Progesterone & Weight Gain

by Brianna
(California)

I have been on Bioidentical Progesterone cream for almost two weeks now and have almost gained 10lbs. My saliva test showed that my progesterone level was 59 and my cortisol was 1.5. Im 32 years old. I have noticed many benefits as far as my moods and libido etc., however, I am very worried about the weight gain.

What should I do? I am taking 30mg of the cream once daily. Please help! Thanks

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Jul 01, 2009
Progesterone and Weight gain
by: Aylin

Do not worry, I don't think so it is from progesterone, especially because you use natural progesterone. I use sinthetic progesterone and I didn't take any gain plus... It can be just your body which keeps the water and does not eliminate it. Try to drink green tea every evening and morning. Good luck !

Jul 02, 2009
Progesterone and Weight Gain
by: Wray

Hi Brianna. Weight gain can occur when first using progesterone. The reason for this is progesterone initially stimulates oestrogen, which causes the water retention. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it is now being used via IV transfusion for brain trauma victims. Please read our web page here on oestrogen dominance.

Although the progesterone has helped you in other areas, I don't believe you are using enough. All the successful studies have used between 100-200mg/day, so I would suggest you increase the dose, you should find this helps. Take care, Wray

Aug 15, 2009
Be careful
by: Anonymous

Not to bust anyone's bubble, but you need to be careful about progesterone. My doctor told me if I continued to take progesterone cream that it could give me masculine traits. He said it is the reason men get a "beer belly" and "man boobs". I did get a belly after being on Depo Provera for six months... thank goodness I got off it. Just get your blood tested (or saliva) or whatever your dr. thinks is the best test and do it under strict supervision by a liscensed physician. I am also training to be a nurse and I hear about women with DVTs from the progestin in birth control pills and just sensitivity during pregnancy. My friend told me it does something to the fibrinogen in the blood.That is why they warn you about blood clots while taking the pill.

Aug 18, 2009
Be careful
by: Wray

You are so right about the progestins, whether found in the contraceptive pill or HRT, all of them come with adverse side effects, please see this web page for more info.

Progesterone on the other hand has no such side effects and most certainly does not cause masculine traits in a woman. If it did we would be grossly changed whilst pregnant, as we make over 400mg/day in the last trimester! For your doctor to say it causes 'man boobs' is a contradiction of the above. Progesterone cannot cause masculine traits in a woman and feminine in a man!

Progesterone is not a sex hormone, it has no influence on the secondary sexual characteristics which develop at puberty or the problems which can affect us later in life. Oestrogen, and only oestrogen, can cause cells to multiply and grow, hence the gynecomastia in men. Progesterone is excellent at reversing this is men. Take care, Wray

Oct 14, 2009
Progesterone intolerance
by: gin

Not all women tolerate progesterone. For example, I've had diarrhea for 5 years and have had every test imaginable to discover what was going on... no celiac disease, no parasites, on and on... until I heard that progesterone can cause (in 8%) diarrhea. I stopped the HRT (bio-identical cream) and within 3 days all symptoms had disappeared, but my weight still hasn't budged. Plus I still have joint pain (which is also another side effect) I've been off of it for 3 weeks now, and yes the night sweats and hot flashes are strong, but I don't have to go to the bathroom countless times a day. So my advise is listen to your own body and check with a different doctor. I tried 5 different doctors and then I asked my compounding pharmacist.

Oct 25, 2009
Progesterone intolerance
by: Wray

Hi Gin. I'm puzzled you say not all women tolerate progesterone. It's the most vital hormone for pregnancy, without which no woman would carry a child. We not only tolerate it but thrive on it! As evidenced by the 90% of women who experience greater well being when pregnant. Those that don't and suffer adverse symptoms like nausea, headaches etc are deficient in it while pregnant. You say you were on bio-identical HRT... did it contain oestrogen too? If so this will explain your adverse reaction to it. Joint pains are alleviated by progesterone which is an excellent anti-inflammatory. In fact so good that it is now being used via IV transfusion for brain trauma victims. Take care, Wray

Oct 31, 2009
Progesterone and weight gain, sleepy head
by: Anonymous

I have been using Natpro for almost a year now and have just started to experience the benefit of a reduction in menstrual pain the past few months. I am very thankful for this and consider it a great blessing to the quality of my life. When I first started using the cream I experienced bad headaches which subsided after a few months passed by. I also gained a significant amount of weight. I was a size six and I am now a size 12. I find that in order for the cream to work I use a bit in the morning and a bit at night. It makes me a bit sleepy or foggy in my head. It is terrific at night, because it helps me sleep well which I am thankful for. However, it doesn't help me during the day when I need to be alert. I have tried doing without it during the day, but it doesn't work as well for my menstrual pain and if I stop using it altogether during my period, the pain worsens again.

I am trying to balance it all out to get rid of the negative side effects and still maintain the benefits. From what I have read online, I am not the only woman who has been healthy and at a healthy weight prior to using progesterone cream and then experienced a significant weight gain. I have stuck with it to give it ample time to work and regulate itself in my body and while I don't like being larger than I was to start with, it is better than living with the terrible pain I get each month. Any tips or advice?

Nov 11, 2009
Bio-Identical Progesterone
by: Anonymous

I've been on bio-identical HRT for 6 years now. Sad to say, my life has been a living hell. I had a hysterectomy at 33 and it was a huge mistake (I had gone through ovarian cancer and endo before that in my 20s). In addition to feeling "flu-like all the time, I have severe joint and nerve pain, edema, headaches, and HUGE weight gain in spite being very active (exercise very regularly) and eating very healthy. So... After going nuts trying to find out what is wrong with me, I'm becoming more and more convinced that even the bio-identicals are not some magic cure-all for all women. After 6 years of this hell, I've had enough. I want my health and my sanity back. I can deal with hot flashes but not with all the other issues.

Feb 17, 2010
Progesterone for migraines and sleep
by: Anonymous

I have been on progesterone - first the cream - but was not absorbing enough. Now I am on the pills. It does help with sleep. I have gained 25 pounds since I started and I am thinking of going off. It's not worth the weight. I exercise daily, and have always eaten healthy. It's ridiculous and my doctors are being rude about it.

Feb 20, 2010
Bio-identical progesterone
by: Jamie

It seems like I can't drop the fat around my belly and lower back. I eat a healthy 5 times a day and exercise at least 4-5 times a week and I eat under 1500 calories a day. I started taking 15mg of the bio-identical progesterone 3 months ago. I just want to know if this could be the reason for the weight not coming off. I am 39. I want to know if anyone else is having this problem. It just seems like it's a coincidence.

Mar 22, 2010
Sick of the tyre around my middle
by: Anonymous

I have been on progesterone cream for just over a year. The benefits have been great as far as sleeping and my moods, however, I too have experienced weight gain. I exercise 4 to 5 times a week and eat healthy but just can't seem to shake this added weight. I'm seriously thinking of stopping. So hard to decipher everything you read on-line and the doctors don't help either. What's a women to do?

Mar 23, 2010
Progesterone for migraines and sleep
by: Wray

You probably weren't absorbing enough progesterone in cream form as the amount in the cream was not high enough to have any effect. Between 100-200mg/day is needed to gain any benefit. The pills are not the solution either, as oral progesterone is mostly destroyed as it passes through the gut and liver, please see these papers...
Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3
Paper 4

Weight gain is unfortunately experienced by many women when first using progesterone, it's activating the oestrogen receptor sites, oestrogen causes us to retain water. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now being used via IV transfusion for brain trauma victims, please see papers...
Paper 1
paper 2
Paper 3
Take care, Wray

Mar 23, 2010
Weight Gain
by: Anonymous

My progesterone level is very very low - found out yesterday. I had a partial hysterectomy at age 27 (ovaries intact) and now at 45 experiencing all the loveliness associated with perimenopause. Since I have no period to gauge anything, I had to rely on changes in mood, sex drive and those crazy night sweats. The weight gain in the last 3yrs around my middle has been quite a pain-in-the-rear. The weight gain did not happen BECAUSE I was on progesterone so I have a hard time believing the handy-dandy little orange pill (natural, not synthetic) I was prescribed yesterday will add weight - in fact, my Doctor told me the opposite! She said, because it will help me sleep and feel more energized, weight LOSS might occur - YAY! Oh yeah, I run/walk incline 15mls a week and strength train 3-4 days per week for the last 8yrs.

Mar 25, 2010
Bio-identical progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Jamie. Progesterone does initially cause weight gain, as it activates the oestrogen receptor sites, oestrogen causes us to retain water and it stimulates more fat cells to develop. Please read more about it here. But once this initial phase is over and progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, the water retention stops. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic. As oestrogen is suppressed the fat cells are no longer stimulated either. But it sounds as if you could have insulin resistance, you might like to read more about it here. Take care, Wray

Mar 25, 2010
Feeling really bad!
by: Anonymous

I am on bio identical progesterone with dhea and just a little estrogen. These were compounded just for me. I to have gained weight in my middle. I have also been having terrible headaches and feel just like I have the flu all the time. I also am having hot flashes with these hormones. Never had hot flashes when I was just on estrogen. Also, I have been having terrible vaginal dryness. My question is... Do I really need progesterone if I had a total hysterectomy? I just don't know if I will continue these hormones, I might go back on my estrogen hormones again. I can't live like this much longer.

Mar 26, 2010
Weight Gain
by: Wray

As I've explained to the women with weight gain, progesterone doesn't cause it, in fact it's thermogenic, which means it speeds metabolism slightly. What does cause the gain is oestrogen, and as this becomes the dominant hormone when first using progesterone, some weight gain can be experienced. It's usually just water retention, although oestrogen does stimulate mitosis in fat cells, so some extra fat can be gained too. Both this and the water normally falls away once progesterone becomes dominant. Oral progesterone is not the best route to take it, please see these papers...
Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3
The weight gain in the last three years could be caused by insulin resistance, please see this page. Take care, Wray

Mar 26, 2010
Feeling really bad!
by: Wray

I don't think oestrogen only is an option, the dangers are not worth it, please see this page. Even if they are bio hormones, it's still not worth it, please see this.

Progesterone is very protective, not only against oestrogen, but against ageing too, including Alzheimer's, see these papers...
Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3
Paper 4
Paper 5

Finally you should not touch DHEA, it causes both oestrogen and androgen levels to rise, and can cause cysts and cancer,
please see this. And this. And this. Take care, Wray

Mar 27, 2010
Progesterone during pregnancy... major weight gain
by: Anonymous

I take Cyclogest 400mg (progesterone suppository) twice a day since I got pregnant 2 months ago. The reason I do is because I had several miscarriages before... but since I have started I have gained 12 pounds although my food intake is not over 1200 Cal plus I'm having 24 hours nausea... is it related to progesterone? When I stop taking Cyclogest on my 4th month will I lose this weight or will it stay until after delivery?

Apr 01, 2010
Progesterone during pregnancy... major weight gain
by: Wray

You have gained more than normal, and it's caused by excess oestrogen. So is the nausea. When initially using progesterone it activates the oestrogen receptor sites, so making oestrogen the dominant hormone. Oestrogen causes water retention, hence your weight gain. You were evidently very low in progesterone, hence the miscarriages, and had high oestrogen levels. High oestrogen suppresses progesterone.

You should have been started on the progesterone weeks before pregnancy, so that your body could adjust. I'm surprised you still have nausea using 800mg/day, as that's a very good amount. I would suggest you talk to your doctor about the nausea and weight gain, as excess water can lead to high blood pressure. He might have to increase the amount of progesterone you're using. The nausea in particular shows you don't have enough progesterone in your system. Please read this article by Dr Dalton, there are links at the bottom of the page to her books, you might like to get one, as she goes into pregnancy in detail.

I would be cautious about stopping the progesterone at 4 months. Although this is normally sufficient time for the placenta to be making enough to retain the foetus, with a history of recurrent miscarriages it's advisable to continue for longer. If not for the entire pregnancy to prevent pre-term birth, see these papers...
Paper 1
Paper 2
Paper 3
Paper 4
Take care, Wray

May 13, 2010
Progesterone/estrogen
by: Anonymous

Why is estrogen the enemy? Don't we need both it and progesterone to maintain balance?

May 21, 2010
When does the weight gain stop on Progesterone?
by: holly

I was taking it a few years ago just cream and a bit of estrogen.
Then I got a better balance and then my weight went back to normal.
Now I am on 5mg 80/20 Biest a day and 200 mg progesterone for half my cycle only. + 2.5 MG testosterone and 25MG dhea. I am gaining weight again and am on the third month of this regime. I feel much better but the last time it just crept up and up and up over 6 months. I do not want to put any more weight on, I am very tall and slender by frame and nature and this does not suit me. So Wray, you say it will even out, WHEN? Thanks.

May 24, 2010
Progesterone/estrogen
by: Wray

You are right we do need both. Oestrogen is vital during puberty when it causes our breasts and hips to develop, and the fatty layer women have. Vital once a month when it stimulates an egg/eggs to grow and mature. Vital too in stimulating the endometrium each month to grow and thicken ready for a possible fertilised egg. But in excess it stimulates cells to continue growing, and grow they will with no progesterone to suppress the oestrogen. Our bodies must be kept in balance. But without a check, the excitatory hormones like oestrogen would continue stimulating. We now live in a world where there are over 90 oestrogen mimics, in our food, water, air, the skin 'care' we use and more, please see here. Thousands of women are making no ovarian progesterone, as they are on contraceptives. These stop ovulation, if we don't ovulate we make no progesterone. Many more take HRT, which supplies none. Low vitamin D levels reduce the benefits of progesterone, up to 50% of us are deficient in vitamin D. So what little progesterone we are making or using is not being fully utilised. Take care, Wray

May 24, 2010
When does the weight gain stop on Progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Holly. It will even out, but only if you use progesterone, which you're not. The oestrogen and the testosterone will be suppressing the progesterone you are using. I take it you are using a cream, or is it oral progesterone? If oral most of it will be destroyed by the gut and liver, please see here. And here. This means very little will be left to 'even' things out. Oestrogen is a mitogen, it stimulates cells to divide and grow, including fat cells. It also causes water retention, plus insulin resistance, all these would increase your weight, for more info on IR please see here. Progesterone is excellent at reducing oedema, please see here.

I don't believe any woman needs supplemental testosterone, many are given it because of the misguided idea it increases libido. The jury is still out on this, please see here. In fact we have many men using progesterone to increase their libido. And as for DHEA, please stay off this, it increases both testosterone and oestrogen, it can also cause cysts and cancer to develop, please see here. And here. And here. Take care, Wray

May 25, 2010
I am using progesterone
by: Holly

I am using 100 x 2 a day for half the month. I am using troches. So hoping that it is being absorbed. I will find out with my blood test on day 21. I definitely feel the progesterone when take it, I feel much calmer. As I said when I was taking progesterone alone, I blew up like a ballon and put on a lot of weight. As I now recall I was not using estrogen at all. So I am still a bit mystified.

May 27, 2010
I am using progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Holly. Troches are not the best delivery system, in fact no oral method is reliable as much of it gets destroyed by the gut and liver, please see here for troches. And here for oral. And here.

The progesterone is calming, as it activates the GABA receptor sites, GABA is one of our most calming neurotransmitters. The reason you blew up using only progesterone was due to oestrogen dominance. Initially progesterone activates the oestrogen receptor sites, oestrogen is a mitogen so causing cell division, including fat cells, it also causes water retention. Progesterone opposes both these actions of oestrogen. But once progesterone becomes dominant the increase in either fat or water diminishes. In fact progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims, see here. Take care, Wray

May 27, 2010
Progesterone weight gain
by: Rose

I am on bio progesterone 100 x3 daily and I am gaining weight so bad. My saliva test says that may Estradiol is 1.1L pg/ml luteal and my progesterone is 134 pg/ml luteal and my ratio Pg/E2 is 122. So my question is: Do I need to take estrogen also since my estradiol was low? Thanks.

May 28, 2010
Progesterone weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Rose. The weight gain is caused by oestrogen, you should have been warned of this. It occurs so often in women when first using progesterone. Once progesterone becomes the dominant hormone it should fall away. For more info please see here. I don't believe any woman needs more oestrogen, we have more than enough in our food, water, air and skin 'care' we all use, please see here. Oestrogen is a mitogen, it stimulates cells to divide and multiply, hence it's danger in cancer, for more info please see here. Are you taking the progesterone or using a cream? The dose you are on is higher than need be if a cream. But if you are taking oral progesterone it does have to be high, as most is destroyed by the gut and liver. Oral progesterone is not the best delivery system, please see here. And here.

Although the tests show one thing, symptoms are quite another. Have yours been helped? If they have then I would have no worries, saliva levels from supplementing via a transdermal cream can go as high as 10 000 to 100 000ng/ml. But I would suggest switching to a cream if you are using oral progesterone, it's a very effective system, please see here. And here. For more info on using a cream see here. Take care, Wray

Jun 11, 2010
I want to gain weight
by: Anonymous

I want to gain weight, so I decided to use the Depo shot which is a progesterone based birth control. I've seen and heard that it causes weight gain. Well, I was on it for about 3 years and nothing. I actually think I loss weight. Why didn't I gain weight from the progesterone?

Jun 12, 2010
If we have too much estrogen then why?
by: holly

When my blood is tested it shows barely none, when not on hormones? Why do I have hot flushes and all the symptoms of menopause without it? Progesterone alone did not help, it just made me fat.

Jun 14, 2010
I want to gain weight
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately depo provera is not progesterone, but a progestin. I'm glad you seem to be off it, it might interest you to read what it does to us here. Progesterone does not cause weight gain, it's slightly thermogenic, which speeds metabolism slightly. The women who gain weight using it are not using enough to counteract the oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen and only oestrogen causes fat cells to divide and multiply. Oestrogen also causes water retention, whereas progesterone is an excellent diuretic. Take care Wray

Jun 14, 2010
If we have too much estrogen then why?
by: Wray

Hi Holly Did they check your progesterone level too? If the ratio is out between the two hormones that would explain it. Progesterone should be higher than oestrogen at all times, otherwise we have adverse symptoms. Progesterone cannot make us fat as it's thermogenic, meaning it speeds metabolism slightly. It sounds as if you weren't using enough, between 100-200mg/day is needed to help. Hot flushes stop within about 4 days if about 400mg/day is used. So if you still have hot flushes please try this amount. Take care Wray

Jun 16, 2010
When to stop taking prog. cream during pregnancy?
by: Marie

I am very thankful for my bio-identical progesterone cream that finally made it possible for me to get pregnant without miscarrying (so far). I have also gained weight (a lot!!! just in a matter of few weeks and this now puts me in the category of obese... not so good for the baby and for me either).
Anyways, there is different information out there as far as when it is safe to stop the progesterone cream during pregnancy. Week 12 -14, or post 20 weeks? Please help! I want to stop it as soon as possible because this weight gain will kill me (I am eating healthy and exercising as much as I can but as you can imagine it's not easy with being pregnant) I need to stop gaining massive amount of non-pregnancy related weight, but I want to do it safely to not to hurt the baby. The ob-gyn is clueless! Please help!

Jun 19, 2010
When to stop taking prog. cream during pregnancy?
by: Wray

Hi Marie Progesterone is not causing you to gain weight, oestrogen is. Unfortunately progesterone does have a stimulatory affect initially. But it's only oestrogen which can cause cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. These in turn produce oestrogen so a vicious cycle is set up. Oestrogen also causes water retention, which only adds to the problem. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent oedema forming. It's difficult to advise on when you should stop. If you've had recurrent miscarriages I would advise 4 months, if not then 12 weeks should be fine. If and when you do stop please do so very slowly, ie take a month to reduce the amount. Any sudden drop causes a miscarriage. Don't forget your body is now making it's own progesterone, so reducing the dose is not going to make much difference to your weight. Although in the early days it's low, sometimes too low and a miscarriage occurs, but once the placenta takes over production which is normally around 8 weeks, then production increases considerably. Until we can make up to 400mg/day in the third trimester, far more than you are using now! It almost sounds as if you have developed insulin resistance, you might like to read more about it on our web page Insulin Resistance. We also have a web page on Conception and Pregnancy. which you might like to read too. Take care Wray

Jul 07, 2010
Spare tyre still!
by: sara

Hi, I have been using the cream for 6 months now (increased to 2 x 50m a day for the past 3 months) and still I have a roll of fat around my stomach. I have always been naturally slim and have not changed my eating habits or exercise, but I have stashed all my crop-tops as I cannot wear them now :-( I would have thought the weight would have shifted by now, is this normal?

Jul 09, 2010
Spare tyre still!
by: Wray

Hi Sara 100mg/day is the minimum I generally recommend, it could be you need more. But progesterone is not something I would suggest for weight loss. Yes it does suppress oestrogen, which being a mitogen does cause fat cells to multiply and grow. It's also an excellent diuretic, whereas oestrogen causes water retention with it's resultant weight gain. But there is often insulin resistance behind weight which won't shift. Oestrogen, both endognenous and that found in the contraceptive pill and HRT causes this. It could be this is your problem, please have a look at a web page we have on Insulin Resistance for more information. Take care Wray

Jul 09, 2010
reply
by: sara

Thanks Wray - please don't get me wrong, I'm not taking the progesterone to lose a bit of belly fat!! It's helped me enormously with peri-meno symptoms, it's just that I grew this gut a year or so ago when the symptoms appeared, and I would have thought with a rebalance of prog/oest it would have sorted itself out. I will reseacrh insulin resistance, thanks.

Jul 10, 2010
reply
by: Wray

Hi Sara I'm relieved! So many think it is, and the last thing I want is disappointment that the weight didn't drop off. I'm pleased it's helped with the P-M symptoms, but it could be you need to increase the amount you're using to 150mg/day for a month and see if that helps. I can't say if it will, we're all so different. The amino acid arginine does help reduce fat and increase muscle mass, you could try that. Taurine, another amino, has helped others. You'll need about 2000mg/day of each. Take care Wray

Jul 12, 2010
Thanks again
by: Sara

Thanks Wray, I will look into the supplements you advised - most of the insulin resistance info I found seems to assume a person is overweight, which I am not at 52kg and 5'5" - I even did an online test and it told me I was obese! Lol!!

Jul 16, 2010
Progesterone and DHEA
by: Danielle

My naturopath put me on Progesterone 50mg/day and DHEA 10mg/day to help with an adrenal deficiency problem. So far I have not read anything too greatly positive about taking DHEA. I do want to feel better, however, I am not happy with things I have heard about progesterone either (weight etc...) Is there a natural way to restore your adrenals? How are your adrenals related to progesterone?

Jul 16, 2010
I lost...
by: Anonymous

After hyst 4 years ago I have gained and gained. Afer reading for years about this I had my doc check my hormones... of course they were 'normal' but I didn't buy it.

Last month I got some progesterone cream and had no idea I would feel this much better. Though I am hot and sweaty a lot (now I know why) I have dropped 20 pounds by doing nothing, have way more energy and a lot LOT less aches and pains. Less depression and so much more.

I had no idea that progesterone played this big of a role, I thought it was just pre menapausal symptoms. Yeah. Don't ever give up till you figure out what your body needs. And I do take vitamin D as well after reading all the research published the past year or so.

Jul 18, 2010
Thanks again
by: Wray

Hi Sara As you might have seen from our web page on insulin resistance, not everyone is over weight. Currently no one knows why, but it could be those that are have reactive hypoglycaemia too. Blood glucose drops too fast, too low causing hunger, depression, tiredness. Instead of eating some protein or slow release carb, they eat a fast pick-me-up like bread, chocolates or a drink full of sugar. This would certainly cause weight gain. And obese at 5'5" and only 52kg?! Something wrong with the test! Take care Wray

Jul 18, 2010
Progesterone and DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Danielle The progesterone will help, but not that amount, it really needs to be between 100-200mg/day to have any affect. And DHEA should be avoided as it can increase the risk of cancer and cysts, please see here and here, and here. Although the ovaries are the main source of progesterone in women, the adrenals make it too. It's made in the adrenal cortex and then converted into cortisol, before this is released into the blood stream. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones, so if stress is high, the adrenals will be working overtime making progesterone. High stress means the adrenals are stressed, so supplementing with progesterone takes the pressure off this process. Progesterone initially stimulates oestrogen, hence the weight gain. This can be both fat and water retention, as oestrogen causes both, it's essential enough progesterone is used to overcome this quickly. By using too low an amount it merely keeps stimulating oestrogen. Take care Wray

Jul 25, 2010
Weight Gain!!! Help!!!
by: Cynthia

I've been using transdermal progesterone 9.5mg. Using 6 drops twice aday for days 1-12 and 8-10 drops twice aday for days 13-26. I've done this for 7 months & have gained 20lbs. Went to my GP doctor and blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol was all great, my thyroid was 2.8. Saliva testing showed normal estrogen, low progesterone, high testosterone, high coritsol. The progesterone has really helped my perimenopausal symptoms but I hate hate hate this weight gain. Is there any thing I can do to reverse the 20lb. weight gain to a weight loss?

Jul 30, 2010
Weight Gain!!! Help!!!
by: Wray

Hi Cynthia Does the progesterone contain 9.5mg per drop? Assuming this to be the case you're getting about 114mg/day for days 1-12 and about 190mg for days 13-26. If so you are getting a very good amount of progesterone, which should reflect in the saliva test as high. And the oestrogen and testosterone as low, as progesterone suppresses these. Although you say it's transdermal, are you taking the drops? As this would account for the low progesterone, high testosterone, normal oestrogen. Oestrogen is a mitogen, stimulating cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. It also causes water retention and insulin resistance. Unless progesterone is the dominant hormone, you are going to continue gaining weight and water. Progesterone is thermogenic, so increases metabolism slightly, it's also an excellent diuretic. Apart from the fact it suppresses excess oestrogen. So it's essential for it to become dominant for this to occur. The ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be no less than 300:1, better still if it's 600:1. To find this divide your progesterone result by the oestrogen result. I would never recommend progesterone during the first half of the cycle either, the idea is to follow the cycle. Unless symptoms are very severe when I recommend using it daily. Otherwise it should be used from ovulation for the last 14 days of the cycle. This varies dependant on the length of the cycle, but in every women it's always 12-14 days before we bleed. For more info on this please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. As you mention peri-menopause you might like to see our page on Peri-menopause. Take care Wray

Aug 08, 2010
Too litte progesterone, too much estrogen?
by: whozy

I have a question, it is clear from reading the previous texts that progesterone can cause weight gain by stimulating oestrogen when rx'd in lower doses, so then why is it rx'd in lower doses? I have been on natural progesterone cream for about two months at 20mg per day, also estrogen cream 1 mg a day. I have gained 10 lbs and cellulite which I never had before, I won't even wear shorts, I look horrible. It sounds the estrogen cream may only be making the problem worse. Should I quit it? No levels were done before putting me on the creams I am 54 and was having terrible daytime, nighttime sweats, poor sleep and extreme mood lability. I am feeling great in those regards but wonder if I should quit it all, I cannot continue with this weight gain. Seem to be retaining water too. Thanks for any help.

Aug 09, 2010
Translating recommended 100/200mg to tsp
by: robin

Dear Wray, thank you for connecting the dots of adrenal insufficiency, progesterone, cortisol and (hopefully temporary) weight gain.

You advise between 100-200 mg/day. I feel like an idiot, but I've tried to do the math on my Emerita Pro-Gest progesterone cream (450 mg USP prog/ounce) directions. The directions read 1/4 to 1/2 tsp twice a day. So: 100-200 mg = how many (fraction) tsp?

Main complaint: fatigued to the point of disability, starting when my period returned 8 months after completing chemo, which had put me in temporary menopause (breast cancer at 33; now age 43 = ten years of hell). Now - severe adrenal insufficiency, so on lots of adrenal supplements; supposedly hypothyroid, so on Armour; 5 mg DHEA daily). This is getting expensive and who knows what's doing what at this point. Hard to discern any benefits.

Thank you very much for your detailed and informed responses.

Aug 09, 2010
low/no testosterone
by: Robin

I can find almost nothing in the medical literature on low testosterone in pre-menopausal women! The only lit is on menopausal women, addressing low libido.

I don't care about libido. I just want the energy to break through cognitive hell. (I have an MPH and PhD.) At age 43, pre-menopausal, I have "undetectable levels" of testosterone. Because I have a history of breast cancer, no doctor will take the risks of any supplementation, so I have started on DHEA myself. I can find nothing on how to interpret lab tests (I've given up on endocrinologists), to monitor my good/bad estrogen levels/ratios.

Any comments on undetectable testosterone in pre-menopausal women? I can't even find a menstrual cycle curve for women that includes testosterone, as if we don't even have it!

Thank you so much.

Aug 11, 2010
Mirena IUD with progesterone
by: Anonymous

I have never been a thin girl... always over weight... but I have been the same size FOREVER. Last January after being told that the fibroid tumors I had had made me infertile I got pregnant. I terminated the pregnancy (spare me the lectures I'm 40, single and unemployed) and at the same time had an IUD implanted to prevent future pregnancies.

I have since gained 20lbs. I am not sedentary. I am not a gym goer at all but I have not lessened my activity in the least... nor have I increased my caloric intake. I have recently secured a job and have been doing more running around than I had the 6 months prior to this event and have made a conscious effort to eat less meat and increase my veggies. I'm no dietary angel... but I would have to say I am doing better than I was a year ago.

The only difference is my Mirena IUD that contains progesterone.
Given my history with uterine fibroid tumors I couldn't take an estrogen rich birth control method and without health insurance a tubaligation surgery was not a possibility.

Could my IUD be doing all this? I LOVE what it has done for my cycle, love not getting pregnant, love not having to have a hysterectomy and most of all LOVE not having to think about any of it. I read in another post that the side effect is an increase of estrogen produced. Do I need to be wary of future tumors? Not sure what to make of all this. Help.

Aug 11, 2010
Too litte progesterone, too much estrogen?
by: Wray

Hi Whozy Progesterone can cause weight gain initially, please see this web page on Oestrogen Dominance. It explains why it occurs, but you should have been warned it could happen. Briefly it stimulates oestrogen, but as you are adding more with the cream you're using, it will only compound the problem. I don't believe any of us needs more oestrogen, whether it's synthetic, natural or our own endogenous oestrogen. Please see our web page on HRT for more info. I generally recommend 100-200mg/day of progesterone. The 20mg amount you are using will only exacerbate the situation. And progesterone should be used for a minimum of twice a day as levels drop after about 13 hrs. As for why progesterone is made in such low strengths, and why such low doses are recommended, it depends on which authority one listens too. I was fortunate enough to meet Dr Dalton while she was alive, she advised me on several occasions about how to use progesterone and the amount too. It most certainly is not 'dose' related, but is entirely dependant on symptoms. The minimum she recommended was 100-200mg/day, but on occasion she would give 2400mg/day for her patients with post natal psychosis. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. As these are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen a vicious cycle is set up. Oestrogen also causes water retention. Progesterone on the other hand inhibits mitosis, and is such an excellent diuretic it's now being given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent the oedema that forms. So it is essential that progesterone becomes the dominant hormone before symptoms can resolve. Take care Wray

Aug 11, 2010
Translating recommended 100/200mg to tsp
by: Wray

Hi Robin It can be confusing! Of course I'll do the math for you. 450mg prog/oz (or per 30g), so each gram contains 15mg progesterone. So 100mg will require 6.6g cream, 200mg will require 13.3g. In teaspoons this is 1 1/3rd tsp for the 100mg and 2 2/3rd tsp for the 200mg. So the container would last 9 days if using 100mg/day or 4.5 days if using 200mg/day. Please see this page on How to use progesterone cream. My reason for using 100-200mg/day is based on my own experience using it, of the many thousands of women I have advised over the past 14 years, but most of all on the advice from Dr Dalton. She was the foremost authority before her death, having used it for her patients since 1948. She gave me her advice freely, as she knew I was trying to help other women. She would in fact use up to 2400mg/day for her very ill patients, ie those with post natal psychosis. I'm so sorry to hear of your 10 years of hell, many nutrients could have been given to help you over it. The one that concerns me the most is vitamin D, a lack of this leads to cancer, to fatigue, to hypothyroidism. Please have a test done. The following gives an indication of levels found in the blood. The test should be done for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol. Sufficient - 50?100ng/ml or 125-250nmol/L, Hypovitaminosis - less than 30ng/ml or 75 nmol/L and Deficiency - less than 25ng/ml or 62.4nmol/L. For more information please see here. Plus a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. The fatigue also leads me to believe your cells are not getting the nutrients they need. Although you probably don't have Insulin Resistance, please read our page on it, as it explains what happens if no fuel is going where needed, ie into the cells. As the fatigue also started when your periods returned it's indicative of a lack of progesterone, myopathy too is helped by progesterone. And it seems you also suffered from this, when you mention "to the point of disability". I'm surprised you have been given DHEA, it can cause cancer and cysts, please read these papers here, and here and here. You might like to read this story and this story too. Take care Wray

Aug 11, 2010
low/no testosterone
by: Wray

Hi Robin The jury is still out on whether in fact it's testosterone that increases libido, in fact it looks increasingly likely that it's progesterone. Please see this paper. Although anecdotal, we have many men using progesterone to increase theirs, they find it more effective than testosterone. The following are the ranges of testosterone found in women. Serum: 30-95 ng/dL or 1.041-3.297 nmol/L. Saliva: 16?55 pg/ml or 0.56- 1.91nmol/L. References from Medline and ZRT Labs. I believe your cognitive fog is due not to low testosterone, but to too high an oestrogen level. Whether it's from our own endogenous oestrogen, or natural or synthetic supplements, high oestrogen increases cognitive decline and dementia. Please see our page on HRT. Peri-menopause can start 5-10 years before menopause, which on average occurs at 51. Please see our page on Peri-menopause. With it comes dropping progesterone levels and normal oestrogen levels. When the ratio is skewed too greatly, problems start occurring. You don't give your levels, but to find the ratio divide the progesterone result by the oestrogen result. Bear in mind oestrogen is often measured in pg/ml and progesterone in ng/ml, to convert, divide the progesterone result by 1000, to bring it to pg/ml. I've found to be really well progesterone must be the dominant hormone. So the ratio should be well over 300:1, better still if it's 600:1 or more. Like you I have yet to find what the ratio of testosterone to the other hormones should be. But as I believe oestrogen is the problem hormone, I prefer to concentrate on getting the level down, and the progesterone up. So I recommend between 100-200mg/day progesterone, it must not be used as a 'dose' but is entirely dependant on symptoms. The more severe, the more progesterone is needed. If you should consider using it please see this page on Oestrogen Dominance first. It can occur and is disconcerting if it does. Finally I would avoid DHEA as it can cause cysts and cancer by increasing oestrogen and testosterone levels. Please see these papers here, here and here. Take care Wray

Aug 11, 2010
Mirena IUD with progesterone
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately the Mirena does not contain progesterone, but a synthetic progestin. These have many adverse side affects, please see our web page on Contraceptives. It won't increase oestrogen levels, but it can induce insulin resistance, this is turn causes weight gain amongst other things. For more info please see our web page on Insulin Resistance. There is a link on this page to another giving advice on food. For an equally effective contraceptive, far safer too, please consider the copper T IUD, it leaks no progestin into the body. And please avoid a tubal ligation, even if you get health insurance! For more info please see here. Fibroids are stimulated by oestrogen, for more info please see our page on Fibroids. As you have them, it's evident you have excess oestrogen, so you might want to try progesterone to suppress it. For more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. But before you do please see the page on Oestrogen Dominance. This can occur, specially if there is excess oestrogen, and it's disconcerting if it does. Take care Wray

Aug 17, 2010
Androgen Deficient
by: Anonymous

In October I came off my birth control because i thought it was giving me low grade fevers. Since then, I have had blood work and saliva tests done to see what my levels are. My Estrogen is very normal and my Progesterone is within expected range (while using progesterone cream) but because estradiol is very high, the progesterone/estradiol balance is not optimal. The cream was making me very hung over the next day and now i am on 100 mg progesterone pills a day. Testosterone is within normal range. DHEA is within low-normal expected age range. They suggested i use .25 mg DHEA which i have been doing but according to your recommendation, it is not safe. My thyroid levels are fine even though i have many symptoms that it is low. Please let me know your thoughts. Before I started using the cream, the progesterone was on the low side. Obviously not balanced since my estrogen is very normally high. Thanks Michelle.

Aug 20, 2010
Androgen Deficient
by: Wray

Hi Michelle I'm pleased you've come off the BC, for more info on them please see our page on Contraceptives. All contraceptives stop ovarian function, so no oestrogen, testosterone or progesterone is made. Once stopping them the ovaries can begin working again, but initially they only make oestrogen and testosterone. It can be weeks, if not months before ovulation occurs. Which explains why your ratio is out, in spite of supplementing with progesterone. Oral progesterone is the least affective delivery system, please see our page on Progesterone application methods. Most of the progesterone is destroyed by the gut and liver, which is why you are better able to tolerate it. The progesterone from the cream is absorbed without destruction, so you were getting a higher level. This is the reason for the 'hung over' affect, for more info on this please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. I don't believe we need supplemental DHEA, please judge for yourself by reading the papers here, here and here. Low thyroid symptoms are very similar to low progesterone symptoms, in fact progesterone can help the thyroid, as it suppresses oestrogen which slows it down. I generally suggest 100-200mg/day progesterone, but in a delivery system which is effective, ie injections, suppositories or a cream, not oral. In fact for oral to work the dose has to be 300mg/day. Take care Wray

Aug 22, 2010
Which is better synthetic or bio Progesterone?
by: dawn

I currently have hypothyroidism and take 5mg of Armoud daily. I also take hydrocortisone for my adrenals which are flatlined. I just took a saliva test and am awaiting the results on my progesterone. My Dr. said that she can tell my progesterone is very low as my adrenals were flatlined because your body pulls from the progesterone when your adrenals are shot depleting your progesterone also. Over the course of 5 years I finally got a doctor to do the right tests and see that I had a thyroid problem. I always ran 5 miles a day and worked out with weights and ate so healthy it's ridiculous. I was a fanatic! I gained about 30 pounds and can't lose a pound no matter how I work out. If my progesterone is put back in check will this finally be the missing piece to help my body get back to where it was?

Aug 24, 2010
Androgen Deficient
by: Michelle

Thanks for responding Wray. This is so confusing UGH - may I ask some more questions? You are right, after 5 months my dr. put me on progestrin for 7 days for me to start my period. It worked. Although I know progestrin is not good for me, my hair stopped falling out, my libido went out the roof and I felt so good! Is there a natural dosage that equals the progestrin? Will the higher dosage of progesterone make me sleepy as well? Will the progesterone help the androgen deficiency? I can tell the 100 mg dosage of progesterone is not enough because of the acne, libido, pms, excessive retaining water. I am assuming I am getting enough progesterone just to stimulate the estrogen. please help :(

Aug 26, 2010
Which is better synthetic or bio Progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Dawn The missing piece could be a lack of vitamin D, was this checked? A lack of this leads to weight gain, it also leads to hypothyroidism and insulin resistance, plus many other things. IR leads to weight gain too, which no amount of exercise or good food will reverse. For more info on this please see our page on Insulin Resistance. Supplemental progesterone does help the adrenals, as these have to produce progesterone before converting it to cortisol one of our stress hormones. Stress drops progesterone levels too, so does excessive exercise, as it depletes cholesterol from which progesterone is made. Progesterone is thermogenic, so speeds metabolism slightly, but it's not a weight loss solution. But if your oestrogen is higher than it should be, this is another possible cause for the weight gain. Oestrogen and only oestrogen stimulates cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. Fat cells are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. Again no amount of good food or exercise will help. Progesterone does suppress excess oestrogen, but the level used should be between 100-200mg/day, preferably as injections, suppositories or a cream. For more info on delivery systems please see Progesterone application methods. Avoiding all carbs, legumes and dairy would be a good plan, please see this page of more info on Nutrition and Diet. Please have a vitamin D test done, for more info please see the Vitamin D council website. Take care Wray

Sep 12, 2010
Mirena IUD with progesterone
by: Anonymous

You were saying that merina has progestin which causes insulin resistance. Is there a way to reverse that and avoid weight loss or removal is the only way?

