No more migraines.

by Suzanne
(USA)

I have dealt with hormone related migraines for almost 20 years. I am 45 and still have a regular period. I have known that my migraines were hormone related because they mainly happened when I was ovulating or about to start my period. I have repeatedly asked my medical doctors if there wasn't something that could be done but was told time and again the only relief they could give me was expensive prescription medicine, which would work for a little while but inevitably lost their effectiveness.
About two months ago, I came across this website when I searched for "hormone-related migraines" on the internet. That day I went to a healthfood store and bought some progesterone cream and I haven't had a migraine since. It is truly a miracle to me. And while that is the biggest relief to me, many other symptoms (which I did not even relate to this) have eased or disappeared altogether including dry skin, losing hair, low libido, depression, heavy bleeding, anxiety, etc.
I think I must have been experiencing extreme estrogen dominance which was only increasing with my age. My only question is this: Because of my age, is it really necessary to stop using the cream for one week out of the month? I have done that over the last two months but I notice that some of the symptoms I listed above return temporarily until I start back on the cream.
I have now started using Natpro instead of the cream I bought locally and like it even more, probably because of the higher levels of progesterone in Natpro.
I would really like to just use the cream daily without the gap during the month. Will I be doing myself any harm?

Comments for No more migraines.

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May 18, 2012
No more migraines
by: Penny

Hi Suzanne I'm glad to hear it stopped the migraines as I suffer them to, I have ordered the cream, just waiting for it to get here so I'm hoping it will do the same for me. I too have those same symptoms you are having! How much cream are you using, if you dont mind me asking?
Wray does say that you can take the cream continuosly then reduce it but I'm sure she will get back to you on that.Good luck with your improvement

May 18, 2012
Dosage
by: Suzanne

When I first started on the cream from the health food store, I used one measured pump in the morning and the evening. Each pump contained 20 mg of progesterone. With the Natpro I'm using about 1/2 teaspoon twice a day. I would like to increase the dosage cause it does seem the more I use, the better I feel but I think I'm going to stick with what I'm doing now. I still am headache free and feeling more like my old self every day. I continue to worry that I should take a break from it, as much literature suggests, but I am hesitant because I can tell what it does to my body to be off of it, even just for a week.

May 19, 2012
No more migraines
by: Wray

Hi Suzanne I'm so delighted the progesterone has helped you! I'm always dismayed and amazed too, that the doctors didn't pick up your migraines were related to progesterone withdrawal. They even have a term for it 'catamenial', ie before menses. Progesterone is excellent too, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. I'm interested that they also occur around ovulation. This had me baffled for many years until I found papers which made the puzzles fit. It's always been believed, and still is by everyone including the medical profession, that progesterone is only produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. But as far back as 1930 it was thought there must be another source. This was confirmed in the 1960's, and re-confirmed in the 1980's, that there is a surge of progesterone about 50 hours prior to ovulation. This surge comes from the brain, see here, here, here and here. Oestrogen also surges about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Unless there is the progesterone surge too, there is nothing to counter the oestrogen effect. This explains why many women get migraines, seizures, palpitations, panic attacks and asthma attacks around ovulation. The same reasoning can be applied to the worsening of these problems, plus more, during progesterone withdrawal prior to bleeding. Like you, I also had a host of symptoms, none I thought related to hormones, which all went once using progesterone. What a relief! At one point I thought I had what I termed 'early onset senile dementia'! I was only 48.
Continued below.

May 19, 2012
No more migraines Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Suzanne I'm delighted you asked about taking a break. I found my symptoms came back when I took one, so used it daily. I had regular cycles too, but ignored any bleeding. Most women have been conditioned they need one because of…..well I have no idea, so I wrote a page in frustration about all the Progesterone Misconceptions. My take on it of course, but there are plenty of papers to back up my arguments. Using progesterone 8 or more days before ovulation it acts as a Contraceptive. But far safer than any drug based one. There's no argument against using those on a daily basis. Using progesterone from ovulation, or during the 50 hour pre-ovulatory surge will enhance conception and implantation. So it can be used according to need. The amount too, this can vary on a daily basis, some women find twice a day sufficient, some use it hourly for severe symptoms. Initially I advise using high amounts, ie 100-200mg/day or more. Then reducing until the optimum is found. Even this varies, as stress drops levels, winter and dark cloudy days drop it, large meals as the clearance rate is increased. Most women eventually settle somewhere between 100-200mg/day, but many use 400mg/day. I have found high levels of vitamin D enhance the progesterone effect. So if you feel yours is low, please have a test done. 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 or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 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. Thanks for the kind words about the Natpro! Take care Wray

May 19, 2012
No more migraines
by: Wray

Hi Penny It would be good to hear how you fare with the cream once started. I'm not sure if I've given Suzanne info I didn't give you, but hope my answer to her helps you too. Take care Wray

Jun 15, 2012
More questions
by: Suzanne

Thank you for all your responses, Wray. I went ahead and stayed on the cream without a break and I feel fine except that after having my regular menstrual cycle, I started another one less than a week after the normal one was finished. It has now lasted 7 days (my normal cycle usually tapers off after 5 days) and it has been a very heavy flow. As I said, I feel fine and have had no return of the symptoms I had before I started on the cream. However, I honestly thought staying on the cream continuously would have the opposite affect and diminish, if not eliminate, my cycles. Is this a normal reaction or should I be concerned?
Any insight you could offer would be most appreciated.

Jun 17, 2012
More questions
by: Wray

Hi Suzanne I'm so pleased you are still feeling the benefits, but progesterone can upset the cycle when starting it. It normally resolves after a few cycles. The heavy flow is a good sign, it's evident your lining had built up, and not shed entirely each cycle. Progesterone will only stop bleeding entirely if 400-600mg/day is used. I always recommend this to women who have major problems with heavy and/or continual bleeding. We do have more info on our Menstruation page. Using the progesterone on a daily basis affects women differently, some find their cycle is not upset, in others it varies from one month to another. I generally only recommend using it daily for 2-3 months until symptoms resolve. I found I felt so much better using it daily, and as I had never known how long my cycle was, it made no difference to me, it came and went as it always did. I was older than you when I started it, and went into Menopause at 51, the average. So you might feel you'd like to follow your cycle at some point. There's info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

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