. I just don't know what to do anymore. I can tolerate most everything except the depression and anxiety. I know you have said that I probably need more progesterone but if this much makes me feel this way what will more do? How much time should I give it? Thanks

Jan 07, 2013
Increased anxiety and depression
by: Wray

Hi Laura It is typical to feel worse if oestrogen levels are high, and you use too little progesterone to overcome it, which you have done. There's more info about this on our Oestrogen Dominance page. 30mg/day won't even raise levels to that found in the luteal phase. The 100mg Prometrium is giving you about 10mg progesterone, so in total you are getting about 40mg/day. So your phrase "if this much makes me feel this way what will more do?" counters what I've been trying to tell you, you are not using 'much more', but far too little. Please read the oestrogen dominance page, and the misconceptions page too. And time.....well if you used about 400mg/day you'd probably find your symptoms go in a matter of days. Although in many cases in can take up to 6 months with high amounts. You might like to read these comments here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jan 10, 2013
Thank you
by: Laura

Thanks for the advice and links

Mar 11, 2013
Help!
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray

Hope you can help

I am male age 34,trying progesterone cream by emerita to see if it helps really strong carb binges. Started last week on one 20mg sachet a day it seemed to help,made me feel q sleepy but stopped the cravings.some days i applied more maybe one a couple times a day

Today i find i feel very irritable. I dont know if it is one of tbose things or related to progesterone. I am on testosterone too. Not had thsse feelings before.also had some stress lately

Can progesterone make men irritable?
Thanks
Chris

Mar 15, 2013
Help!
by: Wray

Hi Chris Both men and women can suffer from Oestrogen Dominance, irritability is one sign. It often occurs when first using progesterone as it stimulates oestrogen. Either continue as you are and wait it out, or increase the amount. It's very safe to go much higher, see here. I'm not sure why you are on testosterone, but please be aware it can cause Man Boobs. And can shrink the scrotum too. The antidote to this is progesterone, you might like to see this comment here. If you've been given it for low Libido, then there's evidence it's progesterone responsible for raising this, plus dopamine, and not testosterone, see this comment here. If your oestrogen is higher than normal, that doesn't surprise me, as we all have too much in our bodies, there are over 100 oestrogen mimics in the environment, see Our Stolen Future. Take care Wray

Mar 16, 2013
Re testosterone etc
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray

I backed off on prog for a day or two and felt a bit better. Not feeling as hungry (well it was more bingeing i think) either.
But now got bad headache which i never normally get, any thoughts on that please?

Does it take time for prog receptors to come online?

I have low pituitary and low testosterone.couldnt function before. On shots and manage my estrogen levels. Testosterone is important for men!mine was that of a man age 80+

Also i had some bowen therapy last week wonder if that released inner trapped anger and it wasnt the prog? Is it common for prog to cause rage initially? Sorry for abbreviations on my smartphone

Thanks
Chris

Mar 18, 2013
Re testosterone etc
by: Wray

Hi Chris Backing off would make you feel better, as it's now no longer stimulating oestrogen. This is the one single most complained about aspect of using progesterone. That symptoms become worse when beginning it, or when increasing too. Yes it does take time to settle down, and to overcome any excess oestrogen, it's usually not a quick fix. I'm concerned when you say you are managing your oestrogen levels that you're taking an aromatase inhibitor, are you? I agree testosterone is important for men! I was just cautioning you on the unpleasant aspects of TRT. If it was because your testosterone was low, and not for libido problems, then I suggest you have a vitamin D test done. Vitamin D raises levels of testosterone, see here and here. I suspect your levels are low like most of us. I have found when women with low levels of vitamin D begin taking it, that symptoms can become worse initially. It does stimulate progesterone too, which in turn stimulates oestrogen, in fact a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. Bowen is an excellent therapy, and yes it can release inner tensions. But I feel in this case it was the 'progesterone stimulating oestrogen' aspect that came into play. We do have a page on Aggression you could look through. Thanks for the apology! I could understand them, many leave me baffled and I have to spend time looking them up. Take care Wray

May 21, 2013
Hormone confusion
by: Jane

I am 47 year old and just had another blood test. My Progesterone was 6.1, Estradiol 70.8, Testosterone 120. Growth Hormone .7.. I work out 5 days a week and I am 90% vegan. (I have fish about twice a month). My symptoms are as follows. Major Hot Flashes all day long. coughing, depression, sleepiness all day, heart palpitations
loss of sex drive,brain fog,sore dry eyes,sore joint, sore muscles, sores in mouth, constipation
yeast infection,dry chapped itchy skin,aching neck
dehydration, headaches, hair loss,thickening in the waist, belly fat,extreme thirst,loss of strength, acne, moon face and puffiness,eruptions at lymph node areas, groin, armpit. I think that covers it. HELP HELP!!!