Sep 13, 2010
2 questions on progesterone and diet
by: Anonymous

I am experiencing the exact same weight gain problems as described previous. I am 43 and have gained 15 pounds that are unexplainable in the last two years. I am a rigorous exerciser and healthy eater. And I do understand the role of progesterone on oestrogen. I have these questions: 1. My doctor prescribed 150 mg progesterone EVERYDAY though I am still ovulating. I was getting a period every two weeks. Her comment was that this was turning testosterone into estrogen and that I should take even more to counteract. The weight went on even quicker that month. Still a period after two weeks. She advised stop the progesterone while bleeding and start on day 7. I am leery of this. I would think better to start at day 14 (?). You also mentioned that it takes a while for the progesterone to dominate the oestrogen - how long do you mean (days, weeks, months?) 2. As for diet to help with IR how do I interpret low carbs? Does this mean only fats and meats or will it include grains, fruits, veggies? Thanks so much!

Sep 16, 2010
Any Help is Appreciated!
by: AF

Wow, Im so happy to come across this. I am 24 and have had a Mirena IUD for 4 years, hypothyroid, and insulin resistiant. I have gained over 60 pounds in the last 2 years. Recently I have started testing for cushings and wondering if this has anything to do with anything. If someone has a good idea where to start please do so.

Sep 19, 2010
Mirena IUD with progesterone
by: Wray

Hi there Removal is the only way, as by leaving it in it will still be leaking a progestin into the body. For more info please see our page on Contraceptives. A safe contraceptive is the copper T IUD, it leaks no drug into the body. Take care Wray

Sep 19, 2010
2 questions on progesterone and diet
by: Wray

Hi there 150mg/day is an excellent amount, but unless you have severe symptoms I would not recommend it every day. Progesterone can initially upset the cycle, and using it daily in that amount could continue to upset it. You don't mention severe symptoms so I suggest you use it following your cycle. You don't say how long this is, but progesterone should be used from ovulation, for the next 14 days. For more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. As you are nearing or in the beginning stages of P-M, please see our page on Peri-menopause. Weight gain can be a problem when first starting progesterone, for an explanation on this please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. And it can take a while for progesterone to dominate, also dependant on symptoms. It can take up to 6 months, but during those months symptoms gradually go or stop. Some resolving very early. For more info on IR please see our page on Insulin Resistance.
There is a link to diet on this page, but I'll give it here too..... Nutrition and Diet.
Low carbs are all animal proteins, all good fats and oils like coconut, olive, flax, butter, all green leafy veggies, including things like stalks, shoots, sprouts, flowers like cauli and broccoli. Limit fruit to the ones with low sugar, ie apples, berries and under ripe bananas and pears. Take care Wray

Sep 20, 2010
trying to conceive
by: zoe

Hi,

I have had endometriosis since I was 16.I am 37 now and trying to get pregnant. I have had two previous pregnancies which resulted in miscarriages.I know that I am oestrogen dominant due to the endo. My OB-GYN recently prescribed clomid and duphaston to help me get pregnant. I replaced the duphaston with natural progesterone cream 60mg/per day which I began using 1 day post ovulation.However,within 3 days of usage I have felt slightly nauseous, weight gain around my waist and abdomen, white clumpy discharge (sorry TMI). I know its the oestrogen dominance acting out. My question is should I increase the progesterone dose? How long will it take for the oestrogen/progesterone levels to balance? Thank you.

Sep 21, 2010
I don't understand
by: Eloise_please

I am using progesterone cream and have put on about 5 lbs in a week. What I don't understand is that if I am suffering from oestrogen dominance, then why does taking progesterone make the oestrogen dominance worse? Surely the prog I am taking now is more than I was taking before so the ratio between prog and oestrogen must be better than before so why weight gain now
and not before?

Sep 28, 2010
Wray is wrong
by: Anonymous

You most certainly can be intolerant of progesterone.Look up "non-compliance" with combination hormone replacement therapy. These women didn't want to give up the estogen, it is the progesterone that makes some of us feel like s***! If I could afford 6 weeks off for recovery, I would have my uterus removed tomorrow! I felt marvelous on estrogen, but needed to take progesterone to prevent hyperpasia of the uterus. I tried it in pill form (yes,it was bio-identical Prometrium). I tried it vaginally. We tweaked the doses (lowered, or introduced it gradually). Then I tried other forms of progesterone or progestin. The combi-patch. Does not matter! I can't tolerate it! I remember reading Dr.John Lee and trying the cream some years back. That made me feel awful as well. We aren't the only ones reacting this way either. I don't care if progesterone is "natural" in a women. It's the hormone most to blame for pre-period bloating, irritability and fatigue. During pregnancy there is a lot more hormonal activity going on in addition to progesterone levels increasing. Also, it is happening IN your body, not modified from horse's urine or a plant.

Sep 29, 2010
Progesterone makes me so sleepy!!!
by: Anonymous

In June, I was put on 20mg progestrone cream for estogen dominance (saliva test) - i was having breakthrough bleeding every two weeks and so sleepy - in July, my dosage was upped to 30 mg. - still breakthrough bleeding and sleepy - in August i was changed to 100 mg in the pill form and two weeks later i upped it to 200 mg - i did not have a period that month and my weight shot up 6 lbs and my hips gain 1/2" - i am miserable -in September, i went back on the cream and started with 15 mg - hoping that it would not make me so sleepy - this past week, i again didn't start :( - am i just stimulating the estrogen?? any thoughts?
thanks

Sep 30, 2010
Wray is wrong
by: Wray

Hi there. You say I'm wrong, if so, then the many thousands of studies I have read and quote from must be wrong too. I never give advice or information unless there is a study to back it up. I do agree about non-compliance to HRT, it's dangers too, you might like to look at our page on this subject..... HRT. But HRT comprises synthetic oestrogen or progestins, not progesterone. There is great confusion between the two in the medical profession and lay people alike. If in fact progesterone did make us "feel like s***", every pregnant animal, including women, would feel terrible while pregnant! There would be no offspring on this planet, as no woman would be prepared to go through with pregnancy. In actual fact all but 10% of women feel wonderful while pregnant, the 10% who don't are not producing enough progesterone. The average amount we make in our monthly cycle is 20mg/day, during the third trimester of pregnancy we make over 400mg/day. Skin, hair, nails, mood etc are all greatly benefited by the progesterone we make during pregnancy. It's now used via IV transfusion for brain trauma victims, at doses over 1200mg/day. It saves 50% from dying and the disability rating is greatly reduced. If as you say progesterone makes us all ill, I would love to know how the TBI researchers could be so wrong. So wrong, that they are now doing (2010) a 1000 people study on the benefits of progesterone for TBI! They are also doing a study on MS and on stroke, as they believe it will help. Please see here and here. Progesterone drops sharply just before our period, the ratio between that and oestrogen becomes badly out of balance. By using supplemental progesterone it reverses the ratio making progesterone the dominant hormone. Space doesn't allow me to give you the papers on this. I've found the amounts recommended are far too low to have any affect, beyond causing oestrogen dominance, please see Oestrogen Dominance. The amount needed should be between 100-200mg, entirely dependant on symptoms, the more severe, the more is needed. Oral progesterone (Prometirum) is a waste of time, please see Progesterone application methods. Progesterone does not come in patches, progestins do, they cause serious side effects, please see Contraceptives. Take care, Wray.

Oct 03, 2010
trying to conceive
by: Wray

Hi Zoe I'm not sure why you've been given clomid, as it stimulates ovulation, and yet you don't seem to have problems falling pregnant, only in keeping the foetus. Please see the WebMD website for more info. Duphaston is not natural, so I'm pleased you've replaced it. But 60mg/day is not enough, certainly not if you have endo. We do have a page on this please see Endometriosis I'm not sure how severe this is, but I've found amounts up to 500mg/day are needed if there's pain 24hrs a day. You don't mention pain, which is a good thing, but I still believe you will need at least 200mg/day to suppress the oestrogen. So please increase the amount you are using. This should help the oestrogen dominance you are getting, more info on this here. I wish I could tell you how long it will take, but can't. I've found it can take 3-6 months before things settle down, although during that time many symptoms go. Please also read our page on Pregnancy. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2010
Any Help is Appreciated!
by: Wray

Hi AF All contraceptives come with adverse side effects, some we are not aware of, please see this page on Contraceptives. They can cause IR too, please see our page on Insulin Resistance. And can slow the thyroid. I wouldn't be surprised to find the levonorgestrel caused your weight gain too, as this is also one of the side effects, please see here and here. It also causes a decrease in progesterone production, see here. I can't find any evidence that levonorgestrel causes Cushing's, so that could be an underlying problem. There is evidence that women with Cushing's also have PCOS, has that been looked for? The symptoms are very similar, although you don't give any beyond the weight gain. Please see here. We do have a page on PCOS, please read through it, it might help. If you should consider progesterone please read this page on How to use progesterone cream. But before you do please read this page on Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray





Oct 03, 2010
I don't understand
by: Wray

Hi Eloise That does happen when you increase the amount. You don't say how much you were using, or how much you are using now, so I can't help much. But evidently the amount you were using was not enough. Fro more info please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. The ratio is probably better, but it's not until progesterone becomes the dominant hormone do things settle down. Please persevere, and try to use between 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms of course. The more severe the more is needed. For more info please see the page we have on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Oct 12, 2010
Nobody knows anything..
by: Marta

I spent the last 10 years trying to find a decent endocrinolist, I read many books on hormones, I'm a very educated person myself... and here is my conclusion.

Regardless of your age NEVER TAKE SYNTHETIC HORMONES. During perimenopause you might try some bioidentical hormones, but it's almost next to impossible to balance out your hormones. Once you're postmenopausal under no circustances replace Estrogens, because they stimulate cell growths (not even bioidentical estrogens are a good idea). I tried to use some bioidentical Progesterone cream (just to have some hormones in my body). I just decided to stop that too because I'm getting larger and larger with no reason.

The one thing that did help me tremendously and let me sleep uninterrupted for 10 years is my fan. I lie down, take 1 Benadryl to sleep, turn on my fan (even the sound is very relaxing)... and I sleep through the night. I didn't have one single episode of nightsweats. I use fans during the day too..they always help.

Now I'm post-menopausal, taking nothing, and sleep like a baby. During perimenopause I suffered so much, I was suicidal. I found there is tremendous confusion out there, nobody has any answers... this really is a terrible situation. Thank you.

Oct 13, 2010
Progesterone makes me so sleepy!
by: Anonymous

In June, I was put on 20mg progestrone cream for estogen dominance (saliva test) - I was having breakthrough bleeding every two weeks and so sleepy - in July, my dosage was upped to 30 mg. - still breakthrough bleeding and sleepy - in August I was changed to 100 mg in the pill form and two weeks later I upped it to 200 mg - I did not have a period that month and my weight shot up 6 lbs and my hips gain 1/2" - I am miserable - in September, I went back on the cream and started with 15 mg - hoping that it would not make me so sleepy - this past week, I again didn't start :( - am I just stimulating the estrogen? Any thoughts? Thanks.

Oct 17, 2010
Nobody knows anything..
by: Wray

Hi Marta It is a confusing situation, but having used progesterone and a high amount for 14 years, I can say it saved my sanity as I was suicidal too. I do agree about synthetic hormones, and about oestrogen too, even the phytoestrogens have an oestrogenic affect. The reason you got larger and larger on progesterone was because you were advised to use too little. The amount should be between 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. Progesterone does initially stimulate oestrogen, hence the weight gain, please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. It must be used in a high enough amount to prevent this occurring. It's also important to make progesterone the dominant hormone. Incidentally it's excellent for ageing, please see here, here, here and here. It is also protective against the many oestrogen mimics our planet is now flooded with, see the website Our Stolen Future. Take care Wray

Oct 17, 2010
Progesterone makes me so sleepy!
by: Wray

Hi there 20mg/day is the amount we make in a normal monthly cycle. If you have oestrogen dominance, it would only have made it worse, please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. Oral progesterone is not the best delivery system either, as much of it gets destroyed in the gut, with the liver metabolising the rest. Please see our page on Progesterone application methods. I recommend between 100-200mg/day progesterone, but not in oral form. It must be used in a system which enters the circulation rapidly, ie injections, suppositories or a cream. For more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. If progesterone levels drop too low in ratio to oestrogen you would experience break through bleeding. Progesterone must become the dominant hormone to prevent this. Take care Wray

Oct 18, 2010
Progesterone makes me so sleepy!
by: Anonymous

Thanks Wray, but should 20 mg of cream be making me sleepy? I am now taking 10 mg and it helps but I am still gaining weight. I guess I am not getting enough? I'm afraid to up it more because of it making me sleepy. Maybe the sleepy is depression UGH!

Oct 20, 2010
Weight Gain... more than depressing
by: Erin

Hello, I am new to bio-identicals. I am working with a hormone specialist, I am estrogen dominant, 32 years old, never had kids, and a marathon runner and ironman athlete. I cannot explain the pain, physical and emotional that I have suffered over the past year. I was sort of at a loss as to how to handle my situation. So I had started a personally compounded progesterone, 40 mg twice a day and it sent me into a tailspin. I went into a deep depression and all of my symptoms got significantly worse. My doc said to go down to 40mg a day but Wray, you are saying that is not enough? My weight is disgusting, I used to be a size zero and I have gained 15 pounds and I am more than upset. This is not what I wanted at all. And the water retention is still horrendous. Not sure what to do? However, I do see my doc again next week. Thanks.

Oct 22, 2010
Progesterone makes me so sleepy!
by: Wray

Hi there The 20mg and the 10mg are only ramping up the oestrogen dominance affect. Progesterone does have a sedative affect, but it's more like a calming feeling than sleepy. It can be used as an anaesthetic but only in pharmacological doses of many hundreds of mg. I can only suggest you increase the amount you are using, but please read this page on Oestrogen Dominance first. Take care Wray

Oct 22, 2010
Weight Gain... more than depressing
by: Wray

Hi Erin I do recommend between 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms, so the 80mg you are currently getting is not enough. The tailspin you experienced is nothing more than oestrogen dominance, for more on this please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. I can only assume you can't be ovulating each month. This would mean your progesterone level is low, but you will still be making oestrogen in the first half of the cycle. As you did go into a tailspin, and you've retained a huge amount of water, I believe you will need the 200mg/day to begin with. I can't say if this amount will prevent the oestrogen dominance symptoms occurring again, but if you persevere they will go. You might even have to go higher to prevent them. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. These are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. It also causes water retention, progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent the oedema occurring. Please see here and here. for more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Oct 29, 2010
Frustrated with Progesterone
by: Daniela

I have been on Progesterone 100mg once a day (at bed time). This is my second month on it. I was instructed to take it 14 days after my 1st day of my period.

Here is my big problem. I take the pill under my tongue, BUT I have liver problems (hep b positive). I just had a liver biopsy done because my liver enzymes were outrageous, and I was told by the liver doctor that "there is definitely activity". I am freaked out at this point. Should I stop taking Progesterone?

Oct 31, 2010
Frustrated with Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Daniela Oral progesterone is not the best delivery system, as most gets destroyed by the gut. The liver has to metabolise the rest which puts a strain on it, so it's not surprising you have more activity in your liver! For more info please see our page on Progesterone application methods. Far better systems are injections, suppositories or a cream, the cream is very effective and the easiest to use. For more info please see How to use progesterone cream. Progesterone should always be used a minimum of twice a day too, as levels drop after about 13 hours. If you have a 28 day cycle using progesterone on day 14 is fine, but if it's longer or shorter, it's incorrect. Progesterone should only be used at ovulation, there is an explanation about this on this on the link above. I recommend using 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. If you change the delivery system to a more effective one, please see this page on Oestrogen Dominance, it can occur and is disconcerting if it does. Take care Wray

Nov 04, 2010
Weight gain after miscarriage
by: Maria

Dear Wray, I wonder if the progesterone cream will help me. Prior to my pregnancy last year I was on contraceptive pill for a long time - approx 10 years. After I went off the pill in April 2009 we have been trying for a baby. I fell pregnant in September 2009 and have been experiencing TERRIBLE sickness from the very beginning (6 weeks). Sadly, my 12 weeks scan revealed silent miscarriage at 8.5 weeks. Since the miscarriage I have been gaining water weight like crazy, although eating very healthy and exercising often, the scale wouldn't budge. I have tried special diet eliminating most common allergens (wheat, diary products, etc...) and this helped me to lose some of it. It's not easy not to eat general stuff like bread, milk etc and also very expensive to have substituted with special products, so I have often slipped and that made me to gain the weight back. I always feel that I am more bloated from around day 6-7 in the cycle when the estrogen kicks in and then feel better and less bloated strangely after ovulation. I am 20 pounds heavier than I was before pregnancy since December 2009 and it's making my life miserable. I have purchased progesterone cream as my last resort - have started using it yesterday. I am on 70mg a day halved to am and evening time. Do I need to up it to 100mg? Can I be progesterone deficient (miscarriage, horrible sickness during pregnancy and also short cycles - 24 days only)? Thanks in advance. M.

Nov 04, 2010
Too soon to tell....
by: Anonymous

I had a complete hysterectomy when I was 39 (now 44 1/2) Was put on HRT right away and felt pretty good for a few months but didn't like taking meds so went off. Vaginal dryness was a problem so started estrogen pill vaginally. Developed a reaction so I discontinued that as well. For many years did nothing and seemed to gradually get better although had little energy, no sex drive and arthritis symptoms worsened. Just about a week ago started "Internal Harmony" progesterone cream. Lost weight immediately and energy level was way up! Feeling great and my mood has not been this upbeat in a looong time! I hope this is just the beginning of more good things to come :)

Nov 08, 2010
Weight gain after miscarriage
by: Wray

Hi Maria Hyperemesis indicates your progesterone was far too low, this also explains the miscarriage. I've found once started, about 330mg/day is needed to stop it, but it can take 2 months to do so. Far better to use the progesterone to boost levels before it starts. High oestrogen causes the nausea, water retention too. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims. I'm pleased you've eliminated those foods, no one should eat them. There's no need to substitute with special products either, veggies are cheap and vital for health. But avoid the sugary, starchy carbs, things like potatoes, etc., go for the green veggies. You might like to see our page on Nutrition and Diet. You would feel better after ovulation, as your progesterone is rising. Cycles can vary between 21 to 35 days, so there's nothing unusual about a 24 day cycle. You should be ovulating round about day 9-10, are you? The progesterone should be used from ovulation for the 12-14 days of the luteal phase. I prefer to use the 14 day, as it means enough progesterone is being used. Progesterone can upset the cycle when first using it, this is nothing to be alarmed about. Please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. Oestrogen Dominance can occur too, please read this page before too long. If you find the 70mg is not enough, increase the amount. I've found the higher the amount the less likely oestrogen dominance occurs, or if it does it's mild. As I'm sure you'll want to try to fall pregnant again, please read this page on Pregnancy. These nutrients are vital for a healthy child and successful pregnancy, please consider taking them. Taurine, see here, here and here. Vitamin D, see here, here, here and here. And omega 3, see here. Take care Wray

Nov 08, 2010
Too soon to tell....
by: Wray

Hi there I'm so pleased the progesterone is helping you. I've been on the website, but it doesn't say how much progesterone you are getting. if you should feel symptoms come back, please increase the amount you are using. One thing to remember, stress drops progesterone levels, so use more when stressed. In case you get Oestrogen Dominance please read this page we have on it. Take care Wray

Nov 09, 2010
post menopausal
by: Anonymous

Can you give me some advice, I am 57 postmenopausal, many problems still with insomnia, hot flashes, anxiety, fuzz brain. Doctor put me on 40mg. of progesterone cream, bio-identical, and 5mg of DHEA. I have been on for one month, so far It has done nothing to relieve any of my symptoms and I am gaining weight to boot! Especially around the middle. I do not need this as I am a little overweight already, but I excerise alot and eat very healthy. ALso I take 3,000 mg of Vit D because my Vit. D levels were low.

Thank You.

Nov 09, 2010
Post Depo Provera
by: Anonymous

Hello there,
I was on depo provera for approx 14 years. Whenever I tried to come off it, I would experience bloating and breast tenderness & welling etc. A couple of years ago (aged 38 then) I decided to come off it & go through what I can only describe as menopausal symptoms. My breasts doubled in size and I resorted to having a breast reduction...only to find that they continue to swell & have increased. I'm only a small frame and an outdoorsy person who enjoys jogging etc and don't feel comfortable with two heavy & sore balloons on my chest. My doctors didn't understand and were at a loss... so I resorted to researching myself & found there are a lot of women who have experienced similar issues. I really want to get my health back post depo provera... I feel constantly fatigued, poor sleep, constantly hungry (even if I eat large meals), gained a tummy, breasts feel inflammed & sore (last two weeks of cycle). I am wheat/yeast free with a very healthy diet of no junk and lots of steamed vegies & fish... I have been prescribed 20 mil progesterone cream & have been recommended to apply 1 mil per day. I'm concerned that the dose (after reading the very valuable posts) is too low... Should I wait one month & if no change then see doctor to increase to 100 mil? I look forward to your response. LizzR

Nov 11, 2010
post menopausal
by: Wray

Hi there The 40mg /day will not do anything to help, in fact it will do just what it has done, cause you to gain weight. Oestrogen, and only oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. Gaining weight around the middle is typical of excess oestrogen. It's often seen developing in peri-menopausal and menopausal women, with dropping progesterone levels. When first using progesterone, and such a low amount, symptoms of oestrogen excess occur. The reason for this is progesterone stimulates oestrogen initially. For more info please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. I recommend between 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. As you still have insomnia, hot flashes, anxiety and a fuzzy brain, I suggest you increase to the 200mg/day. Although I've found 400mg/day for 4-5 days either reduces dramatically, or eliminates hot flushes. Once they've been helped, the amount can be reduced slowly till the optimum is found. It should be used a minimum of twice a day, often hourly is of help if symptoms are bad. You might like to read our page on Menopause. The minimum daily dose of vitamin D should be 5000iu's, please see the Vitamin D council website for more info. Please avoid the DHEA as it can cause cysts and cancer, please see here, here and here. There are nutrients which also help with your symptoms, please see this page we have here. It could be Insulin Resistance
has developed, this often does in peri-menopause/menopause. Please read this page, it might shed some light on it. Take care Wray

Nov 11, 2010
Post Depo Provera
by: Wray

Hi Lizz My views on all contraceptives (HRT too) are probably sueable, so I'll leave the studies to speak for me! Please see our page on Contraceptives. The page also explains why you felt so awful coming off it. I understand what you mean about balloons, unfortunately I've always had large breasts, I avoided the running races at school! Oestrogen and only oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But it affects hormonally sensitive tissues far more than other cells, hence the enlarging breasts. It also causes water retention and inflammation, which just adds to the pain and discomfort. Progesterone stops this proliferation, and causes differentiation. It's also an excellent diuretic and anti-inflammatory, so good it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims. Contraceptives can cause Insulin Resistance, which is probably what you have now, please read this page we have, it might throw some light on the problem. The sore breasts two weeks prior to your period indicate a very low progesterone level. In fact it could be you haven't started ovulating yet. I do find this happens after stopping a contraceptive, although it normally starts within the first year. It could be your corpus luteum is not producing enough progesterone, it's difficult to say. The 20mg will do nothing, but will probably cause Oestrogen Dominance. Progesterone when first using it, or if a low amount is used, or when increasing the amount, stimulates oestrogen, so symptoms become worse. I do recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, dependant on symptoms. If you do increase the amount, you will need to use 5ml (1tsp) of the cream to get 100mg progesterone. For more info on using it please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. Please also read our page on PCOS. I know you don't have it, but your ovaries have been damaged by the contraceptive, and this page will help explain what has occurred and what to do about it. Take care Wray


Nov 25, 2010
Chemo Induced Menopause
by: Mish

Glad to find you.
I'm 43 and went into chemo-induced menopause after treatment for lymphoma. I went on the Wiley Protocol with the goal of supporting my immune system with a normal hormone function and getting my normal cycle back. I never had any menopausal symptoms, but believe a normal hormone function would help me stay in remission. Well... It has turned out to be a disaster. I gained 25 pounds in 5 months. I was on estrodiol and progesterone as I was extremely low in both. I was ready to quit both, but I'm staying on the progesterone only in the hopes it can help me drop some of this weight. The dosage I am on is much higher than you are mentioning here. Day 14-28 the levels increase up to 560mg of progesterone on day 21. I'm a marathon runner and very active. The weight has been very difficult for me to deal with emotionally. I did get my period back while on Wiley. Not sure if it will continue. Hope you can help me! THANKS!!!

Nov 27, 2010
My experience with HRT
by: jenny

Wray, what are your credentials please? We do know a fair bit about hormones (at least enough to know it is not a simple story!) However, there is so much we have not yet discovered - like the idea that there are chemicals involved that have not yet been identified!

I had a hysterectomy including removal of both ovaries 3 years ago as preventative measure due to BRAC positive genes. I never had any issues with hormones prior to my ovaries being removed, but using the knowledge and HRT that is available I know it is the case that I can make do, but I will never be the same again. I have been adjusting my hormones with HRT (progesterone, estradiol, and testosterone) for 3 years now. Its a slow process with 3 months allowed for each adjustment, but I have found the best balance for me regarding the symptoms I have. I have managed to control all the symptoms pretty well except for a trade off between anxiety (too little progesterone) on the one hand and too relaxed muscles leading to bits of urine released when I laugh or strain, and reduced orgasm, and weight gain (too much progesterone). I am an academic and have obsessively kept up on the literature and know that the current research says that progesterone probably does not cause weight gain, but I have to question that because I have done the ABA experiment and about 15-20 lbs are gained or lost depending upon my progesterone intake. By the way, testosterone (cream) does have a huge effect on my engergy level, joint aches and pains - I take just the smallest amount (too much and I start feeling dysphoric), but feel a huge difference when I don't take it for a few days.

Nov 27, 2010
HRT
by: Anonymous

Folks should rely on their doctors before initiating or making changes to their HRT. I have checked into the research that Wray presents. It is patchy at best. Her recommendations concerning both progesterone, and estrogens are simply unfounded. Reader beware!

Dec 01, 2010
Progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

Wray:

I truly believe that the progesterone cream helps me with anxiety, weight gain and sleeping well. However, my periods are still irregular and if I up the progesterone cream to 30 mg because of feeling like my I am having pms symptoms, such as acne, my acne gets worse. My doctor suggested that the progesterone is stimulating my testosterone causing the acne, etc. My testosterone is already low. I am afraid to up the progesterone even more. Please tell me your thoughts. Also my doctor has put me on Aplezin for PSTD. Could this be causing more hormonal imbalance? Thanks

Dec 05, 2010
Chemo Induced Menopause
by: Wray

Hi Mish I would never advocate oestrogen to anyone who's had cancer, irrespective of the kind of cancer. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, Wiley knows this, so I'm puzzled oestrogen is included in her protocol, see here and here. You'll notice progesterone inhibits the protooncogene bcl-2 and stimulates p53, often called the guardian of the genome. This paper might interest you on lymphomas and p53, see here. Oestrogen has a profound affect on fat cells too, it stimulates their division, hence the weight gain. But fat cells are a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle begins. Furthermore oestrogen causes water retention, whereas progesterone is such an excellent anti-inflammatory and diuretic, it's given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to reduce the inflammation and oedema that occurs. I'm pleased your period came back, it rarely does after chemo. You might like to read these two stories here and here. I'm pleased you've dropped the oestrogen, and using progesterone only. I have no difficulty with the high amount of progesterone, I just feel it's a waste for most people. I often recommend 400-600mg/day for severe symptoms, you've had cancer, so I feel it will only be of benefit. I take it you are doing this in conjunction with a health care practitioner? I would monitor your symptoms and gradually reduce the amount you're using. I've found it of more concern to use high amounts the few days prior to bleeding, rather than following the peak in the luteal phase. There is less need to use the ultra high amounts if this is followed instead. The 2-3 days prior is when progesterone drops sharply, whereas oestrogen does not. The ratio then becomes skewed and symptoms worsen. You might like to see these two pages we have on How to use progesterone and Peri-menopause. Take care Wray

Dec 05, 2010
HRT
by: Wray

Hi there Strange you should say the research papers I give are of no worth. Strange too that they have all been published in reputable journals! I wonder if the authors would agree with you. One thing I make clear is I'm not forcing anyone to use progesterone, I give as many papers as I can in the space allowed, to back up any argument I give. It remains for the individual to do more research, and not on the blogs, which is maybe where you got your information from? You'll notice at least 25% of the queries come from people who have been given progesterone by their doctors. I'm merely filling in the gaps, doctors on the whole are not good at explaining what might occur. As for HRT, you might care to read the papers (all published in reputable journals) on it's dangers, see HRT. I do encourage women to come off it. Take care Wray

Dec 05, 2010
Progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi there You must be on a very low amount of progesterone, if you say you up it to 30mg! I recommend 100-200mg/day dependant on symptoms. Initially progesterone does increase oestrogen and testosterone, for more info please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance, it explains why this occurs. We also have a page on Acne. Please read through it as it explains why it occurs. The Alpenzin could be exacerbating things, have a look through this list here. We also have a page on Anxiety. It gives a list of natural anti-anxiety nutrients which all help. As you are taking bupropion you might find the greatest benefit from the amino acid tyrosine. You need to increase your protein intake too, this will increase tyrosine levels. Please consider increasing your progesterone, but it would have to be a substantial increase, to overcome oestrogen dominance and the PSTD. Please have a vitamin D test done too, a low level reduces the benefits of progesterone, it also causes depression, see here and
here. Take care Wray

Dec 06, 2010
My experience with HRT
by: Wray

Hi Jenny I've been studying progesterone for nearly 15 years now. I get my info from research studies done on progesterone and never quote anything that is not found by the studies. I always give links to the papers so people can verify it themselves. I've also learnt from my own experience in using it and those of the women who write in. Our web site has been up since 1998. I'm also in touch with a number of health practitioners around the world, including naturopaths and MD's, who use progesterone. We also run saliva tests regularly, via a naturopath in the UK. I've learnt from these results too and the impact progesterone has had on the doctor's patients. Interestingly the ratios of progesterone to oestrogen should range from 200 to 2000. But we've found to feel well the ratio should be 600:1 or over. Please see our page on Saliva Tests. I've frequently had women who's ratios have been far lower, the lowest being 9:1, and with it of course the attendant problems. But as progesterone rises they begin to feel well. As you say it's not a simple story, for instance it's recently been found a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here. Please consider having a vitamin D test, for more info see the Vitamin D council website. I don't believe anyone needs more testosterone or oestrogen. Oestrogen is a mitogen, see our page on HRT. And testosterone given to a woman is converted to yet more by aromatase. There seems evidence to suggest progesterone increases libido, and not testosterone, see here. We have many men using it to good affect. These 3 hormones activate the others receptors, so with continued use of oestrogen and a low 'normal' amount of progesterone, oestrogen will be the dominant hormone. Oestrogen stimulates fat cells to divide/multiply, but fat cells are a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle ensues and weight is gained. Oestrogen also causes water retention, which leads to more weight gain. It's a known initiator of inflammation too. Progesterone is now used via IV transfusion for brain trauma victims, as it's such an excellent diuretic and anti-inflammatory. To reverse the dysphoria, use progesterone as it causes euphoria! Take care Wray


Dec 08, 2010
chemo induced menopause
by: Anonymous

Wray, my period has actually stopped. It came back when I was on the high dose of estrodiol and progesterone, but I don't believe it was actually a period, but withdraw from the estrodiol as I changed the dosage through the month. I'm wondering if I should stay on progesterone alone even though I don't have a period. Should it be every day? I don't have a way to adjust the dosage based on menstruation. Also, my hormone levels of estrogen are extremely low. Should I stay on a low dose of estrodiol? THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY!!! Just trying to sort this out. I've already dropped some of the weight I gained from the high doses.

Dec 09, 2010
chemo induced menopause
by: Wray

Hi Mish As I mentioned oestrogen is a mitogen, it causes the lining of the uterus to build. It's only when progesterone levels drop at the end of the luteal phase, that MMP's, enzymes that break down the lining, can get to work. Progesterone inhibits MMP's. So the oestradiol was obviously building your lining up. If you do consider using only progesterone, and you don't have a cycle, it can be used daily. It's far easier and no harm is done, I've done this for nearly 15 yrs now. In fact even during late peri-menopause when I had regular cycles, as I found symptoms coming back during the break. We make three major oestrogens, oestradiol a potent mitogen and the main oestrogen of pre-menopausal women. Oestriol, low at all times, but increasing greatly during pregnancy, and is therefore regarded as a safe oestrogen. And oestrone, which increases during our menopause years. This is also a mitogen, although not as strong as oestradiol. For some reason only oestradiol levels are checked in women who are menopausal. But these decline during menopause, as oestrone rises. So your oestradiol should be low. I can't advise on whether you should stay on the oestradiol, but you might like to read this page we have on HRT. I would hope it would convince you not to! Incidentally, oestrogen causes Insulin Resistance which in turn also causes weight gain. It seems the progesterone is helping, as you say you've lost some of the weight gained. You might consider having a vitamin D test done, in fact I should have asked you in my previous answer. Most of us have too low a level, and not only does a lack reduce the benefits of progesterone, but they've found 20 different cancers linked to a low level. For more info please see the Vitamin D council website. You might like to see this video on Vitamin D too. Take care Wray

Dec 10, 2010
Progesterone not for everyone!
by: Anonymous

Well- I can't agree with all Wrays comments! I am perimeno and simply can't tolerate progesterone! Previously i took it in my mid 30's and ended up with progesterone dominance and severe depression. Presently my hormone doc, who is sensitive to my own observations, advised me to take estrogen continuously and to add in the prog after 3 months for a week then stop in order to stimulate a bleed. I also tried cycling the prog too. How do you explain that when I'm on the estrogen I feel great- I stay slim and there is no weight gain . The minute I go on the prog I gain weight- my appetite increases and I get depressed! There is a school of thought that says John Lee's claim that prog is the 'cure all' is not in fact the case, and that 'ostrogen dominance' is bandied around as an explanation to any woman who is having hormonal symptoms!

Wray continues to advise that we will only experience weight gain initially but some posters have written that they are still gaining weight after 6 months!

Bottom line is progesterone can work for some but not for many- just google progesterone side effects!

Dec 13, 2010
chemo induced...
by: Anonymous

I'm on 120mg of progesterone a day. No estrogen. I'm also taking vitamin D. Still having a problem with dropping the weight I gained on estrodiol/prog. Will the progesterone alone help me do this? what about testosterone or cortisol?

Also, another complicating factor is the yeast infection I've had for several weeks. I'm using fluconazole and monistat and it keeps coming back. Could this be from the progesterone?
Thanks!

Dec 20, 2010
Joint Pain
by: sr

Started taking bioidentical progesterone cream 2 months ago. Moods and sleeping are sooooo much better, but now I have developed severe joint pain all over which the pharmacist believes is from the progesterone cream. Does anyone know how long it takes for this stuff to get out of your system? I don't want to stop as I am feeling so much better in all of the other areas, but I can't handle the constant pain.

Dec 24, 2010
Progesterone
by: Al

Hi Wray,

I have been suffering from pcos due to which i do not ovulate regularly. However, I do not have cysts in my ovaries. I tested for progesterone (roughly day 40 of my cycle) and the value was 0.6. I also have a mild hypothyroid. My dr. says i have a deficiency of progesterone and has prescribed natural progesterone cream 300mg along with bio identical T3 and T4 (for hypothyroid). My question is, what days of the cycle should I use progesterone, as I have heard taking progesterone before ovulation actually suppresses it. And how do I monitor ovulation since my menstrual cycle does not have a set pattern. What exactly is progesterone's role in ovulation and increasing fertility as I am trying to conceive? Thanks

Dec 30, 2010
Going Off Depo
by: Anonymous

Hi!
I'm on depo, have been for 2 years now, and love it, except for the weight issues. I have always had horrible life altering periods, and that ceased on the depo, but now, at a chunky 165, I am not getting my next shot on Jan 24th, because I have been working out 6 days a week for 4 months and GAINED 10 pounds. I tried to quit depo last year and suffered hideous side effects. Headaches, horrid mood changes, SEVERE bone pain, bloating, cramping. Will using the cream help me come off of the depo this time without the side effects? I'm under the impression I am estrogen dominant when I'm not on any bc. Will decreasing the cream after a few months help my body balance out?

Jan 04, 2011
Trying to conceive
by: Anonymous

In regards to Zoe. I had 4 misscarriages before I became pregnant with my 1st son. I had no problems becoming pregnant, but my OB-Gyn had me on a baby asprin and clomide. Wray wonders why you are on clomide...the answer is it will cause you to ovulate twice...in both ovaries causing a rise in your hormones (HCG and progestrone). I know this is not your concern, but I didn't want you to doubt your doctor. Wray does have good pts, but then I would consult with your OB-Gyn with anything Wray says. Well it has been 3-4 months...I hope you have good news or soon. Oh also, after my D & C's, my dr. adviced me to try to get pregnant that very month with the clomide...that very month, I was pregnant with my 1st son and is 7 now. Good luck!

Jan 04, 2011
Response to coming off depo
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

I just read your post about coming off depo & thought I?d share my personal journey of coming off depo with you ? which may shine some light??

I was off & on Depo for 14 years. I loved being on depo as my breast swelling etc all went away?after further research I now understand that depo lowers estrogen which is why my body reacted well to it. I think my body naturally produces high amounts of estrogen hence bad PMS & breast soreness etc?not having a period & going through monthly cycles was (I thought) a god send. However, every time I tried to come off depo & give my body a break I would experience huge hormone surges (it felt like I was going through menopause). My breasts increased two cup sizes due to the surge of estrogen. I basically experienced estrogen dominance every time I tried to come off it & no doctor really understood. No amount of exercise, eating right etc fixes this. What I recommend is having a saliva test to find out what your hormone levels are & then trying to fix the hormone imbalance. I?m currently on progesterone cream (2nd month) & initially found that a small dose will make estrogen issue worse as it ?wakes up? estrogen receptors?so you may need to have a high dose initially for the first 3 or so months so the progesterone opposes the rising estrogen. I have also come across a product called DIM which is meant to be a natural estrogen blocker ? it can come in a gel form. I have ordered it online as I am desperate to fix this problem. We also need to take into account that women can be perimenopausal from the age of 35 years onwards where our estrogen levels start to gradually decline?I actually think depo completely stuffed up my hormones and I have also come off it at an age where my body is now in a perimenopausal state ? which is a double whammy?.Definitely get a saliva test done so you know your hormone levels. I hope by sharing my story helps you on your journey to feeling well again.

