Perimenopause and Progesterone

by Erika
(Georgia)

I am 42 and have been miserable for several months. At first, I thought I was having adrenal or thyroid issues: hair loss, feeling hypoglycemic, severe brain fog, and much more. I saw multiple doctors and was tested and tested, but all results came back "normal."

After scouring the internet, I saw your site and others, and realized that my hormone levels could be off due to perimenopause. A couple of months ago, I went to a naturopath, who gave me some natural progesterone (the kind you crack and hold under your tongue for 5 minutes) to try. After about 5 days, I began to feel better (not perfect, but much more functional). I found, though, that every time I stopped (it's recommended for pre-menopausal folks to take it only during the 2nd half one ones cycle) for even just a couple days, I'd get worse again. My regular doc did a blood test of my hormone levels after I'd been on this for 10 days (it was day 21 of my cycle) and I came in at 12, which is "normal." Since I was already on the progesterone, I figure it's safe to assume it'd have been lower without it and I'm on the right track.

So, now a couple of questions. First, would it be horrible for me to stay on natural progesterone permanently, and not break from it, even though I'm not in menopause? The breaks are doing me in. The first thing to go is my head - it gets soooo fuzzy. Second, what is the difference between taking the kind of progesterone I'm on right now, and the cream? (I was told it's more difficult to get the dosage right when using creams. You mention that sublingual progesterone should not be taken long-term.) Thanks for your help...

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Aug 30, 2011
Perimenopause and Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Erika Well I'm glad you persisted in your own research, so often our symptoms are dismissed. Especially if all the test results come back 'normal'. It still amazes me you were put through all those, and not once were your hormones tested. I feel we're still living in the dark ages! Although your progesterone was within the normal range, what was your oestrogen? As it's the ratio between the two which is critical, not the levels. We've found from Saliva Tests we run, that the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be 600:1 to feel well. Maybe you could check on this. Although you're only at the beginning stages of Peri-menopause, I do recommend using progesterone daily for at least 2-3 months if symptoms are severe, during the period too. It appears yours are, it won't harm you, only help. You should find once oestrogen levels have decreased that you can in fact return to following your cycle. There's more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Doctors always worry about 'dose', progesterone should be used as and when needed, hourly if need be. Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system as most gets destroyed by the gut and liver. I don't recommend any oral progesterone, be it drops, troches or caps. Please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance as it explains why you are having adverse symptoms when stopping the progesterone. These can also occur when increasing it too, so please be aware of this if you should change to another delivery system which is better absorbed. Take care Wray


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