Progesterone for Men?

by Chris

Hi Wray

I am a women who has been taking progesterone for many years with success.

However, My question is for my husband. He suffers from alot of fatigue and low libido, fluctuating energy, foggy brain. I believe this is adrenal fatigue as few years ago we had an enormous amount of stress in our lives. The past few years have been less stress but not exactly stress free by any stretch. He has been trying adrenal cortex supplements and some herbs and supplements, he did vitamin d for a while but seemed to have a negative reaction to larger doses, so now he tries to get out in the sun as much as possible. I tried him with iodine but he couldn't tolerate it and crashed, I think due to the adrenals not being up to standard, which they need to be when taking iodine.

So I am wondering if he might benefit from using natural progesterone? He doesn't have any signs of oestrogen dominance. He eats really very healthy and exercises, is slim and until recent years could cope with alot of stress.

My concerns with progesterone is that I have read conflicting information about progesterone for men. For instance this website http://www.bhrt-resource.com/progesterone-side-effects.html
which says "Lowered libido - Excess progesterone block the conversion of testosterone to DHT causing a lowered sex drive. This primarily happens to men."
and I've also come across comments that it can cause gynecomastia and feminine fatty deposits in men.

Although I have to say that I think progesterone increased MY libido, but is it the same for men?

Having said that I have also read that excess progesterone can also cause women to get facial hair. I do have a bit of this on my chin but I always believed it was from having PCOS which is why I started using progesterone in the first place...and I actually felt it kept the hair growth to a minimum rather than increasing it.

Can you give me any clarity on these questions. They have been niggling me for some time and I would love a definitive answer.

And I would also really like to know if getting my husband to take 10-20mg of progesterone daily would help him at all as his fatigue is quite debilitating.

Many thanks
Chris

Comments for Progesterone for Men?

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Jan 25, 2012
Progesterone for Men?
by: Wray

Hi Chris I'm delighted progesterone has helped you, it can help your husband too. Stress drops progesterone levels, so his are probably very low. The adrenals first secrete progesterone, which they then convert into cortisol, one of the stress hormones. If the adrenals themselves become stressed, which your husband's appear to be, they tend to rob other sources. From the ovaries in women, from the testes in men. Stress does cause low libido, and I believe this is due to falling progesterone levels, contrary to the website you gave me! And falling dopamine levels, more on this below. DHT is not a hormone men need in large amounts, and I've never heard of it increasing libido. Progesterone is good at reducing it, which most men want. Progesterone is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT. This is implicated in androgenic alopecia, see here. There were some other very odd bits in the website too! Their info on Candida is completely incorrect. And high amounts don't increase the androgens and oestrogens, high amounts actually suppress these two hormones. You are correct about your libido, it does increase it, we also have many men using it for this. In fact there's reason to believe that progesterone is responsible for increased libido and not testosterone, see here, here, here, here, here and here. And as for causing gynecomastia, it has the opposite effect! In fact ironically, men who use testosterone replacement therapy get gynecomastia, see Man Boobs. And the fatty deposits, this is laughable. Oestrogen is a mitogen, it stimulates cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. Progesterone inhibits mitosis, which is why oestrogen is implicated in Cancer, and progesterone has been used successfully against some. Continued below.

Jan 25, 2012
Progesterone for Men? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Chris There's more info on our HRT page. I wish people writing web sites would get their facts straight, heaven knows where they get them from. You are also right about the facial hair, this is caused by excess testosterone, which also causes scalp hair loss, hirsutism, oily skin and acne, lovely hormone! Progesterone is keeping it in control, you might like to see our page on PCOS for more info. Free testosterone rises if fructose, sucrose and glucose are eaten. These decrease SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Progesterone increases it, see here. Which effectively lowers free testosterone, this is the metabolically active hormone. If bound to SHBG it's not. Please avoid all sweet starchy foods, ie all grains, legumes, fruits and veggies that fall in this category too. They contain these sugars, which eventually convert to glucose. Dopamine is essential for a normal sexual response, levels drop when stressed, see here, here,here, here, here and here. Although a non-essential amino acid, tyrosine is one of the most important. It's the precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. It's also the precursor to the two thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), plus melanin, the pigment found in hair and skin. It's part of the enkephalin peptide involved in regulating and reducing pain, and increasing pleasure. Lack of protein and stress lower tyrosine levels, with a subsequent reduction in dopamine and noradrenaline. A drop in dopamine increases levels of prolactin, the hormone of lactogenesis, but also an inflammatory hormone. Dopamine is essential for a normal sexual response, increased prolactin causes a drop in libido. Continued below