Eliza

Jan 06, 2011
insomnia from progesterone cream?
by: Anonymous

Hi,
If I use more then 40 - 60 mg (2 - 3 tsp) a WEEK I get severe insomnia. I use prog.cream now for 3 mnth and I gained 7 kg!! (after initially losing 1,5 kg). I did take soya isoflafones and I decided to stop them today.

Can you please help me! I am so bloated it is terrible and if I use more cream I get severe insomnia...
HELP!!
KC

Jan 06, 2011
Progesterone v plant estrogens
by: J.

Hi,

I really need some advice, It feels like I am suffering from all the symptoms of the menopause!!, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain - you name it. I have one friend recommending natural progesterone cream and another recommending Ymea, plant estrogens (isoflavones)
I'm not sure how they both work and which to take. I've been reading the comments about the progesterone cream but would like to understand about the isoflavones as well and any weight gain or
or side effects associated with those.

Thanks.

Jan 07, 2011
Progesterone not for everyone!
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for your contrary comment! There is one question I'd like to ask. Have you ever been pregnant? Experienced the calmness that comes with it, the wonderful hair and skin? Our progesterone rises from 5-20ng/ml made during the luteal phase, to over 400ng/ml made in the third trimester. Have you ever experienced the depression and food cravings of PMS, and been helped by progesterone? Or experienced the depression, exhaustion, muscle weakness and more of post natal depression and been helped by progesterone? Or the debilitating hot flushes, suicidal depression and more of peri-menopause, and been helped by progesterone? Countless women will tell how they've been helped by it, myself included. I could have done with it for my post natal depression, but unfortunately I knew nothing about it then. And yet Dr Dalton had been using progesterone for PND for more than 30 years previous to the birth of my daughter. She would use up to 2400mg/day for those patients who had it. Have you read of the wonderful work they are doing with it for brian trauma victims? Where over 1200mg/day is given via IV transfusion, over 70% of the victims are men too. How it's helped not only with preventing the oedema and inflammation caused by the injury, but lessened the disability considerably. 50 drugs have been tried to date, and not one of them has worked. But progesterone has. Not only is it vital for the very beginnings of life, as no foetus would grow to term without it. But studies are finding it's benefit at the end of life too. How it helps old nerves to regenerate, how it helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer's, stroke too. I would ask you not to read the comments made by myself and others, but to read the studies. There are hundreds on the site, I've read them all, plus countless others that are not on it. As for Oestrogen Dominance we have a page on that too. There's no question progesterone and oestrogen, testosterone too, activate the others receptor sites, plus countless other hormones and neurotransmitters too. Oestrogen by activating progesterone does make one feel good, provided the dose is low. Progesterone is thermogenic, so speeds metabolism, thereby preventing weight gain. Whereas oestrogen causes water retention and is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. As these are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, a vicious cycle can start. Reading the comments where women complain about weight gain, you'll notice the amount they were all given was the standard 20-40mg/day, this merely stimulates oestrogen. I would ask you to read our page on HRT. You'll notice in the studies that oestrogen, be it exogenous or endogenous increases the risk of cancer, incontinence, heart disease, stroke and dementia. I could never endorse it's use. Take care Wray

Jan 07, 2011
chemo induced...
by: Wray

Hi there Progesterone is thermogenic, so does speed metabolism slightly. But if you have been using oestradiol, it could be it's caused Insulin Resistance. If this is the case progesterone will assist, but will not reverse IR. There are many nutrients which do though, so please read through the page. A lack of vitamin D also causes weight gain and IR, the minimum you should be taking is 5000iu's per day. For more info please see the Vitamin D council website. I wouldn't advise testosterone. Although it does increase muscle mass, it can also causes acne, oily skin, facial hair and scalp hair loss. And cortisol upsets blood glucose and causes us to put on weight. Interestingly progesterone is helpful against candida. Oestrogen increases the glycogen content of the vagina, this is perfect food for Candida. Please see this page and the research papers too. I've found the best thing for candida is caprylic acid. This does come in oil form, which is much easier to take, besides being beneficial for the skin. It's referred to as MCT oil, do try to get some. Take care Wray

Jan 07, 2011
Joint Pain
by: Wray

Hi there I'm pleased the progesterone has helped in some areas. The joint pain is caused by oestrogen, which is a known initiator of inflammation. Progesterone activates oestrogen, I can only assume you are not using enough to prevent the pain, but sufficient for the other symptoms you had. For more info on this apparent paradox please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. If progesterone caused inflammation, every pregnant woman on this planet would suffer hugely. We make over 400ng/ml during the third trimester, whereas we make between 5-20ng/ml during the luteal phase. I recommend 100-200mg/day dependant on symptoms, for more info please see How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Jan 07, 2011
Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Al Strange you have PCOS and yet you don't have cysts on your ovaries. Please read through this page we have, as it explains why it occurs. There are several nutrients which all help the ovaries ovulate. It appears that PCOS is caused by oxidative stress, and the antioxidants mentioned on the page all assist it righting this. I'm puzzled why your progesterone was tested on day 40, as this in itself is an exceptionally long cycle if you bled then. Never mind testing for progesterone. Using a large amount of progesterone before ovulation does suppress it, so it's best to use it when it should be used, ie at ovulation. I can only suggest you choose an average cycle length. Then start using progesterone 14 days before you are about to bleed. If you want help working this out please come back to me, I would need at least 3 months of your past cycles to go by. For more info see How to use progesterone cream. The amount your doctor has prescribed is a very good amount, I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. Please use it at least twice a day. Progesterone plays no role in ovulation, this is controlled by luteinising hormone. But once ovulation has taken place, progesterone levels increase. Once pregnant it increases hugely, from 5-20ng/ml during the luteal phase to over 400ng/ml in the third trimester. Without progesterone no foetus would grow to term. We do have a page on Pregnancy. Please read through it, as it explains how to use progesterone. Take care Wray

Jan 07, 2011
Going Off Depo
by: Wray

Hi there Contraceptives of all kinds can cause weight gain, the reason being they can cause Insulin Resistance. I think this must have happened to you, as you can't loose the weight. Please read through this page as it explains why it occurs and what to do about it. We do have a page on Coming off Progestins, it's best if you start the progesterone before the cold turkey affect sets in to prevent those symptoms. Judging by how bad they are I suggest you use a high amount initially. I recommend 100-200mg/day, I believe the 200mg/day is the amount you would need. It's easy enough to reduce the amount slowly once symptoms have resolved, till you find the optimum level. For more info please see How to use progesterone cream. The life altering periods sound very much like an oestrogen dominance issue. Progesterone certainly helps, it inhibits the prostaglandins which cause pain. Plus it reduces heavy bleeding till it's normal. But a high amount is initially needed to do this. Take care Wray

Jan 10, 2011
Progesterone does cause weight gain
by: Julia

I have been thin all my life. I started progesterone 150 MG and I gain 15 pounds in two months without changeing diet. So when I read people write and say it don't cause weight gain. I wonder if there selling it I read so many stories of more women gain weight from progesterone then women that don't.

Jan 11, 2011
insomnia from progesterone cream?
by: Wray

Hi KC 40-60mg a week is a very low amount, far lower than the lowest recommended amount of 20mg/day. It doesn't surprise me you get insomnia when increasing it, please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance which explains why this and the weight gain occurs. Oestrogen causes water retention, hence the bloating, and weight gain. Soy isoflavones have an oestrogenic affect in the body, I don't advise taking them. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, dependant on symptoms. For more info on this please see out page on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Jan 11, 2011
Progesterone v plant estrogens
by: Wray

Hi J I don't recommend soy isoflavones, in fact I don't recommend any soy product. Please see MYTHS AND TRUTHS ABOUT SOY FOODS for more info. The isoflavones have an oestrogenic affect, and if you are already suffering from symptoms of Menopause you don't need more. Progesterone if insufficient is used, can cause weight gain, as initially it stimulates oestrogen. For more on this please see the page on Oestrogen Dominance. I recommend 100-200mg/day dependant on symptoms. Take care Wray

Jan 11, 2011
Progesterone does cause weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Julia Initially progesterone can cause weight gain, as it stimulates oestrogen, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. Oestrogen causes fat cells to divide and multiply. But fat cells are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle can start. Oestrogen also causes water retention, which adds to the weight gain. Even on the amount you were using it does take time to settle down. You don't say what kind of progesterone you were using. If it was oral, then this will take a great deal longer, as it's not the best Delivery System. There are more stories of women putting on weight than not, and it's because the amount they are recommended is far too low. For more info see the page on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Jan 11, 2011
Trying to conceive
by: Wray

Hi There Unfortunately clomid will not only cause a woman to ovulate twice, but generally multiple times. There are far safer ways to increase progesterone levels than giving clomid too. Ovulation induction drugs increase the risk of cancer, see here and here. Take care Wray

Jan 13, 2011
Weight Gain - Vaginal Atrophy
by: E

I started Natural Progesterone Cream this past month because I have severe vaginal atrophy. I have been using label instructions of 1/4 tsp two times a day. USP 500 mg/ounce. I finshed my 21 days and am on the Day 6of a break. I am 59 y/0 - post menopausal.

The first day I started with the cream, I got immediate postive results. I lost water weight. My nights sweats are GONE. My insomnia is much better. Body aches and low back pain diminshed. Vaginal pain lessened.

However, the atrophy is still pretty bad. I have ordered an Estriol Oil to use intravaginally. Natural Estriol. I have read that this in combo with Progesterone can quickly resolve the issue.

MY huge concern is that I am getting thick around the middle. I have gained about 3# this first month. I have always been able to keep my weight in balance. From what I have read here, I will need to up the Progesterone.

My questions:
1. Do I up the progesterone until I start losing weight? The other symptoms are pretty much regulated.

2. What will the Estriol do to the mix. Will this make the Oestrogen dominance worse? I have really been suffering with the atrophy and need to address this.

HELP!


Jan 15, 2011
Weight Gain - Vaginal Atrophy
by: Wray

Hi E I'm pleased the amount you are using is helping, I generally find 100-200mg/day progesterone is needed. I have no experience in using or advising on an oestriol cream/oil in the vagina. Oestriol is the pregnancy oestrogen and I wish I could tell you if it makes oestrogen dominance worse, but I can't. Oestradiol is the oestrogen normally recommended for vaginal use. But as this increases the risk for cancer and is inflammatory, it's not advisable. Progesterone is an anti-inflammatory, and in some cases has been beneficial for cancer. So I use progesterone in preference, and advise all women to use some in their vagina each night. Progesterone initially stimulates oestrogen, as this stimulates fat cells to divide and multiply, weight gain can be experienced. It could be you need more progesterone to overcome this aspect of Oestrogen Dominance. I suggest you do increase the amount and see if this helps. The progesterone cream you are using contains 16mg progesterone per g, 1/4tsp will give you 20mg/day, the standard recommended amount. So you are getting 40mg/day with 1/2tsp. I suggest doubling this and see if it helps. I would be interested to hear if the oestriol oil helps you. Take care Wray

Jan 15, 2011
I hope you can help...
by: Colleen

Hi I hope you can help me. When I was pregnant (2x)I was not a happy person. Severe insomnia, irritablity, pregnancy mask, you name it. No one seemed to be able to tell me why this was happening just that it was hormonal. In June of 2009, my dr put me on synthetic progesterone. It was like I was pregnant again, except I still have the pregancy mask, whereas before it went away. Now she is having me take bio identical progesterone and being sympathetic to my feelings about this she wants me to take 25mg on night one. Adding another 25 mg on each of the following nights. I took 50 mg and was up all night. I cannot do it. I am up all night and irritable. I am 45 years old and perimenipausal.

Jan 18, 2011
I hope you can help...
by: Wray

Hi Colleen The symptoms you had when pregnant were hormonal, caused by a lack of progesterone. All Contraceptives come with adverse side affects, please read through this page. The dark patch is melasma, it's caused by excess oestrogen stimulating melanocytes, these make melanin, the pigmentation in all skin types. Please see here. It's often a sign of adrenal fatigue too. Progesterone does resolve the problem, as it suppresses the excess oestrogen and it takes the strain off the adrenals. These make progesterone before they can convert it into cortisol, one of our stress hormones. Stress drops progesterone levels, thereby allowing oestrogen to dominate. The symptoms you are now experiencing are due to excess oestrogen. When using progesterone it initially stimulates oestrogen, until progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. Giving you such a low amount will merely exacerbate the symptoms. For more info on this affect, please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance. You should have been warned about it. It happens to many women, and the only way to overcome it and make progesterone dominant is to use a far higher amount. You mention taking the progesterone, oral delivery is the most ineffective system there is, most of it being destroyed by the gut and liver. For more info on this please see our page on Delivery systems. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, you are currently getting about 5-10mg/day as it's oral. Please consider changing to a more affective route, and using far more than you are. You might like to read our page on Peri-menopause too. Take care Wray

Jan 19, 2011
weight gain with 200mg & 2 months
by: sunshadow

Ok I have been on armor thyroid (works well) and recently the oral, natural progesterone for 2 months. I gained 20lbs and my breasts hurt like crazy. I stopped the oral, and started the cream in the am and pm. Plus added some testosterone lozenges in the am. The breast tenderness diminished, and I sleep ok, but I am still gaining weight and starting to get way too sleepy by 3pm. I just decided I've had enough. I'm going to stop the progesterone. All I do is convert it to estrogen. The compound pharmacist can't believe I am sleepy even after taking the testosterone along with thyroid. Oh well. I'm a freak, apparently. There seems to be no cure for the ideal hormonal balance. My doctor suggested an estrogen detox. and then restart. I'm losing faith. How long is one to take 200 mg of progesterone, before it stops adding the pounds?

Jan 21, 2011
weight gain with 200mg & 2 months
by: Wray

Hi there Oral progesterone is not the best Delivery system. Most of it gets destroyed in the gut and liver, which means too low an amount is being absorbed. This would be enough to stimulate oestrogen. It's not being converted that rapidly from progesterone, it goes through a multi step process before that occurs. I'm not sure what age you are, but as you're taking armour and testosterone, I would imagine you must be in either Peri-menopause or Menopause. These seem to be standard treatment, apart from oestrogen which luckily you haven't been given. If I'm right then not only will the stimulated oestrogen be causing a problem with fat increase, plus it also causes water retention, but testosterone too. This rises in older women as the ovary becomes an androgen producing organ. There's more than enough evidence now to indicate this is another major factor in weight gain, see here, here, here, here here and here. Both excess oestrogen and testosterone can cause Insulin Resistance which quite possibly you have. This does increase in P-M due to changing hormone levels. It's difficult to say how long it will take as it's dependant on so many factors, you are using a good amount of progesterone. It's essential to make it the dominant hormone, this will only occur once the oestrogen and testosterone level has diminished. Please have a vitamin D test done, a lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone, and can cause weight gain and insulin resistance. For more info see the Vitamin D council website. Take care Wray

Jan 23, 2011
gained weight with Prog and Est bio creams
by: PJ

I had a hysterectomy at age 35 and they left my ovaries. Age 49 I began to have menopause symptoms and started oral estradiol because the oral progestin made me insane!

For years I have been off and on the estradiol because of water retention. Never any progesterone.

My new doc put me on the bio identical creams. I do .75 Progest at night, .25 Est at night.
.25 Progest in morning, .5 Estrogen in morning.

So, I put on 10 pounds in 2 months. I feel much better, am sleeping better, calmer, etc.
But I cannot keep gaining weight.

I am also on a combo cream of B12,B6 B9, Vit D.

What has increased my appetite?
Dr. said being on the B cream would "wake up" my brain and I would make better decisions about eating, and everything. I do feel more awake but also hungrier. I feel the afternoon Bs make me sleepy!!

My stomach got flatter after adding progesterone tho.
Now I am thinking of dropping the estrogen cream altogether.

What do you think of the weight gain and appetite increase after starting these? I weighed 146 3 months ago and now am up to 165. I am 5 ft 6 and need to be at 145 to look my best.

Has adding these hormones caused the weight gain?

My mom has dementia and never took any hormones at all for menopause and now cannot keep a straight thought in her head.
So I want to do something for my brain too.

I would like to lose at least 10 lbs but continue progesterone as it makes me so much sweeter.
Thanks.

What do you think Wray?

Jan 26, 2011
gained weight with Prog and Est bio creams
by: Wray

Hi PJ I'm not in favour of extra oestrogen. Oestrogen causes sodium retention, hence the water retention. Progestins could make you insane, as they suppress progesterone levels. Oestrogen stimulates cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But these are a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. Oestrogen also stimulates the appetite, one of the reasons women get cravings the few days prior to bleeding. Progesterone is dropping then, so is oestrogen, but if the ratio of the two hormones becomes unbalanced, many adverse symptoms occur. When starting progesterone it does stimulate oestrogen, which initially would have created more. Especially if the amount used is low, as yours appears to be. This would have hastened the weight gain, for more info on this see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, if you do increase the amount, please make sure you read the page on oestrogen dominance, as this can occur when increasing. You might like to read our page on Menopause too. I'm pleased you're taking the vitamin D, I hope sufficient. The minimum dose should be 5000iu's/day, for more info please see the Vitamin D council website. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone and there's evidence a lack is implicated in dementia, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Please have a vitamin D test done on your mother. You'll notice in one of the links that a physician gave an Alzheimer's patient 5000iu's/day. Not having spoken a word for a year, she started speaking again. It's certainly worth trying for your mother, no harm can come of it, but potential good. It's very lucky they left your ovaries in, see here. Progesterone also has protective effects against Alzheimer's, see here. Whereas oestrogen increases the risk, see our page on HRT Take care Wray

Jan 28, 2011
Weight Gain & Fluid Retention with Progesterone
by: Joanne

Hi Wray
I have just turned 34 years of age and in September 2010 (4 mths ago), I completed my first figure sculpting competition. I had a 16 week prep and was under instruction from my coach to take estrogen blockers. I only had 6 periods in the last 12 mths. My bodyfat got down to 10% on the day of the comp. After comp I had saliva and blood tests done which showed my Estrogen was normal but I was very low in Testosterone, DHEA and Progesterone. My doctor prescribed 10mg of DHEA each morning and 100mg of oral Progesterone at night from 14 to period. I?ve been on the medication for 7 weeks and I am rapidly gaining weight and retaining a hell of a lot of fluid. I hardly fit into my work clothes and I?m becoming more and more depressed. This has sent me into a tailspin because I am eating very very healthy and exercising moderately 5-6 days per week. My calories don?t go over about 1400 per day. Does it mean the Progesterone amount is too low? I am so tempted to go off the medication all together. I have also been experiencing hot flushes and getting up in the middle of the night to pee 2-3 times. I?ve also had some constipation. Given this, my doctor has instructed I go for another blood test on day 21 to see if my levels have returned to normal.

Help!!!

Feb 02, 2011
Bio Identical Progesterone Cream
by: My Three Sons

Hello, Everyone!
I have a question. I will start by saying that I am 31 years old and have been diagnosed with having high estrogen levels and very low progesterone. I was instructed to use 20mg of bio identical cream 2x a day. I was having wonderful results...increase in energy, weight loss, increased libido and very little pain from endometriosis, etc. I was feeling like I had found the magic cure for my suffering for the past 14 years. And THEN, I had a horrible acne breakout and cold sores started appearing all over my cheek. It was terrible and very embarrassing. I was just wondering if anyone else has had this happen or could possibly shed some light on the subject for me.
Thank you!

Feb 05, 2011
Take at least 100 to 200mgs to see a difference!
by: Jenine

Hi, All,

I was gaining weight, mostly water, within my first week of using too little progesterone in a cream other than Natpro. I have since upped the dosage, even with this other cream, and am losing weight, especially in my stomach area! I also feel like I'm in my 20s again (I am 45) in the best sense. Wray, I am wondering if I lost my period a few months ago due to stress or if it is just peri menopause. How often should I be using the cream, 14 days until (hopefully) my period shows up, 21 days or everyday for a month then maybe try 14 or 21 days? I normally have a 28-day cycle. I have ordered Natpro and am looking forward to using this much more effective cream! Thanks, Jenine

Feb 07, 2011
Weight Gain & Fluid Retention with Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Joanne Well you have me so puzzled, why on earth would you have to loose all that body fat, and in such a dangerous manner?! Strangely it doesn't seem to have reduced the oestrogen at all if you say it's normal. This, together with taking the DHEA which increases both oestrogen and testosterone, would cause Oestrogen Dominance with the addition of the oral progesterone. This is not the best Delivery system as most of it get destroyed by the gut and liver. The small amount which does enter the system is enough to stimulate oestrogen. Oestrogen is known to cause inflammation, cellular proliferation (including fat cells) and water retention. You are in a catch 22 situation. Oestrogen is drawing water from your intestines, causing constipation and oedema, the progesterone is causing you to pee, it's an extremely good diuretic. I would avoid the DHEA, it not only increases levels of oestrogen and testosterone, but by doing so can cause cysts and cancer, see here, here, here and here. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, but in a form which is absorbed well, more info about this on the delivery system page. You might like to read our page on How to use progesterone too. So yes I do believe the amount of progesterone you are getting is too low. I'm also concerned about your low calorie intake, a lack of fat plays havoc with our endocrine system. We do have a page on Nutrition and Diet, on it are links to 3 eating options, all written by experts. Please have a look through it. Take care Wray

Feb 07, 2011
Bio Identical Progesterone Cream
by: Wray

Hi there I'm pleased the progesterone helped you, it should have done initially. But the amount you are using is very low, and it's now got to the point where oestrogen has become dominant. Progesterone stimulates oestrogen, unless sufficient is used Oestrogen Dominance kicks in. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, up to 500mg/day for endo if the pain is severe. Please see our page on How to use progesterone cream for more info. And our page on Endometriosis for more info on this. Excess oestrogen can destabilise blood glucose. If insulin increases so to do the androgens, these are responsible for acne break outs. One reason teenage boys get it far more frequently and worse than girls. You already have high oestrogen levels, plus a further stimulation from progesterone, please consider using more. But if you do please read that page on oestrogen dominance, as this can occur when increasing levels. We also have a page on Acne. Take care Wray

Feb 10, 2011
Weight Gain & Fluid Retention with Progesterone
by: Joanne

Thank you for your comments Wray. I?m so disappointed by what?s happened to my body, but I was just going under the guidance of a coach. I?m never doing this again. I just want to get back to normal. What you say about the odema is interesting - at the end of the day I am so fluidy all over, not just in my tummy, but in my legs too. It?s such an uncomfortable feeling. So you say that I?m actually estrogen dominant because the progesterone dosage is too low? But if I keep increasing the dose, will I keep getting estrogen dominant over time and thus having to keep increasing the progesterone also which means I?d need to stay on it for life so don?t go into estrogen dominance? I?m so confused and feel so unbalanced. I?m having a blood test in 2 days time to test my normal levels (i.e. I won?t be on progesterone or DHEA when the test is taken). I will talk to my doctor about having a cream instead then the dosage can be controlled. I?m so scared this has ruined my metabolism forever. Am I panicking too soon?

Feb 13, 2011
Allergic to Bio-Identical Progesterone?
by: Anne

I'm at my wits end. I stopped getting my period in the latter part of 2009. Normal transvaginal ultrasound in May, 2010. My doctor thought I was in menopause, as my physical exam seemed to indicate that, though she apparently did not test my hormone levels at that time. Went through stress in the last several months, eating rather poorly, limited exercise. 1/18/2011, I began spotting + then bleeding. Stopped for a week, then started again on 2/4. 2/7 Ultrasound now indicates 2 cysts + a thickened endometrium. Prescribed 200 mg/day of Prometrium to get bleeding to stop. Second night, I reacted to it. (No known peanut allergy). While waiting for a compounded patch, I moved to the Emerita cream. Tiny amount caused a similar reaction. What can I do? I'm 46, NOT menopausal, never on estrogen, 5'8", size 12. I've cut out refined carbs, high sugar fruits, exercising again + am dropping weight. But still bleeding, tho less.

Feb 19, 2011
Weight Gain & Fluid Retention with Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Joanne I don't think you need panic! By increasing the amount of progesterone you use, but in a form that's absorbed well, it will overcome the oestrogen dominance. Which means you don't have to keep increasing the progesterone. But it would be essential to stop the DHEA as that only increases oestrogen and testosterone. It will take time to get your body back to normal again, but I don't doubt this will happen either. The body has a remarkable capacity to regenerate. It would assist if you took a good B complex, with a sufficient dose of each vitamin. Please consider having a vitamin D test too, most of us are lacking this vital nutrient. Please see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Take care Wray

Feb 19, 2011
Allergic to Bio-Identical Progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Anne The cysts and thickened endometrium do indicate excess oestrogen, hence the progesterone. But if it was oral most of this is destroyed in the gut and liver, it's the least effective Delivery system. I've found 400-600mg/day progesterone is needed to stop bleeding, but in a form which is absorbed well. The amount is then reduced slowly over a few weeks. You say you reacted to both kinds of progesterone, in what way? Did you have a skin outbreak, ie dermatitis? Assuming you did, some papers call it progesterone dermatitis, some oestrogen dermatitis. Although progesterone is normally blamed. If the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen becomes skewed, with oestrogen dominating, dermatitis can occur. One study blaming progesterone says "The patient... had recurrent cyclic lesions on the skin... that appeared just before regular menstruation and persisted until a few days after." Ironically the anti-oestrogen drug tamoxifen was given to suppress it. Another study mentions "a significant premenstrual flare of skin lesions", but in this case it was caused by oestrogen. The paper ends by stating "Women can become sensitized to their own estrogens; the major clue is worsening of the skin problem premenstrually" Again the drug used to suppress it was tamoxifen, but in both cases the outbreaks occurred just prior to bleeding, when progesterone is very low, see here, here and here. Another study suggests "the possible impact of estrogen mimetics....is associated with mast cell activation" Progesterone inhibits mast cell secretion, see here. If I'm on the right track, when first using progesterone it stimulates oestrogen, causing Oestrogen Dominance. This almost always affects women with already high oestrogen levels far more than those with low levels. There is only one way to overcome it and that is to persevere. I find a much higher amount more effective, as the symptoms, although unpleasant, resolve far quicker. Please see our page on Peri-menopause for more info. The compounded patch sounds suspect, is it a progestin? Take care Wray

Feb 22, 2011
Weight Gain & Fluid Retention with Progesterone
by: Joanne

Thanks for your comment Wray. My natural blood test results a week ago showed I was still low in progesterone and DHEA so my doctor increased my DHEA from 10mg to 15mg. I was not prescribed the progesterone cream given the previous side effects I had with the oral one. Now I have been on the increased DHEA level for a week and today I?ve been the most bloated ever and holding a hell of a lot of fluid. I?m so very uncomfortable and my skin and scalp have been a little itchy too in various places. As you say, I guess I am estrogen dominant. I s?pose I am very sensitive to these sorts of oral medications - yes? I?m still doing everything right - training and eating a really good diet with organic meats, free range eggs etc. I?ve cut out gluten, wheat and dairy products and have done so for well over a month. I?m taking Vit B, Vit C and Vit D supps also along with a progesterone vitamin to help my body produce it on its own. From tomorrow I will stop the DHEA and continue with just the natural vitamins and see how I go. I hope I am not insulin resistant or my thyroid is damaged either - my thyroid did show on the test that it was normal though. I am SO frustrated!

Feb 24, 2011
Weight Gain & Fluid Retention with Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Joanne Did you read those papers I gave you on DHEA? The risk is not worth taking, it increases both oestrogen and testosterone, hence your discomfort. Yes you are oestrogen dominant, and in part because of the DHEA. But you also have excess testosterone because of it too. The only way to suppress these two hormones is via progesterone. But the amount does have to be high, 100-200mg/day, but in a form which is absorbed well, not oral. This will only increase adverse symptoms. Your diet couldn't be better, but I've never heard of a progesterone vitamin! You'll find you will need to use progesterone to suppress oestrogen, but see how you get on. If you'd like to read about Insulin Resistance, have a look through our page. Excess oestrogen does cause it. It also slows the thyroid down. But it could be you're lacking vitamin D, please have a test done. You say you're taking it, but the dose should be 5000iu's per day minimum. Are you taking this much? For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Take care Wray

Feb 25, 2011
Progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

I am getting ready to start taking Bio identical Progesterone cream. It is 450mg of USP per ounce. How much should I put on my skin and how many times a day. I am using it for severe PMS and health reasons. Thanks

Feb 26, 2011
Such a thing as too much progesterone?
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray,

I have been achieving a good success in reducing my estrogen dominance symptoms by taking about 350 mg of progesterone daily via the Natpro cream, which equals a tsp twice a day (two tsp total). My thinking is to keep up this dosage until the symptoms are gone, then reduce by about a half tsp daily until I am at 200 mg daily.

Is there any danger in taking this higher dosage if I don't have fibroids or more serious symptoms? Is there such a thing as too much progesterone? What would some of the symptoms be if I was taking too much progesterone?

I don't want to be wasteful, but more importantly, don't want to endanger my health.

Thanks for your help, as always!

Mar 02, 2011
Menopausal
by: Addison patient

Hello.

I am female with Addison ( primary adrenal insufficiency) and on estrogen for menopause. I take progesterone only 12 days a month to balance my estrogen. ( uterus taken out).

Progesterone stimulates aldosterone a mineralcorticoid made from the adrenal glands. This hormone tells kidneys to retain fluid. That is the reason women gain fluid and feel bloated during luteal phase. This is also why when you go through menopause why your eyes and skin dries out during menopause. If you have an Endocrinologist she/he can
explain this. I have a good study at explain more. http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/91/10/3981

Mar 02, 2011
DIM
by: sima

Hi,
What do you think about DIM?

Mar 07, 2011
Progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi there If you have severe PMS the cream you are using is not strong enough. Or you will have to use a great deal to help. I recommend 100 to 200mg per day. So If you want to use this amount you would need for 100mg/day 6.6ml per day of cream, or 1 1/3tsp. If 200mg/day you would need 13.2ml or 2 3/4tsp. So the container will be finished in approximately 4 to 9 days. I'm concerned if you use a low amount, ie the 20-40mg/day normally recommended, your symptoms will become worse. Progesterone stimulates oestrogen, a low amount will continue stimulating it, progesterone will never become dominant. So you will be in a state of continual Oestrogen Dominance. It should be used a minimum of twice a day, so whatever amount you choose divide that in half. Please see our page on How to use progesterone cream for more info. Take care Wray

Mar 07, 2011
Such a thing as too much progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I'm so delighted you've gone for a high amount initially. I can see no reason at all to suffer the symptoms of oestrogen dominance when first starting progesterone. Yes it does cost more, but to my mind worth it. I find too many women are influenced by web sites, forums, their doctors, into using only 20mg/day. This only gives progesterone a bad name, as evidenced by the forums which are filled with dire warnings! You are right, stick to that amount till symptoms have gone, then reduce. But please don't reduce too fast, you might find 1/2 tsp daily is, as that's ±80mg, see how you get on. If it is too fast, just increase slightly till you feel stable again. Wait a few days, a week, before attempting a further reduction. You should find you don't need 200mg/day, only if you have much stress. I normally use about 170mg/day, increasing when stressed! Many find 100mg/day is fine. It should always be used as and when needed, increasing and decreasing the amount to suit. High amounts of progesterone give a sense of euphoria! Allopregnanolone, a progesterone metabolite, can induce anaesthesia when used in high amounts, see here, and here and here. It's also an excellent anlagesic. Highly unlikely anyone would get enough progesterone onto their skin for it's conversion to allopregnanolone to knock themselves out! So yes it is safe in high amounts. All of us have excess oestrogen, we can't avoid it now, it's been found in every living animal, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Oestrogen is rising the world over due to oestrogen mimics, over 100 have been found, plus water contaminated by HRT and contraceptives. These are not removed by purification plants. Please see the excellent website Our Stolen Future for more info. The only safe way to counter this is with progesterone. As it's not a sex hormone it can be safely used by both sexes. Excess oestrogen is to my mind serious enough to warrant using a high amount of progesterone to reduce levels. Take care Wray

Mar 08, 2011
Menopausal
by: Wray

Hi there Interesting paper, thanks. As many previous studies have found, progesterone does increase aldosterone, during both the luteal phase and pregnancy. But what they all found, including the paper you gave me, is that progesterone also increases urinary aldosterone secretion, see here. It stands to reason an increase in progesterone causes an increase in aldosterone, as progesterone is the precursor to aldosterone. It also stands to reason that urinary excretion would be greater too, as progesterone blocks the aldosterone receptor sites. If there wasn't this counterbalance, we'd all blow up like balloons and burst. Conversely if we only made progesterone we'd loose too much water. Progesterone is such an excellent diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims, see here. So, far from progesterone causing water retention, and making us bloated, it does the opposite. Women only retain water if excess oestrogen is present, as this hormone causes water retention by blocking the action of progesterone. During the luteal phase and pregnancy, oestrogen also rises, but if the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone is too high, bloating occurs. Please see this paper on water retention here. Progesterone has an effect similar to a low sodium diet, by increasing aldosterone synthase, and subsequently aldosterone production, see here. Oestrogen causes water retention by drawing moisture from peripheral tissues, ie the skin, eyes, mouth, plus the gut, which can lead to constipation. In it's most severe form it's called Sjogren's syndrome. High levels of oestrogen are found in Sjogren's, see here. The reason our skin and eyes dry out in menopause is lack of progesterone to counter the oestrogen. Progesterone is excellent for the skin, see here. Whereas oestrogen has no effect, see here and here. Please see our page on HRT for further adverse effects of oestrogen. Take care Wray

Mar 08, 2011
DIM
by: Wray

Hi Sima Oestrogen is broken down into 2 principle metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 16-alpha hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1). 16alpha-OHE1 is regarded as a potent oestrogen, whereas 2-OHE1 is a weak oestrogen. DIM increases levels of 2-OHE1, by doing so it also increases the ratio of 2-OHE1:16alpha-OHE1. This increased ratio is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer, see here. Other studies have found a protective role too. Any natural substance which reduces the potency of oestrogen is to my mind worth taking. Take care Wray

Mar 08, 2011
Pro-gest
by: Anonymous

I am using one of the other brands you recommended as an OK substitute. It is Pro-Gest. I start using it tomorrow as per my cycle and I planned on using 1 teaspoon t times per day. I had already purchased this before I saw your site. I have a economy size tube I think there is plenty to last at least 1 month at the does of 1 teaspoon 2 times per day. If you think this is still not the right amount please let me know. From my calculation this should give me about 125 a day. If I start to get worse symptoms I will increase it. Thanks.

Mar 08, 2011
Thanks, Wray, re progesterone amount!
by: Jenine

Thank you for your post re whether or not one can take too much progesterone. I DO feel euphoric on it! Never too much of that for me : )

One question: a friend of mine who is 56 and post-menopausal and also has fibromyalgia (and possibly other health problems) said that she gained wait on progesterone, then lost it when she started using a bit more of her oestrogen cream. I'm thinking this may be due to her post-menopausal status and wonder if you know if that is a time to take it.

She is a naturally thin person, I tend to gain wait if I am not careful, so perhaps this has something to do with her experience vs. mine. She sees a doctor who says different bodies respond to progesterone and the other hormones differently, but it seems to me that they each still do their "thing" and aren't going to do radically different things in different bodies (ex. oestrogen is still going to make cells divide and multiply)

What do think the reason could be behind her weight loss with added oestrogen and do you think there is a time after menopause when women should possibly use oestrogen cream?

Thanks, again, Wray! You are doing a world of good here on your site.

Blessings,

Jenine

Mar 10, 2011
progesterone and ms
by: lili from australia

i would like to share my story with readers interested in the benefits of progesterone cream.
in 2000 age 40 i started feeling very unwell my feet started feeling numb like they were anethatised this continued to spread up my body, eventually reaching my neck,i knew something was terribly wrong. i craved oils and sun so stayed at home waiting on test results.i was finally diagnosed with ms had lessions in my brain and spinal cord. doctors recomended steriod/cortisol treatment and of course antidepressants . i was not keen to take either so i went on my own journey to find what would work. i had hair analysis blood and saliva tests. went on a product called SAMe a mood lifter from the local health store. it immediatetly started to make a huge difference it was my lifeline, ill explain later why this helped so much. next step i found a great doctor though a little alternative she put me on natural progesterone cream which also seemed to make a big difference all the symptoms started to subside i also got plenty of sun and started on flaxseed oil liquid which i put into my breakfast. within a few months i was feeling much better i knew that the prog. cream played a big factor. and did suggest to a doctor that research needed to be done in relation to ms and prog. so Wray im glad that someone has started this research. i believe oestrogen dominance caused a huge amount of my health problems inparticular xeno oestrogens which i would have absorbed in great amounts in my job as a dental technician using monomers and polymers, the stuff plastics are made from. back to SAMe, i later found out that SAMe was not only good as a mood lifter but it was also used to improve liver function, opening blocked pathways (gilberts syndrome usually diagnosed in persons with high billirubin readings) i found out i had this condition which means that the liver is not able to function properly in getting rid of excess hormones such as oestorgen. so for me the combination of SAMe, the progesterone cream, more sun for vitamin d and omega 3 oils were like a magic bullet. i am now 50 and have started noticing a return of some of the symptoms like a period every 2 weeks, tatt (tired all the time) more than likely due to the start of menopause so started back on the prog. cream and the SAMe periods allready back to monthly cycle and tiredness has lifted some weight gain though i know this will sort itself out. so for those of you having problems, im not sure, but there is a good possibility that your liver is not functioning effectively enough to rid your body of the excess hormone so perhaps a liver clensing formular could help also giving your liver a break by not taking any alcohol during this time. would like to hear your opinion on this Wray.

Mar 10, 2011
Pro-gest
by: Wray

Hi there Progest is good, but unless they've changed the amount in the container, each ml gives 15mg of progesterone. 1 tsp is equal to 5ml, so 1tsp will give you 75mg progesterone. 2tsp will give you 150mg progesterone. This is an excellent amount, if you say you have an economy tube I hope it lasts the month. You might find you have to use it more than twice a day, as 2tsp is a lot of cream! I once used this amount of our cream as I had added stress, and found I needed to divide the amount into about 4 applications. I see you've read our page on Oestrogen Dominance which pleases me. So many are not warned about it's occurrence, it can be most unpleasant for some women. I have found the more oestrogen present before starting progesterone, the worse the symptoms. In case you haven't seen it, please read our page on How to use progesterone cream. The advice I give is very different from other sites. But I have found a high amount does work, it's essential to get progesterone the dominant hormone. You might like to see our page on Saliva Tests too. These are run for us by a naturopath in the UK, from the results it's evident the progesterone is well absorbed. The ratio of progesterone to oestrogen is over 600:1, higher than the ratio normally given, but her patients responded and now feel well, which is the all important factor! Take care Wray

Mar 10, 2011
Thanks, Wray, re progesterone amount!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Well I'm so happy you feel euphoric! About your friend, it's the paradox of oestrogen and progesterone again. They activate the others receptor sites, so she evidently wasn't using enough progesterone in the first instance, so gained weight. But by applying the oestrogen, that would have activated the progesterone receptor sites, hence the weight loss. Progesterone, by opposing oestrogen, stops it's mitotic action, particularly on the fat cells. It would also cause any water retained to be lost too. So I suggest she uses more. She should have had some relief from the fibromyalgia too, as I said to you, the progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone is an excellent analgesic. You are right, both hormones do their own thing, they can't do otherwise, in men too. You might like to look through Ray Peat's web site, he has some harsh things to say about oestrogen. So in answer to your question, no I don't think anyone needs more oestrogen. As you can see from my previous reply we all have far too much. Re the fibromyalgia, your friend is deficient in vitamin D, please ask her to have a test done, see here. Most of us have too low a level, this is implicated in all inflammatory conditions. In fact all autoimmune diseases have a low level too. Plus low vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. This could be the reason for her other health problems too. For more info on vitamin D please see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Thanks for your kind words, and blessings to you too! Take care Wray

Mar 17, 2011
Bio-Identical
by: Anonymous

Is Natpro Bio-Identical?