May 29, 2013
Hormone confusion
by: Wray

Hi Jane I've answered your query here. Take care Wray

Jun 21, 2013
please can you help again?
by: chris

Hi Wray

I hope i have posted in the right place and that you can help?

My name is chris and i posted at the end of here about men and progesterone
http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/low-or-high-progesterone-levels.html

I did well on progesterone afteri posted , best i felt in years.

But i stopped taking it i think because my blood sugar dropped too low.why would it be? It was 4.0 uk ranges and i had eaten taken thyroid etc. Can too much progesterone lower blood sugar and does it increase insulin levels?maybe i was on too much? So i stopped taking it or forgot to take it

My mood slowly deteriorated until lately it has been worse than ever.but it happened so slow i didnt notice until it got really bad and hasnt responded to anything.

A month ago i got an infection in a crowned root filled tooth. Had to have a surgical extraction and it got infected amd made me feel ill, drunk. For 10 days the dentist said there was nothing wrong then conceded there was and gavee amoxyicillin antibiotics which made me more depresses.

I tried to think backto what had gone wrong. I remembered before that progesterone had helped. I tried it again amd it did nothing.

So i have felt at a loss to know what to do. I remember before that in maybe feb or jan time j had took a big dose of vit d3 -50 000 iu and i started prog after thst a week or three as vit d hadnt done much i dont think.


I took vit d3 again earlier in the week and in despair tried natpro again today and it is starting to lift my mood now i think. If i took that vit d a few months ago is it possible the half life coincided with the progesterone not having much effect in me any longer? Did i read that progesterone meeds vit d3 to work properly?


Why do you think my blood sugar went so low on progesterone? Too much maybe?

And does progesterone need vit d3 to work? Also if i took progesterone cream would that have increased progesterone receptors then when i stopped taking it coukd it have made me worse than ever? I partly forgot to take it because of the dental stuff and partly i was trying to work out what was making me feel so bad

Thanks
Chris


Jun 23, 2013
please can you help again?
by: Wray

Hi Chris Yes I do remember you. Well I'm delighted the progesterone helped you, such a pity you stopped it though. Did the low blood glucose affect you badly? As usually our glucose levels are too high and can cause many problems. One of which is glycation. This occurs when a sugar molecule binds to a protein or lipid molecule without the control of an enzyme. This impairs the function of the molecule, leading to advanced glycation endproducts or AGEs, see here. This results in oxidative stress, see here. Which in turn leads to inflammation, see here and here. Resulting in many of our inflammatory diseases, which are the end result of long term oxidative stress. Antioxidants are of course the answer, and would have helped your tooth too. But to answer your question, progesterone does stop glucose levels rising, oestrogen on the other hand disturbs glucose levels, see here. One reason oestrogen can cause cravings. Interestingly insulin drops levels of progesterone, see here. You say your level was 4.0 UK ranges, which means it was in mmol/L. Levels below 5.5mmol/L are considered normal, so I would say yours is perfect. We do have a page on Hormone Testing you could look through. Vitamin D needs to be taken every day, this is how we evolved with it. i.e. we spent our days naked in the tropical sun. The half life varies on who you read! From 10 days to 2 months I've found. I would suggest 10 days is nearer the mark. You are right, progesterone does need vitamin D to work effectively, see here, here and here. Continued below

Jun 23, 2013
please can you help again? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Chris I would ask you to have a vitamin D test done, Birmingham Hospital send out test kits for £25, and the results back by email. Please ignore their 'adequate' level of 50nmol/L, far too low. Even the FDA have revised theirs up to 75nmol/L. Blood levels should be 175-250nmol/L. Maybe you weren't using enough progesterone when you tried it the second time, but I'm pleased it now seems to be helping you. Don't be afraid to use high amounts, it's safety is without question, see here.
Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Jun 23, 2013
thanks Wray
by: chris

Hi Wray

Thanks for your reply

Ok the blood sugar was weird as i felt hypoglycemic though i do not have diabetes. Do you ever get that low blood sugar feeling?