Jan 25, 2012
Progesterone for Men? Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Chris Tyrosine is essential for any stressful situation, cold, fatigue, emotional trauma, prolonged work, sleep deprivation, it improves memory, cognition and physical performance. Acute, uncontrollable stress depletes noradrenaline, leading to depression and a rise in corticosterone, tyrosine reverses this. The rate limiting step in dopamine synthesis is the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. Insufficient levels of vitamin D inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase, resulting in a disturbance in the dopamine pathway. This is essential for motivation and vitality, levels rise when rewarded, resulting in feelings of pleasure. You say your husband reacts badly to vitamin D, in what way? Please get him to have a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Finally I believe your husband needs far more progesterone than the normal amount of 10-20mg/day. I recommend 10-100mg/day, although we have men using up to 400mg/day for acute stress. See here, here here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jan 27, 2012
Thank you !
by: Chris

Hi Wray

This is wonderful information, thank you for the clarity...I did suspect the other website was off track based on my own experience of progesterone. I am going to go through all the links you have given and get my husband to read this also.

This is exactly what I wanted to know and leaves me feeling hopeful that it will be the solution or at least a big part of it.

Re him not tolerating vitamin D, he just noticed after taking fairly high doses for a while he started to feel worse rather than better, however it is not conclusive that it was from vitamin D supplementing, more of a hunch really. Unfortunately they don't readily give vit D tests here in NZ and they're too expensive to get independently, so not an easy option to test for it.

Many thanks
Chris

Jan 28, 2012
Thank you !
by: Wray

Hi Chris I'm delighted you managed to plough through it all! It's was quite a mouthful I sent you. I see I missed giving you another link, which might throw light on your husband's fatigue. Please read through our page on Insulin Resistance. This is caused by excess oestrogen, a decrease in SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), a lack of vitamin D and more. A lack of magnesium will cause generalised pain when starting vitamin D. If this was a symptom, he could take some Mg, the chelated form is best, and see if it helps. Mg is also absorbed through the skin, so 1-2 cups of Epsom Salts in a bath would help too. Amazing you can't get a test done in NZ, they did an excellent study on a massive dose of vitamin D given to elderly people, see here. Maybe you could contact the department and get advice on where it could be done. Failing that, the links I gave previously give labs that do test kits which you can order on line. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Jan 28, 2012
vitamin d testing
by: Chris

Hi Wray, thanks for the further links, also just so you know a couple of the links you provided before were no longer alive...but most were ok. I have convinced my husband to try progesterone, so it will be interesting to see how he goes. I am going to see if he will try the Mag with the vit D too, could make the difference.

Re vitamin D testing in NZ. They will do it, but not easily. I used to be able to go to my Doctor and just ask for the test no problem. But about a year ago I asked my doctor and he said no they won't allow them to give them out "willy nilly" anymore because the test is too expensive. So only if there is very good reason to suspect low vitamin D...god knows what that means, wouldn't that cover just about everone! But I haven't been able to get a doc to give me one since. So then all that happens is I go and pay the doctor a fortune for the consultation and get nothing for it. I seldom go to doctors as it is very expensive and you get next to no benefit out of it as few of them know anything worth knowing...just very good at prescribing pharmaceutical drugs as far as I can tell. And I have very limited funds and would rather use them for buying my progesterone, Natural thyroid and vitamins than spending it on useless doctors who prescribe poison. There are a few doctors around who are alternative enough but even they are not up on everything and I've often found myself teaching them something new and they cost twice as much as the doctor's who are partly funded by the government, so can barely ever afford to see them anyway. So you just have to be bright enough or rich enough to find the right treatment. If you're neither of these you're in big trouble!


Jan 29, 2012
vitamin d testing
by: Wray

Hi Chris What you say is so sad, but true. Most people can't afford to go to them now, which leaves it up to us to treat ourselves. Thank heavens the internet is available for that, and I'm not talking about blogs! I wish people wouldn't go on them, as most of the time they get so much wrong info, certainly when it comes to progesterone. It's most bizarre about the links, they seem to have changed the URLs. So these are the new URL's, see here, and here. It's a great pity about this last one, as I have the full pdf which is fascinating. I must have bought it, as I see now, so the link I gave you wouldn't work. But the abstract is here. While looking for it, I came across one I hadn't seen before, which is also fascinating. It appears progesterone is needed before testosterone can 'act', if you get my meaning! See here. This also solves a puzzle for me, as I always felt progesterone and testosterone stimulated each other, now I see it does. Much the same as it is with progesterone and oestrogen. This is the final missing link, see here. Sorry about that, but thank you for telling me, I've given them to others with no feedback! If you fail in the vitamin D test locally, try Birmingham Hospital in the UK, they do theirs for £25. Cheaper than the others. I gave you their link above. Take care Wray