Mar 17, 2011
nat pro
by: Anonymous

I just ordered nat-pro thinking it was bio-identical and now I am not finding on your website that it is.

Mar 22, 2011
Medroxyprogesterone 1mg
by: Anonymous

My doctor prescribed this for me about two years ago because my menstrual wouldn't come. I work out frequently and eat pretty healthy but I'm starting to think this pill is conflicting with my weight loss. Questions: Am I not losing weight because of the dosage amount of this pill? How long is this pill safe to take? I know this drug won't make my menstrual regular but do I have to take this forever to get a period? I honestly think this pill is preventing me from losing weight. Is there something else I can take equivalent to this and it not affect my weight?

Mar 23, 2011
Bio-Identical
by: Wray

Hi there Yes, Natpro contains progesterone and not a progestin. For more info on the ingredients please see this web page here. Take care Wray

Mar 23, 2011
Medroxyprogesterone 1mg
by: Wray

Hi there I'm not in favour of any Contraceptives due to the adverse effects they have on us. MPA also has androgenising effects too. Have they checked you for PCOS? This disrupts the cycle and causes anovulation too. The body needs natural hormones to work correctly. Often progesterone is lacking, but the MPA reduces levels even further. Progesterone can help to get the cycle going again. If you should consider using, please see this page for more info on How to use progesterone. Before you do start it, please see this page on Oestrogen Dominance too. It can occur, especially if oestrogen levels are high. I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. Take care Wray

Apr 01, 2011
Can you give me a time estimate?
by: Heather

I've been reading all of this and I am very concerned. I was prescribed progesterone pills to help me with my unruly periods that last sometimes past 14 days. I want a partial hysterectomy but my doctor refuses to do it until I try the progesterone. I DO NOT want to be on hormone pills!! I am terrified of the weight gain. I am currently seeing another doctor for weight loss.. and I am trying so hard to lose weight. how long does it normally take for the progesterone to become the dominant hormone so that the cell mitosis can subside that is cause by the oestregen which causes the weight gain?!?!?!!?

Apr 09, 2011
Progesterone cured sleepless nights but added 20 pounds
by: Anonymous

I am wondering if anybody has had my situation. At age 35 I began sufferring from anxiety. I stated having fullblown panic attacks that landed me in the emegency rooms are a few occassions. No doctor could find anything wrong with me. I just started living with the attacks. Then when I was 40 I started having multiple attacks as I slept at night. ANother frightening symptom is just as I would fall asslepp I would be jolted awake by what felt and sounded like a electric shock inside my head. I heard and felt it. It began to happen over and over as I slept. Needless to say I was very frightened. SInce I had gotten off birth control a couple months prior to these symptoms appearing and no docctor could over find anything wrong with me I decided to see a hormone specialist. He prescribed progesterone. I have been on it for a year. My daily anxiety is pretty much gone (which is amazing) My panic attacks at night have decreased signiicantly. If I do have one it is so minimal that it does not frighten me. I can not stress how wonderful it has been for that reason. I started thinking I was just a freak that would always live with this horrible anxiety. I now live a normal life without negative thought and worry about my health and family all of the time...So here is the problem. I have gained 20 pounds in the last year. (all in the belly) I have never had a belly in my entire life. I am depressed about it but know that I cannot go back to sleepless nights and debilitating anxiety. I have tried diet and excersize but it doesn't seem to help much. Any thoughts? I do not take anything else other than the progesterone.

Apr 09, 2011
Panic Attacks
by: Anonymous

I started having panic attacks in the daytime when I was in my thirties. Then around forty I started sufferring with attacks as I would fall asleep or as I slept. When I was having them every night as I would fall asleep I began to be very concerned. As I would drift off I would feel and hear a loud shocking noise and jolt in my head and I would be abruptly jolted out of sleep. It was very scary. I thought I had MS or something wrong with my brain or nervous system. i was put on 75 mg of progesterone 25 in MA and 50 in PM. It stated worig pretty quickly. I have been on it for a year and I would say I only have an issue once or twice a month. Have you ever heard of this problem? ALso I have gained 20 pounds in this year mostly in the belly which is odd since I have never had a belly before. Any ideas?

Apr 10, 2011
re how long does it take (Heather)
by: Jenine

Hi, Heather!

I'm sure Wray will answer your question more thoroughly, but up the amount of cream/progesterone you are applying to at last 100-200mg. I used abut 350mg for awhile, in order to become progesterone dominant more quickly and it worked. Now I am using between 100-200 each day (divided into two applications in the morning and evening) and everything is great regarding my weight and other symptoms. It took about a month for me at the highest dosage to see the full results, but I saw my weight dropping and mood improving within about a week and a half. If you take too little of the cream, you will only worsen your symptoms, including wight gain. I highly recommend the Natpro cream sold on this site--much better value and be sure to fill out the questionnaire first and you will get the best price of all on the cream! Have faith, it gets better, Jenine

Apr 10, 2011
You will not see weight loss on progesterone
by: Annie

Progesterone will likely make you feel better by reducing or eliminating the effects of PMS, peri-menopause, menopause, etc. There is a better than good chance that you will never loose weight while taking bioidentical progesterone. You will gain weight. This idea of waiting a little longer so that everything balances or increasing the dose is nonsense when it comes to the issue of weight gain. Decide what your priorities are and base you decision about taking progesterone on that.

Apr 13, 2011
Can you give me a time estimate?
by: Wray

Hi Heather Are you sure they are progesterone and not a progestin? Do you have a name for me? Please avoid a target="_blank">Hysterectomy. Progesterone is excellent at stopping heavy bleeding, but I've found between 400-600mg/day is needed. Once it's under control the amount can be reduced slowly till the optimum is found. But it must be in a form which is absorbed well. Oral progesterone, if it is this you're taking, is the least effective Delivery system. The best are injections, suppositories or a cream, but sufficient must be used. I recommend 100-200mg/day for normal use. For more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. It sounds as if you could have Insulin Resistance, this can be caused by excess oestrogen, or a lack of vitamin D. Please have a test done, for more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. It's impossible to tell you how long it will take for progesterone to become dominant, it certainly won't with oral progesterone. From Saliva Tests we run, we've found the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be 600:1 and over to feel well. You'll see from these results that the progesterone became dominant in a month. Take care Wray

Apr 13, 2011
Weight loss does and did happen for me
by: Jenine

Annie, my experience is not unique and Wray consistently advises users to use the dosage all the studies used--100 to 200 mg daily--then adjust from there. The amounts recommended by most manufactures on the back of the packaging, 20ish mg daily--is simply not enough. Heather, read all of the posts on the subject and make your own decision. I gained weight for about a week and a half on the low dosage and lost weight, especially around my middle, when I increased it.

Apr 16, 2011
libido question
by: Anonymous

how in the heck would you know if your libido is better or worse?
Like, do you get horny. How do you know your horny? Do you want to screw everyone or just certain people? I'm really serious. Like I don't even worry about my libido, whats to worry about. Like if you are repulsed to have sex with someone you love and want to have sex with that seems to be a mental problem. Why would anyone even think they have a libido problem

Apr 17, 2011
Progesterone and no period
by: Anonymous

I have always had an irregular period, so I had my hormones checked. My progesterone was very low. So my doctor started me on some oral progesterone. The first few months it helped with my period but I was still having other symptoms. So my doctor upped my dose. In February he put me on 500mg, 200 in the morning and 300 at night. For some reason I haven't had a period since January. What can this be from? Is the progesterone too high? Do I need to take Estrogen also? Please help! Thanks!

Apr 23, 2011
Compounded biodenticals and weight gain
by: Tracie

I'm on 20-30 mg compounded progesterone cream. If I use more than 30mg I tend to feel sick in the morning and am afraid to increase it. Will this go away and what is the time frame on increasing it to 100-200mg? I'm also on compounded bi-est 5mg 80/20. I'm tired of not being able to lose weight and want to believe you when you say to increase progesterone but don't want to feel like morning sickness all over again. I'm 49 and going through menopause. I've tried quitting the bi-est buy my anxiety came back. If I increase the progesterone can I still stay on my bi-est? Should I change my bi-est back down to 2mg 80/20 (this was what I was originally on). I've been on biodentical hormones for 3 years now and feel great except for the weight gain. I take ample supplements and 5000 iu of vit d every day. My vit d level is 70 and I'm also on a low dose of iodine and t3. Thanks for this great website. I'm learning alot. I also work at a compounding pharmacy and we are helping alot of women by educating them on BHRT.

Apr 29, 2011
Weight loss does and did happen for me
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Bless you for this advice, it really does need to be a high amount if any meaningful results are wanted. And patience is needed too! It's not a quick fix, and like you said initially using more than the 100-200mg/day I recommend for daily use, does make the passage quicker too. Thanks for recommending the cream we have, we have tried to make it as simple as possible, with the best raw materials we can find. Take care Wray

Apr 29, 2011
Progesterone and no period
by: Wray

Hi there 500mg is a very high amount and could stop your period. Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system. There are others which are absorbed far better, and the amount doesn't have to be as high. Please consider switching. And no I don't believe any of us needs extra oestrogen, please see this page we have on HRT Take care Wray

Apr 29, 2011
Progesterone cured sleepless nights but added 20 pounds
by: Wray

Hi there I'm pleased the progesterone helped the panic attacks, it should. A drop in GABA causes them, but progesterone activates the GABA receptor sites. Without the progesterone the GABA doesn't work. We do have more info on Anxiety, there's a list of nutrients too which all help. I believe the weight gain was caused by too little progesterone, for more info see our page on How to use progesterone. You don't say how much you were using, but I recommend 100-200mg/day, please try increasing it. But before you do see this page we have on Oestrogen Dominance, as it can occur, and is disconcerting if it does. A drop in blood glucose also causes panic attacks, please avoid all sugar and sweet, starchy foods. It could be you have developed Insulin Resistance, as this also causes weight gain. A lack of vitamin D also causes it, please have a test done. For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. If you are using oral progesterone, this is the least effective Delivery system. Please read the comment Jenine made below, it's such sound advice. The amount of progesterone really does have to be high if good results are wanted. Take care Wray

Apr 29, 2011
You will not see weight loss on progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Annie Progesterone doesn't cause weight gain, it's thermogenic like testosterone, so in fact causes weight loss. It will only appear to cause it if too little is used. A low amount will merely stimulate oestrogen production, now that does cause weight gain. Oestrogen causes water retention, plus it stimulates cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But fat cells are a non ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. I recommend 100-200mg/day, anything less and oestrogen is stimulated. For more info see our page on How to use progesterone. Take care Wray

Apr 30, 2011
Hoping for a reply
by: Anonymous

I was really hoping to get a reply back on experience with panic attacks and progesterones effect on the problem. Should I post somewhere else?

May 03, 2011
No Estrogen?
by: Anonymous

I had my estrodiol level tested and it is n<20 which is almost nonexistant. My progesterone level is 1.7, also very low. I'm trying to adjust my hormone levels without gaining too much weight, although it seems that you can't be on HRT without gaining weight. My question is... should I be taking both estrodiol and progesterone? I'm taking 100 of prog and 20 of estrodiol per day. It seems that neither one is really having any effect. How should I modify the dosage of each hormone. THANKS!

May 04, 2011
Compounded biodenticals and weight gain
by: W

Hi Tracie Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately using a low level of progesterone merely stimulates oestrogen continually, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. You are also using an oestrogen cream too, so adding to the problem. Oestrogen in any form, be it natural or synthetic, has the same effect in the body, please see our page on HRT. I don't believe any woman needs more, there's already too much on the planet, see the website Our Stolen Future. Plus this excellent paper here. If you wish to come off the oestrogen, please see our page on Coming off HRT. It's always best to do it slowly, cold turkey is not dangerous, but the side effects can be very unpleasant. Oestrogen is a mitogen, stimulating cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But fat cells are also a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. Oestrogen also causes Insulin Resistance, which also causes weight gain. I'm delighted to hear you're taking so much vit D, and that your level is so high. I've only had one other correspondent who has been in the correct range. I'm also delighted to hear you're taking iodine and T3, iodine is so often overlooked. Sore breasts are experienced by so many women, and yet it's often only a lack of iodine causing it. You might consider taking tyrosine, this is the precursor to T4 and T3, plus our two stress hormones adrenaline and nor-adrenaline, plus dopamine. It's also so often overlooked and yet such a vital amino acid. You might like to see our pages on Peri-menopause and Menopause. Take care Wray

May 05, 2011
Still gaining wait. Please Help!
by: Brendarella

I started using Progesterone cream last August for relief of hot flashes, weight gain, fatigue. After starting I gained five more pounds right in the belly, the last place I needed even more weight, I discovered that (according to this site) I was not using enough. So I increased the cream from 20-40m to over 100m a day during the last two weeks of my cycle. The first cycle at 100m + I gained 5 more pounds and was nearly a week late with my period. The second cycle, my period came on time but I have another 5 pounds! I am now up to 165 pounds when I started using the cream to assist with weight loss and belly fat at 150 pounds. I am now fatter than ever and scared to death to keep using this cream only to get the OPPOSITE effect of what this site says. I am supposed to start the next cycle on Monday and am TERRIFIED! PLEASE HELP ME!

May 05, 2011
Natpro 100mg for two months and fatter than ever
by: Anonymous

I've gained 15 pounds since starting progesterone cream. I started it to help with weight gain and hot flashes. The first few months (according to this site) I did not use enough, only 20-40mg. I went from 150lbs (needing and desparately wanting to lose weight) to 156lbs. The next cycle I increased to 100mg+ daily for the last 14 days of my cycle. My period was a week late and I gained another 5lbs. Up to 161 (devastated now). I kept reading thinking maybe I was experiencing the "temporary" weight gain and did a third cycle of Natpro 100mg+ daily for the last 14 days of my cycle. I got my period on time, hot flashes are gone but now I weigh 165lbs. And the 15 pounds is all in my stomach and waist. I have never been more depressed and fat and defeated. All because I wanted to feel better and lose weight. I am supposed to start another cycle next week and I am absolutley terrified. PLEASE help me.

May 05, 2011
Anxious to start!
by: Anonymous

Hi-I am 8 years menopausal, after a hysterectomy and ovaries out. (I am now 42 and had cervical cancer when I was pregnant with my child) I stopped Cenestin last year because I was kind of freaked out about taking hormones so much. I have fought the hot flashes since then, and now the zero libido, and vaginal dryness, and now the fuzzheaded feeling and emotionalism. I have been doing the 25 mg yam-type cream for several months, which I see now is not enough. I have ordered some of the good cream and am eager for it to arrive and will keep you all posted. I intend to start at at least 200. I recently started Effexor to help with hot flashes, and testosterone cream for libido which, after 5 doses, has not helped at all. I have stopped it until I can get the progesterone started, and I look forward to stopping some of my sleep supplements too!

May 11, 2011
Still gaining wait. Please Help!
by: Wray

Hi Brendarella Please don't be terrified, although it appears that progesterone is at cause, it's not. All the hormones interact with each other, so progesterone stimulates oestrogen production, and vice versa. I've found at the low amounts you were using, it will continue to stimulate it, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. The reason for the weight gain is twofold. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But as these are also a non ovarian source of oestrogen, a vicious cycle starts. Progesterone stops this mitosis, plus it's slightly thermogenic like testosterone, so speeds metabolism. Secondly oestrogen causes water retention, this accounts for the rapid weight gain you've experienced. Progesterone on the other hand is an excellent diuretic, so good it's now given to traumatic brain injury victims via IV transfusion, see here and here. I don't believe the 100mg/day is sufficient. Unfortunately you were using a low amount, which had stimulated excess oestrogen, plus you had excess to begin with. The symptoms you mention all point to it. Oestrogen also causes Insulin Resistance, which in turn causes weight gain and fatigue. I also believe you could be short of vitamin D, a lack of this reduces the benefits of progesterone. Please have a test done, for more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. If you still have hot flushes, I've found 400mg/day is needed to stop or reduce them. Once under control the progesterone should be reduced slowly till the optimum is found. We do have a page on Menopause which has more info. Take care Wray

May 11, 2011
Natpro 100mg for two months and fatter than ever
by: Wray

Hi there I hope my previous explanation helps. You might also like to see this comment here too. Take care Wray

May 11, 2011
Anxious to start!
by: Wray

Hi there I do hope it helps you, it's helped so many others. I'm sure the previous post must have alarmed you, but I see you intend starting on 200mg/day. I'm relieved, as I know this amount helps. It's impossible to tell how an individual will react, no one knows the stressors involved and how progesterone will respond. It really is a question of experimenting! I would suggest you use some in your vagina too, it can help with dryness and inflammation. If you find the 200mg/day doesn't help the hot flushes, I do know 400mg/day for 4-5 days does, then once under control, the amount should be reduced to the optimum. Testosterone is often given in the mistaken belief it increases libido. It appears that possibly progesterone is the hormone responsible for this, see here. Please avoid testosterone in fact, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

May 16, 2011
Anxious to start!
by: Anonymous

I finally received it. About how long does it take to feel effects?

May 16, 2011
Such a high amount of Progesterone
by: Tracie

If I use more than 40 mg of my compounded biodentical progesterone cream I feel like I'm drunk the next morning and I feel sick. How can you use 100-200 mg without any side effects? I put the cream on thin skin like my wrists, inside elbows, behind the knees, and top of chest. I stay away from fatty skin because of it being absorbed in fat and staying there.

Thanks

May 18, 2011
menopause and me
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am a 61 year old and have had an estrogen implant put in about 3 months ago. Before that I was taking it in tablet form. (I have had an hysterectomy about 15years ago.) I have been feeling depressed, teary, dreadful mood swings, weight gain which I hate. I started pro-gest about 3 weeks ago and my weight seems to have gone up but did notice not so teary at the moment. I am on 40mg daily should I up it to 100mg?

I am confused as to what I should be taking. I intend to come off the estrogen and will not replace the implant when it is due. I just want to get myself back and also get rid of the 13kilos of excess weight.

May 22, 2011
Bailing out
by: Anonymous

I finally decided the weight gain wasn't worth the benefits of being on this stuff. Slowly tappered off both E and P cream after being on it for 2 plus years. I've dropped 10 pounds and my clothes are finally starting to fit again. Face it....this stuff causes weight gain and that's the truth. I haven't had too many issues coming off other than I'm not sleeping nearly as well,which is a bummer. My headaches however have gone away which I was getting a lot of as well. You have to decide for yourself what your willing to put up with.

May 23, 2011
Anxious to start!
by: Wray

Hi there I wish I could tell you but can't. All of us are so different there's no way of telling. Some experience bad Oestrogen Dominance to begin with, some mild, some not at all. Some find a benefit immediately, only to go into oestrogen dominance a few weeks later. Many things effect progesterone levels, stress, a lack of vitamin D, large meals, dark winter days and more. Oestrogen levels can vary too. There are over 100 oestrogen mimics on the planet now, in our food, air, water, the skin and body 'care' we use and more. There's no way of telling how much each of us is being effected by these mimics. If interested, please see the excellent website Our Stolen Future. As I said in my previous reply, please experiment with the amount. You might find you do need the 400mg/day to help the hot flushes, that 200mg/day is not sufficient. Take care Wray

May 23, 2011
Such a high amount of Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Tracie The reason you are getting these adverse symptoms when increasing the amount is caused by Oestrogen Dominance. It does pass, although it's impossible to tell how long it will take, or how much progesterone you'll need to counter the excess oestrogen. The skin comprises 95% kerotinocytes, these all have ample progesterone receptors. So the cream can be applied to any part of the body, not just the thin skinned areas. I've not found it 'stays' in the fatty layer. Yes fat cells do absorb progesterone, but that's because progesterone is lipophilic. The red blood cells travelling through capillaries in the fat pick up the progesterone and transport it around the body, see here. The vagina and rectum are also good areas to use it too, as these have a plentiful supply of red blood cells. For more info see our pages on Peri-menopause and Menopause. Or if you are pre-menopausal see our page on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

May 23, 2011
menopause and me
by: Wray

Hi there It doesn't surprise me you don't feel good on the oestrogen implant. Please see our page on HRT for the reasons why. It does take time for progesterone to work, I see it has already helped your mood. I feel you would benefit from a higher level, I don't find the usual 20-40mg/day very effective. This is the amount I started using 15 years ago, and it took me 6 months to feel normal again. If you do increase the amount, please be aware that Oestrogen Dominance can kick in. In fact you already have one symptom of it, the weight gain. Oestrogen causes fat cells to divide and multiply, plus it causes water retention. This last accounts for your immediate weight gain. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, so good it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent the oedema that forms. We do have more info on our Menopause page. Please experiment with the amount, you might find you need more than 100mg/day to begin with. Take care Wray


May 23, 2011
Anxious to start!
by: Anonymous

Here is an update--I started at the 200 mg dose and my hot flushes immediately went away. I thought it was a fluke, but nope! What a joy to not have those! And as a result, I am also sleeping better! I almost feel like myself. My libido has not increased but I am hopeful it will since it has only been a week. And I have not lost any weight, but I haven't gained any either. My fuzzy-headed feeling has decreased about 60% also. I am very tickled with the results so far!

May 25, 2011
Bailing out
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately you were given oestrogen with the progesterone. This would cause you to gain weight, plus it's not worth the risks, see our page on HRT. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells, it also causes water retention. Both these combined will increase weight. Progesterone is thermogenic, which means it speeds metabolism slightly. It's also an excellent diuretic, so good it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent oedema forming. So this 'stuff' doesn't cause you to gain weight, only the oestrogen will. Progesterone is also helpful for sleep, see here. Oestrogen is an excitatory and inflammatory hormone, whereas progesterone calms and is an anti-inflammatory. Hence the headaches you were getting, progesterone is also excellent for these too, see here, here, here, here and here. For more info on How to use progesterone cream, please read through this page. Take care Wray

May 30, 2011
Anxious to start!
by: Wray

Hi there You can imagine my delight that your hot flushes have gone! They were the most awful aspect of P-M for me, although the depression was bad too. I'm so pleased the lower amount of 200mg/day worked for you, often women have to go to 400mg/day, which gets costly. Progesterone is excellent for sleep too, see here. I do hope the libido gets better too, as you say it's only been a week on the progesterone. I found slowly, slowly over 6 months all the symptoms I had went, or the ones I wanted back came back. Like my short term memory, which was so bad I thought I had early onset senile dementia! But I was using the normal recommended amount of 20-40mg/day which is why it took so long. Take care Wray

May 30, 2011
Anxious to start
by: Anonymous

.Ok, I have been on this about 3 weeks and it is wonderful! I feel like my body is breathing a sigh of relief. I have stopped my evening Effexor which I took for hot flashes, and my homeopathy I was taking for them also. I have decreased my sleeping meds by about 1/3 to 1/. Still have trouble with libido, but vaginal dryness is gone now, so maybe the other will kick in soon! I started at 200, now doing about 150. Haven't gained any weight either! This is just fantastic!

May 30, 2011
Progesterone-Not strong enough??
by: Laura

While having my tubes tied my Dr. discovered I have endometriosis. After hearing my options I went with the Progesterone cream. My rx is only 20mg a day days 5-26 of my cycle. From what I am reading that is doing nothing but of course putting on some weight. I have been on it now for a few months and have no idea if it is helping anything. I was ready to just stop until I read the posts here. Should I ask for a stronger dose? Not real thrilled with my gyno. She pretty muched scoffed at me wanting to just do the cream. She wanted me to do heavier drugs that would put me into menopause.

Thanks for any help on this!

May 31, 2011
Bio Identical Progesterone
by: Michelle

Hi, I have been taking bio identical Progesterone and topical Testosterone for a month now...I have put on almost 10 pounds and am not happy about it at all. I am extremely active, lifting weights and 5 days of cardio and am still gaining weight. My stomach looks bloated. Is this from the Progesterone?

Jun 01, 2011
STILL gaining....
by: Brendarella

Update from last month. I am absolutely devasted. Despite being terrified from my last post I took the advice and continued another month of Natpro, increasing to about 200mg per day. Lo and behold I gained more weight. I'm terrified to continue but I'm terrified not to. I wish I had never bought into this seeking relief. I've gained more than 15 pounds in my stomach. I look like I'm pregnant with twins. My biggest fear come true. Give me hot flashes all day long over this nightmare.

If the person who bailed out is reading this, I read you lost 10lbs by discontinuing, would you please respond and let me know how you went off it and how you are doing now?

And if there is anyone out there who has NOT gained or has but then has miraculously lost, PLEASE respond. Fat, terrified and devasted is worse than hot flashes.

Jun 03, 2011
Anxious to start
by: Wray

Hi there This is such good news! The fact you are able to reduce your drugs too. I'm so relieved you chose to use the higher amount of 200mg/day to begin with. So many have trouble with following this advice, primarily because of the warnings they've received about using too much. But in every case, I've found it works far quicker to effect a change. Plus Oestrogen Dominance is minimised. Progesterone is excellent in the vagina, I can't remember if I told you that. So if dryness or inflammation should bother you again, try applying it there, a finger or syringe is best. You might find the libido is helped by applying it there too. Best done at night, as the cream tends to leak out when upright. Incidentally, progesterone is excellent for men too, it also increases their libido, see here. So if you have a partner, he need not worry about the effect it has on him if you use the vaginal route. I'm also delighted you haven't gained weight as so many do. It's always the low amounts of progesterone which cause this. Take care Wray

Jun 03, 2011
Anxious to start
by: Anonymous

In addition, I have lost about 4 lbs. Granted, I am also going to Weight Watchers, but have not found it more difficult to lose weight. Definitely not gaining!

Jun 03, 2011
Dear Still Gaining:
by: Jenine

I gained weight on the lower amounts but found that if I did 300+ for awhile, to get my body progesterone-dominant more quickly, the weight gain slowed and eventually went down. I've been taking only 150 mg lately and feel like I've leveled off but am not quite down to my ideal weight so I am going to up my dosage again.

Since my main weight is in my stomach, I think it is related to stress and hormones and that the progesterone will help again. Stay with it and go higher for a week or two--Wray will confirm this is safe (pregnant women have much higher progesterone levels than we are giving ourselves with the cream). You should see and feel a difference soon.

Jun 08, 2011
Just Starting Progesterone
by: Penny Lane

Hi - I am 48 and developed irregular periods and flooding - words cannot describe the mayhem, but I'm thinking that my hormones had been low for quite some time now. So I am starting on estrogen cream. I think I started around day 18 or so of my cycle but it's hard to say because after bleeding for two weeks and letting up for less than a week my body wanted to bleed again; so I doubt that I was ovulating. I began with 1/4 tsp twice a day of non-prescription cream, 22 mg per 1/4 tsp (per package directions.) I did this for one week, and the hemorrhaging stopped, but there was still spotting and irritability, and I could tell that my body still wanted to bleed, so some days I would take a little more - say an extra 1/4 tsp. Also, after 1 week I notice bloating. SO - after reading these comments I am ramping up this 2nd week to 3 tsp a day at least. This will provide 264 mg. of progesterone. If I feel I need more I will go to 4 tsp. / 352 mg.

My question is - without having a regular cycle, I am not sure whether I should take a break or not. How long should I continue the application, and when should I consider taking a break? Starting out I assumed I would do 2 weeks on and two weeks off, but now I am not sure. Would appreciate any advice and thank you so much for this forum!!

Jun 09, 2011
Correction to the above post!
by: Penny Lane

I can't believe I typed 'estrogen cream' above when I should have typed 'progesterone cream!' I have been taking between 350-440 mg of progesterone a day for the last couple of days, and cannot believe the relief I am experiencing. My question is about how long I should take it. I had monthly periods until recently, but the last 2-3 months they became irregular, with pronounced symptoms of estrogen dominance. How long should I continue at this dose? 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off? 3 weeks on and 1 week off? I have been taking progesterone for a week and a half now but only for 3 or so days at the higher dose. Before that I was following package directions. Thanks!

Jun 10, 2011
Anxious to start
by: Wray

Hi there So pleased you've lost some weight, and not found it more difficult. If you're interested in diet, please see our page on Nutrition. There are links to three websites I believe offer the best advice on what foods we should eat. I've given three options, as we all have different tastes. Take care Wray

Jun 10, 2011
Dear Still Gaining:
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Thanks for your support, once again! You are right, it is best to become progesteorne dominant as quickly as you can. It is only oestrogen that causes the weight gain when using low amounts of progesterone. Progesterone is thermogenic, so increases metabolism slightly. The weight gain over the stomach is related to hormones, particularly testosterone. In fact the menopausal ovary is an androgen producing organ, see here. You might like to read what testosterone does to us. And yet so many women are given it, in the mistaken belief it increases libido, there's evidence it's progesterone which is resoonsible for this, in men too. See here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jun 10, 2011
Just Starting Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Penny Firstly I do hope you meant progesterone cream and not oestrogen cream! Peri-menopause is a most difficult time, with mayhem as you say! With spotting or flooding, 2 weeks between periods to 3 months between, and periods which last weeks in some cases. There is simply no way we can follow the cycle once in P-M, so I always suggest using it daily, ignoring periods which will come and go at will. I'm delighted you've been encouraged to increase the amount of progesterone. I've found that low amounts merely exacerbate Oestrogen Dominance. Please be aware this can occur when increasing the amount from the 44mg you were using to the 264mg you intend using. You might like to read this comment for encouragement, see here. Thanks for the kind words too! Take care Wray

Jun 13, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Lauren

Hello! I am 27 and have had problems with what I believe is myofasical pain syndrome (lots of trigger points in my muscles), fatigue, and weight gain/not being able to lose weight. My thyroid bloodwork came back within range, but had been given different doses of T3 (25mcg-75mcg), and have tried Armour and Nature-throid (became hyper on 1 grain) with little to no relief from symptoms. I am starting to think that I do not have a thyroid problem, so I changed doctors. My new doctor has tested my testosterone (high-55; 2-45 ng/dl), estradiol (in range 65; 11-212), and progesterone (in range 0.5; <1.0). She has also tested my vitamin D which is a little low at 37 so I am taking 5,000 iu. The doctor has given me a bio-identical progesterone cream and told me to take 100 mg for 10 days before my period starts. The prescription bottle says apply 1-2 clicks which I am assuming means 100-200 mg. I am starting to wean myself off of my thyroid medicine because I don't believe it is helping, and know progesterone can help stimulate it. My question is, does it seem like I am in fact low in progesterone? Also, do you recommend starting out at 100 or 200 mg? In case this is helpful, I have never had kids, have not been on birth control for about a year, and have normal cycles typically with very painful cramps. Thanks for your help!

Jun 13, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Anonymous

Hi Lauren-I am just a lurker/user of progesterone. I wanted to address your pain issues. I also had many myofascial trigger points, and after I stopped all artificial sweeteners, they went away completely. Pains I had had for years. I was certain I had fibromyalgia. It is worth a try-I know several people personally who have been helped by this dietary change.

If my post is inappropriate, please accept my apology. I just would like to help. Thanks!

Jun 14, 2011
Artificial sweeteners
by: Lauren

Thank you for your advice. I don't really drink diet soda, or much of any soda. But, maybe I am getting too much from it in other food sources. I am starting a clean diet so we'll see if that helps, but I just can't let go the possibility that it is something hormonal/chemically within my body. I never used to have this pain before these last few years.

Jun 16, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Wray

Hi Lauren It does sound as if you need progesterone. Artificial sweeteners are notorious are causing adverse symptoms, so I'm pleased you don't drink diet soda. But there are many hidden sources, see here. It appears your tests were done in the follicular or first half of the cycle, as you give 0.5ng/ml progesterone. The tests should never be done then, but mid luteal phase. This is when progesterone levels peak, the range being 5 to 20 ng/ml. It's meaningless to do it any other time, as progesterone will be low. Your vitamin D is very low, it should be between 70-100ng/ml, and not the 30ng/ml the labs use as a reference. 5000iu's is a good dose, but it could be some time before levels rise sufficiently. You might consider taking 10000iu's for a month or two to get it up. I believe this is why you have the pain, fatigue and weight gain, a lack of vitamin D effects us hugely, these symptoms you have being but a few. A lack also reduces the benefits of progesterone. Plus it impacts on the thyroid too. It's best to make certain how much progesterone 1-2 clicks gives. I do recommend 100-200mg/day, but it is dependant on symptoms and how much oestrogen is present. I feel initially you would benefit more from the higher amount, due to the symptoms you have. But before increasing, please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance first, as this can occur. And progesterone should be used from ovulation, not 10 days before your period. A normal luteal phase is always 12 to 14 days long, and always occurs between ovulation and bleeding. I prefer it if women use the progesterone for the full 14 days, as this ensures sufficient is used. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Progesterone is an excellent analgesic, please rub some on your tummy when you get cramps. It's not harmful to use it while bleeding, far better to get rid of adverse symptoms, than suffer monthly. For more info on vitamin D, please see the Vitamin D Council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Take care Wray

Jun 16, 2011
Three's a charm?
by: Judy

Hi Wray, I've spent thousands of dollars after my partial hysterectomy with multiple doctors, both MD's that do homeopathic and others, drugs vs hormones, all kinds of tests and it's almost defeating..but I remain hopeful. My saliva test came back Estradiol 2.5, Progesterone 69.3, Ratio of PG/E2 27.3, Testosterone 48.3, Dhea 120.3, Cortisol 3.1, Cortisol Morning 3.1, Cortisol Noon 4.7, Cortisol Evening 0.05 and Cortisol night 0.08. My Pg/E2 ratio intimates estrogen dominance. There was some consensus in that most of the doctors put me on the progesterone cream (50 MG per day the highest). This is my third attempt at the progesterone cream. I usually can't get through a month at 1pump = 20 mg per day. You mention taking 3 to 4x's that amount per day. That's a lot of cream and this stuff is thick and hard to rub in! If you are trying to overcome the oestrogen effects doesn't it make sense to take the progesterone cream daily without stopping until the oestrogen dominance effects have diminished? Otherwise it seems to me that you have to go back to almost square one when you start, stop, start, stop, etc..the progesterone in the initial phases.

It's been three weeks on the cream and I'm up four lbs already. I know it's the oestrogen, but how can you curb it's effects while you are waiting for the good effects of the progesterone to kick in? A water pill, other? Also, I am buying my progesterone cream over the internet per a doctors advice (PBalance Cream w/Progest-10 complex). Not sure of it's effectiveness. It sometimes feels grainy when I apply it. Thoughts most appreciated. Have a blessed day! Judy

Jun 16, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Lauren

Thanks Wray! I will have my next test done in mid luteal phase. Would I be looking for a certain ratio between my progesterone and estradiol? I also have other symptoms but the ones I listed are my major complaints. I believe I have adrenal fatigue and am waiting for my saliva cortisol results. I have read that some progesterone is made in the adrenals and if they get fatigued it can affect your thyroid too. I tried a new thyroid medicine a couple weeks ago which made me turn hyper so now I am trying to get that normalized again. That has given me a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, nervousness, and on top of that I've had severe acid reflux/heartburn that I can't get to go away. Some of my other symptoms that relate to estrogen dominance besides the trigger points in my muscles, weight gain, and fatigue are hypoglycemia feelings if I don't eat in time, irritability, sugar/carb cravings, mild depression, sometimes my periods are a few days off, and pms symptoms before my period starts and during my period which include hot flushes, bloating, breast tenderness, severe cramps, and low back pain.

Jun 16, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Lauren

Wray, I'm glad you told me I need to clarify how many MGs are in each click. I was under the impression the doctor wanted me to have 100mg, but the pharmacist said that's the concentration (something like that). Each click is 25mg, so the doctor wants me to apply 25-50mg. I know from reading your website and all the comments, this is not enough and those who have increased to 100+ have had better results. I guess I am just looking for a confirmation that going above the amount the doctor wants me to do will not negatively affect me permanently. Trust me, I have learned through all of this that doctors are a lot of times wrong, but I'm still scared of going against what a doctor says haha. Please understand that I do not think you are wrong, and I will be taking your advice when I start the cream for the first time in my next cycle. I appreciate the help you have given us all!

Jun 16, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Lauren

It's me again, I'm sorry for so many posts! I just wanted to say that my doctor just told me that I need to start at the lower amount and work my way up otherwise I may get acne and bloating. I guess she knows what she's talking about a little bit, but not enough to know that those are symptoms of the oesteogen receptors being activated (I think that's what you've been saying hehe) and can be overcome faster by using a higher amount. As long as I will not damage myself by using a higher dose, I will start with 100 mg. I know from everything I've read on your site that it is safe, and I guess I'm just trying to get it through my head and not be nervous about it! Thanks again for all your knowledge and help, Wray!

Jun 18, 2011
Caps vs. Cream
by: VMR

Hi Wray...

This is a great website! I'm still learning about all this stuff, but was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. I am taking 200mg Progesterone Time Released Cap at bedtime from day 12 to menses (these are from a compounding pharmacy). They are working great for sleep and I have been feeling generally better overall (this is my second month using). It's nice that my insurance covers them, as well, but it seems cream is the best way to go. So if I wanted to convert to a cream instead, am I correct in assuming the 200mg oral the same as 20mg of the topical cream? Is it okay to add some cream for morning and then take the pills in the evening or is it best to get off the compounded pills all together and go cream only? Seems like there is definitely some room for me to increase my dosage from where I am currently at to get even better results. Thanks so much for your help!

Jun 18, 2011
Hey, Judy!
by: Jenine

I just wanted to share that the Natpro cream sold on this site at a great price is a much better ratio of progesterone-to-cream. You can get 166 mg per teaspoon and it's not quite as thick as other brands. And, if you take the questionnaire on progesterone deficiency (top right side of web page), you can get the cream at an even better price!

I experienced those beginning symptoms and actually went up to around 300 mg a day for a few weeks to hurry the process along a bit. I did not find water pills helpful but did keep up exercise, not eating late and other good general habits. Just love yourself through a brief period of change--it's worth it : )

Jun 22, 2011
Hi Jenine
by: Judy

Jenine, Thanks so much for the response. I hadn't yet looked through the entire site but did discover the cream after I sent the comment. Also after shopping around I did not see a higher dose available elsewhere. So this is great. I'm curious, how many weeks/months before the progesterone kicked in for you where you were finally getting relief and losing the temporary weight? Did you gain more than 10 lbs?

I discovered by reading earlier posts that I also have a Vit D deficiency. I was at 25. something. So I have started on Vit D3 drops (5000IU 2x's day which is pretty painless)last week.

My daughter is to be married the first week in August and my gown is going to be less forgiving if I stay on the progesterone and gain more weight in the interim. So my plan is to go off the progesterone and give my body a rest for the time being and revisit in late September with the higher dose cream you mentioned at 300mg (1/2 am/1/2 pm). By then, hopefully the Vit D should be better. Thanks again for info and encouragement.

