Progesterone Deficiency....

by Dee
(Oklahoma)

I have been suffering from a hormonal imbalance. I thought I was going crazy. I'm 31 years old and have had anxiety, insomnia, nausea, muscle weakness, as well as dizzines through out my cycle. Two months ago my Gyn tested my hormones. The first test showed that i was only producing 0.6ml of progesterone in the follicular phase. So he started me on 50mg of progesterone suppositories on day 16-28. The next month my symptoms were better on the days of the progesterone but bad on the other days. So he increased progesterone to a cream 50mg daily. I felt a little better and started sleeping better at night but the anxiety was still there. He added Buspar 5mg three x a day. It helps but I know its not the answer to my problem. The next month he increased my progesterone to 100mg daily. It has helped tremendously but still have some issues after my period. I actually had a longer period this month than ever before (6days). After reading some of your testimonies i increased myself to 125mg. My question is how long until I feel normal again? Should I be taking more than the dose prescribed. Should I be taking supposistories instead of the cream to make sure I get the correct dosage everytime? I just can't wait to feel better!!!

Thank You for all that you do on this website. It has been a lifesave for me. :)

Comments for Progesterone Deficiency....

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Oct 18, 2012
Progesterone Deficiency....
by: Wray

Hi Dee All your symptoms point to low progesterone, excess oestrogen. It could be because you are not ovulating each month. Or you are, but your corpus luteum is not producing sufficient, it's known as a defective luteal phase, it's not uncommon. There's more info about this on our Pregnancy page. Both suppositories and creams are a good Delivery system, it's the oral which should be avoided, as most gets destroyed going through the gut and liver. Dose is immaterial, it's not a one size fits all therapy. Many women need 400mg/day to begin with, others can do with less. I do recommend no less than 100mg to 200mg/day. The long period could be because your lining was not shed in previous cycles, so it should be cleaned out now. As you have such problems in your follicular phase, I'm going to suggest you use the progesterone daily, through any bleeding, for 2-3 months. This usually helps to make progesterone dominant and to suppress any excess oestrogen and testosterone. Once you feel stable you can begin following your cycle again. Incidentally it's pointless testing for progesterone in the follicular phase, it should be low. So your level of 0.6ng/ml is not unusual, it's normally anything below 1ng/ml. We do have a page on Hormone Testing you could look through. The test should only be done ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding. This is when progesterone, oestrogen too, peaks. If it had been low then it would explain all your symptoms, so the chances are it would have been low. As for how long, it's impossible to say. I have found the higher the amount used initially, the quicker the symptoms go. But how much is also another impossible question. Only the person using the progesterone can tell if more or less is needed. Symptoms are the best guide. I feel you will need much more than the amount you are using, but there are nutrients which can help the Anxiety. They are all listed on this page, and might be worth taking, rather than a drug. Please have a vitamin D test done. A lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone, it causes depression and anxiety, insomnia and muscle weakness. Both Progesterone and Vitamin D are excellent for myopathy. Continued below.

Oct 18, 2012
Progesterone Deficiency.... Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Dee The progesterone will help the nausea too, it's caused by substance P, see here, a nociceptive neuropeptide. Excess substance P suppresses progesterone, see here, but the converse is true too, see here. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray


Oct 22, 2012
Thank You for your reply..
by: Dee

Wray,

Thanks so much. I made a mistake and said I was tested in the follicar phase, which i was .06, but also tested in the l-Phase, .07, so I was low in progesterone in both phases. I have increased my dose to 150mg daily, however, I have had some insomnia. I increased my dosage last night and was up most of the night. I started with anxiety again on Saturday. I am on day 18 of my cycle. I am taking 10,000Iu of Vitamin D Cream daily. I have been taking it for about 2 months now. I read that it was important on your site and begin that day. I take a multi vitamin, calcium(1500mg), and vitamin c (500mg). I think if i could get rid of the anxiousness and sleep I would feel much better. Thank you for your kind words and wisdom.

One more question...
I am taking prescription Progesterone compound cream. Is that the same as the Napro? The pharmasist just wants me to put it on my wrist and not alternate sites.

Oct 24, 2012
Thank You for your reply..
by: Wray

Hi Dee That makes a huge difference. It's as I thought, your corpus luteum is barely making any, if at all, certainly not the amount it should. Which varies between 5-20ng/ml, some show it going as high as 40ng/ml. It could be you didn't ovulate the month they did the test, or some other factor is suppressing the reproductive cycle. Oestrogen, testosterone, LH and FSH can all stop ovulation if too high. Did they test any of these? Stress stops ovulation, are you stressed, part from the obvious stress of the symptoms. It's very interesting your anxiety began on Saturday, this would have been day 16 of your cycle. I'm assuming you have a ±30 day cycle. Oestrogen rises exponentially about 50 hours prior to ovulation, progesterone should too. This surge comes from the brain and has nothing to do with ovulation. It's evident from your anxiety that you didn't get this progesterone surge. So oestrogen would have been dominant. Mid-luteal cycle, which is 6 to 7 days after ovulation and before bleeding, both oestrogen and progesterone rise. If you haven't ovulated this month, your symptoms could get worse then, which would be day 23 or 24, or this coming weekend. They won't get better until oestrogen drops just prior to bleeding. I would be interested to hear if this is the case. It's evident the progesterone is helping you, as each time you increase the amount, you feel better. But increasing it does cause a stimulation of oestrogen, this is usually transitory, things usually settle down on the higher progesterone. This would account for your insomnia, progesterone is helpful for sleep, see here, here and here. Oestrogen is an excitatory hormone, increasing the glutamate response. Glutamate is our most excitatory neurotransmitter, which keeps the brain in overdrive if excessive. I would ask you to try 400mg/day progesterone and see if that helps you. It might seem high, but many women have had a good response from this level, see this one example here. Continued below.