Jan 30, 2012
links & pdf
by: Chris

Thanks for the renewed links :)
if you have the pdf of the "Does male sexual behavior require progesterone?" are you able to email it to me? I have input my email address at the end of each of my questions where it asks...or do I need to give it to you specifically?
Thanks Chris

Jan 31, 2012
links & pdf
by: Wray

Hi Chris Found it! And I'm sending the paper to you. Take care Wray

Mar 01, 2012
Birmingham Hospital in the UK
by: pHIL lAMERTON

Why do you recommend a hospital in the UK for someone who's in New Zealand to get a cheap Vit D test? Surely nobody would travel halfway round the world to save a few dollars.

Mar 01, 2012
Birmingham Hospital in the UK
by: Joy (South Africa)

Hi Phil - I am amazed at your post! Of course Wray does not expect people to travel around the world to get a 'cheap' vitamin D test done in the UK as you put it.

It might be a good idea if you visited the BH website that Wray has given, you will see that they send out test kits for £25 for overseas customers and £20 if living in the UK.

Hope this helps.

Mar 02, 2012
Birmingham Hospital in the UK
by: Wray

Hi Phil As Joy says, BH do send out test kits, as do ZRT Labs. This is certainly the cheapest option for many. I know in Europe the test is very expensive to have done locally, and many countries don't even do it. I recall one NZ woman telling me you couldn't have it done there, maybe she was mistaken. Take care Wray

Mar 03, 2012
vit D test in NZ
by: Chris

You can have a vitamin D test done in NZ BUT they don't give it to you easily at all. They used to but recently when I asked for one they said "no, not unless you have strong reason to believe you need it" Which really meant the doctor didn't think I had a strong reason even if I did. So I couldn't get one. Probably could pay for it here myself but I think they are in the region $125. so not a good option.

Mar 04, 2012
Vit D test in NZ
by: Joy (South Africa)

Hi Chris - why don't you try the Birmingham Hospital link that Wray has provided further up on this thread. They will send you the test for 25.00 British Pounds to countries outside of the UK. The quote that you were given is unbelievable!! I have recently had my test done here in South Africa at our PathCare Centre (Pathology) and is cost me R225.00 which is roughly $35.85 NZ Dollar.

I also don't understand why a doctor can refuse to allow the test, it's your right!!

Try the BH link that Wray provided, I know of a few people who have requested the tests through them. Otherwise come for a wonderful holiday here in Cape Town, enjoy what we have to offer and have your test done at the same time!! hahaha

Hope that helps and good luck.

Mar 04, 2012
vit D test in NZ
by: Wray

Hi Chris Thanks for this, it's confirmation from the woman who wrote in saying much the same as you. I see you also mentioned it in a post above. Would love to know how your husband is faring on the progesterone. And is he trying the vitamin D again? Take care Wray

Mar 07, 2012
Vit D and Progesterone
by: Chris

Hi Wray, unfortunately at this stage he has had to put off using the progesterone as we can't afford it. I need it because I am pregnant at the moment (only 5wks to go!) and that is expensive enough especially as I am using it everyday and at higher doses than I used too (100mg). So that means he is second in line and won't be able to try it until we have some money. I have been trying to get him to take the vitamin D but I think he is only doing it erratically because he is weary of it making him feel worse, like he thinks it did last time. He said the other day he had gone off all supplements for a while and was feeling better. But I think that will only be temporary to be honest. It is probably a case of finding the right balance and the right supplements before he will feel good all the time, I think it is adrenal fatigue. But he is a bit of a pest and doesn't always do the supplement regime I suggest and I think I know better than him on this one.

To the person that mentioned me getting the D test through BH...I will, again when I can afford it. Pretty tight financially at the moment and I felt it was easier to just use a moderate amount of vitamin D than spend it on getting a test..it was one or the other :/

Mar 09, 2012
Vit D and Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Chris Thanks for coming back to me. I'm delighted you're pregnant, and that you're using the progesterone during the pregnancy. Also understand about the cost factor and your husband being a pest and not listening to you. Hopefully he will one day! You'll be so tied up in the coming weeks, but when you have the time let me know how it all goes. Many blessings. Take care Wray

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