Jun 24, 2011
Three's a charm?
by: Wray

Hi Judy Yes I agree your progesterone to oestrogen ratio is too low. We've found from Saliva Tests we run, that the ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Yes again to the amount, I do recommend much higher than 20 to 50mg/day, in fact 100-200mg/day and over, particularly if symptoms are severe. It is not a one size fits all, people with mild symptoms need far less than those with severe. In fact Eve on occasion went up to 1000mg/day. You might like to see these other comments here, here and here. And you are quite right, I often suggest using progesterone daily, throughout bleeding too, to overcome severe symptoms. Generally 2 to 3 months is sufficient, but I do know of women who've continued for months before finding stability. I don't normally push our cream, I'm happy to answer all queries from users of other brands. But in this case I would ask you to try ours, I think you'll find it's not thick and hard to rub in! You might like to see this comment here. And Jenine has also kindly recommended it too. The graininess is caused by progesterone precipitating out or not being fully dissolved when being made. The weight gain is caused by oestrogen, and it will continue to plague you on the 20mg/day. It really does have to be higher to overcome the Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray


Jun 24, 2011
What dose to start with
by: Wray

Hi Lauren Well I'm going to answer all your comments in one! Most of the time you seem concerned about using progesterone. Don't forget when pregnant we make over 400ng/ml per day, whereas in our monthly cycle we make a maximum of 20ng/ml per day. This is the reason women are advised to use 20mg/day progesterone, which on reflection is daft. If we have adverse symptoms, then it stands to reason the amount we're making is not sufficient. So more is needed, in some case far more, see here. These comments might encourage you too, see here, here and here. The adrenals do make progesterone, it's the precursor to cortisol, so I've found progesterone helpful for adrenal fatigue. It takes the strain off the adrenals having to make it, they often rob other sources too, notably the ovaries, which then effects our reproductive system. In fact stress stops ovulation, which means there's no ovarian production of progesterone. Did I give you our page on Anxiety? There are numerous nutrients which help. And please see our page on Insulin Resistance too. I wouldn't advise starting low, as that usually makes the oestrogen dominance symptoms worse. You could of course try it and see! Take care Wray


Jun 24, 2011
Caps vs. Cream
by: Wray

Hi VMR Thanks for the kind words! I'm pleased the progesterone is helping you, as you've probably seen oral is not the best Delivery system. It's difficult to make a direct comparison, but generally only 20% of the oral is available. But for instance, if someone has hot flushes, I recommend 400mg/day for a few days, they generally stop or are certainly manageable. But in one study, oral progesterone at 300mg/day, reduced the hot flushes by 56%, over a period of 12 weeks. So it's important to assess how severe the symptoms are, and use enough progesterone to reduce or eliminate them quickly. And to use a system which delivers the progesterone effectively. I would never recommend 20mg/day to any woman, as it exacerbates the symptoms, but if you are using the caps too, then it's worth trying together. If you want to stop the caps and use a cream, then I suggest you use 100mg/day via the cream. It's impossible for me to say how you will react once the caps are finished, but if symptoms come back apply more cream. It's important to monitor symptoms and use the progesterone accordingly. For instance stress drops levels sharply, so more is needed to prevent return of symptoms. If you do increase the amount at any time, please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance first, as this often occurs. I'm not sure what age you are, but you might like to see these two pages we have on Peri-menopause and Menopause Take care Wray

Jun 24, 2011
Hey, Judy!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Thanks for the support! Take care Wray

Jun 24, 2011
Hi, Judy!
by: Jenine

I would say my weight went back down in about a month to six weeks, but I bet it would have been sooner if I had taken a higher dose (around 300 for me) earlier.

Kokoro is a good, clean brand, too, but less progesterone for the amount of carrier cream. If I need to buy that or a brand other than Natpro, I just go by how much progesterone is in the entire bottle and divide it up so I am still taking the right amount for me.

I hope you do okay without it before the wedding, but I would recommend upping your dosage now so you reach your goal by then. I tried going without progesterone for a few days, to see what I noticed, and I felt lethargic, more stressed and looked heavier due to water retention, which progesterone gets rid of. I feel bright, energized, happy and more slender now that I am on it again.

Jun 24, 2011
Progesterone and depression
by: PJ

Well, I am 61 and menopausal and fighting the belly fat. I had a hyster at 36. I wrote in a few months ago when I started 100 mg of compounded progesterone and gained 10 lbs almost over night. I was also doing a small amt of estrogen.

No matter what I do I cannot lose. I have gone from a 12 to a 14. If I increase the progesterone I get too depressed. So I cannot do that.
I also noticed the more I use the more relaxed and unmotivated I feel!

I am considering going off all of it. As I said I am not having periods so it is impossible to tell what stage of the month I am in.

My doc said if I feel "Blue" I am taking too much.
So I just don't think it is for me. Plus even on 100 mg I still have nightime hot flashes. About one a night.

Help.

Jul 12, 2011
So Sad .... Keep Gaining
by: Anonymous

After a terrible 6-8 months of mood swings, sleeplessness, night sweats, etc. I was thrilled to finally have a saliva test and find out I was deficient in Progesterone and DHEA. I was soooo excited the first 10 days or so of my Biodentical Replacement. I felt like I was finally going to get "myself" back. While I would have put up with the physical symptoms, just kind of "gut it out," I was very very concerned with my mood swings, they were seriously affecting my marriage and my children. Now, after almost a month .... I have gained TEN POUNDS. Vanity aside, I am so bloated it is painful. I am so sad because I thought I was finally getting somewhere and I feel like I may need to quit the bioidenticals...

Jul 12, 2011
Hi, PJ!
by: Jenine

I'm sure Wray will comment shortly, but I would use the cream, not anything oral as about 90% is the dose destroyed by the digestive acids. That may be why you are gaining the weight--you are in effect only taking in a small amount of progesterone when using 100 mg orally. I know Wray has also stated that she is not a fan of taking any additional estrogen. I am perimenopausal and take it everyday, at least 150 mg total divided in morning and evening doses. When I stopped briefly, I felt sluggish and cold, so I am going to stay on it. My weight also dropped a bit more when I added more vitamin D into my routine. Good luck, stay tuned!

Jul 12, 2011
Continued Progress
by: Penny Lane

Hi Wray -

I have actually been taking 440 mg of progesterone a day, and I cannot express how much relief I have experienced! But I am worried that I will become progesterone dominate if I continue at this dose for too long.

I took a couple of days off from the progesterone just as a monitoring check, and my symptoms returned with a vengeance. I started up again and all was well. A couple of weeks later, my symptoms returned when I tried to taper from 440 to about 300. So now I am back up to 440 again. My question is, how long should I continue at this amount, and when will I know to taper?

Thanks so much for your encouragement!

Jul 15, 2011
Progesterone and depression
by: Wray

Hi PJ It seems you can't have read my first answer to your query on 23rd Jan, so I will paste it again here.......
Jan 23, 2011
Hi PJ I'm not in favour of extra oestrogen. Oestrogen causes sodium retention, hence the water retention. Progestins could make you insane, as they suppress progesterone levels. Oestrogen stimulates cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But these are a non-ovarian source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. Oestrogen also stimulates the appetite, one of the reasons women get cravings the few days prior to bleeding. Progesterone is dropping then, so is oestrogen, but if the ratio of the two hormones becomes unbalanced, many adverse symptoms occur. When starting progesterone it does stimulate oestrogen, which initially would have created more. Especially if the amount used is low, as yours appears to be. This would have hastened the weight gain, for more info on this see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, if you do increase the amount, please make sure you read the page on oestrogen dominance, as this can occur when increasing. You might like to read our page on Menopause too. I'm pleased you're taking the vitamin D, I hope sufficient. The minimum dose should be 5000iu's/day, for more info please see the Vitamin D council website. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone and there's evidence a lack is implicated in dementia, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Please have a vitamin D test done on your mother. You'll notice in one of the links that a physician gave an Alzheimer's patient 5000iu's/day. Not having spoken a word for a year, she started speaking again. It's certainly worth trying for your mother, no harm can come of it, but potential good. It's very lucky they left your ovaries in, see here. I?ve run out of space, so will continue the answer in a new comment. Take care Wray

Jul 15, 2011
Progesterone and depression
by: Wray

Hi PJ Progesterone also has protective effects against Alzheimer's, see here. Whereas oestrogen increases the risk, see our page on HRT. Also on the 23rd Jan you sent another similar query entitled 'gained weight with Prog and Est bio creams' which I also answered by pasting the same answer as above. I hope this has answered this query. Take care Wray

Jul 17, 2011
Mexican Dioscorea Villosa cream, Weight Gain, Graves Disease and Adrenal Stress
by: Ellen in Mexico

Hello Wray. I am unable to get Natpro sent to me in my current location. I am working on my Adrenal Exhaustion, hormones etc. and I have Progecyv Wild Yam Extract Cream, 60G to a tub, Wild Yam Extract(Dioscorea Villosa), Almond Oil, Carbopol 934, Trietanolamine, Estearic Acid, DL-Panthenol, Glicerolate, Water. The Mexican creams do not say exactly how much progesterone is in them. I have checked several. This one costs me about $12 a pot. I read on this site that in a 60G jar there might be 900 mg. of progesterone. Did I get that right? I am using about 1/4 tsp 3 or 4 times daily and I am gaining weight. I read that this might be Oestrogen Dominance. At times my thyroid hurts as well. This has recently started again so I am thinking I need more cream? (I am in remission from Graves).

I have never forgotten your incredible kindness, time and energy a few years ago when I was in such a crisis. I went through 9 tubes of Natpro before I could not get it any longer due to circumstances here.

I did not use anything for a number of years which was, a big mistake! I am done suffering now and a recent crisis has kicked my ass and I am back on the train of recovery. I am improving daily and feel much more level. I have been gluten free now for over a year and that alone transformed my life and I got back to my normal weight. Now, I am suddenly gaining weight again around my lower back, hips and thighs.

I started this new program in earnest near the end of June so it has not been a month yet. When I started I was full of irrational fears, anxiety, sweats and so on due to a very stressful year. You know the story. Now, only 3 weeks later I am soooo much better already. I have sweats, and the night ones have gotten worse with this protocol (which means I need more cream?). I have no nausea, my body feels good for the most part and so far, no breast pain or tenderness. I had a hysterectomy many years ago and am 56 now. I have no idea if I am finished with menopause. I have 1 and a half ovaries if I remember correctly.

I am most interested to hear your opinion of the cream I am using. It is made by Corporacion CYVPHARMA in Zapopan, Jalisco. (That is just outside of Guadalajara)

I just want to know if what I am using is doing anything or if it is just the vitamins and oils and if the cream is good, do I need to increase my dose? I really do not want to gain weight permanently. For a while is OK.

Thank you in advance. Do you have a Facebook page that I can send my contacts to?
Ellen

Jul 18, 2011
Hi, PJ!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Bless you for encouraging PJ! It's interesting you felt sluggish and cold, progesterone is thermogenic, so increasing temperature and metabolism slightly. Take care Wray

Jul 18, 2011
Continued Progress
by: Wray

Hi Penny I'm so happy you trusted me enough to use a high amount, and that it did help! You do need to become progesterone dominant and it's obvious you're not quite there yet, as your symptoms return when you take a break. Tapering back to 300mg from 440mg is too big a jump, reduce by no more than 30mg/day and stay on that amount for about a week, or more if necessary, before attempting to reduce again. How long it will take is the perennial question. You might like to read these comments from users of high amount for encouragement, see here, here, here and here. You might like to see the Saliva Tests we run too, these give an indication of the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen. You'll notice that the ratio varies from 600:1 to over 1000:1. Take care Wray

Jul 18, 2011
So Sad .... Keep Gaining
by: Wray

Hi there You don't say how much progesterone you are using. If it's the standard 20-40mg/day it doesn't surprise me you've gained weight. I take it you were also given DHEA, as you say it was low. This increases testosterone levels, and with it not only weight gain due to visceral fat, but it increases the risk of cancer and heart disease, see here, here, here and here. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone, I recommend 100-200mg/day. For more info see our page on How to use progesterone cream if you're a young woman, or our pages on Peri-menopause and Menopause if older. You also don't say if the 'bio-identicals' contained oestrogen. I gather they must have for you to have bloated so quickly. Oestrogen causes water retention, it's also a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. Please consider increasing the amount of progesterone only, and please use a Delivery system which is effective. Take care Wray

Jul 18, 2011
Progesterone and depression
by: Wray

Hi PJ I don't believe 100mg/day is sufficient, certainly not if you still have those symptoms, particularly the hot flushes. I've found 400mg/day is needed to stop those within a few days. Oral progesterone only reduces them by 56% and took 12 weeks to do so. The dose was high too, 300mg/day, see here. The reason for the depression, weight gain etc was not progesterone, but oestrogen. When first using progesterone, particularly if the amount is too low, it stimulates oestrogen. It's essential to use enough to overcome this, there's more info on our page about Oestrogen Dominance. If the amount is too low it continues to stimulate oestrogen. Although I do recommend 100-200mg/day, many women find they need more. You might like to read these comments from other users, see here and here. Take care Wray

Jul 21, 2011
.
by: Susan

I'm not sure I agree that progesterone is the "cure-all" hormone.. some women DO NOT tolerate it, and I highly doubt it's from an increase in oestrogen.

Like any other hormone, if your body has too much progesterone, there are negative side effects.

Progesterone causes migraines for me. I get them in the latter part of my cycle, when progesterone rises and estrogen lowers. Progesterone is not produced in large amounts in the female body until (normally) two years after your first menstrual cycle.. coincidentally, that's when my migraines started.. a drop in estrogen causes them for me.. not to mention weight gain the abdominal area! I've always had the flattest stomach, but after getting on natural progesterone, I began gaining weight in that area.. and depression.

The abdominal weight gain from progesterone makes sense, because like you said, progesterone is the pregnancy hormone! Your body needs to gain weight at that time, and so you eat and eat and eat, and what hormone has the highest levels during pregnancy? Progesterone.

It's not good for everyone. For some it might work, but for me it causes headaches, weight gain, and depression (as well as acne). So no thanks! Just be cautious when using ANY type of hormone- natural or otherwise!

Jul 21, 2011
.
by: Susan

Also adding to the weight gain side effect- there have been numerous studies relating to estrogen and leptin. Estrogen has a similar effect in the brain as leptin, and leptin controls hunger.

Progesterone on the other hand, often increases your desire to eat!


Jul 26, 2011
INSANE Weight gain
by: Linda

Just looking for validation. I started hot flashing on oral estradiol and oral progesterone a few months back. I made the switch to trans-dermal as a result of my research. My initial dosages were WAY too low to report here--I was hot flashing more than ever. I figured out that 1 MG Bi-est and 200 mg progesterone x 14 fixed the initial trans-dermal withdrawal.

But I'm gaining weight like a bat out of hell, and ladies, I'm doing Beachbody's INSANITY--that's right--heart pounding, vigorous cardio--the hell with the stupid idiocy that declares women should engage in moderately intense exercise because anything vigorous would cause hot flashes...doh.

I had a clue in May about progesterone, but needed to do more adjusting. I finally realized that the cravings kick back up with the progesterone application. Anyhow, I'm going to return to my original oral dosing of 100 mg x 1 with the trans-dermal and see if that kicks the weight loss in and keeps the hot flashes at bay. I can't stand my gut like this when INSANITY delivers but I can't! I was at 130 in March and I battle 136-138 constantly. Yuck. I want my six pack!




Aug 03, 2011
by: Susan
by: Wray

Hi Susan I agree progesterone is not a cure all, there are so many other factors to take into consideration. But often supposed adverse side effects when starting it, are in fact caused by progesterone stimulating oestrogen. I've found it's the low amounts of 20-40mg/day that are to blame. Take your migraines for example, oestrogen is an inflammatory hormone, it also causes water retention. It's when the ratio of the two hormones becomes unbalanced that problems arise. Catamenial migraines always occur just prior to bleeding, ie in the latter part of the cycle, and they are caused by excess oestrogen. Progesterone is effective at reducing or stopping them, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Progesterone is thermogenic, making it difficult to cause weight gain. It's also an excellent diuretic, so reducing weight gained by water retention. Oestrogen and only oestrogen causes cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells, progesterone inhibits mitosis. It's also effective against depression/anxiety, see here, here and here. I've run out of space so will continue below. Take care Wray

Aug 03, 2011
by: Susan
by: Wray

Hi Susan The weight gained during pregnancy is not caused by progesterone, see here. Abdominal weight gain is due to testosterone, not progesterone see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Oestrogen disturbs blood glucose, progesterone helps to stabilise it. Which is why so many women get cravings just prior to bleeding, the ratio becomes unbalanced with progesterone dropping too fast. Supplementing with progesterone prevents the cravings occurring. Interesting you should mention leptin, as there's evidence progesterone increases levels, and not oestrogen, see here. Take care Wray

Aug 03, 2011
INSANE Weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Linda I doubt if the 100mg/day will help, particularly if it's oral. This is the least effective Delivery system. If you continue taking oral, I suggest you increase to 300mg/day, but you'll find it will only reduce the hot flushes by about 56%, and will take an average of 12 weeks to do so, see here. I've found 400mg/day progesterone in a form that's well absorbed is needed to reduce or stop hot flushes within a few days. As for the weight gain, please read the papers I've given Susan above. Take care Wray

Aug 04, 2011
Please Help! So confused
by: Vicki

Started 50 mg/ml compounded progesterone cream 7/21. My stomach is bloated and cellulite (which I do not have a problem with) is gathering on belly and back of legs and butt.

So far, still not sleeping through the night.

Not sure what to do - typical symptoms of estrogen dominance (saliva test results also).

Can't deal with the weight gain and cellulite - I work to hard to stay in shape.

Should I increase or decrease progesterone before I stop all together.

Every website contradicts the other.

Thank you!

Aug 06, 2011
Please Help! So confused
by: Wray

Hi Vicki I agree there are many contradictions. I've found for most people that using low amounts of progesterone merely exacerbates symptoms. Plus adding others which hadn't existed. I always recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on the severity. More if they are very severe. For instance Dr Dalton would give 900mg/day to her patients with post natal depression, see here. And 2400mg/day progesterone to her patients with post natal psychosis. Over 1200mg/day is given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims, see here and here. They need high amounts, often we do too, it's pointless using a low amount in these cases. If you're not sleeping well, there are a number of nutrients which help, tryptophan, inositol, B3, vitamin D, please have a look at our page here on how to take these. Unfortunately progesterone initially stimulates oestrogen, this leads to Oestrogen Dominance. Increasing the amount of progesterone can also lead to oestrogen dominance, please be aware of this should you consider increasing the amount you are using. Another unfortunate thing, before oestrogen is made, testosterone is made first. Amongst other problems, this leads to viseral fat deposits in the belly, see here and here. Oestrogen also causes water retention which leads to bloating, progesterone is such a good diuretic, it's one reason it's given to TBI victims, to prevent oedema forming. I'm not sure what age you are, but we have more info on our Peri-menopause and Menopause pages. Take care Wray

Aug 21, 2011
Also VERY Confused about Progesterone-help!
by: Anonymous

I am really confused, here's my story: I have been plagued with anxiety, depression and migraines my entire life (I'm 37). I saw a naturopathic doctor 6 months ago who put me on intra-muscular Progesterone (shots) twice a month on days 18 & 24 of my cycle--this is all bioidentical by the way. It was helping alot with no side effects, except that it wasn't doing anything for my insomnia (which I also had since I was in my twenties). And so I was switched after 3 months to oral Progesterone at 120 mg/daily for days 18-28 of my cycle. I almost immediately began having bad symptoms: extreme breast pain, headaches on & off around my period, weight gain/bloating in my stomach, etc. Now my doctor isn't sure if I am on too much Progesterone or not enough. When I first started my therapy, I tested at an 8 on day 21 of my cycle. After 3 months of shots, I tested at 24 and he was pleased with the results. Should I have stayed on the shots instead of switching to oral Progesterone? He never offered the cream as an option, saying it wouldn't be strong enough. Any advice is appreciated, I am VERY frustrated. Oh--the pills have helped my anxiety alot and I do sleep better. But now I have all these other issues....

Aug 22, 2011
Also VERY Confused about Progesterone-help!
by: Wray

Hi there Injections, suppositories and the creams are the best Delivery systems. Oral progesterone is the least effective, as most gets destroyed by the gut and liver. So the 120mg/day you are taking is giving you about 12 to 24mg/day. This is the reason you are getting those symptoms. Progesterone initially stimulates oestrogen, so using a low amount merely exacerbates this, see our page on Oestrogen Dominance. The injections were giving you a reasonable amount, plus bypassing the liver too. But I don't believe you are getting enough from them. We make progesterone after ovulation, and for the duration of the luteal phase, which should last 12-14 days. Anything less and it's defective. So supplemental progesterone should be used during the luteal phase too, and not just on two days, or from day 18-28. And is your cycle 28 days, as it can vary from 21 to 35, 28 is only the average. For more info see our page on How to use progesterone. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. I would really recommend you use more and throughout your luteal phase. As injections are painful I wouldn't advise those daily, but he might prescribe suppositories. Progesterone is excellent for Anxiety and depression. It's also excellent for migraines too, I recommend rubbing the cream under the ears and over the neck, should they start. See here, here, here, here, here and here. I'm running out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Aug 22, 2011
Also VERY Confused about Progesterone-help!
by: Wray

Hi there And please have a vitamin D test done, a lack of this not only causes anxiety, depression and migraines, but reduces the benefits of progesterone. See here, here and here. For more info on vitamin D see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital websites. Take care Wray


Aug 22, 2011
Adolescent Weight Gain - Implanon
by: Anonymous

My daughter who is 16 - almost 17 had an Implanon progesterone implant inserted in her arm about a year ago. She has gained 30-40 lbs out of the blue. She eats well and didn't have any changes in her activity level. The weight gain has been horrible to deal with as a teenager. The Implanon was inserted to relieve hormone-related migraine headaches. I'm sure she would rather have the headaches back than the weight gain. I would appreciate any comments on younger people using progesterone.

Sep 09, 2011
Progesterone, Wt Gain, Inflammation, Cancer
by: Anonymous

Can't understand why progesterone causes weight gain, inflammation, tiredness, cotton mouth and other symptoms. When I was taking a pill dose, it relieved PMS and I was able to maintain a healthy weight. The doctor said I was not absorbing enough of it. So she prescribed the cream. Since then, I have been unable to lose weight even though I have reduced my calories and upped my exercise. The PMS solution is now gone. I don't see any benefit to taking Progesterone if PMS symptoms came back and this medicine is making my more tired, pain, inflammation and bloatedness. Where is the benefit? If I take more than 50mg a day, is there more of a cancer risk? I have tried 100mg and felt better, but the PMS symptoms are still here & aggrevation of other health problems. Help.

Sep 13, 2011
Adolescent Weight Gain - Implanon
by: W

Hi there Unfortunately your daughter is not getting progesterone, but a synthetic progestin called etonogestrel. It's a great pity, but the doctors believe progestins and progesterone are one and the same. Nothing could be further from the truth, the progestin molecule is so changed, it's barely recognisable as the same. You might like to read about it here and here. Oestrogen is implicated in migraines, it's an inflammatory, excitatory hormone, whereas progesterone is an anti-inflammatory and calming hormone. It's been used successfully in migraines for over 60 years now, first by Dr Dalton who would give progesterone injections to her patients with migraine. You might like to read these studies here, here, here, here, here and here. I recommend using 100-200mg/day, we have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. I would also suggest your daughter has a vitamin D test done, a lack of this can also cause migraines, see here, here and here. Interestingly, a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. For more info please see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital websites. I must add I put my daughter on progesterone when she was 14, and she hasn't looked back. She's still using it and is nearly 30. Take care Wray

Sep 14, 2011
Diving In
by: Judy

Hi Wray/Jenine, If you recall I wrote back in June (3's a charm title)
I'm now going to revisit the progesterone therapy now that the wedding is over. I've ordered my cream off the site w/discount (!!!). I read Wray's story which was encouraging and empowering. I'm ready to dive in. As discussed previously, my doses were quite small (25-50MG) which exacerbated the oestrogen. I am nervous about the high doses I will need to take, but it's the only option I have. I want this to work, so quickly overcoming the OE is critical. I don't have hot flashes, bleeding, etc like other women. I mean I feel like crud most of the time, but when I read what others are going through it's harder to complain. My major symptoms are weight gain, hypoglycemia, severe exhaustion (big issue). So I'm thinking 200-250MG might be the ticket, or should I start higher? This is my last shot, I will give it 6 weeks to see improvement(if I can hold out that long).

Also, what are the best places to put the cream first, I know it needs to be rotated.

I love the fact that you are providing vital information to women that gives them options. God willing this therapy will be a help to me. Thank you for your efforts!!

Sep 19, 2011
Mexican Dioscorea Villosa cream, Weight Gain, Graves Disease and Adrenal Stress
by: Wray

Hi Ellen I can't believe I didn't see your query, I'm so very sorry! I wish you'd emailed me, you did have my address, maybe not anymore? I found our correspondence so interesting. Now to answer your questions. I found the Progecyv, but it says it's $81.67 for 60g, you must have got it on a special. Like you I can't find anything on the site to say what the ingredients are, or how much progesterone. It's puzzling they don't give the progesterone content on the tub. The only thing I can suggest is writing to them and asking, it's essential to know how much you're using. My Spanish is not up to it! Most creams do contain about 900mg per 60g, although the Natpro contains 2000mg per tube. I'm also puzzled you can't get it, as we send to people in Mexico. I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. The worse they are the more is needed initially, then it can be reduced slowly until the optimum is reached. If the cream you're using has only 900mg/per container, it contains only 15mg progesterone per ml. So the 5ml you're using would be giving only 75mg/day. As you now have Oestrogen Dominance I would suggest you increase to 2tsp per day, giving you 150mg progesterone, you might need more than this, symptoms will tell you. I would imagine with your age now, that you are in Menopause. The ovaries will not be producing any progesterone, but unfortunately testosterone, see here. This increase causes so many women to get 'middle age spread' and more, see here and here. Plus our fat cells produce oestrogen, to be precise it's oestrone, but it still has a mitogenic effect on cells, including fat cells, so a vicious cycle starts. So not only are the fat cells increasing, but oestrogen also causes water retention. Luckily progesterone is an excellent diuretic, so good over 1200mg/day is now given via IV transfusion to TBI victims, see here and here. I've run out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Sep 19, 2011
Mexican Dioscorea Villosa cream, Weight Gain, Graves Disease and Adrenal Stress
by: Wray

Hi Ellen Please have a vitamin D test done. I know you live in sunny Mexico, but most of us spend 90% of our time indoors, getting little vitamin D. A lack is implicated in Grave's, see here, here, here, here and here. In fact it's low in all autoimmune diseases, all inflammatory disorders. For more info on testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital websites. I do have have a FB page, but never look at it. Partly because I'm hopeless with it, and partly because I'm answering so many of these queries I don't have the time. But I do have a friend who does understand the intricacies, in fact she has a Natpro FB page, which is full of info and amusing incidents! See here. I do hope you eventually get my reply to you. Take care Wray

Sep 19, 2011
Diving In
by: Wray

Hi Judy I do hope the wedding was fun and it went well! Pleased you took Judy's advise about the discount, it's something I rarely remember. Pleased too you thought my story worth reading, but when I read what others have been through, mine pale in comparison. Start on the 200mg/day and see how you get on, it's so easy to increase the amount if you feel even more 'crud'! As for high amounts, you might like to read these comments here, here, here and here for encouragement. Please don't give up after 6 weeks, in many cases it can take much longer. But over this time you'll notice that gradually symptoms decrease or go. In fact many you never thought were related to hormones. My severely cracked heels healed, my finger nails no longer flaked off and starting growing again, my dizziness went and the chronic fatigue too. Although this last can be caused by Insulin Resistance. Please look through this page, as I feel this could in part be your problem. The weight gain, hypoglycaemia and severe exhaustion indicate it. And please whatever you do, read our page on Oestrogen Dominance, this often catches women unaware of it. It's very disconcerting too, as everyone thinks they should immediately feel better. Please have a vitamin D test done, most of us lack it, and it can do wonders to how we feel. The weight gain, hypoglycaemia and severe exhaustion are also indicative of a vitamin D deficiency. A lack of this vital nutrient causes insulin resistance, so too does excess oestrogen. For more info see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital websites. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, and the blood level should be 70-100ng/ml, and not the 30ng/ml used by labs and doctors as adequate. The skin comprises 95% kerotinocytes, these have ample progesterone receptors, so the cream can be applied anywhere, even hair follicles absorb it well. The vagina is another excellent place to apply it, as it helps prevent inflammation and dryness, plus being protective against candida. Bless you for the kind words. Take care Wray

Sep 19, 2011
Progesterone, Wt Gain, Inflammation, Cancer
by: Wray

Hi there It seems your doctor didn't warn you about oestrogen dominance. This occurs in many women when first using progesterone. It's actually oestrogen causing all those symptoms you give, not progesterone. It's explained on our Oestrogen Dominance page. I'm pleased your doctor changed your script to a cream, oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system as most of the progesterone is destroyed by the gut and liver. The change explains why you are now getting bad symptoms. They do pass, but often a much higher amount than you're currently using has to be applied. 50mg/day merely exacerbates the symptoms. I recommend 100-200mg/day. Progesterone will not cause cancer, but oestrogen certainly, see our page on Cancer and progesterone. Plus our page on HRT. Oestrogen initiates mitosis, progesterone inhibits mitosis. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Sep 19, 2011
What about Amberen?
by: PJ

I have not had success with progesterone helping with much of anything. I did notice feeling happier, but I have gained 20 lbs this year all after going on the Progesterone. Obviously for a lot of women it is IMPOSSIBLE to get the right dosage to keep from gaining weight.

So I have tried Amberen. I don't think it has helped me at all except my breasts now hurt and after taking it I feel very hungry.

I am really disgusted with all of the hormone stuff. Also I was told by a health food store guy that bioidentical hormones are still not natural. The only thing truly natural is what our bodies make.

It seems progesterone made me so calm I didn't really want to do much. I also have only 1/2 my Thyroid and take Synthroid and Cytomel and feel pretty good otherwise.

Any comments, Wray?

Sep 21, 2011
What about Amberen?
by: Wray

Hi PJ You don't say how much progesterone you used. I did advise going up to 400mg/day for the hot flushes, did you try this? The weight gain is explained on the oestrogen dominance page. Unfortunately progesterone is not a quick fix, many women needing 6 months or more of a high amount before they start to feel better. Bio-identical hormones are identical to that made by the body. Progesterone itself has been used successfully for over 60 years now, with not one adverse study published. If it weren't safe or identical, TBI victims would not be given, via IV transfusion too, amounts over 1200mg/day, see here and here, here. And a new study is being conducted with 1000 people, see here. Incidentally over 70% of the TBI victims were men. As for Amberen, I can't see how any of the ingredients would help. There's only 800mg per dose, and amino acids, of which glycine is one, should be given at no less than 500mg to be effective. That only leaves 300mg for the rest, including 8 fillers. Take care Wray

Sep 22, 2011
getting off Amberen
by: PJ

I have a couple of weeks left on Amberen but I am getting off. It has made feel hungry, and have strong hunger pangs.

Feeling extreme hunger like that is not typical for me. I had a hyster at 36 and am now 62. It is possible that Amberen is not as effective once you are older and had a hysterectomy. They left my ovaries and I went into menopause at 51.

I understand what you are saying about the progesterone, but still... I weighed 148 when she put me on progesterone and estrogen. I gained 10 lbs in month. She said increase the progesterone and decrease the estrogen. So i did that. I started feeling moody and blue, she said the progesterone can do that. So do less.

Consequently with less estrogen I still had hot flashes. So the bio hormones did NOT take away any symptoms. And I kept gaining.

So now I am just going off of EVERYTHING for a month. Something is also causing hives every few days and I am stopping all vitamins for a month also.

I will slowly adding back in things one at a time. I recently ordered Progesterone from Neurobiologix instead of the prescription. Do you know anything about that product? It is much harder to determine how much a dose really is. I don't like that.

I do feel that the progesterone helped flatten my stomach last November/December, which is what the doc said would happen.
However, bio's caused a 10 lb gain, and the Amberen has put on 10 more. I am going nuts.

Thanks for your input. I literally feel I have no one to talk to as both my sisters refuse to do hormones anymore. They both gained and hated it.

Sep 25, 2011
scared to take bio progesterone
by: ScaredyCat

After reading everybodys post im scared to take the bio progesterone. I have hashimoto's disease which causes me to be hypothyroid. Well i just found out thru a saliva test that my progesterone level was a low 22. my bio dr. told me to take 50 mg during days 5-11 of the cycle and from 11-26 to double it. I am already soooo overweight from having my thyroid problem. I'm just now starting to lose weight and I'm afraid to gain the weight not just because of being fat but more so because its uncomfortable and I spent the last 6 months with swollen abdomen, face, legs and ankles. I was so miserable and now that I'm not I don't want to go back to that. ok with that being said does anybody have any advice as to what to do if i notice a weight gain when i start taking it?

Sep 25, 2011
Dear Scaredy Cat
by: Jenine

I know Wray will get back to you soon, so I will be brief: Start off by taking more rather than less cream. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but works to get you past the oestrogen-dominance stage more quickly. I started with the recommended amount on the box of a brand I bought at a health food store, 20 mg per day and did so for a week or two, gained weight, wrote to Wray and took her advice of applying not less than 100 to 200 daily, based on all the studies in this area. I noticed improvement, but went up to 350 a day for a week or so and noticed the weight gained earlier going away. Now I usually take about 200 a day and if you use the brand Wray recommends, Natpro, which is found on this site, you get a lot more hormones per mg so you won't spend all day rubbing cream in : ) Progesterone therapy has not made me skinny, but it's ruled out some of the culprits (water retention and too much oestrogen or cortisol via the adrenal glands when stressed), so now I can focus on addressing whatever is causing the now relatively minor weight gain I've had in recent years. I also notice I am much sunnier in mood when I use it, which inspires me to excersize more often. Hope this helps, Jenine

Sep 26, 2011
Just started on Progestrone
by: Anonymous

Wray, just curious...what is your opinion of Progestrone Mist? From reading your previous comments, I don't think I started on a large enough dosage. My dr recommended 1-3 sprays daily on days 14-28 of my cycle. I don't want to gain any more weight! I'm up 15 lbs in 2 yrs. My saliva test showed my progestrone levels were low.

Sep 26, 2011
SCAREDY CAT
by: Anonymous

It's not the cream its the capsules. I think I'm gonna have to just try it and ask them to adjust as needed :/

Sep 26, 2011
Scaredy cat
by: Scaredy Cat

Unfortunately it the dr did not prescribe a cream, he gave me capsules. i guess i will have to try it and see what happens. if i start gaining weight then ill have them adjust it. :/

Sep 28, 2011
Dear Scaredy Cat
by: Jenine

You can buy the cream, Natpro, right on this site! And if you take the progesterone deficiency quiz, you will get each 2000mg/2oz tube for under $20 each. I've paid almost twice that for less in the health food stores--and this is a great cream!

Oct 03, 2011
getting off Amberen
by: Wray

Hi PJ It is a good idea to get off everything, you never know what it is causing the problems. But to my mind there's no question the oestrogen you were on caused the weight gain, plus the low level of progesterone. This merely ramped up the oestrogen even more. The Neurobiologix comes in a dispenser which gives 20mg/pump. The ingredients are all fine, but if you use only 20mg you'll find you will get Oestrogen Dominance. The amount really needs to be 100-200mg/day, so you would need between 5 to 10 pumps per day. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2011
scared to take bio progesterone
by: Wray

Hi ScaredyCat It doesn't make good reading! But as Jenine says, the recommended amount is on the whole far too low. Progesterone is only made after we ovulate, so I see no point in using it during the follicular phase, unless symptoms are severe. In this case I suggest using it daily for 2-3 months until stable, then following the cycle. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. You mention 'taking' progesterone, so I'm assuming you mean oral? This is not the best Delivery system. Please consider changing to one that is. And please see this page here for advice on the thyroid. There is evidence that Hashi's is caused by a lack of vitamin D, see here, here and here. Please have a test done, for more info see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. A lack of vitamin D can cause weight gain, and Insulin Resistance, which itself causes weight gain. Excess oestrogen also causes weight gain and IR, so it could be more than just a problem with your thyroid. For more advice on How to use progesterone, please read through this page. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2011
Dear Scaredy Cat
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Bless you for your input, always so good. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2011
Just started on Progestrone
by: Wray

Hi there Without doing a detailed search, the only mist I can find is made by Progesta-Care. 3 sprays give 20mg progesterone. So if this is the product you're using, and this is all you're using, it doesn't surprise me you've put on weight or that your saliva results showed low progesterone. I recommend 100-200mg/day, 5-10 times the amount you're getting. Fro more info please see our page on How to use progesterone cream. But before you consider increasing the amount, please read our page on Oestrogen Dominance first. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2011
Response to Wray and Vit D & progesterone
by: SCAREDY CAT

Wray, thanks for the information. I am actually low on Vit D. that was the first thing to show up in my blood tests. My TSH kept coming back normal but my Vit D kept coming back low 29 to be exact. Eventually my TSH started to rise and thats when I was dx. I think i have been suffering from hashis for a long time it just didnt show up in TSH and well you know most dr dont test for FT3, FT4 or antibodies... I am currently taking 4000 iu of Vit D a day. All these pills and supplements, plus everything else starts to feel like a burden. :(

As for the progesterone, do you have any articles that discuss weight gain and daily dosage so I can show my doctor? I'm not sure why he thought capsules were the best decision; however, he started me on the 5 day of my menstration because he said i was more than likely either ovulating very little or not at all. My saliva test result revealed that it was at 22. From my understanding this is really low. He said that he was trying to mimic my body's "ovulation time".

Also yes I was concerned about the dosage because I know that meds are cut by a large percentage because of the first pass which is why I would like an article or something to show the dr. If you have any links or whatever I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for your time!


Oct 03, 2011
Also still very confused
by: Michelle

Wray:
I have been on progesterone cream for about 2 years now. My dr. doesn't really talk about anything over 60mg. I have experimented and even 30 mg seems to make me blah and more and more sleepy. In April 2011, from a saliva test, my estradiol was 3.9 and progesterone 3690. Also my vitamin D was low. How many IUs of vitamin D am i suppose to take? Still i feel so bad and am gaining more and more weight. (more stomach bloating and cellulite and inches rather than actually "weight") I am 46 and still have a monthly period. I can't imagine taking more progesterone. I have reduced it from 30mg to 25mg and made me feel better for a few days but now back to feeling bad again and gaining more and more bloat makes me feel more bad. HELP!

Oct 03, 2011
I am still confused
by: PJ

Wray--about the neurobiologix cream. I was afraid that the dosage was low. The woman at the store said that women who are progesterone dominate tend to be thinner. And the opposite is true.

I wonder if not having my periods since I was 36 changed the way hrt works for me. I took estrogen only for 8 years from age 52 until I just stopped at 60, because of weight gain and a belly.

When the new doc put me on progesterone (age 61) it was a godsend emotionally, I felt better but put on more weight. Which I have had trouble shedding.

Even increasing the progesterone didn't help. So is iot a useless battle, since I have had a hyster and I am older. I am not just beginning the menopause like so many women on this site.

I am off everything and have hot flashes again, and my ability to cope with stress is gone. My husband is so frustrated with these issues, so he wants me to STAY off of everything for awhile.

But I heard that adding hormones back after being off, & later in life is what causes dementia and breast cancer! And yet some sites say est/progest prevents dementia.

