Hi Wray! I stumbled upon your website recently while researching progesterone therapy. I'm 46 years old and have been having some of the typical progesterone deficiency/perimenopausal symptoms for the last 4-5 years. I only recently realized that progesterone deficiency was probably my biggest problem.
About 2 1/2 years ago, I started experiencing hormonal acne (cystic type along the jawline.) My dermatologist suggested a Rx, Aldactone. I started taking the generic form, Spironolactone. It is a potassium sparing diuretic that blocks androgen receptors. I must say that it has been a wonder drug for clearing the hormonal acne. My concern is that it may be causing other problems including severely dry eyes, drier skin (Keratosis Pilaris is worse) and lack luster skin. My ob/gyn ordered the typical blood tests during my exam last year. It showed my estrogen levels being low. As expected, he wanted to prescribe HRT with estrogen (no mention of progesterone). Having a little knowledge of Bioidentical Hormones, I wanted to do more research before starting estrogen. I'm glad I did! I believe I have estrogen dominance due to low progesterone. In fact, I got a saliva test (done on day 19 of my cycle) and it showed my progesterone level at 20. My estrogen and testosterone levels were within normal range. My concern with the day I took the saliva test is that my periods are irregular... sometimes every 3 weeks and sometimes skipping 2-3 months. I've read that spironolactone can cause irregular periods, but not sure if that is causing my problem or if perimenopause is the culprit. I stopped the spironolactone 2 days before the saliva test. I've been on Zoloft (currently 150 mg/day) for about 15 years for major depression and 75 mg/day of trazodone for sleep (since starting the Zoloft.) I have to wonder if progesterone deficiency could have been the problem all along. I've had increased stress AND anxiety over the last couple of years. I tend to over react to little things and don't know if the Zoloft is really helping anymore anyway.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but I wanted you to have a clear picture of my situation. One more thing, my cholesterol is also very high but I refuse to go on Rx cholesterol lowering meds. I have also experienced increased fatigue, joint aches, aging skin, slight weight gain around the waist/thighs, and low libido over the past 2-3 years. I know I'm no spring chicken, but all this seems to have happened so suddenly!
So... my questions for you are:
1) Should I try to get my periods on a regular schedule by using progesterone cream everyday and then test levels? Or should I go with the saliva test results I got and only use the last 14 days of my cycle? If so, what dosage do you recommend if I purchase the Natpro?
2) Do you think getting my progesterone levels up and balanced would solve the cystic hormonal acne problem so I can stop taking spironolactone?
3) Do you think the progesterone cream would help with the other symptoms I've described? I've heard that getting hormones balanced can also help with lower cholesterol. What do you think?
Thanks for your response! I'm so glad to have found your site! I look forward to learning more.