Well i ate loads of carbs and some mars bars (plural) and i struggled to get the level up and it soon dropped down again.

Please note that was not normal for me. I wondered if somehow progesterone had raised insulin levels? Or made insulin work too well?

And could starting then stopping progesterone have made me worse than ever?

Thanks
Chris

Jun 25, 2013
thanks Wray
by: Wray

Hi Chris Yes I have had that hypoglycaemic feeling, most of my life in fact. I've found it's generally caused by Insulin Resistance. It would seem this is your problem. It matters not how much food you eat, the fuel is not getting into the cells where it's needed. Sugary foods just make it worse, in fact it's the worst thing you could do, as it makes your blood glucose rise then crash. Please see our page on Nutrition for advise on what to eat. I tend to follow the Paleo Diet. If insulin suppresses progesterone levels, then the reverse should be the case, although I've not found any studies on this. And yes stopping and starting progesterone can make matters worse as it allows oestrogen to rise again. Please have that vitamin D test done. Take are Wray

Sep 20, 2013
Confused?!
by: Anonymous

Hell,
I've had some symptoms of facial hair, hair loss on head, menstrual stopped from Dec and I'm 49. I'm sleeping okish.
My results are:
17aOHPROG 7.6 nmol/L
oestradiol 568 pmol/L
LH 2.5 U/L
FSH 3.0 U/L
DHEAS 4.9 umol/L
Cortisol 592 nmol/L
TSH 2.0 mU/L
Free T4 14 pmol/L
Could you give me an idea of what these mean please?
Many Thanks
Helen

Sep 25, 2013
Confused?!
by: Wray

Hi Helen Your progesterone and oestradiol are in the normal range, but when you look at the ratio between them, it's way off. Your P:E2 ratio is only 13:1 which is very low. From Saliva Tests we run we've found the ratios rise to 600:1 and over when using progesterone. Although your menstruation has stopped, your FSH and LH are still in the normal range for a menstruating woman. They rise very high when in menopause. Your DHEAS is low, but it does drop with age. Your cortisol is normal, although at the high end. Your TSH and free T4 are in the normal range. We do have a page on Hormone Testing you could look through. I see they haven't tested for total testosterone and free testosterone, if free testosterone is higher than normal it can cause facial hair and scalp Hair Loss.
We have three other pages you could look through on How to use progesterone cream, Peri-menopause and Menopause. Take care Wray

Mar 20, 2014
High Pregnanediol
by: Cynthia

Meridian Valley Test results: 2/16a Ratio 0.1 Low Estrone high 10.8 Estrone 2 oh low 1.6 Pregnanediol 19273 Way high. Dr keeps lowering my Progesterone down to 75mm capsule at night. I have all the symptoms of low progesterone. Was on 250mm turned 50 lowered to 125 at 60 lowered to 75. I read about high excreting levels and it rang true for me. Can I take 200mm again and hope to see these levels of Pregnanediol drop as I am told this is common in breast cancers. I'm 60 years old THX for your reply.

Jun 04, 2014
Help!! Extremely Fatigued
by: Anonymous

I'm 54 and post menopausal. I am extremely fatigued. I wake up tired and don't enough energy to get anything done after work in the evenings. I am overweight by about 40lbs and can't even lose a pound even though I have been exercising and watching what I eat. I am very concerned as I am feel I am on a downward slope and won't be able to recover. I've just had a 24 urine test done. Results:
Esterone(2.4), Estradiol(0.9)Estriol(1.8)-total Estrogens(5.1); Pregnanediol(139), Dhea(36), Tesosterone(2.9), 5a-androstanediol(4.6), 5b-Androstanediol (45.8), Androsterone (441), Etiocholanolone(913), Cortisone(e)(109), Cortisol(f)(70), Free T3(537),
Free T4 (1017).

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