Thanks for reading Wray...
PJ

Oct 03, 2011
Also very confused
by: Michelle

Wray:
In addition to my last comment of a few minutes ago, i exercise daily and try to eat right most of the time. My thyroid and everything has been checked.

Oct 03, 2011
Thanks, Wray!
by: Jenine

You do a much-needed service in the world, Wray, and I am happy to sing your praises and back up your info anytime. I am a professional researcher in television production and respect your thoroughness--and I love your positive and helpful attitude!

Oct 05, 2011
Response to Wray and Vit D & progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Scaredy Cat 29 is very low, it doesn't surprise me your thyroid is in trouble. Specialists are now recommending it should be between 70-100ng/ml, and not the 30ng/ml doctors and labs consider adequate. And they say the minimum dose should be 5000iu's per day. Please consider taking 10,000iu's per day to get it up quickly and have a test done in 2-3 months. I have no papers stating specifically that oestrogen causes weight gain. But there are plenty showing it has a mitogenic effect, in other words causes cells to replicate. Many other papers, seemingly obscure, show how progesterone first stimulates oestrogen, then suppresses it, this is one here. Another showing how progesterone effects the oestrogen receptors, see here. This paper explains oestrogen's proliferative effects on breast tissue, see here. This paper shows how oestrogen blocks progesterone if in excess, see here. As I said they may seem obscure, but ultimately explain the role the two hormones have. As for daily dosage, you might have gathered I don't agree with the amounts generally suggested, all far too low. Progesterone usage is not dependant on dose, weight or size, but on symptoms. If they are severe, far more is needed. For instance Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day to her patients with post natal psychosis, over 1200mg/day is given via IV transfusion to TBI victims, see here, here and here. Incidentally over 70% of these are men. From 200-600mg/day is given to women who've had recurrent miscarriages, or are going through IVF treatment, for papers see our Pregnancy page. I've run out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Oct 05, 2011
Response to Wray and Vit D & progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Scaredy Cat 29 is very low, it doesn't surprise me your thyroid is in trouble. Specialists are now recommending it should be between 70-100ng/ml, and not the 30ng/ml doctors and labs consider adequate. And they say the minimum dose should be 5000iu's per day. Please consider taking 10,000iu's per day to get it up quickly and have a test done in 2-3 months. I have no papers stating specifically that oestrogen causes weight gain. But there are plenty showing it has a mitogenic effect, in other words causes cells to replicate. Many other papers, seemingly obscure, show how progesterone first stimulates oestrogen, then suppresses it, this is one here. Another showing how progesterone effects the oestrogen receptors, see here. This paper explains oestrogen's proliferative effects on breast tissue, see here. This paper shows how oestrogen blocks progesterone if in excess, see here. As I said they may seem obscure, but ultimately explain the role the two hormones have. As for daily dosage, you might have gathered I don't agree with the amounts generally suggested, all far too low. Progesterone usage is not dependant on dose, weight or size, but on symptoms. If they are severe, far more is needed. For instance Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day to her patients with post natal psychosis, over 1200mg/day is given via IV transfusion to TBI victims, see here, here and here. Incidentally over 70% of these are men. From 200-600mg/day is given to women who've had recurrent miscarriages, or are going through IVF treatment, for papers see our Pregnancy page. I've run out of space so will start a new comment below. Take care Wray

Oct 05, 2011
Response to Wray and Vit D & progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Scaredy Cat For more info and papers on the various Delivery systems please read through this page. There are some referring to the first pass through the liver. You don't say when your saliva test was done, saliva should always be taken ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding. In other words mid-luteal phase. Progesterone is always low in the follicular phase, these are the ranges 12-100 pg/ml (follicular) or 75-270 pg/ml(luteal). Normal cycle lengths vary from 21 days to 35 days, ovulation always occurring 12-14 days before bleeding in all women. So a 21 day cycle the woman would ovulate on day 7, if a 35 day cycle on day 21. So to start you on day 5 makes no sense. Progesterone should be started at ovulation, and continued for the next 14 days. Only if symptoms are severe, do I recommend using it daily for 2-3 months, during the period too, and then following the cycle. Take care Wray


Oct 05, 2011
Also still very confused
by: Wray

Hi Michelle Using such a low amount of progesterone will make you feel blah. Progesterone has to become the dominant hormone before feeling well. To do this it's essential to use enough, too little and it merely exacerbates the Oestrogen Dominance symptoms. We've found from Saliva Tests we run that the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be 600:1 and over to feel well. The naturopath who runs these tests has just had a test done for herself, and her ratio was 800:1. Although she's 57, she still looks and feels like a younger women, in fact her body would be the envy of many. I recommend 100-200mg/day or more if symptoms are severe, please consider increasing the amount you're using. We do have more info on our How to use progesterone cream page. The minimum for vitamin D should be 5000iu's per day, and the blood level should be 70-100ng/ml. Not the 30ng/ml doctors and labs regard as adequate. As you're in Peri-menopause you might like to read through this page. P-M is a very difficult time. Take care Wray

Oct 05, 2011
weight gain--candida?
by: Jenine

Hi, Everyone!

I just wanted to share that perhaps as a rule it's good to go on a candida cleanse, if not permanent diet. I couldn't lose whatever else I did, but eating lots of fermented veggies and coconut kefir, plus attacking it with high-quality herbs is working. The progesterone continues to keep my mood sunny and prevents water retention, of course.

I'm doing a cleanse for a few weeks (Dr. Christopher's herbal formula--order online) and have added in colon hydrotherapy, few sessions within a couple of weeks, and probably every month after that. Just be sure to take a great pre-biotic/pro-biotic (I like the Friendly Flora from Vitality Herbs and Clay) and ease into a candida diet over a week or so vs. cold turkey.

There is also a product called Candisol that breaks up the yeast cells so you don't get as many detox symptoms. Just sharing.

Oct 06, 2011
I am still confused
by: Wray

Hi PJ Oestrogen is oestrogen, no matter the age, or whether a hyst has been preformed or not, it's still a mitogen, it still stimulates cells to divide and multiply. So HRT in any form has the potential to cause harmful side effects. As I explained, the amount of progesterone you were given was enough to cause weight gain in anyone in Menopause. Furthermore, the menopausal ovary is an androgen secreting organ, see here. Testosterone causes visceral fat to be deposited, which of course is all around the abdomen, hence the 'middle age spread' so many women get, see here and here. So taking oestrogen, and with your ovaries producing testosterone, it really doesn't surprise me you gained weight. I asked you to use 400mg/day to stop or reduce the hot flushes, did you use this much? It will also help you cope with any stress, and prevent any Anxiety. Oestrogen is certainly implicated in breast cancer, you can't have read the page I gave you on HRT, please take time to read it. It also gives info on dementia too, oestrogen also causes this. I think once you've read the page your confusion will end. Progesterone has in fact been given successfully to cancer patients, a number of people who write in have it and use progesterone. See our page on Cancer and progesterone. There are countless papers on these pages which support what I've written. Take care Wray


Oct 06, 2011
Thanks, Jenine!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Bless you for saying this, you've given me a prickly nose. I get this if someone says such kind things! I've always had a 'need to know', so this certainly influenced my approach to the info I give on the site. I can't help but be positive, I've seen and heard about so many remarkable recoveries due to no more than vital nutrients, and progesterone of course! Many blessings to you. Take care Wray

Oct 10, 2011
Breast Gain
by: Julia

Hi Wray. I also would need your assistance. I heard progesterone results breast gain. Is it true? If yes how much can it increase? Can it also increase thighs? I am currently intaking progesterone pills and afraid of gaining extra weight around thighs as i have enough there. Thanks Julia.

Oct 10, 2011
weight gain--candida?
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Excellent advice, as always. Candida is a monster, and that from a man I helped! It's so often overlooked, and yet so many of us have it. I've found the best thing for suppressing it, impossible to kill it all, is caprylic acid. But not the variety that comes in tablet form, it's not a high enough dose. Besides being an impossible size to swallow. I use MCT oil, more correctly known as caprylic/capric triglycerides, it's the oil we use in Natpro. It's colourless, tasteless and doesn't have an oily feel when taken, well I don't find it so. I use it daily on all my veggies and salads, in preference to other oils. It's extremely stable, as it's a medium chain triglyceride, a fractionated oil from coconuts. A minimum of 5ml per day is needed, this gives ±3000mg caprylic acid. But I use much more than that on my food. It does have a slight laxative effect too, an advantage sometimes! One excellent aspect about MCT oil is how soft the skin becomes when taking it. It can also be used on the skin too, it's absorbed rapidly and doesn't leave you feeling greasy. Probiotics are essential too, thanks for the make. Take care Wray

Oct 12, 2011
So sleepy!
by: Debbie

I started on Progesterone cream 2 years ago because of cysts in my breasts, and because of my perimenopause symptoms. I've been taking only 20 mg a day, per the directions of the label. Almost immediately after using the Progesterone, the cysts disappeared so I assumed that the amount of Progesterone was enough. However, over the last year my menstrual cycle is still irregular, I still have severe cramping, migraines, and then my hair started falling out.

It's because of my hair loss that I started looking for additional information online, and I read that the amount of Progesterone I've been taking is not nearly enough. So, last week I upped my dose to 20 mg twice a day - that's still way under the recommended amount, but I thought increasing it gradually would be a good idea. For that whole week, I literally could not function, I was so sleepy, all the time. If I sat down, I'd fall asleep, and I am not a napper to begin with. I felt like I was a zombie. What's going on? I can't even imagine what I'd feel like if I took 100 mg.

After 7 days of this, I backed the dose back down to just the 20 mg, once a day. The sleepiness went away, and I feel normal again, but I know this is not even close to what most people recommend taking. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to be sleepy, but I don't want to be bald either.

Oct 12, 2011
Wray, what do you think of this?
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray!

Thanks for the info re candida--I will look into that oil. Since it comes from coconuts, how effective is taking raw coconut oil orally or topically?

Also, I want to get your take on this article by Dr. Mercola re progesterone, especially the last few paragraphs re applying it only in mucous membranes (like the vagina or rectum) versus all over. He is saying that instead of going into the bloodstream like it naturally would if one's body was making it, progesterone gets stored in the fat cells sot become ineffective after a few months and the recommendation is to go off of progesterone for up to two years to "wash" it out of the body's fat stores. I hope I don't need to do this!

Also, being peri-menopausal, I have been taking it everyday for about 8 months and stopped getting my period during the last 5. Dr. Mercola says the body needs the plunge of low progesterone levels to instigate a period and that a constant high level prevents that. What do you think??? I would love to get my period again, being only 45.

Thanks, Wray, as always!

Oct 13, 2011
So sleepy
by: Anonymous

I am exactly with you Debbie!

Oct 18, 2011
Wray, what do you think of this?
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Raw coconut is excellent, but it only contains 9% caprylic acid, not enough to do much against fungi. But certainly worth using, lovely to cook with too. So is the MCT oil. Ah yes, the saturated fatty layer! I get asked this question so often. I don't believe it's true, although I have only found one paper to date which backs up my argument, see here. It states?" Despite the low serum progesterone levels achieved with the creams, salivary progesterone levels are very high, indicating that progesterone levels in serum do not necessarily reflect those in tissues." If the fatty tissues were indeed saturated, and little progesterone was 'escaping', the study would have found the reverse, i.e. low saliva levels. From Saliva Tests we run, it's evident the progesterone is getting around. The tests are done by a naturopath in the UK, and she does a before and after test for comparison. You'll see levels have risen dramatically, but more to the point the women were feeling well. The naturopath herself has been using progesterone for 15 years, and has just done a test herself. Her progesterone level was 4000pg/ml, her oestrogen 5pg/ml, and her ratio 800:1. Incidentally we've found it's best to have a ratio over 600:1. If her fatty layer was saturated, her level of progesterone would have been low, her ratio too. But again, the aim we are all trying to achieve is to feel well, which she does. Not only that but she tells me she still feels feminine, as I do, and certainly has a young figure to prove it. She still has a waist, as I do, and sent me a picture in a bikini, and she's 57! I doubt if this would stand up in a court of law, but it satisfies me! It appears, if using progesterone early enough, i.e. in Peri-menopause or before, it suppresses the excess androgens women make in Menopause, see here. This prevents visceral fat forming and causing 'middle age spread'. Testosterone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. I've run out of space so will stat a new comment below. take care Wray

Oct 18, 2011
So sleepy!
by: Wray

Hi Debbie You'd feel better if you used 100mg/day! In fact I think you'd need more than that. Breast cysts are normally one of the first things to respond to progesterone, but cramping and migraines I've found need far more progesterone. It's best to rub the cream on the tummy for cramps and under the ears and over the neck for migraines. Although progesterone travels rapidly around the body, I've found it's quicker if applied directly to any painful area. Progesterone suppresses the prostaglandins that cause cramping, and it's effective against migraines, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Those adverse reactions you experienced were caused by oestrogen. Progesterone when first using higher amounts, or when increasing it stimulates oestrogen, causing Oestrogen Dominance. It's essential to use more progesterone to make it the dominant hormone. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. We do have info on our page How to use progesterone cream. You say your cycle is still irregular, has it recently become so? And I don't know how old you are, possibly you're in Peri-menopause? Hair loss is such a difficult problem, researchers have spent years looking for the cause, there appear to be many. You might like to read this page here. Please have a vitamin D test done, it's essential for hair growth, migraines too, see here, here and here. For more info on testing etc, see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Take care Wray

Oct 18, 2011
Thanks, Wray!
by: Jenine

Thanks for sharing your take and the study, too, Wray. I have to say that since I do feel better on the progesterone, it must be getting where it needs to go. I do wonder about stopping it to see if my period will come back, if sharply dropped progesterone levels are the trigger. What do you think? Stop for a week and see what happens?

Oct 18, 2011
So sleepy!
by: Debbie

Thanks for your comments. I had read somewhere that excessive sleepiness meant that it was an overdose, but at 40mg I guess that couldn't possibly be it. I didn't realize that the sleepiness could be the estrogen kicking in more. I am actually menstruating right now, but I will try upping my progesterone to 100 mg afterwards.

The problem is knowing when to apply the cream. I read the article about when to apply it, but my cycle is so weird I have no idea when to apply it. One month it might be 21 days in between cycles, and the next might be 30. I just never know when to expect it. And no, my irregularity is nothing new. I've always been a bit off (few days here and there)but it has gradually gotten worse over the years. I am 39 years old, so I just figured it was part of aging. So, when do you think I should apply the cream? should I just start on day 14, and hope that over time my cycle regulates itself?

Also, how long do you think the excessive sleepiness should last? I do have to work, so I can't be a zombie forever.

thanks for the help.

Oct 19, 2011
Breast Gain
by: Wray

Hi Julia, Progesterone does not cause proliferation of the breasts, only oestrogen does that. Oestrogen also causes water retention. Unfortunately when first using progesterone it stimulates oestrogen, it's essential to use sufficient to overcome this effect. Often the amounts suggested are so low they keep stimulating oestrogen. Hence the apparent effect progesterone has on enlarging breasts etc. I recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, more if symptoms are severe. And particularly if Oestrogen Dominance symptoms occur. I understand you are taking oral progesterone, and not a progestin? Oral progesterone is not the best Delivery system. Most of it gets destroyed by the gut and liver. Please consider using a form which is absorbed well, and not oral. Take care Wray

Oct 19, 2011
Wray, what do you think of this?
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Incidentally, it seems progesterone stops the lines women get on their face and upper lip when they get older, I have none, see this study here. He is right about the drop in progesterone causing bleeding. MMP's are enzymes that break down protein. They play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual cycle, see here and here. Oestrogen stimulates their production during the first half of the cycle. Although a high level of MMP's can lead to inflammation, spotting and/or excessive bleeding in the uterus. But during a normal cycle, i.e. normal oestrogen levels, the bleeding pattern is also normal. Progesterone suppresses both MMP's and oestrogen. So the drop in progesterone allows the MMP's to break down the lining. So you could try stopping it, but please read the P-M page, as your cycle could now be irregular. Just be aware of any oestrogen dominance symptoms when you do. Thanks to you too for all the support you give me! Take care Wray

Oct 21, 2011
So sleepy!
by: Wray

Hi Debbie You are right, 40mg would not constitute an overdose. TBI victims are given over 1200mg/day via IV transfusion, Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day to her patients with post natal psychosis. In both cases large amounts were needed, the same applies if someone has severe symptoms. Far more is required than the 20mg/day the female body normally makes. I can never understand why this amount is recommended. Because if it was sufficient no one would have bad symptoms, but that's not the case. Progesterone should be used as and when needed, and not as a fixed daily amount as if it were a drug. So many things affect it, stress being top of the list. This drops progesterone levels sharply, so more would be needed over a stressful time. I'm pleased you'll try the 100mg, but you might find you need more. As you have such an erratic cycle, I suggest you use the progesterone daily for 2-3 months, during your period too. This will ensure the excess oestrogen is suppressed and progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. Then when you feel stable, begin following a cycle by first stopping the progesterone. This is best done using the average length of 28 days, starting the progesterone ±14 days after the first day of bleeding. Use it for 14 days, then stop, you should bleed within a day or two. You will find your own cycle begins to assert itself, at whatever length it choses. I would hope less erratic. The sleepiness will continue if you use a low amount of progesterone, it really does need to be higher. Take care Wray

Oct 21, 2011
Thanks, Wray!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Firstly I must tell you I absentmindedly forgot to give you the rest of my reply to your previous question! It's dated 19th Oct, with the same heading as you used. Pleased the study and my take on it helped. The main thing is are you feeling better, and it seems so. By all means try stopping it, a week sounds good. But please watch for Oestrogen Dominance symptoms appearing. If they do and whether your period has come or not, I feel you should start using the cream again. I see no point in suffering needlessly. But do let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Oct 22, 2011
So sleepy!
by: Debbie

Thank you so much! I will try that.

Oct 24, 2011
So sleepy!
by: Wray

Hi Debbie Do let me know if it helps. Take care Wray

Oct 24, 2011
100-200 mg progesterone
by: Michelle

Hey Wray:

How can we talk to our doctors about upping our progesterone? They (nor the pharmacies) have heard of prescribing progesterone that high. They cannot find anything on the internet about it either except on your site. Should I buy extra online and use the 30 mg that I am prescribed as well? I am terrified that I will fall asleep driving however, I practically do that now anyway. I am 46 and I start spotting every 2 weeks for about 7-8 days. My saliva test shows that I am definitely estrogen dominant and over the last 6 months I have gained 5 inches in my stomach of bloat. I have no energy and fall asleep going home from work. 3 years now and counting.... I still can't get this right.

Oct 31, 2011
weight gain
by: Och

had been using Duphaston for a ten days to prevent misscarrige, but it did not help. It's been 3 months since the last day, but stil i am gaining weight. I gained app. 22 pounds and cant get in the shape, even though i am very active, work 5-6 days a week, and have healthy diet. What should i do to get in shape and loose these extra pounds. will the site effects of hormone intakes eventually wear off?

Nov 03, 2011
100-200 mg progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Michelle Some doctors listen, some don't! If they cared to look on PubMed they will find levels in excess of the ones I suggest. And my suggestions have only come from these papers! Plus of course using it myself and helping others too. The only reason you can't get it right, is the amount you're using is far too low. It really does have to be high to help. You might like to read this comment here. She was prescribed 400mg/day by her doctor and had no Oestrogen Dominance symptoms. Unless you increase the amount of progesterone, you will continue getting adverse symptoms. Please consider it! Take care Wray

Nov 03, 2011
weight gain
by: Wray

Hi there Duphaston is a progestin, often given for pregnancy problems. Although it's not regarded as a Contraceptive it has the same composition. They all have the potential to cause harm. We do have a page on Nutrition which should help you with the weight. If in future you fall pregnant again, please consider using progesterone to help prevent a possible miscarriage. We do have more info on our Pregnancy page. Take care Wray

Nov 14, 2011
Started taking prog cream but have ?
by: Linda

So I guess I sound like others on the board here. I am 50 tomorrow and this year the periods starting getting really irregular. Purchased Prolief prog cream by Arbonne early this yr but didnt really take it as I read it caused weight gain. Well, after my last cycle in Oct I started taking the cream, and yes have seen a MINOR weight gain but want to know when the progesterone will kick in to offset the oestragen dominance you talk about?? I used 1 pump of the cream at nite, and I think I read somewhere that the cream delivers 200 mg of prog. per pump. But need to get clarification on this.

Nov 17, 2011
Started taking prog cream but have ?
by: Wray

Hi Linda Too low a level of progesterone does have a tendency to cause weight gain. Simply because it's activating oestrogen, the amount has to be high to prevent this. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But as these are also a source of oestrogen a vicious cycle starts. It's essential to use sufficient progesterone to prevent this. The pump you are using is giving you 20mg/day and not 200mg/day, I wish it was! As I recommend 100-200mg/day, but it must be used twice a day as levels drop after about 13 hrs. Unfortunately the amount you are getting will cause weight gain, it's very low. Please consider increasing it. You are now in the last year or so of Peri-menopause which is a difficult time. Weight gain often occurs as progesterone levels have dropped very low, whereas oestrogen is still at normal levels, and testosterone is rising. Both these hormones cause weight gain in women. Take care Wray

Nov 22, 2011
More weight gain questions
by: Holly

Hi. I started using a natural progesterone cream a couple of months ago. Based on your recommendations, Wray, I have been using 4 pumps (80 mg) spread over two doses.

One of the best results is that I no longer experience vaginal dryness during intercourse. That has been a miracle!

However, as others have mentioned, I have gained some weight. About 5 or so pounds. Would it typically take more than 2 months to reduce the estrogen dominance? Do you recommend I increase my dosage?

Thank you for your feedback!

Nov 28, 2011
Also weight gain
by:

Hi,

I have taken 'natural' progesterone for three months. While I felt good for the first month, I have had some awful symptoms from the second months that included a sudden weight gain, headache, chest pain and I felt very very tired. My doctor did a blood test on day 21 last month that showed that my progesterone level was 89 (ideal is 40) and my estrogen level was 230. It seems to me that it is possible to have progesterone dominance and not only estrogen dominance.

Regards.

Nov 28, 2011
Update after 4 months
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to give an update. I have been doing progesterone cream for about 4-5 months. A little less than 1/2 tsp twice a day. I am menopausal for the last 9 years. It is as though my body has breathed a sigh of relief! And I have lost 15 pounds! I have been actively trying to lose weight, watching my diet and exercising. I have been losing about a pound a week. I believe, as Wray says, that it is important to get the proper dose and there shouldn't be a problem with weight gain. I am so glad I found this site!!

Dec 01, 2011
More weight gain questions
by: Wray

Hi Holly I'm delighted the higher amount helped the vaginal dryness. Please consider using some there too, if you're not already doing so. Incidentally it's helpful for low libido, in men too. In fact there's reason to believe progesterone and not testosterone, raises libido, see here. I can see I'll have to do a web page on weight gain! I get so many comments from women complaining about it, many stop using it too. In every case I've found they have been using the normal recommended amount of 20-40mg/day. This is perfect for stimulating oestrogen, but insufficient to make progesterone the dominant hormone. Oestrogen causes water retention and bloating, this is the reason for the immediate weight gain. It's also a mitogen causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. But adipose cells are a source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. This results in long term weight gain. Please use more, I really believe over 100mg/day up to 200mg/day for normal use is best. Many women have to use far greater amounts to achieve any balance. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, ie a high excess oestrogen level, the longer it takes and the more progesterone is needed. Some women require up to 6 months before symptoms abate. Take care Wray

Dec 01, 2011
Also weight gain
by: Wray

Hi there It's not the level that's critical but the ratio between the two hormones. Your P/E2 ratio is reasonably good compared to most I've seen, it's 387:1. We've found from Saliva Tests that are run for us by a naturopath, that the ratio needs to be 600:1 and over to feel well. It's obvious you were not warned about the effect progesterone has on oestrogen when first using it. All those symptoms describe perfectly Oestrogen Dominance. It's seems paradoxical, but if using too low an amount of progesterone, it stimulates oestrogen, hence your symptoms. Oestrogen causes water retention, which causes sudden weight gain. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims, see here, here and here. Progesterone is also excellent for headaches and migraines, whereas oestrogen being an inflammatory hormone causes them, see here, here, here, here, here and here. You might like to read this page here on levels progesterone can reach when supplementing. Please consider increasing the amount you're using to 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. We do have more info on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Dec 01, 2011
Update after 4 months
by: Wray

Hi there Bless you for the kind words, and for using sufficient progesterone! So many are not warned about the effects of excess oestrogen, or oestrogen dominance occurring when first using it, so they blame progesterone. When it fact it's oestrogen that should be blamed. Interestingly the weight gain over the stomach that occurs in P-M and menopause, commonly called 'middle age spread', is related to hormones, particularly testosterone. In fact the menopausal ovary is an androgen producing organ, see here. Testosterone is notorious at causing visceral fat, see here and here. Plus the menopausal woman has a great capacity for producing oestrogen in adipose cells, see here. So the two hormones combined ensure a middle aged woman will get a middle age spread! Free testosterone rises if SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) drops. Free testosterone is metabolically active, if bound to SHBG it's not. Fructose, sucrose and glucose cause an 80, 50 and 40% reduction in SHBG, see here. It's essential to avoid all sugars, even those hidden in grains, legumes and sweet, starchy fruit and veggies. Progesterone raises SHBG substantially, which causes testosterone to drop, see here. Take care Wray

Dec 22, 2011
Severe breast pain helped by all natural Progesterone but I feel hungry all the time
by: Anonymous

I have been suffering on and off for years with engorged breasts and stabbing breast pain. I was unable to swim or walk even with the best support bras. I also always had small breasts and they inceased in size so much that I have many different bra sizes. I went and got all natural Progesterone cream and it has helped with the mood and I felt calmer and my pain and size decreased somewhat. I had a partial Hysterectomy at 38yrs. old and still have my ovaries. I am now 49.
My hormone bloodwork came back as normal except that my DHEA was high. I have had much stress that was unavoidable and other stress that I try to keep calm by exercise and Yoga. I am worried about what to do with the DHEA as my Dr is of no help and while I just started the cream with good results I have been so hungry that I can't stop myself from eating!
I am urinating more so I guess that is good to get rid of the water weight. I also had Hyper Emesis Gravidiem sp? while Pregnant in 1992. I have always felt that my hormones were not right after that pregnancy. So any advice on bringing down the DHEA and the hunger would be greatly appreciated.

Dec 28, 2011
Weight gain
by: Cindy

I just started on Progesterone (pill) and DHEA about 2 months ago; I have gain over 20 lbs! What's up with that? I don't know what to do. I am way low on the Progesterone and DHEA and high on the Estrogen so we are cutting down on the Estrogen. I hate this!

Jan 08, 2012
would like your input Wray
by: Mary

I am 51 and had a partial hysterectomy @ 29, kept my ovaries.I have always been a mentally strong person.Never felt unhappy without good reason. This past year I started weight gain mostly in the middle went from a size 7 to a 10 and turning soft instead of muscle. Feeling depressed, tired in the mind and body. Extremely cold, itchy skin, dry hair, dry skin, terrible mood swings, I don't like myself anymore. I am to the point I don't even enjoy the simple things I use to. I had saliva testing. I am using bio-identical progesterone topical cream and also was given estradiol vaginally. I can tolerate the progesterone but when I try to use the estradiol I have terrible cold sweats all through the night and feel anxious and jittery. I was also precribed synthroid low dose 25 because my tsh level is 4.6 right above the cut off level they said. I stopped taking the synthroid because it made my chest hurt and head-aches but it did help with feeling more energy I think because It was helping the depressed part of my brain. I go to my dr Monday to do another tsh test. And I can't see about the estradiol & progesterone till next month because the Nurse at the pharmacy that compounds it for me won't be in till then. My saliva tests showed low progesterone and a little low on estragen levels. I am confused because I a at menapause age but hypothyroid can cause the same symptons on the other hand low progesterone can cause the higher tsh levels. Also my vitamin D results came back very low. I just started taking probiotic vitamin D drops under the tongue.
I was diagnosed with Crohn's 10 yrs ago and have been taking remicade infusions every 8 weeks since then. thank you in advance

Jan 11, 2012
would like your input Wray
by: Wray

Hi Mary Although it's said the ovaries stop functioning after 3-4 years, it appears yours continued for a while longer. I can see no reason for the sudden increase in weight, plus your other symptoms, other than this. During a natural Peri-menopause progesterone levels begin declining, as with increasing frequency we get anovulatory cycles. This is the cause of the adverse symptoms so many women get, which you luckily didn't seem to experience. Once Menopause occurs the ovaries stop producing viable eggs, and oestrogen levels drop. But the ovaries now become androgen producing organs, see here. With the increase in androgens visceral fat increases, which is precisely where you say your weight is, see here and here. Oestrogen causes an increase in subcutaneous fat, ie all over the body, which you don't mention. Progesterone is effective at increasing sex hormone binding globulin. With an increase in SHBG, testosterone, and to a lesser extent oestrogen, becomes bound and is no longer available, see here. Although the amounts used in the study were very high, they used oral progesterone which is not the best Delivery system. You'll notice in the study that progesterone helped the mood swings, it also helps the other symptoms you have, it's excellent for the skin, see here. Whereas oestrogen does nothing for the skin, see here and here. Although they told you you were low on oestrogen, it was oestradiol they checked, this should be low in menopause, as the ovaries no longer produce it. But we still make oestrone in our fat cells, this also has potent oestrogenic properties, levels are never checked.
Continued below.

Jan 11, 2012
would like your input Wray Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Mary Progesterone also helps depression and anxiety, see here, here and here. Please consider using only progesterone, and sufficient too. I recommend 100-200mg/day or more if symptoms are severe. But before you increase the amount, please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance as this can occur. I'm pleased you had a vitamin D test done, as this is a most vital nutrient. Low levels reduce the benefit of progesterone, it's essential for a healthy skin and hair, plus much more. 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. Please increase the amount if you are taking less than 5000iu's per day. There appears to be a direct correlation between low vitamin D and Crohn's disease, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Continued below.

Jan 11, 2012
would like your input Wray Part 3
by: Wray

Hi Mary Another nutrient you could consider is glutamine, the enterocytes lining the gut use this for energy and healing. You'll need about 4000-8000mg/day, best in a powder form. Interestingly it also appears a lack of vitamin D impacts on the thyroid, see here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jan 11, 2012
Weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Cindy Oral progesterone is not the best Delivery system as much of it gets destroyed. I would avoid the DHEA as it can raise testosterone levels, and increase the risk of cancer and cysts, see here, here, here and here. The weight gain is caused in part by the DHEA increasing testosterone levels, this is notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Plus too little progesterone stimulates oestrogen, which also increases weight. It increases fat cells, plus it causes water retention. You don't mention using oestrogen, and yet you say you are cutting down on it, I'm not sure what you mean. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone. Take care Wray

Jan 11, 2012
Severe breast pain helped by all natural Progesterone but I feel hungry all the time
by: Wray

Hi there Apologies for missing your post, I don't know how it happened. I'm pleased the progesterone has helped, but the hunger is a symptom of Oestrogen Dominance, evidently no one advised you this could occur. You are probably using a small amount of progesterone, something like 20-40mg/day? I've found for progesterone to be effective in helping us, far more is needed. I suggest 100-200mg/day or more, as the amount is dependant on symptoms. You might like to see our page on Peri-menopause for more info. Stress does drop progesterone levels sharply, so doing the yoga etc will be of great benefit. Oestrogen is a mitogenic, excitatory, inflammatory hormone, causing amongst many things, water retention. Progesterone is such an excellent diuretic, over 1200mg/day is now given via IV transfusion to TBI victims, to reduce the oedema that forms, see here, here, here and here. This is the reason you are urinating more. Often blood tests can come back as 'normal', but very rarely is the ratio checked between progesterone and oestrogen. We've found from Saliva Tests we run, that it needs to be 600:1 and over to feel well. Using sufficient progesterone will suppress any excess hormones, including the DHEA. You could try taking 4000-8000mg/day glutamine, best as a powder. This does help stop cravings, as the brain can use it in place of glucose. Chrome, zinc and thiamine will also help, so will the amino tyrosine. Using more progesterone will too, as it will suppress the excess oestrogen you have. Continued below.

Jan 11, 2012
Severe breast pain helped by all natural Progesterone but I feel hungry all the time Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there Although your tests came back normal, they could not have been normal, as sore breasts are caused by oestrogen, progesterone is effective as relieving the pain, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Nausea in pregnancy is caused by excess oestrogen, low progesterone. Sore breasts can be caused by lack of iodine too, see here, here, here, here, here and here. An easy way to find out if the level is low is to get a tincture of iodine. Put 3 drops anywhere on the inner arm, rubbing them in with the dropper. If the patch fades in a few hours it means there's a deficiency. Continue applying it until the patch takes days to fade. Alternatively have a blood test. Take care Wray

Jan 11, 2012
thanks Wray...
by: Mary

Thank You Wray for replying and having very good information. I went to my Internist and she won't give me anything for thyroid now because it made my chest hurt, she sent me to a Cardiologists right away on the same day. I have never seen a heart doctor before. They ran an ekg and was okay but even on my blood pressure meds my BP was 155/95. I told him it it like that every day. When I wake up it is low and as the day goes on it gets higher. I told the internist the synthroid did help with constipation and mood energy was better. I am going in next week for a stress test and a scan for calcium in the arteries. I am spinning from all this craziness!! I stopped the estradiol it was making these cold sweats even worse. I am still having cold sweats then it's chills.Hot flashes are mild and not too frequent. I did lose 2 lbs and think it's the progesterone that's making me urinate alot more. I am less swollen in the face. But then again it could be all this cold sweating I wake up drenched to the point my hair is damp behind ny neck. I never use to sweat. The internist doctor said she only gave me the 25 synthroid based more on my symptons and family history of Mother & sister being hypo at young ages, 30's...because my t4 levels was in the 2's and tsh was 4.6
I am taking 5000 of the Biotic Vitamin D in drops under the tongue. I am suppose to start a liquid fish oil next month.
I have NO libodo and it would be painful anyway which is why I was prescribed the estradiol which now I can't use because it makes me have awful hot flashes and that jittery nervous feeling. The nurse at the compounding lab said that is normal to keep using it and those side effects should lesson in time but I just could'nt keep using it. It is my GYN who approves the Rx to be compounded at this Pharmacy Lab. I will be back in a couple of weeks to give an update on what these doctors are going to do. Also Wray the internists said it is my Brain making my body think my thyroids are low !! I asked her what does my brain say to do about it and looks like my question got her mad.

Jan 14, 2012
thanks Wray...
by: Wray

Hi Mary I love your humour! They all say it's in our minds, but most of the time it's not. There's an excellent book called 'Anxiety: Hidden Causes by Sharon Heller, PhD. She explores all the avenues that can make us anxious, and there are many! Most of them have nothing to do with the mind. Please have a vitamin D test, it could be you're not absorbing it well, and therefore need to increase the dose. I'm pleased you've stopped the oestrogen, please try using the progesterone in your vagina, it does help dryness and inflammation, it's a potent anti-inflammatory. I can't agree about continuing with the oestrogen, those symptoms won't lessen in time. You might like to see our page on HRT, which covers all the damage oestrogen can do. Please consider taking the glutamine, it really does help. Don't rely too much on the doctors, they will only prescribe drugs which treat the symptom, not the cause. Take care Wray

Jan 25, 2012
Any comeback commenters?
by: LaraS.

I also have been using Progesterone cream for almost 2 years. I feel so much better, my life has improved. BUT! The downside I gained so much weight and can't shake it off. I've never gained so much in such a short period this fast. I know what could be the problem from reading and I am going to increase my dose.
1. Are there anyone out there who increased their intake and saw their pounds drop, or does the weight gain keeps up?
2. Once (hopefully) progesterone becomes dominant, do I get to stop using the cream and let my body take over, or I am on it forever?

I don't know what to do, should I be fat and happy or skinny and miserable (I never was skinny before, but never this huge either)?

Jan 25, 2012
Any comeback commenters?
by: Wray

Hi LaraS Too little progesterone stimulates oestrogen, so you are right you do need to use more. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are bad, although your's don't seem to be. Please be aware that Oestrogen Dominance can occur when increasing the amount. If it should, please do not reduce the amount as many do, blaming the progesterone. It's not the progesterone but oestrogen rearing it's ugly head again. The only way to overcome it is to use more. You might like to read this comment here for encouragement. And on this page too, please put Jenine into 'find' on this page to see the reference, it's a long page! I think you should aim for happy and normal weight! Take care Wray

Jan 26, 2012
Any comeback commenters?
by: LaraS.

Hi Wray, thank you for your response. I increased the dosage and was going to the bathroom a lot and lost about 2 lbs in one day, I am sure mostly water. Also, I felt very sleepy and thirsty. My stomach was a little upset and I took some acidophilus to ward off yeast infection. I read the comments you recommended and got encouraged very much to continue. However, my symptoms have been gone since I started using the cream about 2 years ago, the weight crept up.

1. You recommend to slowly reduce the dosage when symptoms subside, but now I am confused. If you reduce the dosage wouldn't it be not enough and cause the weight gain again?
2. I am 34 y.o. with regular periods, how should I use it? I've been using it every day except during my period (about 5 days). But in some comments you say start on ovulation day (day 14) till first day of period.

Jan 27, 2012
Any comeback commenters?
by: Wray

Hi LaraS It's interesting you were going to the bathroom a lot, and lost the weight too. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, so good it's now given via IV transfusion to TBI victims, to reduce the oedema and inflammation that occurs due to the injury, see here. Oestrogen causes water retention, it draws water from the gut, which is why your stomach felt 'upset', the water was being put back in again. When you reduce the progesterone you must keep watch on symptoms, if they appear again, you've reduced too much. So increase back to where you felt the best, not forgetting stress drops progesterone levels, so symptoms can come back too. If this occurs increase the amount. If you do have a regular cycle, it's best to follow it, ie to start using the progesterone at ovulation. No harm is done using it the way you are, but it can act as a contraceptive when used before ovulation. Although about 200mg/day is needed. Take care Wray

Jan 27, 2012
thanks for all the info Wray
by: Mary

hello Ladies..
since my last comment here the internist had taken me off of synthroid and sent me to a cardiologist to do heart test. Thank God a stress test and calcium test all came back good. So now I find that I can only use the progesterone cream in the morning 0.4% is the strength and suppose to use morning & night but it keeps me awake..like I have drank a pot of coffee only I don't drink coffee at all. It does help with fluid retention alot. I have discarded the bio-identiacl estradiol and not going to use again.
Getting another dr to treat the thyroid. She won't give me anything after the synthroid made my chest hurt.
TSH level 4.6
T3 & T4 not sure but dr said in normal ranges
AST/GOT is 9 should be 15-37
ALT/GPT is 19 should be 30-65
I found some research that says these liver function levels can show low in cases of hypotyhroid cases. I would like to know your input Wray and I appreciate your time so much. Thank You.