Oct 24, 2012
Thank You for your reply.. Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Dee I'm delighted you took the vitamin D advice, it really is so important. It's very interesting to me that you're using a 10,000iu vitamin D cream. I make vitamin D creams and have experimented with different amounts per ml. First a 2000iu/ml, then a 5000iu/ml cream, I found these raised my levels very slowly. The 10,000iu cream would have a greater affect. I suggest you have a test done after using it for about 3 months, I would love to know the result. I want to get the cream on to our website, and your info would be of great help to me. I had thought of making the 5000iu/ml cream, but maybe the 10,000iu/ml would be better. Excess calcium in ratio to magnesium can cause anxiety and depression, see here. Calcium is usually adequate in our diets, whereas magnesium is usually low. Plus one action of vitamin D is to draw calcium from the gut into the blood stream. Please consider stopping the calcium and taking magnesium instead. It's also the most important co-factor for vitamin D. I would have to know the ingredients in the progesterone cream you use, to compare them. But you can see the list we use on our page here. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray


Oct 25, 2012
I'm in a similar situation
by: Erin

Hi Dee,

I just wanted to let you know I am in a similar situation. It's awful! I have not felt well in 5 years, and I'm ready to feel better! I'm also taking buspar for anxiety. I'm working with a ND, and she has me taking 40 mg of progesterone cream daily. I have been doing this for the last 4 months, and I have seen little improvement. I decided to raise the progesterone cream to 100 mg daily to see if I can override the estrogen dominance.

Oct 26, 2012
I'm in a similar situation
by: Wray

Hi Erin It doesn't surprise me the 40mg/day is not helping you. This amount will not raise progesterone levels to that found in the luteal phase. I go into this on our Progesterone Misconceptions page. This is why I recommend a minimum of 100mg/day to 200mg/day. Although I have found many women need far more, particularly if symptoms are severe. And please look through the page I gave on anxiety. Take care Wray

Nov 01, 2012
Update
by: Erin

Hi Wray,

Just wanted to give you an update. My doctor agreed to up the dosage of the progesterone I'm taking. She agreed that some women need higher dosages of progesterone, and it made sense to her why I wasn't seeing any benefit when I was originally taking 40 mgs per day. I'll keep you updated on my process. Here's to hopefully feeling better soon!

Thanks,
Erin

Nov 02, 2012
Update
by: Wray

Hi Erin I'm so delighted she's agreed to up it. I would be interested to hear how much she's now given you. Please keep in touch with how you're doing. Take care Wray

Apr 15, 2013
Update?
by: Ashley

Hi Dee & Erin, I'm new to this and reading thru all these comments. This post was similar to what I am going through, so I'd love to get an update from you both....are you still on natural progesterone cream? If so, how much? What are your symptoms like these days? Anything you'd like to share would be helpful :) Thank you!

Dec 15, 2013
Exact same thing!
by: Kari

I am experiencing the exact same symptoms here. I've been charting my symptoms for 4 months, and I started charting my basal body temp...just to have more data. After reading Wray's comments on this thread, I went back and looked at my 4 months worth of symptoms. My anxiety hits around midcycle (ovulation time) and again at around day +-23....just like Wray is predicting here. My anxiety sometimes stays through my period. I've only charted my basal body temp for one cycle so far, but I did not ovulate. I take 400mg of natural compounded progesterone (oral) daily....but my anxiety still persists during the above mentioned times in my cycle.

Jul 27, 2016
Just tested for Menopause due 20 years of problems...
by: Sarah

I am new to progesterone deficiency, I have suffered 20 years of my life with all the symptoms listed....amazed why I wasn't tested before now at age 46. I have been on a journey with Doctors trying to understand my life of pain, medications, anxiety, anger and surgeries. I tried ten years with treatments to have a child and have one son now 17 and due to Endometriosis he was my one and only. Years suffering through pain and stress diagnosed with many issues and prescribed medications I called it quits until now. I weaned myself off of 16 medications per day, suffered with obesity, have had several procedures and 18 blood clot surgeries now asked my Doctor spoke and told her the question last week during an appointment "Am I menopausal, or going crazy?" I explained all the symptoms at once and asked her to listen to me...as I gave a list of pain, stress, feeling of fatigue, sleeping too much or some nights not...she looked to me and said have you ever been tested for Menopause? Well, have now to be told I have no progesterone and extremely defficient. I need help.....through treatment.....

Nov 05, 2016
Vomiting
by: Anonymous

Dear Wray, I am 47and on HRT. The problem is that in July I started vomiting on the day I ovulate and then again on days 19-21. It's pretty severe, I've been to the ER four times so far. My estrogen is 1.29 and my progesterone is <.21. I'm so desperate for help and no one can help me. We've been to every specialist imaginable. Can you help me? Thanks so much. I stopped my progesterone because I was scared it was causing this?

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