Progesterone and following the directions

by L.K.

I had my first hot flash in December of 2006 at the age of 48. As far as I was concerned the hot flashes were NOT acceptable! Nor would any of the other symptoms I understood could be following in the near future. I had heard about progesterone cream and within two weeks of the first hot flash I started using it (I purchased Emerita's Pro-Gest). The directions said to use it twice a day, but I only applied it once a day in the morning. In about a week the hot flashes were gone.

I continued using the cream daily only discontinuing it while I was on my period but starting right back up when my period ended. All was going well until I ran out of the cream about two to three months from originally starting the "program". I just hadn't gotten into the mindset that this perimenopausal stage was “semi-permanent" and would be here for a while and I didn't have a new tube on hand when the old tube went empty. Well, you guessed it... the hot flashes started about two weeks after I ran out of the cream. When those hot flashes started again I was at that store faster then you could say "Is it hot in here or is it just me?" I have never run out since and never experienced any of the perimenopausal symptoms one hears about.

That is until... I decided to follow the directions. Silly me. As the months turned into years my periods slowly started to change as is expected at this stage in life. I just kept using the cream when I wasn't menstruating and stopped when I was. I really didn't pay attention to the number of days that I was using the cream continually until April of 2009. I realized that I had gone about two months without a period and started wondering if I should still be using the cream. I pulled the box out and read the directions that I hadn't looked at since December of 2006. The directions said "If your period is late, use the cream for up to 3 weeks (day 28 of your cycle), then take a week off. If your period has not started by the end of the week off, resume use of the cream as described below for 8-28 or until your period starts. STOP the cream when your period begins" etc... So I stopped using the cream for the 7 days and my period didn't start, so I was going to resume use of the cream on the 8th day. And you guessed it, my period started on the 8th day and so I didn't use the cream per the directions for another 7 days.

What it comes down to, is that I was off the progesterone for two weeks and those hot flashes came back with a pent-up fury. Far worse then I had experienced the two years prior. It didn't matter that I had started using the cream on the 8th day after my period had started and was using it exactly as I had done in the past, the hot flashes weren't going away and because they were plaguing me at night I wasn't getting a good night's sleep. As one would assume, I was miserable. About mid-June I started using it twice a day and here it is the beginning of July and the hot flashes have subsided to about 5 or 6 light ones in a 24 hour period. I'm hoping with the twice-a-day application that they will disappear altogether in the near future. But here is my dilemma...

As I get older and my periods grow further and further apart, the situation that I noted above may and probably will happen more frequently. What happens if I just keep using the cream for longer and longer periods of time only going off it when I actually do have a period?

Also, what would happen if, as in the example above, I was off the cream for the 8 days when I wasn't bleeding and started using the cream on the 8th day when my period did actually start and I continued to use it during my period?

And finally on the box it says that Progesterone is known to the state of California to cause cancer. Should I be worried or is this one of those "you'd have to use the stuff in quadruple quantities while standing on your head drinking mushroom juice for 40 years" to have a remote chance of getting cancer? I think given the alternative of a lousy and uncomfortable existence or a remote chance of cancer I'll take the remote chance of cancer for a better quality of life, but I'd still like to know the odds.

Comments for Progesterone and following the directions

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Jul 06, 2009
Maybe you need more progesterone?
by: Angie

Hi L.K.,

I read your post with interest and a few chuckles.

I have a website,, and I received a question today about progesterone and candida that I hadn't encountered before. I landed on this site while doing some research for my site visitor and came across your post.

I've used natural progesterone cream for several years myself. I love the stuff. :-) I also have a section on my site about the use of natural progesterone cream, but one thing you may want to consider is upping the amount of cream you are using.

If your hot flashes are not subsiding with the amount you are using, you probably need a bit more.

I assume you are rotating the location of application each day? If not, that should help too. Over absorption in one area can reduce the amount your body is taking in and utilizing.

I noticed when I switched creams from the brand I was using previously (Sarati) to the current cream I use now (Renewed Balance) that there was a very noticeable difference. After doing a little checking, I discovered that the strength of the Renewed Balance was much greater.

The funny thing was, at the time I didn't even realize that what I was using wasn't sufficient. I had some improvement and accepted that it was good enough. It wasn't till I actually made the switch that my PMS symptoms became virtually non-existent.

I'm not familiar with the cream you are using, but if it is a completely natural cream, I don't think you are in any danger of developing cancer as a result. It's the synthetic progestins you have to worry about.

In fact, the use of natural progesterone cream has been linked to the reduction of cancer in women, NOT the increase. Maybe the California legislators didn't read the fine print? ;-) There is definitely a difference between natural progesterone cream and synthetic progestins.

By the way, if you're post menopausal, you can/should use your natural progesterone cream for three weeks on and one week off. That's to mimic your bodies natural hormonal cycle fluctuations.

I intend to use the Renewed Balance for the rest of my life, not just to minimize menopausal symptoms, but because of all the other wonderful benefits it provides - improved bone density, slower aging of the skin, reducing the risks of female cancers, etc.

I buy mine at the wholesale price and offer it at that same price to my site visitors, so feel free to let me know (via my site) if you want to give it a try.

All the best!

Jul 07, 2009
Progesterone and following the directions
by: Wray

Hi LK. I agree largely with what Angie has told you. The dose you are using is not enough, and it should always be used twice daily to keep levels up, hourly if need be! I have one woman using it hourly with great success for heavy continual bleeding which has since stopped. The initial dose her doctor prescribed was 900mg/day, but I asked her to reduce this to 600mg/day using it hourly and it still worked. She's now down to 450mg/day, still hourly and it's still working.

The dose should never be 'one size fits all', which many sites recommend, it is entirely dependant on symptoms and how severe they are. All the successful studies used between 100-200mg/day, some much more, so I suggest you increase your dose to somewhere between this range.

I always recommend using the cream daily when going through peri-menopause and not having a break, even using it when bleeding. Our cycles are impossible to follow they are so erratic, there are no longer any normal fluctuations. You might like to look at a web page we have on peri-menopause here.

You might also like to look at the web page we have on cancer too, it has many research papers listed showing progesterone has been used successfully to treat cancer.

The three creams mentioned are all much the same in strength. Progest has 15mg/g, Sarati 16mg/g and AIM 19mg/g. However, Natpro cream contains 33.3mg/g, which means a higher dose can be achieved at much lower cost. We keep it as low as possible to enable as many as possible to use it. Take care, Wray.

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