Jan 28, 2012
thanks for all the info Wray
by: Wray

Hi Mary It's interesting the progesterone keeps you awake, as most people complain it makes them sleepy! I'm pleased you've stopped the oestradiol and the synthroid too. Your TSH is slightly higher than normal, which ranges from 0.4 - 4.0 mIU/L, see Medline TSH. But as you say your T3 and T4 are normal it's so slight it's nothing to worry about. This is another excellent site you can look through, see Stop the Thyroid Madness. I don't understand why you were told your AST and ALT should be higher, as a higher level indicate liver damage, see here and here. This site gives you all the ranges, see here. Scroll through the contents until you see Liver Function, and click on that. Please have a vitamin D test done, it could be this is all you need! Take care Wray

Jan 28, 2012
reply to Wray
by: Mary

on my lab reults the AST/GOT and ALT/GPT are showing LOW intstead of normal.. yes I did a recent Vitamin D test and it has went from 20 to 32 after using vitamin D Biotic drops under the tongue..I am also wondering if it is possible that the Pharmacy lab compounded estradiol in the progesterone by accident..the creams both look & smell the same..I wish the progesterone would relax me..but then with having crohn's and an over active immune system medicines sometimes bring on complicated re-actions..
My recent consultation over the phone with the Pharmacy compounding Lab wanted to prescibe me some testosterone when I told her about how progesterone makes me feel wired up..I said No thanks..I am afarid to add something new..what do you think ?

Jan 29, 2012
reply to Wray
by: Wray

Hi Mary Yes I saw they were low, which is a good sign, the higher they are the more affected the liver is. Your vitamin D was extremely low, it still is low. Please try to get it up to a minimum of 50ng/ml, better if it's in the 70-100ng/ml range. 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. And please read those papers I gave you on vitamin D and Crohn's, it does have a bearing. Do not touch testosterone, it should never be given to women, I think these papers might convince you, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Jan 29, 2012
On Wiley Protocol
by: Anonymous

My question is who are you Wray? I have been on the Wiley protocol since October I started on Estradial E2 Basic + 6, Progesterone P4 Basic, and Testosterone T basic. I put them on separate thighs and the Testosterone over my ovaries. I had gained about 20 lbs prior to starting and was experiencing severe fatigue and irregular menses and freezing cold all the time. I have always been thin and active, but was so fatigued I could barely make it through work let alone exercise. So I looked into bio-identical HRT. I felt great immediately starting the HRT, except I gained about 5lbs the first month, I was told this was natural and it would go away, my Estradial was increased by 2 more lines without any labs drawn, Within a couple of weeks I started having hot flashes and fatigue again. My Estradial was increased by 2 more lines the following month. Again no labs drawn. I started having side effects of heart palpation's, shortness of breath, dizziness I called and was told to add my Estradial together and divide by 3 and take that dose TID as the BID was too much for my system at once, it was very hard for me to be consistent with it because of my job. My labs were finally drawn and my Estrogen level had dropped from 165 to 85. I was told I wasn't absorbing it and to rub it into my arm not my thighs. He again increased my Estradial to TID 30mg Estradial (10mg each time). I am taking an enormous amount of Estradial and I don't feel good. Overall I have gained over 25lbs in two months. I feel and look 5 months pregnant. What is going on with my system? My Progesterone level has never been tested. My periods now are somewhat regular but they start on Day 23-24 not day 28. They are basically all mucus/blood not clots but thick. I am very uncomfortable I'm now 45lbs overweight and can't keep doing this. There is no diuretic affect going on.

Jan 30, 2012
On Wiley Protocol
by: Wray

Hi there You ask who I am, you could say I'm a concerned woman who went through hell during Peri-menopause, found progesterone, and was sane again. Many friends asked me what had I done, I told them, and then found myself doing talks. This all occurred 15 years ago. I now devote my time to helping others use progesterone. Everything I say is backed by studies which I give, it's up to the individual to read the studies, and certainly not take my word for it. I don't believe any woman needs extra oestrogen, in any form. You might like to see the studies we have on our HRT page. There's further evidence on this excellent website Our Stolen Future. They go into great detail about the oestrogen mimics, over 100 now, which contaminate the planet. Testosterone should never be given to a woman, it increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, cysts and visceral fat. This last is the reason you look 5 months pregnant, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Oestrogen causes sub-cutaneous fat gain. If you should consider using progesterone only, please use sufficient. I recommend 100-200mg/day or more, dependant on symptoms. There's more info on the P-M link I gave above. Take care Wray

Jan 30, 2012
does progesterone have to be prescribed
by: Mary

attention Wray I have done a little research and found that progesterone cream can be ordered online..does anyone use a natural progesterone cream that can be bought or ordered from a health or supplement store without a precription..and what is the difference of compounded bioidentical.. (as mine is with a dr approving the rx) and natural.
I thought maybe I could try something else (progesterone) and see if it still makes me feel wired up.
I am precribed 4% cream 2xday..i can only tolerate the morning dose and gaining weight.
of course I am gaining weight it is causing me to crave food seems like.
and why is this change that is suppose to happen naturally not feeling so natural..


Jan 31, 2012
does progesterone have to be prescribed
by: Wray

Hi Mary Thousands of people! In fact more is bought on line than from pharmacists, doctors etc. See here. The 'difference' is identical, both contain progesterone. You say yours is a 4%, but I would have to know how much you use, you don't say. Probably about 0.5ml? If this is the case you are getting about 20mg/day. Maybe you've been told to use it twice a day, am and pm, in which case you would be getting 40mg/ay. In either case you are using far too little. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. The reason you are gaining weight, feel wired etc is due to the small amount you're using. Please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance for more info. Progesterone initially stimulates oestrogen, and will continue to do so if too low an amount is used. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to divide and multiply, including fat cells. It also causes water retention, plus cravings. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone. From Saliva Tests we run, we've found the ratio of P:E2 should be 600:1 and over to feel well. You might like to see these comments from users of high amounts, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Feb 07, 2012
No periods
by: Lin

Hi Wray,
I`ve been using progesterone cream to become fertile but im having some problems. I have pcos and basically I`ve never had regular periods without birth control pills. My progesterone levels have been measured few times and it has always been nonexistent. When started the cream I felt so much better. I didn feel anxious or depressed and felt womanly energetic. It was hard to get period though but I had some bleed during cycle and some at the end of the cycle. For using the cream 21 days on and few days off I changed using the cream 14 days on 14 days off to induce cycle. Things went bad. I felt bad, bloated, depressed angry in the end of the cycle and no bleeding at all just a little bit of spotting. I had also pain in ovaries. I thought i could have a cycle using the cream but now i feel disappointed and depressed. Do you still think the cream could help me to have ovulation or to regulate any kind of cycle? Im not over weight at all, but i hate to be bloated from hormones. I also used metformin for couple of years but it didnt help me to get any periods. I have also used clomid four times but only once had ovulation. I hate the side effects of that kind of drugs and I what to find more natural solution to help me feel like a normal woman and being able to have a child. Im desperate.

Feb 07, 2012
No periods
by: Wray

Hi Lin I would have to know how much progesterone to explain what's occurring. But judging by your symptoms, it appears to be the usual 20mg/day, possibly 40mg/day. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. Unfortunately the 'regular' periods the Contraceptives were giving you, were not proper periods. They stop ovarian function, so you would not be making any progesterone. So why they bothered to test you is beyond me. I'm pleased you stopped the metformin, as it often doesn't help, see here, here, here and here. And clomid too, it's not a good drug, see here, here and here. PCOS is caused by oxidative stress, and can be reversed with large amounts of antioxidants. Please read through this page as it gives a list of the nutrients which help. Progesterone is needed too, there's info on the page about this too. Take care Wray

Feb 25, 2012
When do you stop using progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

To Wray: I have read everything twice and gotten a pretty good idea on what needs to be done. A few questions were either answered vaguely or completely ignored.

1) How long will it take for the progesterone to kick in to overcome the "initial" weight gain? According to some posters it took as many as months and the weight gain continued.

2) You've told these women to continue to up their dosage (for who knows how long) until it works. Is there a maximum amount of progesterone cream a woman should use daily?

2) Once a woman begins progesterone cream, is she to use it for life? Is there a point where she can quit using progesterone? If so, how can she tell?

Feb 25, 2012
I feel confused
by: PJ

The problem with taking 100 mg a day...it made me sluggish. The is the last thing I need.
Wray,
1. Is NatPro same as RX "BioIdential Hormones" my previous goofy doc prescribed? I am beginning to think that doctors are "the last to know" when it comes to women's hormones

2. Is the use of NatPro different for someone already into menopause like me? I am 62 and have been dealing with vag dryness and hot flashes for 10 years and have tried EVERYTHING to stop the hot flashing. My aunt who is 85 didn't stop hot flashies until 2 years ago.
The vag dryness was helped by the estrogen patch which made me look 5 months pg. Even my 5 year old grandson noticed! I stopped that and paid the price with uncomfortable sex.

My gyno says I have to use vaginal estrace. But I think it makes me bloated for a few days after using it. Using it twice a week and she said once a week forever!
She said it would not make me gain weight but I do get a bloated tummy. Then it goes back down.

Feb 26, 2012
low cortisol
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray!

So my naturopath/homeopath/acupuncturist did a body function scan on me (meridian systems are read via a pen-like instrument pressed for a second or so onto all the key meridian points). It's even FDA approved, and been around for a long time. It essentially confirmed what she had thought, that I have adrenal burn-out, have gone beyond the stress-stage of high-cortisol production into worn out adrenals make little cortisol. A bunch of other elements are dangerously low--GABA, DHEA, serotonin, melatonin and many others. Interestingly, my hormone levels of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone came up as low, but balanced, which I think is due to my use of the progesterone cream, and I'm thinking I need to up my dosage. Question: the licorice root she gave me to take about three weeks ago, at 600 mg per day, has definitely helped in terms of reducing my stress, which is the main point, and to give the adrenals a break so they can heal, but I have gained water weight (not going away totally even with progesterone cream and uva ursi) plus fat around my middle and elsewhere. I'm hoping that this a sign that my adrenals may be making cortisol on their own now and that this is extra cortisol causing the problem. My idea is to cut the amount of licorice root in half over the next week and wean myself off of it, unless you have any other suggestions, re more progesterone cream or something else. After I've been off of it for a few days, I'm going to do the saliva test (four times in one day to see the pattern) and another full scan on March 24, which will be just over two months from the first one, and I'll do another one in May.

I'm as of today taking everything under the sun, continuing with D3, Co-Q10 (ubiquinol), B complex, B-12, slow-release melatonin, an adrenal support of holy basil, rhodiola, ashwagandha and others, tumeric, and continuing with my DHEA (5mg daily), GABA (Lentra) and Prolent. I'm adding in some Fucothin, too, after my doctor reviewed it and the studies on it and said it wouldn't interfere with our plan to rebuild my endocrine system.

I'm doing yoga each morning, running on the trampoline each early evening, eating non-expanding clay, fermented rice protein and tempeh, all the essential fatty acids (though cutting back a lot on any cooked oils), and a nearly vegan diet, with some eggs from pasture-raised hens and a little goat cheese from a local ethical farmer twice a week. I was vegan for 20 years until a few months ago, when these kinder options became available, so I am experimenting with how they make me feel. I am also not a fan of sweets and doing my best to get rid of bread from my diet, even though it's not a daily thing.

I wish I didn't need to gain weight to give my adrenals a break, but it seems I must. My normal and ideal weight is 130 but I now weigh 200 lbs! I don't look that big, because I'm muscly but this is too big for me. Any thoughts? xo and thanks, Wray!

Feb 26, 2012
When do you stop using progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi there I think I have covered these queries. Your first query I get asked repeatedly, in fact so much so that I have done a new page to save repeating myself so many times, see Progesterone Misconceptions. I always reply I don't know, simply because we are all so different. Some need a high amount to overcome it, some need a lower amount and some don't get it at all. Women who use very high amounts, ie 400mg/day or more don't suffer from any weight gain. Principally because progesterone immediately becomes the dominant hormone, and oestrogen is not stimulated. The sudden increase in weight gain is caused by oestrogen stimulating water retention. Progesterone is such a good diuretic it's now given via IV transfusion to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to reduce any oedema that forms. Progesterone cannot be the cause of water retention, but oestrogen most certainly is, see here. Oestrogen is also a mitogen, causing cells to proliferate, including fat cells. If continually stimulated by low levels of progesterone, cells will continue to proliferate. Not only that but fat cells are also a source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. Progesterone inhibits mitosis, hence it's use in Cancer, Endometriosis and Fibroids. When women get water retention or weight gain they immediately blame progesterone. I find in each case they have been advised to use 20-40mg/day, so I will always ask them to increase it. As for how much, this again is dependant on many factors, not least how much excess oestrogen they all have. Many have used levels of 400-1000mg//day to achieve balance, I have to leave it to them. I couldn't possibly know how anyone will react, there are a great many of number of factors. Such as their stress levels, the foods they eat ie phytoestrogen content, how much vitamin D they have, do they eat large meals, do they live in countries with much cloud cover, all these cause progesterone to drop. So I can't answer your query on is there a maximum amount to use. I do know Dr Dalton used 2400mg/day for her patients with post natal psychosis, simply because their condition was serious and they needed it. Continued below.

Feb 26, 2012
When do you stop using progesterone cream Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there Likewise the TBI victims get over 1200mg/day because they needed it. Any women with severe symptoms will need high amounts. In answer to your last question, it's up to the individual. It's not a question I will ever be able to answer, or the woman or man themselves. As men get older many suffer from prostate problems, progesterone reverses this. But undoubtedly the BPH would come back if they stopped, as they now no longer have it's beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Plus it's oestrogen suppressing properties. Likewise in women. Many older women have stopped, only to regret it as symptoms have come back. Younger ones find it helpful to overcome anovulatory problems, once helped they can stop. I for one will not be stopping, studies have found it of great benefit in ageing. Plus the fact we now have over 100 oestrogen mimics in the environment, see Our Stolen Future. Progesterone helps protect us against these. Take care Wray

Feb 26, 2012
I feel confused
by: Wray

Hi PJ I don't think you can have read any of my answers to you. As my answer now is the same as it always has been. You are not using enough progesterone. Hot Flushes need at least 400mg/day. I imagine your Rx is the same if it contains progesterone, which the Natpro does. The other ingredients will of course be different. The only difference between women in Menopause and those younger, is we can use it daily as we have no cycle to follow. It can help vaginal dryness and inflammation, as it's a potent anti-inflammatory. I recommend using some in the vagina each night. It can be applied with either a finger or syringe. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to proliferate, hence the pregnant look. It also causes water retention which causes bloating. Please consider using far more progesterone. Take care Wray

Feb 26, 2012
When do you stop using progesteorne cream
by: Joy (South Africa)

Hi Anonymous - the answer is never! Progesterone is produced in our brains, adrenal glands, testes in men and ovaries in females. Due to our stressful way of life we need to supplement with progesterone in order to achieve results and better health. Progesterone NEEDS to become the dominant hormone before any sign of improvement is felt. As you have probably read, we are all estrogen dominant. It's everywhere, in the food and water that we drink, the air and drugs hence the reason why we are estrogen dominant and it is causing endless health issues.

Depending on one's symptoms it can take anything from 1 to 6 months for signs of improvement. However, I am currently dealing with a lady in Canada who has been using 800mg daily for almost a year now. Would she stop? Never, she knows the consequences if she does. She will however, be able to reduce her dose as her symptoms improve. One simply can't place a duration on this as we are all different as Wray has explain.

Depending on how estrogen dominant one is, how many drugs one takes, will depend on how long the process will take.

Wray has always answered questions clearly providing as much research back as she can.

To go back to your COMMENT TILE again and I repeat,the answer is never! The amount used can be reduced as explained. I caution anyone thinking that this is a quick fix solution or even temporary, it is not! Should the use of progesterone stop, your symptoms will return, it's as simple as that.

Take care and good luck.

Feb 27, 2012
Weight gain with progesterone cream
by: Erin

Hi Wray,

I have been on natural progesterone cream now for approximately two months. At first, I was only applying 40 mg a day. Since I noticed a little weight gain of 5 lbs., per your advice, I upped my dosage to 100 mg per day.

Despite upping my dosage to 100 mg a day, the weight gain has continued and I now have gained nearly 10 lbs.

I have not changed my diet at all and I am in fact exercising a lot more than I used to. I am exercising so much in fact as I am training for a couple of competitive races coming up.

Any advice on this for me? Is it the progesterone cream causing this weight gain and if so, approximately how long will it take me to normalize with my weight gain?

Thanks!

Feb 27, 2012
low cortisol
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I didn't realise the body function scan was FDA approved, amazing. All those various systems I find excellent, as they give an overall view of what's going on. Knowing what you do, it doesn't surprise me you have adrenal burnout, the pressure must be very great. Licorice does increase waster retention, although it also increases cortisol, which in turn increases water retention. Maybe you have taken it for long enough. I see you're trying rhodiola for stress, see here. The studies on licorice seem to have conflicting results, some say it reduces testosterone levels, others that it increases it. Some say it increases cortisol, others that it doesn't! And apparently in low doses it's oestrogenic, but in high it's not, see here, here, here and here. It does cause hypokalemic hypertension too, are you taking extra potassium? This might help the water retention. You say you have fat around the middle now, it could be due to the DHEA, see here, here, here and here. As DHEA increases testosterone, and if licorice does too, this would account for the fat around the middle. Testosterone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Continued below.

Feb 27, 2012
low cortisol Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I can't remember if you still have a cycle, I think you are 45, so should have. If you have the saliva test, please make sure it's done mid-luteal phase. Ie ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding, this is when progesterone peaks. I know you are using supplemental, but having it any other time will skew the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen. Oestrogen peaks mid-cycle, plus there's another in the mid-luteal phase. The ratio is the critical factor, not the actual levels. Your progesterone will probably be quite high, so you might like to see this page here for more info. As you are mostly vegan/vegetarian, have you ever considered raw food? This is excellent for reducing weight and helping organs/glands to regain balance. We do have links of on our Nutrition page you might like to look at. Take care Wray

Feb 27, 2012
low cortisol
by: Jenine

Thanks, Wray!

I actually stopped getting a period as of May of last year, probably due to stress and then collapse of my endocrine system. My doc says she can get me back to health and normal weight, but I may not get a period again. Since all my hormone levels were low, some extra testosterone making seems okay by me, but maybe I've reached the limit and can at least go off of the DHEA, since I'm still taking licorice.

Do you consider 600 mg a day too low a dose of licorice or should I take more, kind of like progesterone and the oestrogen effect?

Thanks for all the advice--I was raw vegan for six years and it worked well for at least five, but eventually I needed more heat in my body, so now I'm aiming for around 80% raw.

I am really curious to see how my next scan comes out, and will let you know. Thank God for great health care providers like my acupuncturist and you!


Feb 27, 2012
progesterone cream and weight gain
by: Kari

Hello,
I am 27 yrs old and have a 16 month old daughter. It has taken me a little while to get motivated to lose my baby weight and am finally active and eating well. BUT I just started using progesterone cream at the recommendation of my OB/GYN because for religious purposes I will not use anything that will prevent a pregnancy. I have gained weight! I know its not muscle because I can't get pants that fit me a month ago up past mid-thigh and I have to wear yoga pants and sweats everywhere because nothing fits at all. How long is this "water weight" situation supposed to last? I can't afford a new wardrobe or to be showing up in professional situations in pjs. Please help! I'm desperate!

Thanks,
Kari

Feb 28, 2012
low cortisol
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I would say it was undoubtedly stress stopping your period. It really disrupts the cycle, stops ovulation too, so of course no progesterone is made, a vicious cycle! And I do agree, you might not get your period again, or if you do it could be very erratic. See our page on Peri-menopause for more info. Well you know my views on DHEA and testosterone! Just be cautious and if you find excess fat in your midriff area know what's causing it. According to the research I've done amounts vary between 15-7000mg/day licorice, so I think stick to the 600mg, I think your acupuncturist probably knows best. Interesting you have tried the raw food. I feel I need hot food too, but I'm not vegetarian anymore, tried it for a bit, but became too tired and put on weight. Would really like to hear what results come from the scan. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray.

Feb 28, 2012
progesterone cream and weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Kari I would have to know how much progesterone he's given you, but it seems far too little. I get asked this question so often, and each time it's because amounts in the region of 20-40mg have been given. In fact in desperation I have just written a page explaining all the Progesterone Misconceptions. Please look through it, I hope it clears up what's happening to you. Take care Wray

Feb 28, 2012
Re progesterone cream and weight gain
by: Kari

Thanks. Very informative. My ON/GYN didn't prescribe a dose. He just told me to go to a health food store and buy some progesterone cream. I bought the one with the pump that measures the dosage for you so I don't have to bother with measuring it myself but I have been doing 3 or 4 pumps everyday instead of the one pump recommended on the bottle. So that's still only 80mg per day instead of one pump of 20mg. I bought Life-flo Progesta-care's 2oz pump at $22. This is expensive to be using 4x the recommended amount and it still not being a high enough dosage. If I took the 100mg/d doseI would go thru a bottle every 10 days roughly. Would you recommend weekly injections instead? Would 700mgs/wk be too much at once? Can I do them myself, I.M.? Is that even legal? Is that a more expensive option?

Also, since beginning the cream, I have increased breast tenderness which didn't surprise me but I have also started leaking from my nipples like I'm getting ready to start lactating again. Very little fluid just unexpected. Is that a normal reaction? My skin has definitely improved and I'm hoping with time my period will be a little more relaxed with the flow.

Feb 28, 2012
Re progesterone cream and weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Kari I'm pleased it was of help. Life-flo's site says $24.95, so you have found it at a better price, but still costly. Injections are very painful by all accounts. They are legal but you would have to get a script from your doctor. I'm not sure of their cost either, but probably more. They are not as versatile as a cream which can be applied anywhere, excellent for the face, to rub over the tummy for period pains, on the neck for headaches, etc. The Breast Tenderness is normal when first using progesterone. Prolactin is the hormone of lactogenesis, it's stimulated by oestrogen. This is intriguing, as it shows how your oestrogen has also been stimulated by the low amount of progesterone, a very good indication. Progesterone is excellent for the skin, see here. If by more relaxed you mean the bleeding will be less heavy, then yes. We have more info on our Menstruation Cycle page. I very rarely do this, as I'm happy for people to use whatever cream they like, but you might consider the Natpro. 1 tube will last 10 days at 200mg/day, or double the amount. Take care Wray

Mar 05, 2012
Question
by: Steph

WRAY,
You seem to be educated in the use of progesterone,so I have a question for you. I would like to start taking bio-identical progesterone. My reasons for wanting to take it are; I have PCOS (and the many sypmtoms that go with that) and I don't sleep well at all. I see you tell everyone it initally causes weight gain, but I am on sprinolactone 25mg PO BID. Do you think I might not see the weight gain since I am on a diuretic? Also do you suggest progesterone to women with PCOS? I am also thinking about gettin on the Insulite PCOS system as I have hear good things about the system. Thanks for your input.

Mar 06, 2012
Question
by: Wray

Hi Steph We do have a page on PCOS. Progesterone is essential, as anovulation is often a problem. It also helps with sleep, see here, here and here. Progesterone cannot cause weight gain, it speeds metabolism. But it can cause it if insufficient is used, simply because a low level of progesterone stimulates oestrogen. Most people are advised to use amounts that are far too low. Oestrogen is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, it also causes water retention, see here, here, here and here. There's more info on our Oestrogen Dominance page. Whereas progesterone is the best diuretic there is, so good it's now given to prevent oedema forming in Traumatic Brain Injury victims. You might like to read these papers on spiro, see here, here, here, here and here. Continued below.

Mar 06, 2012
Question Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Steph Only about 50% of women with PCOS have Insulin Resistance. The main problem is oxidative stress, which causes insulin resistance and much more. Vitamin D is vital, a lack causing anovulation and IR, please have a test done. Large amounts of antioxidants are needed, the page on PCOS gives them all. 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. Take care Wray

Mar 11, 2012
Dose
by: Clara

Hi,
Wray, you are telling people to use 100-200 mg a day without asking if they are pre or post menopausal. And I've looked at the papers that you cite...there is no common thread of information about doseage, or weight gain, so I am not sure why you are citing them. And few have anything to do with biodentical progesterone!!

Clara

Mar 12, 2012
Dose
by: Wway

Hi Clara Age or sex doesn't matter, symptoms do. It's up to the individual to find the amount that suits best. The 100-200mg/day is merely a guideline. For instance one man uses 400mg/day, his wife uses up to 1000mg/day, she's pre-menopausal. And another who's used between 1000-1200mg/day, see here. We have women in menopause who find 120mg/day sufficient, and women in peri-menopause who also find this sufficient. Whereas we have three women who write in regularly who use 400mg/day for post natal depression. Traumatic Brain Injury victims are given over 1200mg/day via IV transfusion, over 70% are men. Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day for post natal psychosis. The more severe the symptom the more is needed, I stress this over and over in my replies. The studies wouldn't show a common thread about dosage, as they are treating different problems. I haven't the time to check all the papers I've given, but the three on sleep above all used progesterone. The last used levels equivalent to 1500mg/day up to 9000mg/day in a 50kg person. I don't know what you mean about 'few have anything to do with biodentical progesterone', progesterone is progesterone. I never quote studies on the progestins as back up for my argument. But I do if someone is using one and I want to point out the dangers. Take care Wray

Mar 12, 2012
Dose
by: Joy (South Africa)

Hi Clara - If you type in the words "weight gain" or "dosage" in the Google search bar provided you will find all the information that you require. I have noticed that Wray quite often posts a link HOW TO USE PROGESTERONE, in fact she has posted that further up on this thread. If you care to look at that link it will explain all you need to know about dosage and more.

Take care.

Mar 16, 2012
Adding hormones is not thesolution
by: Lucretia

The more I read about this, I convince more that adding any kind of hormones make people worst, never better. This is not the only place where I see people talking about the side effects.

Mar 19, 2012
Shame on you.
by: Pat

Dear Wray,

It is unnerving to read the reckless advice you give to some of these women experiencing problems. You've said progesterone isn't sex hormone which is wrong, it is. You've encouraged a women to continue progesterone at higher dose despite her 10lbs weight gain in 2 weeks based on the fact it is used with brain injuries. For what's it's worth, it's used in brain injuries to stimulate the numerous progesterone receptors in the brain and reduce BRAIN swelling. It's not used to balance estrogen in the brain and when used I.V for brain injuries it doesn't cause the enormous weight gain seen in women on this board. Your entire webpage is full of propaganda..the only goal you have is to push progesterone therapy sometimes to dangerously high doses despite overwhelming negative symptoms. I am disgusted someone would blindly advise numerous people to keep increasing doses despite complications. It's more than clear you're only concerning is selling the Natpro progesterone sold on your site. Shame on you.

Mar 19, 2012
Shame on you
by: Wray

Hi Pat I very rarely mention the cream we make. In fact all the comments which do mention it are from other people, not me. I have only mentioned someone get our cream three time is the past 5 years, and it's only when I realise someone is struggling with the cost of the cream they are using, as in one instance above I said "I very rarely do this, as I'm happy for people to use whatever cream they like, but you might consider the Natpro. 1 tube will last 10 days at 200mg/day, or double the amount". It matters not to me what cream they use, there are 7 billion people on this planet, more than enough for all the producers of progesterone, without the need for competition. I'm happy to answer queries from users of other brands too. If you care to look through the 3000 pages on the site, you'll see over half the queries are from other users, not our cream. In reply to the 10lb weight gain, one woman wrote saying 'I have been taking between 350-440 mg of progesterone a day for the last couple of days, and cannot believe the relief I am experiencing.' My aim is to help people get well, the choice of cream is up to them. I also mention many nutrients too, it's lucky we don't make it apparent on the site that we have those, or you would accuse me of trying to push those too. No matter where in the body progesterone or oestrogen is found, they will always have opposing effects, in the brain too. Oestrogen causes water retention anywhere in the body. Of course it doesn't cause weight gain or water retention when used for TBI as over 1200mg/day is used. It's a very interesting fact, but Dr Dalton does not mention Oestrogen Dominance once in any of her papers, to me when I met with her several times, or in her books. Because it never occurred in her patients. The reason being she used 400-800mg/day for her PMS patients, 800mg/day or more for her patients with PND and 2400mg/day for her patients with post natal psychosis. This is the reason I suggest far higher amounts than the 20-40mg/day usually recommended. Dr Lee coined the term oestrogen dominance, because his patients did get it. It's wonderful he made this observation, as it's helped me immensely when trying to advise others. I see no reason why people have to suffer it, so suggest they use amounts far higher. Luckily I've had some wonderful comments from people I've helped who have used these amounts, enough for me to continue advising and not feel threatened by people such as you. Continued below.

Mar 19, 2012
Shame on you Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Pat It's probably pointless giving you some links, but others reading this might be interested, see here, here here and here. There is no propaganda on the site, all the info is based on studies done using progesterone. Finally you say progesterone is a sex hormone, which sex would you ascribe it to? Most likely female as it's usually regarded as a female hormone. If is it a female sex hormone, it could not be given to men in amounts exceeding 1200mg/day as it is for TBI. Over 70% of TBI victims are men. It is not a sex hormone, it plays no part in the secondary sexual characteristics which develop at puberty, these are governed by oestrogen and testosterone. Yes it is involved in reproduction, in the woman during the luteal phase and pregnancy, and in men to stimulate the production of testosterone in the Leydig cells and during the acrosome reaction when an egg is fertilised. Maybe that makes it a male hormone? Take care Wray

Mar 19, 2012
Amazed
by: Joy (South Africa)

I am truly amazed at some comments on this site. It is clear that the people who are opposed to progesterone are those who do not understand it's benefits or how it works. They do not listen and use the amounts suggested for their particular symptom resulting in progesterone getting a bad name!!

Do they actually bother to read the information provided I wonder? My guess is that they do not. How then can they disagree with progesterone they way they do?

Estrogen dominance causes all sorts of untold adverse symptoms, some are extremely severe while others mild. I know a few people who have taken 800mg or more a day to achieve better health. I have heard and been involved in so many success stories because of progesterone.

This site is full of wonderful advice, I follow it daily. Wray posts the good stories as well as the bad, her mission is to HELP people.

Use it .... don't use it!!!

Wray, please keep up the good work and I know that I speak for countless appreciative people around the world - where would we be without you?!!!

Mar 19, 2012
This Wonderful Resource!
by: Jenine

Wray, you are doing very good work here and all of us regular and many newbies know it. I have referred your site to my acupuncturist who deals with female issues (mine are almost in order now, got my period after going 10 months without it) and my nurse practitioner who wrote an amazing book on women's health but never fully addressed this issue. These health practitioners are extremely appreciative for your work, too, and refer their patients to your site regularly.

Those of use who have taken your advice are the better for it, certainly, and I hope you are mentoring others to continue your work long into the 21st century and beyond.

Thank you, truly, for all of your sound advice. And Natpro is definitely the best cream around, and it's also offered at the best price around!

Jenine


Mar 20, 2012
To Joy and Jenine
by: Wray

Hi Joy and Jenine Bless you for the kind words! It is disheartening when someone writes in with such condemnatory statements, but with support from people like you, it gives me the courage to continue. And thanks so much to the two of you for spreading the word, it needs to get out there. Hugs to you both! Take care Wray

Mar 20, 2012
FANTASTIC ILLUSTRATED BOOK ON WOMEN'S HEALTH
by: jenine

You are one of my hero's in women's health, Wray, and I want to share a link to a remarkable book by another health practitioner I greatly admire.

Located in West Hollywood for many years, she moved her primary practice of Progressive Health Services to San Diego. I travel down there from L.A. when it's time for my gynecological exams.

Even if you can't visit her in person, check out this amazing illustrated book she wrote: A New View of a Woman's Body for under $30. Here is her website's link, for more info on Suzann Gage and her work: http://www.progressivehealth.org/

And here is a link to Amazon's page for the book: http://www.amazon.com/New-View-Womans-Body/dp/0962994502

Please share, if you find this may be helpful to your readers!

xo J

Mar 21, 2012
FANTASTIC ILLUSTRATED BOOK ON WOMEN'S HEALTH
by: Wray

Hi Jenine You are so supportive, I can't thank you enough! I've had a look at the site and book, both look excellent. I've saved the site for future reference, there are too few places like her clinic. I really liked her attitude too, that it doesn't matter what size you are, or what your sexual preferences are, all should be treated with dignity. We need more places like that all over the world! Bless you! xo Take care Wray

Mar 21, 2012
You are welcome : )
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray, and readers of this site!

Yes, the book I mentioned, which you kindly re-posted, is so good that it is the first gift I give mothers for their baby girls, whenever they are old enough to appreciate and use the info. I figure every woman would benefit, of any age or any lifestyle, especially new moms who can pass along the info, or at least the attitude, way before their daughters can read.

My ex-boyfriend and I used it for birth control info, too, and many others use it for fertility help--she points out a much better measure for fertility in a woman's cycle than body temperature (mucous viscosity).

You remind me of Suzann Gage in your championing accurate information about women's health far above the din of politics or money, unlike so many "health" practitioners. Keep on fighting the good fight, Wray!

Mar 22, 2012
Progesterone and cannnot lose weight!!
by: chris

Hi, i had a partial hysterectomy when i was 36 and now i am 44. I was tested and doctor says low progesterone and my t4 was low. She put me on 50mg. of progesterone bio-identical cream 1 time at night and 60mg of armour thyroid. I felt as though i had two much tyroid after blood test came back hyper but dr. wanted to keep things the same. I decided to take 60mg every other day of the armour. I have been on all this medication since july. At first i could lose weight with a low carb diet but now i workout everyday and eat low carb diet and cannot lose an ounce. I still have ovaries and i can tell when i ovulate still. I dont know if i should lower the progesterone ot just go off it. Doctor is not very helpful and very expensive. My breast are so tender and i am retaining alot of water.Very confused...please help

Mar 23, 2012
Progesterone and cannot lose weight
by: Joy (South Africa)

Hi Chris - it's simple, you are not using enough progesterone!! If you read this thread alone you will see that a high dose has been recommened so many times. Using too little will cause great adverse effects. I think you should use nothing less than 200mg/6ml per day possibly more until your symptoms improve, then and only then, can you consider reducing the dose very slowly.

As for your thyroid, I don't believe that you need that medication, progesterone and vitamin D will help with this but I am sure that Wray will explain in detail. You might want to consider having your vitamin D level tested.

So ...... start progesterone at a high dose as it will help to avoid all the adverse effects that one feels when using too little, it's the only way!!

Hope this helps.

Mar 24, 2012
You are welcome : )
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Bless you again! And it's amazing, but immediately after you gave me the name of the book, two queries cam in and I was able to give it to them too! One woman actually lived in LA, so I gave her the clinics website. Thanks!!! Take care Wray

Mar 24, 2012
Progesterone and cannnot lose weight!!
by: Wray

Hi Chris I can't better what Joy has told you. Too little progesterone merely makes symptoms worse, see our page on Progesterone Misconceptions. We also have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. You might like to read this page on Breast Tenderness too. Please have a vitamin D test done, a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone. And as Joy says it affects the thyroid, see here, here and here. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Take care Wray

Mar 24, 2012
Progesterone and cannot loose weight
by: Wray

Hi Joy Thanks!! Take care Wray

Mar 27, 2012
estrogen dominance
by: Anonymous

My estrogen is 65 and progesterone is 11. At 100 mg of progesterone cream, how long will it take to build up my progesterone to dominate my estrogen?

Mar 28, 2012
Freaking out
by: Lauren

I've been reading this thread about weight gain on progesterone. I believe my does is at 150 but I'm terrified to gain weight. How long does this usually last?!?! :(

Mar 29, 2012
estrogen dominance
by: Wray

Hi there It's impossible to tell. Your P:E2 ratio is 169:1, we've found from Saliva Tests we run that it's best if the ratio is 600:1 and over. The more progesterone used, the quicker the outcome. Please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance if you haven't been warned about the symptoms. Take care Wray

Mar 29, 2012
Book on women's health
by: Jenine

That's AMAZING, Wray! So glad to be of help. I love referring health practitioners to each other--the more solid the community the stronger our voices can be. Thanks for speaking out on a daily basis, Wray!

Mar 29, 2012
DHEA
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray!

I'm wondering if you could speak a bit more about DHEA supplementation and health and weight gain. I've been using the cream for about a year now, and for the last two and a half months have also been taking 5mgs a day of micronized DHEA from my acupuncturist. I've seen some studies wherein 1600 mgs were given daily, so not sure if I'm too low, or shouldn't be taking it at all.

I'm not sure if this is a synthetic, but I know she goes for really natural versions of everything else I'm taking, which includes GABA and serotonin. My numbers via the bio-meridian scan are all great, balanced but still building, so I'm not sure if I should stop. Since I got my period for the first time in 10 months on the 11th of this month, I using the progesterone cream again on the 24th (day 14) and my acupuncturist "zapped" my ovaries with a low current just for that organ via placing some rubber sheets over my abdomen above the ovaries. We are trying to get them nice and alert!

My concern is that while I seem to have a more sculpted body now, as I continue my yoga and walking routines, I am maintaining at the weight of 200 to 201 pounds, and it seems weird to me that I'm not losing weight, even if I am building more muscle. Any thoughts? I am wondering if the DHEA is controlling my weight some how, even though I feel lots better and overall, much healthier since we started two months ago.

Thanks for your feedback, as always, Wray!

Mar 31, 2012
DHEA
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Well I'm not in favour of giving DHEA to any woman! It can increase testosterone and cancer risk, see here, here, here and here. A far better way is with 7-keto DHEA, this does not get broken down into dangerous metabolites, see here and here. Testosterone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Plus it increases the risk of cancer, Insulin Resistance which you could possibly have, heart disease and more, see here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. We've chatted for so long now I've lost track on whether I've told you to check your vitamin D levels? If not please have a test done, a lack causes weight gain, and an inability yo loose weight, see here, here and here. Continued below.

Mar 31, 2012
DHEA part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine And more here, here, here and here. Try to get your level up to 100ng/ml. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Weight gain and inability to loose weight is all too often blamed on eating habits. Yes food does have a bearing, particularly the sweet starchy foods like grains and legumes. But little is known that excess free testosterone in a woman and a lack of vitamin D cause it, plus excess oestrogen of course. And now they've found 'obesogens', chemicals found in our environment which disturb our hormones to such an extent we gain weight. See here and here. The last paper is very long, enter 'obesogens' into control/find to get to the reference to them. Another sad but sorry fact, epigeneticists are finding that many of our diseases/syndromes/problems are caused in utero. It's lead to the phrase 'the foetal origin of adult disease'. An even more unfortunate effect is that it's been found these epigenetic changes are inherited. So things like Type 1 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease, some cancers, possibly autism and more are the result of toxins or lack of nutrients, particularly vitamin D, while in utero. Hope this helps a little! Take care Wray

Mar 31, 2012
Thanks for the info, Wray!
by: Jenine

Wow, thanks for all of this well-sourced and helpful info, Wray! I've been taking 5,000 IUs and up for awhile, but haven't been tested for vitamin D levels, so will ask my doc to order the correct test and the print-out with the numbers so I can see where I'm at. I also spoke with a nutritionist who insists that the vegetarian vitamin D I'm taking, or any veggie version for that matter, is no good, that it must be fish or at at least animal-based. Do you agree? I've been vegan for 20 years, now adding in a few eggs here and there from pasture-raised hens and a tiny bit of goat cheese from humanely-treated goats on a local farm. I am willing to take the krill or fish oil (Omega-3D) that covers both omega 3 and the vitamin D, if that is what will be most effective.

I am also going to get the 7-keto DHEA immediately! Are there any downsides to it? I have a feeling this is the main source, along with perhaps ineffective sources of vitamin D, that have been making my weight stick at such a high number. I do feel more muscle-packed, which could account for the weight staying the same if I'm also losing some fat, which I appear to be doing.

I will let you know the results of these changes as soon as I see or feel them--thanks, again! You truly are helping many, many people who cannot find reliable or advanced info, even from their doctors, even alternative doctors!

