Progesterone Cream for Post Natal Depression

by Vicki
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

I am 34 years old and I gave birth to my daughter 5.5years ago. I had slight depression during the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy but from there on I had the most wonderful time and LOVED being pregnant. 6 weeks after I gave birth I started to notice symptoms of post natal depression and I went downhill badly.

Within days I was a mess and worst of all I literally could not sleep at all. I was very very ill and couldn't seem to get well despite trying various meds. This went on for 18 months before I found a good dr and found a medication that works for me. All along I have wondered if my PND was a hormonal imbalance. I recently had a full blood hormone profile which showed that my progesterone levels are normal but that my estrogen levels are high. My Estrogen : Progesterone ratio is 1:72 and I believe it should be around 1:200. I seem to have most of the symptoms listed for estrogen dominance.

My doctor started me on a bioidentical progesterone cream about 2 weeks ago. Since starting I feel like I'm on an emotional rollercoaster and I feel extremely fatigued yet still can't sleep well. I must say that I felt like I was heading for a blip in my depression prior to starting the cream so I'm not sure whether its still a natural blip or whether its a reaction to the cream. Currently I am using 1ml of a 200mg cream at night. My dr is increasing my dose next week from a 200mg cream to a 300mg cream. Not sure whether the cream is really going to help me and whether the reaction I am experiencing is normal. I have heard that the initial stages of using the cream can worsen the symptoms of estrogen dominance before it actually makes things better. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I really feel off kilter and not sure what to do.

Comments for Progesterone Cream for Post Natal Depression

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Jul 05, 2010
Progesterone does help
by: Anonymous

For me 200mg day was barely enough to put a dent in my symptoms when I was between days 14 to start of menses. However, my progesterone levels were very, very low on my bloodwork as well as high estrogen. The worst symptoms for me seem to arise around day 20-27. This is when the depression would be so severe I started having suicidal ideation. Very scary!! I believe it takes several months to fine tune what is the correct/right dose for an individual. I personally am still having some of the estrogen dominance symptoms coming through even though my dose is very high. I have decided to push through the symptoms I currently have which are much less/severe in comparison to where i was at prior to progesterone supplementation. My body is telling me this is not quite the correct dose. My doctor wants to keep me here for another month to re-run my labs and move from there.

You will find on this site that Wray is very helpful and knowledgable. Ultimately, it's your body and you have to listen to it. I keep a calendar for my cycle/symptoms. This helps me track changes of any sort - the symptoms can be subtle or extreme depending where you are at in your treatment. Paying close attention will allow you to be in the driver seat to arrive at the healing you need. Best wishes!!

Jul 05, 2010
Progesterone Cream for Post Natal Depression
by: Wray

Hi Vicki I had PND so know what you're going through. Mine lasted 4 years before it finally lifted. You do need progesterone, it drops sharply after giving birth resulting in about 25% of women suffering from it. From the baby blues which last a few days, to post natal psychosis where the mother often kills her baby or an adult trying to help. We do have a page on pregnancy, please have a look through Conception and Pregnancy. Please click on the link to an article by Dr Dalton, she mentions PND in it. In fact she has an excellent book called Depression after Childbirth, well worth reading. You're right about the ratio, which is rarely taken into account. It's not the relative values of the hormones, but the ratio which is critical. I've found it should be at least 200, even higher is better. I'm not sure when you say you're using 1ml of a 200mg cream, do you mean you are using 200mg/day? This is a good amount, but with depression often a higher amount is needed. But I have found that the natural antidepressants are needed too, progesterone alone is not sufficient if depression is bad and of long standing. Please have a look at our web page on Natural Antidepressants. You'll notice Dr Dalton used 800mg/day for her patients with PND. Those with post natal psychosis she would use 2400mg/day. Progesterone does have an initial stimulatory affect on oestrogen, which is why you are feeling the dip. I really feel you should be using 400mg/day to overcome this quickly, plus the natural antidepressants. For more info please read our web page on Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Jul 08, 2010
Progesterone does help
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for the kind words! I'm pleased you used a high amount of progesterone, if oestrogen is high and progesterone low, it really does have to be far more than most recommend. The last few days before bleeding are usually the worst, particularly if ovulation has not occurred. Most people don't realise oestrogen also rises during the luteal phase, so if no progesterone is made due to anovulation, all hell will break loose as happened to you. And thanks for saying it takes several months for symptoms to resolve, it does. Oestrogen is a very potent hormone and only when progesterone becomes dominant do we feel normal. I've found the ratio of the two has to be well over 300 progesterone to 1 oestrogen. So when you have your next test, please divide the progesterone by the oestrogen results to find what yours is. If you feel your current dose is too low, please increase it. Take care Wray

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