Apr 02, 2012
Thanks for the info, Wray!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Glad it was of help! Vegetarian D is normally D2 or ergocalciferol, it isn't regarded as effective as D3, see here and here, here and here. D3 is made from irradiated sheep's wool, as opposed to D2 made from irradiated mushrooms. You could always put some mushrooms on your kitchen window sill, or on a tray outside in the sun and irradiate them yourself! See the USDA website. You'd probably have to eat so many to get enough you'd make yourself ill! She's very wrong about the fish or fish oil. Put salmon oil into the USDA site and you'll see they don't give any D in it. For every 100g of sardine oil you would only get 332iu's vitamin D. You'd have to take one and a half kilos (3.3lbs) of fish oil to get 5000iu's!! Huh?! Good luck! Put fish liver oil in, ie cod liver oil and you get 10,000iu's for every 100gm oil, which means drinking 50gm (ml) oil for your 5000iu's, no thank you! The problem with fish liver oil it contains excessive amounts of vitamin A. For instance the cod liver oil would give you 100,000iu's for every 100gm. Vitamin A inhibits the uptake of vitamin D. It's always best to get vitamin A via beta carotene, which you do. I suggest you stick to the D2 if you really don't want to take the D3, and get your levels checked before you dismiss it. I'm pleased you've added the eggs and cheese, I used to be a vegetarian, tried it for 4 years, but I was always tired and put on weight. I slowly added fish first, then chicken and then the rest, took about 2 years to do it. I always try to get organic or free range. Have you tried raw food and veggie juices? There are some excellent sites on our Nutrition page if interested. I haven't heard of any downsides to 7-keto, if you find any let me know. I do try to keep up with research, but fall behind on things which don't come up frequently. Thanks so much for your support! Take care Wray


Apr 02, 2012
Vitamin D
by: Jenine

Thanks, Wray! So even if the label says it's D3, from mushrooms, it's really only D2? My acupuncturist tested me for both and my body loves the mushroom vit. D and doesn't like the fish oil at all. Interesting!

It was a nutritionist in the health food store who really wanted me to buy it, convinced it was the best thing ever, and that I should take it in place of Udo's oil with DHA, too. I think I will get tested and stick with what my body likes : )

I ate raw vegan, and only raw vegan, for six years, but have gradually increased my cooked food. I try not to eat cooked oil, or take extra enzymes and digestive bitters if I do. I will also add a bit of the raw oil to something I've cooked in oil (coconut or olive) so the enzymes for that oil will be present in my meal.

I do think it makes a difference to get my food from local sources and buy my veggies frozen, if I can't get them right from the farmer. You may want to check out this egg farm, Vital Farms, as they let their hens live in a pasture with shelters and protection and a field of bugs instead of grain to eat. I know they supplement their diet with organic foods more natural for chickens if needed. Here is their link, but I have found them in lots of Whole Foods, and they are located in Austin, Texas: http://vitalfarms.com/

Thanks, Wray!

Apr 05, 2012
Is P the missing piece?
by: Bella

Hi Wray.

I have spent the past 3 hours reading info all over your website. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

I'm here because I'm considering progesterone as my option for sorting my body out. A few important facts: I have consistently low Vitamin D. I was tested for it 3 years ago when I started having severe pelvic pain and sudden, non-stop menstrual bleeding (which lasted 5 months!). My Vitamin D was at 4 (yes, single digit) and it shocked my doctor. She tested me for cancer (negative), then put me on 50,000 IU's of Vitamin D, 3x/week for two months and told me to get out in the sun more and eat fish at least 1x/week. I followed her advice and when we re-tested, it had gone up to 34. My doctor suggested I take 2,000 IU's daily and that was that. My TSH also suddenly seemed to be climbing, heading towards subclinical thyroid (about 3.98). But to address the unusual bleeding, I was put on Ortho-Tri birth control pills for 3 months, and that made me bloat, gain weight, made my (normally calm) moods completely unstable and crazy, and made my thick hair fall out in chunks. After 3 months, I got off the pill. My moods went back to normal and my hair stopped falling out in a week. A month later, I was put on Synthroid (biggest mistake of my life!), and it made me more energized but caused flushed face, profuse sweating, and severe hair loss. I was promised my body would settle down and adjust but after 6 months, I had lost so much hair and my bleeding was so bad that I had had enough. Fast fwd to 3 months later and the hair loss just wouldn't stop, nor the bleeding and pelvic pain. I finally had a lap surgery that showed ovarian adhesion to colon. Once they were separated (but still intact), the pelvic pain went away and the non-stop bleeding stopped, but my periods became extremely heavy (to the point of hemorrahging). They found 3 intrauterine fibroids and some cysts but not enough to be diagnosed with PCOD. Regardless, my hair loss continued and continues to this day, I have gained 30 pounds from nowhere, my vitamin D continues to drop low even with daily of 4,000 IU's, my vitamin A is subclinical low, my B's are okay, my TSH has gone up to nearly 6 and my progesterone and estrogen are all over the place. Unfortunately, I don't even understand the levels (they vary so much each time), but in all instances, estrogen is higher. (continued in next post....)

Apr 05, 2012
Is P the missing piece? (part 2)
by: Bella

(continued from above post...)
The latest lab results taken 5 days before my recent menstruation are: estradiol, 127 pg/mL; progesterone 9.6 ng/mL; testosterone, free 1.7 pg/mL; testosterone, bioavailable 3.7 ng/dL; FSH 4.0 mIU/mL; LH 6.1 mIU/mL. I can provide lab ranges, if you need but supposedly, they are all within range. Doctors want to try adrenal supplements, DHEA, and Armour (thyroid meds). I am willing to try herbal adrenal supplements but not the rest, if not necessary. And the fact that I look like I'm in PMS (or PMD) mode all the time (bloated breasts, growing breasts, weight gain, bloated abdomen, and enlarging butt), continued severe hair loss, I can't help but think it's a hormone imbalance? That maybe, progesterone will help? Maybe I am estrogen dominant? Plus, no one seems to know when is the right time of the month to test my hormones: before, during, or after my menstruation? I don't know the answers...but I thought you might see what 5 doctors + me are missing. It's been 2 years of hell - please help!

Apr 06, 2012
Vitamin D
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Well I'm really puzzled it says D3, as plant based vitamin D is D2. Interesting you ate raw food for 6 years, I'm puzzled again! As normally that reduces any excess weight like a charm. All my raw food friends have lost weight on it. I eat most of my veggies raw, but do find I need animal or fish protein too. A veggie juice fast I did once for 10 days caused me to loose weight, I felt wonderful too. Your egg farm sounds magic, a field of bugs! Thanks for the link, I hope it helps other readers. Take care Wray

Apr 06, 2012
Is P the missing piece?
by: Wray

Hi Bella Two things stand out , your initial level of 4ng/ml for vitamin D! 34ng/ml is still too low. And low progesterone. Incidentally eating fish once a week is not going to raise your vitamin D levels. Dr Cannell says tongue in cheek you'd have to eat 8 oily fish a day to get enough vitamin D! See the USDA website. Put salmon oil into the window and you'll see they don't give any vitamin D for it. For every 100g of sardine oil you would only get 332iu's vitamin D. You'd have to take one and a half kilos (3.3lbs) of fish oil to get 5000iu's!! Huh?! Put fish liver oil in, ie cod liver oil and you get 10,000iu's for every 100gm oil, which means drinking 50gm (ml) oil for your 5000iu's, no thank you! The problem with fish liver oil it contains excessive amounts of vitamin A. For instance the cod liver oil would give you 100,000iu's for every 100gm. Vitamin A inhibits the uptake of vitamin D. It's always best to get vitamin A via beta carotene. 2000iu's per day vitamin D won't do anything for you, even 4000iu's per day, see here. You'll notice levels at 2000iu's had not risen sufficiently. I believe you should be on 10,000iu's per day, in fact one study recommends this is the amount we should all take, see here. The 150,000iu's you were taking each week, amounted to 20,000iu's per day, although it's always better to take it daily. I suggest you take this much for at least 3 months to get your level up, then have another test. Then possibly reduce it to 10,000iu's per day, no less than 5000iu's. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Your P:E2 ratio is 76:1, we've found from Saliva Tests we run that the ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. We do have a page on Hormone Testing. Continued below.

Apr 06, 2012
Is P the missing piece? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Bella Although I normally recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, I feel you will need 400mg/day. This generally stops heavy bleeding. Please consider taking 2000mg/day N-acetyl cysteine too, this inhibits the MMPs which cause the bleeding. For more info on this see our page on Menstruation. And you might like to see this comment here, where the combo progesterone and NAC stopped the bleeding. Tests in women should always be done ±7 days after ovulation or before bleeding. Progesterone peaks mid-luteal phase, it's pointless taking it any other time. So the timing of your test was about right. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. I think once you get both your levels up you'll feel a difference. You might like to read these comments here too. Finally we do have a page on Hair Loss, you'll notice NAC is one of the supplements which help. Take care Wray

Apr 11, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Bella

Thanks, Wray! I went to see my GP today and asked her to re-prescribe the 50,000IU of vitamin D for another 2 months so that I can get my levels up past 24 and she said if I got it to 30, it was plenty. She's always wanting me just on the "edge" of okay, but never at optimal levels. Disappointing. I also don't understand why my vitamin D keeps dropping? Any thoughts on this?

As for the Progesterone, thanks for doing the P:E ratio; not sure how you did the math, but would appreciate a formula for future reference. I am considering natural progesterone but I'll have to self medicate, as my doctors are much more eager to put me on thyroid meds than fix my hormones.

Doctors can be such a letdown!

Apr 13, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Wray

Hi Bella I'm pleased you're taking the higher dose of vitamin D, but it's so readily available, why are you getting it on prescription? I did point out it's far better to use it daily too, rather than the up/down method you're using. Stress drops vitamin D levels, any stress. I would imagine the stress you've been going through plays a great deal in your levels. Plus the 2000iu's would not raise levels, and if stressed the 4000iu's would not help much. I would recommend getting your level far higher than 30ng/ml, this will not afford much protection. Please look through those sites I gave you. Finding the ratio is easy if saliva tests are performed, just divide the oestrogen result into the progesterone result. You had blood tests, where oestrogen is measured in pg/ml and progesterone in ng/ml. A pg is 1000 times smaller than a ng, so you have to divide the oestrogen result by 1000 to convert it to ng. Then divide this into the progesterone result. Most women have to self medicate, so you're not alone! Take care Wray

Apr 15, 2012
I too gained weight on progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

I started using p cream a few years ago. I was feeling terrible and the cream did help a lot. I have gained weight everywere that the cream goes. Arms, thighs and abdomen. I had an enlarged uterus at my last check up. After having tests, nothing was found. I quit using my cream 3 cycles ago. I have not been able to lose the weight no matter what I do. I am on a strict eating plan that is low carb with no sugar and exercising every day. I should be losing but I'm not. I'm sad because the p cream did make me feel better. I would like to try using the high dose suggested on this site. I'm too scared to gain more weight. It's not even a vanity thing, my uterus feels full and hard. I've always had a flat stomach - I look about 4 months pregnant. I'm going back to get checked, something is not right. I can't help but think this is because of using p cream - I don't care what Wray or the South Africa lady say. I wish there was another alternative. I want to feel better, like all of you ladies. It's a shame we have to trade one set of problems for another. For now I'm doing all I can to eat super healthy, exercising and hoping something starts to change. I wonder how long it takes to get this stuff out of your body? It's no coincidence that all my fat gain is where I put the cream. I hope we all find the answers we're looking for - peace.

Apr 16, 2012
Is the P missing?
by: Joy (South Africa)

Hi Bella - if I may add my pennies worth regarding your Vitamin D level. First of all 30 is nowhere near where your level should be. I have been taking 15 000iu/day for quite sometime to get my level up. I recently had my level tested and from 79 it shot up to 139 in a matter of 11 months at 15 000iu/day. I have since reduced back down to 5 000iu/day and I have NEVER felt better, I am alive and kicking, my whole outlook in life has changed and the 'doom and gloom' has gone!! I will never let my my level drop below 100 regardless of what the doctors tell me. Vitamin D is connected to every single cell in our bodies that is how vital it is to each and everyone of us!

Hope this helps you.

Apr 16, 2012
I too gained weight on progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi there Unfortunately there isn't an alternative, as our adverse symptoms are caused by excess oestrogen. Testosterone would suppress it, but at what cost. As it increases visceral fat, cancer and heart disease risk. Whereas progesterone does none of these, and in fact reverse the symptoms. Please look around the site, as you'll see it's not just Joy or me who says use high amounts, many have found it of benefit. Why else would they give over 1200mg/day to Traumatic Brain Injury victims, if not because it helps. It's evident you used too little, which is why you put on weight. This would be both excess water and fat, as oestrogen causes both. It's essential to use enough to make progesterone dominant, too little and oestrogen will remain dominant. You might take encouragement from these comments here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Apr 17, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray. You're right; my stress level is extreme and has been chronic for at least 6-7 years. Even now, I'm having trouble sleeping because of everything I'm stressed out about. I must have missed the optimal supplement amount you mentioned about Vitamin D levels...how much should I take per day again that is available OTC? And do I take D2 or D3? No doctor seems to know or be invested enough to share the proper info.

Joy, thanks for your input. I agree, my vitamin D levels are abysmal and I don't know why (aisde from stress). I've even had supposed "top" physicians say most women are low on D, it's "no big deal". How wrong they are! My levels weren't even tested until my menstrual irregularities surfaced overnight and then it was after numerous invasive tests (including a very painful hysteroscopy) that my GP finally tested my vitamin D level to find it at 4. At that point, and due to my symptoms, she actually looked concerned and sent me out to be tested for cancer (CA 125 blood test) as very low vitamin D can be a common symptom, and that came back negative. But why does my body refuse to go higher than 34 is beyond me. Even being on a daily 4000IUs for about 6 months, my D level of 34 actually DROPPED to 23! So, I would like to know how to raise it myself without relying on stupid doctors who only want you barely alive, not living an optimal life.

Also, going back to the Progesterone question...what does anyone make of the fact that lately, my menstruation, while on time, starts out light, becomes excessively heavy for day 2 and 3, then completely stops on day 4? There is no natural tapering off of the cycle, just very sudden, on and off. Very weird! And a whole lot of "overheating" seems to happen, as in, I sweat profusely 24/7 during this time period, whether the room temps are 70F or 58F. And eating seems to increase the sweating. I'm like a furnace! So bizarre! I have no idea what my body is doing...

Thank you.

Apr 17, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Bella

Wait...just found where you told me the vitamin D amounts...sorry, missed that! Got it now. :)

Apr 17, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing
by: Wray

Hi Bella Ok I thought as much, stress drops both vitamin D and progesterone. And this is the reason your D level keeps dropping, and the 4000iu's per day the reason they don't rise, in fact continue dropping. It's nowhere near enough, we only start storing vitamin D when blood levels get to 40ng/ml, at 50ng/ml there is enough to go around, but not if stressed. I would heed what Joy says, you do need to take far more to combat the stress and have enough left over! Please consider taking magnesium too, I believe the chloride form is best, failing that an amino acid chelate. Magnesium is the most important co-factor for vitamin D. We do have a page on Menstruation which might help explain your bleeding pattern. One thing I forgot to ask was your age, it seems you could be in Peri-menopause? The overheating sounds as if your progesterone:oestrogen ratio is completely out, another P-M symptom, and you're getting Hot Flushes, another symptom. I have found 400mg/day is needed to help these, much like the heavy bleeding. Interestingly eating, particularly large meals, causes progesterone levels to drop, because of the increased clearance rate. This would skew your ratio still further. If you do try the progesterone, don't forget to read the page on Oestrogen Dominance first. Glad you found the vitamin D amounts. Take care Wray

Apr 17, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Bella

Hi Wray.

I'm 39. But I've had these symptoms for 2.5 years now, so I think that makes it too early for peri, esp since the women in my family didn't get to peri until their early 50's. But I don't know.

My cycle pretty much ended this month on a 4-day cycle..when usually it's 7 days long. I'm not complaining about the shorter days, but it is very odd, considering my cycles were always 28 days and 7 days long; now they're 23 days and 4-5 days long.

I will look into magnesium along with Vitamin D.

Thanks!

Apr 18, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Wray

Hi Bella Ok so it's not peri-menopause. But your age now does play a role, as from about 35 we begin getting anovulatory cycles. No ovulation means no progesterone that month, but oestrogen is still being secreted. These anovulatory cycles increase in frequency during the years through P-M, until Menopause when we stop producing viable eggs. Coupled with the stress you've had for so many years, as this drops progesterone, this would probably account for the symptoms. In fact stress can stop ovulation completely, this disrupts the reproductive cycle, which only adds to the stress. The adrenals are the most overworked and overlooked glands in the body. Under normal conditions they secrete progesterone, which they then convert into cortisol, one of our stress hormones. But if the adrenals are stressed they can't cope, so rob other sources of progesterone, notably the ovaries. This only compounds the problem! This probably explains why your LH is higher than your FSH, as it's trying to stimulate ovulation. The anovulation would also explain the overheating symptoms. I see I forgot to answer your query about which vitamin D to take, and that's D3. They have done a few comparative studies, see here and here, here and here. When you start the progesterone, please ket me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Apr 20, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Bella

Hi Wray. Thank you! That's best explanation I have heard in connecting the dots with my physical symtpoms! My new doctor also think I have adrenal fatigue and has put me on Adrenotone Plus, which I ave yet to begin because I am wery of putting more things into my body, but I will jow give it a shot for a onth, given your reponse. I will then have my hormores/thyroid retested and see how the progesterone/estrogen levels look, and decide from there about taking the natural progesteone. Fingers crossed something helps! This month - yes, due to unavoidable stress (extremely noisy neighbors and lack of sleep thereof), my cycle is esp. messed up. 4 days long, then ended. Then 3 days later, spotting again for 2 days and burning pain in my pelvis, which I'm assuming is a cyst or a burst cyst. Also, my breast tenderness seems to be lasting longer and longer, now even past my period and my hair loss is only that much worse. I know there is some hormonal imbalance, it's just a matter of fixing the right one! Thank you again. I will keep you posted!

Also, I haven noticed that when I take higher levels of Vitamin D, my skin gets darker..as if I've been out in the sun! Normally, I am fair-skinned, but with regular Vitamin D, my skin becomes more of an olive complexion...any ideas why?

Thank you.

Apr 21, 2012
RE: Is the P Missing?
by: Wray

Hi Bella Glad it was of help! Let me know how the adrenal supps help, although all your symptoms point to low progesterone, so don't wait too long before starting it. We do have a page on Ovarian Cysts, plus one on Breast Tenderness. Both point to lack of progesterone. It's interesting you say your skin has darkened taking the vitamin D, I've not heard that before! My level is now 92ng/ml and it hasn't affected the colour of my skin. Another friend has fairer skin than me, and hers hasn't changed either, her level is 131ng/ml. I do know high doses of beta carotene cause skin to darken, ie eating lots of carrots does it, or drinking carrot juice. Take care Wray

Apr 21, 2012
Estrogen & Dim
by: MelissaB

I realized after many years of symptoms that I am estrogen dominant since my early 30s perhaps earlier. fibroids, ovarian cysts, recent stubborn weight gain leads me to believing am entering peri menopause. I started taking progesterone cream this last month, and also supplement ing with DIM and calcium d glutarate. Apparently if you are estrogen dominant, there is a good chance that your body is not getting rid of the estrogens, even if you use progesterone. This could be a cause for continuous weight gain. So these two supps help your body metabolize the estrogens more efficiently so the progesterone and estrogens can balance each other. lots of info about this out there so do some research. I didn't gain on the progesterone but havent lost. It's early days yet but I have confidence. The supps are natural. And not chemical in nature.
My cycle is not the best but I made a mistake with the cravat and stopped taking it on day 11, so I missed sOme days. Also underdosing so ill up my dose to >100 mg and then well see.

Apr 23, 2012
Estrogen & Dim
by: Wray

Hi MelissaB I think so many of us have Oestrogen Dominance without realising it. It's not something we're taught at school! You don't say how old you are, but if you think you're entering Peri-menopause please look through this page. We also have one on Fibroids too. It's caused by oxidative stress, so large amounts of antioxidants are needed. Progesterone does help, so does vitamin D, see here, here, here, here and here. The weight gain is probably caused by excess oestrogen, plus testosterone, this is notoriously at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. With dropping progesterone levels, these two hormones can rise during P-M. The supplements you're taking are good too. Take care Wray

Apr 25, 2012
Not enough cream maybe?
by: Tia

I had polycystic ovaries since I was 16, (did manage to have 2 kids) but my weight and migraines have always been an issue. When I got to 40 after having missing periods for month on end - they suddenly became regular as clockwork, and heavy, very heavy indeed! I found out about natural progesterone cream and tried it. Felt better, carried on for 3 months but found I gained 2 extra stone (28lb) and a lot of leg swelling I never had before. I stopped the cream and heavy periods and lethargy returned (but selling and weight gain gradually reduced). Just read your comments here with interest as I was advised to use only a pea sized amount of cream, once per day for just 14 days per cycle. Now 43 I'm rung out by these heavy periods but loathed to try any medical procedures to 'fix things'. If I increase the amount of cream and use twice a day everyday no brake - have you any idea how long it will take for the weight gain to stop and hopefully subside and once it does (presuming it does) should I then decrease the dosage? Desperate to reduce these heavy periods as I cant leave the house for 7 days each time I have one as they are so very heavy! Thanks

Apr 27, 2012
Not enough cream maybe?
by: Wray

Hi Tia We do have a page on PCOS, it might give some insight into your symptoms. The pea sized amount is far too small, I take it you're getting about 20mg/day progesterone? I recommend 100-200mg/day, but for heavy bleeding 400mg/day. If you are using a cream which is only 1.6%, you would need 5tsp to get the 400mg/day progesterone. It should be used a minimum of twice a day too as levels begin dropping after about 13hrs. But for heavy bleeding it's best to divide the amount into several times a day. Please consider taking N-acetyl cysteine, it inhibits the MMPs causing the heavy bleeding. There's an explanation for the bleeding on our Menstruation page. The tiny amount of progesterone you're using is stimulating oestrogen, hence the water retention and weight gain. Oestrogen is a mitogen, it's also an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, causing water retention and weight gain, see here, here, here and here. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, but enough has to be used. See our page on Traumatic Brain Injury for an explanation. It would be a good idea to use it daily for about 2-3 months, this ensures progesterone becomes dominant. Then once you feel stable you can begin following your cycle again, see our page on How to use progesterone cream for info on how to do this. You are now in, or about to go into Peri-menopause, when cycles do become erratic. You might like to see these comments here about weight gain. And to read this page here on the ups and downs of treating heavy bleeding. Continued below.

Apr 27, 2012
Not enough cream maybe? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Tia Please have a vitamin D test done. It's vital for the normal functioning of every cell, but it's also a potent anti-inflammatory, as is progesterone. You have a great deal of inflammation in your uterus now. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Take care Wray


Apr 30, 2012
Thanks
by: Tia

Thanks Wray, I will be trying the vit D and the N-acetyl cysteine. I have now upped the cream and already the fuzzy head and headaches have gone and I look forward to more improvements.

I am in the UK where there isn't so much sun and don't go out in the sun so most likely, I will need some vit D.

It's very helpful to be able to get advice as DR's are pretty useless when it comes to this sort of thing I find. They don't seem to have the first clue! Thanks again, will let you know how I get on :)

Apr 30, 2012
Thanks
by: Wray

Hi Tia Glad it was of help. Please make sure you take enough vitamin D, levels in most people living in the UK are seriously low. Rickets is now making a big comeback, much to the surprise of everyone! Birmingham Hospital send out test kits for £20, and very quick too. But ignore their 'adequate' level of 50nmol/L, it's far too low. Even the FDA have theirs at 75nmol/L, also too low according to the specialists. And if you need to chat to someone, please contact Julienne who lives in London via her website here. She's been advising on progesterone for 15 years now, plus has a good knowledge about vitamin D too. Take care Wray

May 02, 2012
Why now?
by: Anonymous

I am 41 yrs old and recently my perceived well-being took a nose-dive. I have always struggled with my weight. In the past year, I have been working pretty hard to steadily lose weight (I was 274lbs at my highest). I have 2 beautiful children (6 and 9 yrs). Both were c-sections (in spite of trying a VBAC). I had elevated bp with he first child and a threat of miscarriage (reason not known) with my second. Pregnancy makes me nauseous and tired. After my last child, I went to grad school (while working and breast-feeding, etc). I was very stressful. After that, a promotion at work kept stress high. During this time, I had a few anxiety attacks. Recently, the stress has been lifted and my body seems to have gone into a kind of shock (heart palpitations, cold intolerance, sudden dental problems, itchy skin, ringing in ears, night sweats, and anxiety). I've seen a cardiologist and my heart seems to be OK. I even broke out in hives. My endocrinologist believes there is a hormone imbalance (T3 and T4 ok). I just started on 200 mg progesterone last night. At 250 lbs, I can't afford to gain weight. I am eating lo carb, high protein (IR suspected) and exercising. If I continue to gain, metformin has been suggested. How do I know if I am doing the right thing? Is it possible that my body is so used to high stress that it freaked when my life became less stressful? My apologies for the long message. Oh yeah, I am only dosing for 12 days upon ovulation (due to short cycle and some fluctuations in bmt readings that makes it necessay to take the reading for a few days to be sure that I've ovulated).

May 02, 2012
Why now?
by: Wray

Hi there Even after the stress has lifted, the after affects can persist for many weeks. Your progesterone is dropping now, as from about age 35 we begin getting anovulatory cycles. So no ovulation means no progesterone that month. These cycles increase in frequency through Peri-menopause, until Menopause when we stop making viable eggs. Low progesterone in pregnancy causes nausea. Are you taking the progesterone, and is it only once a day? Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, as most of it gets destroyed by the gut and liver. And progesterone should be used a minimum of twice a day, as levels begin dropping after about 13 hrs. All metformin does is reduce glucose levels, it won't correct the underlying problem. Please read our page on Insulin Resistance for more info, it certainly seems you have it. High oestrogen also seems evident too, this causes water retention and fat cells to proliferate, plus IR. Your testosterone could be high too, as that increases visceral fat, see here and here. 200mg/day is a good amount of progesterone, but not if it's oral. We do have a page on Anxiety, progesterone does help, so do a number of nutrients which are listed. I really feel if you're going to use progesterone, you should use it daily, through any bleeding, for at least 2-3 months. This will ensure progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, 12 days is too little. And if each month you're checking for ovulation before starting it, and you have a cycle when you don't, will you not use progesterone? As this is when you need it the most. I feel another problem could be your vitamin D levels. Not only do oestrogen and testosterone cause IR, but low vitamin D does too.
Continued below.

May 02, 2012
Why now? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there Plus weight gain is a strong possibility if it's low, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Take care Wray

May 04, 2012
Increased cream - sleep pattern gone!
by: Tia

Been following you advice and using more cream, headaches went right away, feel better in myself and so far not gained any extra weight. My legs and feet are still very swollen and i'm still coughing at night but general daytime hayfever symptoms have totally gone. The main problem is I suddenly have is my sleeping has inexplicably gone to pot. I'm not tired till 2-3am, sleep till 8-9am (have work and family to sort) falling asleep even at keyboard at 3-4pm but at around 10 pm sudden surge in energy (hence no sleep till early hours) is this a normal side effect that will pass? Also- with a high dose of the cream - any ideas how long it takes for progesterone to become dominant? Many, many thanks :)

May 05, 2012
Why now? (more info)
by: Anonymous

I am taking it as a vaginal suppository. I was not certain that I had ovulated this month, but I started taking it anyway. I will check in with my doctor to see if she will perscribe a daily dose. If not, perhaps I should try a cream? Your comments about vitamin D are interesting. I noticed that my scalp burns when I am out in the sun for any length of time... I even bought a hat. I just had my blood drawn for a physical. I think they will measure vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is in my multi-vitamin (900 IU).

May 06, 2012
Update on new symptoms
by: Tiameg

Update: Have upped my cream, taking vit D and have kelp & selenium on order (after further reading about PCO'S and vit D deficiency). In myself, I'm feeling great, headaches/migaraines gone, more alert however, sleep has gone very odd and now what happened to me befor when I tried the cream has happened again and very suddenly too: Gained 14lb in weight since last weighing myself, (4/5 days ago) I had swollen ankles before but now have swollen legs too. This happened the first time I tried the cream on a much lower dose and in the end the reason I gave up. I gave up as the extra water weight (that would not go down in 3 months) and leg swelling were to much. I really want to stick with the cream and ride this out to get the full benefits. I'm more alert but achieving less, some new kind of brain fog where you feel alert but are not! (don't understand that but it's true?) Any advice Wray to get me past this miserable stage? The cream I'm using says 1/8th teaspoon = 14mg I'm using 3 whole teaspoon fulls per day. Should I up my dose of cream again? If I do, is there any guess-estimate on time before unwanted syptoms/side effects may get under control? I'm petrified of gaining any more as I'm not slim to start with! Many many thanks :)

May 07, 2012
Update on new symptoms
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg Well you're certainly using a good amount of progesterone, about 340mg/day. But for how long have you been on this amount? If it's only a few days it does take longer than that for any benefit to kick in. I'm always reluctant to say use more, as I get accused of trying to sell our cream, but luckily you're not using ours. It's very difficult for me to advise on the amount, as I don't know the background of the person asking for advice. You do have PCOS, so do need higher amounts than normal. You also need more than the vitamin D and selenium, the PCOS page gives you info on the nutrients needed. Your oestrogen and testosterone are probably high, and you sound as if you have Insulin Resistance too. Progesterone does reduce testosterone, as it increases SHBG. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose (all carbs are converted into glucose), reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Testosterone is notorious are causing weight gain, see here and here. Plus it causes IR, oestrogen does too. A lack of vitamin D causes it too. In fact vitamin D is essential if weight gain is a problem, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Continued below.

May 07, 2012
Update on new symptoms part 2
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg You say you're taking vitamin D but I do hope enough. 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. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. It's best to have a test done too, if your level is very low, I would suggest taking 10,000 to 20,000iu's per day for a month or two, and then have another test done to see if the level has risen sufficiently. I feel you do need to increase the progesterone, possibly to 400-500mg/day. You might like to see these comments here and here. Take care Wray

May 07, 2012
Increased cream - sleep pattern gone!
by: Wray

Hi Tia I'm delighted the headaches and hayfever have gone, but I've no idea why your sleeping pattern has changed. It actually sounds more like an adrenal problem, as afternoon sleepiness but suddenly waking up when it's late, is often a case if adrenals are stressed. If this is it, please try taking some salt in water, and see if this helps. But why it should coincide with using more progesterone has me baffled. Progesterone is helpful for sleep, see here, here and here. Have you managed to have a vitamin D test done yet? I've found combining the vitamin D with progesterone, increase the benefits of progesterone. Vitamin D can help allergies too, see here. Has the heavy bleeding been helped, as that was your main concern? I wish I could tell you how long it will all take, everyone wants to know that. But I have no idea of the background to each person, how high their oestrogen or testosterone is, what foods they are eating, the pollution, how low their vitamin D is, etc. I can only ask you to go by symptoms, once they've stabilised, you can then begin reducing the amount very slowly, taking a few weeks to do so. I think you must be the same person as Tiameg, am I right? In which case in my reply I said the amount of 340mg/day was good, but it seemed you needed more. Now if you are Tia, I did originally say you needed at least 400mg/day to stop the bleeding, so please increase it. Take care Wray

May 07, 2012
Why now? (more info)
by: Wray

Hi there A cream is absorbed well, and to my mind far pleasanter to use. Besides it can be applied anywhere, and is beneficial to the skin. Progesterone should be used a minimum of twice a day, so if you continue with the suppositories, and you're only given one, please cut it in half, and use it am and pm. The 900iu's is not going to do much, please increase it. Take care Wray

May 07, 2012
Yes it's me tia/tiameg :)
by: Tiameg

Thanks for the reply Wray - yes, Tia/Tiameg is me.
I've upped the progesterone a little again and will increase vit D (Didn't realise as I bought vit D labelled 'high strength' but they are only 25iu per tab!) Not had a chance to get the vit D test done but I get so little sun (and have to cover up in the sun) I'm bound to not have enough!

Sleep pattern is still the same. I've been avoiding salt (water retention) but will give that a try in the afternoons if it's going to help - thanks.

Not had a TOM yet so can't say about heavy bleeding but all ovary area pain I get all the time normally (dull ache and stabbing pains that can take your breath away) - gone too. The allergy thing is so improved and I'm thrilled about that. I ate some white fish yesterday with no ill effect. I havent been able to eat fish in a year after sudden horrific gut pains when I did pre progesterone cream. Yes, still no Hayfever symptoms or migraines either (which I'm loving!!!)

I do eat a good diet for the most part, mainly protein and veg (I mostly avoid fruit/pasta etc. as I know sugar makes me tired after an initial temp boost) but now and again...I will admit to having something sweet like chocolate when I feel like I just have to have it!

Ankles & legs still very swollen, the weight gain, and still having coughing fits at night are my main concerns at this time, I hope they will improve too! Will push on and cross fingers :)

May 09, 2012
6 month of progesterone cream and gained 10-13 lbs
by: Indiana Girl

I am 45 years old.

At 35 years old I had my second child and my husband had a vasectomy. So I no longer needed to take Ortho-Novum 7/7/7. VERY shortly after this - I'd say, 2 months - I started having panic attacks, chest pain, IBS....just weirdness in general.

I never attributed it to the fact I stopped birth control pills after being on them for 20 years.

Doc said I had acid reflux... then IBS... took meds. Got Xanax for panic attacks.

I had all kinds of tests done because the breathlessness and panic attacks were incredible. I even had a 64 CT scan slice done on my heart (Oprah had one of these!!) - and my heart is FINE.

For 10 years - I have fought anxiety. I've been told i have panic disorder and saw a therapist for 6 months, I have been offered every anti-depressant under the sun. I refuse.

I exercise, I eat right. I went to a naturopathic doctor and after $1500 in tests was told I am pre-diabetic - borderline metabolic syndrome... I took TONS of supplements, tried the paleo diet.

My weight was steady around 143. Then it bumped to 150.

Within the last year - I started getting horrible migraines 72-24 hours before I started my period. One migraine was so bad I went to the ER thinking I had a tumor!! (I also have had VERY heavy periods for the last 7-8 years.)

I decided to try progesterone cream. Had the saliva test done.

Cont.

May 09, 2012
Continued from above...
by: Indiana Girl

Came out that all hormones were good ranges - but estrogen to progrserone was out of balance. My progesterone was only .39.

I have a prescription for compounded progesterone cream. Started at just 10mg a day... that made things worse. Went to 10 mg morning and 10 mg night... a little better - but still not feeling great. Bumped it to 20mg morning and 20mg night. And that's where it's been for 5 months. I use it day 10 to day 26.

So... migraines are gone. Anxiety is better. BUT - the weight gain???? It got up to 163!! I stepped up exercise and have it at 158 right now - but holy crap!! And it's all belly - I look like I'm pregnant. it's gross!

So what do I do? I tried to go NO progesterone cream this month and by day 7 of my cycle - constant dull headache. Started the progsterone cream and it went away.

I added DIM this month. (Pharmacist recommended it since my mom had estrogen positive breast cancer TWICE - fist time was right after a year of progestin - second time it came back 10 years later in her mastectomy scar! Very aggressive cancer.)

Anyway...
I'm scared. Confused. I am not someone that just says "oh well"? I research, I look for answers and try to educate myself as much as possible.

But at this point - I'm exhuasted. 10 years of anxiety and now weight gain. I finally find something that helps with the anxeity (and now the migraines too) - but it's making me a BIG ole fatty. My boobs are huge...
It's like progesterone gives you all the physical traits of BEING PREGNANT. That cannot be good?

So where do I go from here? I just don't know? I've never written a comment on a website and I work on the internet - my job is web based! LOL

But I feel beside myself. It's like my options are:
1. Thin and anxiety
2. Fat and happy

Dear God...
I do not like those choices. LOL


May 10, 2012
Yes it's me tia/tiameg :)
by: Wray

Hi Tia Well I'm glad you've cleared up my confusion! 25iu's as high strength vitamin D?! Are you sure it doesn't say 25μg, ie micrograms? The conversion to iu's is … 40 iu is equal to 1 mcg, so 25μg equals 1000iu's. If so you would need to take 5 a day. Please check this, I don't want you taking 200 tabs a day to make the 5000iu's! You might like to contact Julienne who can advise on a good vitamin D. Ironically often it's not salt behind water retention, but aldosterone. This causes water retention, it also causes sodium to be retained as you're loosing too much. You might like to read this page here. It could be you lack magnesium too, this is the most important co-factor for vitamin D, and is low in most soils, therefore low in food, therefore low in us! So delighted the allergies, pain etc are still being kept at bay. Glad you avoid the fruit and pasta etc, far too much sugar. As for chocolate, well nothing will stop me eating it! But it does have to be black and a high 70% cocoa solids for me to enjoy it. Please try to get the cysteine, this also helps clear the lungs of mucus. Often given for lung problems like cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, bronchitis etc. Take care Wray

May 10, 2012
6 month of progesterone cream and gained 10-13 lbs
by: Wray

Hi Indiana Girl I love your humour, in spite of the hell you've been through! All Contraceptives have the potential to harm. But I have found after stopping them many adverse symptoms can occur. Having suppressed ovarian function for so long, the ovaries are now able to start up again. Testosterone and oestrogen start being secreted, but often ovulation doesn't kick in for many cycles. This causes a huge imbalance. As you're now in Peri-menopause you will not be ovulating each month anyway. Strange how they test for heart function and not adrenaline levels, this causes the heart to race, and the panic attacks. We do have more info on our Anxiety page. Strange too how they never test for oestrogen levels if there's breathlessness or a 'heart' problem. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It's an excitatory, inflammatory hormone, plus it stimulates fat cells to proliferate. Testosterone too is responsible for weight gain, particularly around the middle, as it increases visceral fat, see here and here. Progesterone suppresses both these hormones, but only if enough is used. You are using far too little, hence the weight gain, it's stimulating oestrogen. There's more info on our Oestrogen Dominance page. Continued below.

May 10, 2012
6 month of progesterone cream and gained 10-13 lbs
by: Wray

Hi Indiana Girl I normally recommend 100-200mg/day, but feel you'll need at least 200mg if not more. It should always be used a minimum of twice a day too. Progesterone is good for migraines, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It's excellent for the lungs as it increases lung volume, so eliminates the breathlessness. I can't tell you how much progesterone you'll need, it is trial and error, but you might like to see these comments here, here and here for encouragement. Please have a vitamin D test done, a lack causes cancer, depression/anxiety and so much more. Plus a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Take care Wray

May 10, 2012
Why now? (questions)
by: Anonymous

Is 200mg equivalent to 900IU? So, I hear you saying I neef 400mg each day. 200mg in morning and 200mg in evening...and I should take this every day (not just 12 days). Will I always need this much? How do I tell my doctor to change the dose? I think some doctors might be offended that I think I know better. I don't know about others, but I usually let the doctor do the perscribing...so I am not sure how to politely get my persciption increased.
Can I make up the difference by just adding a cream?

May 11, 2012
Why now? (questions)
by: Wray

Hi there If you're asking whether 200mg progesterone is equivalent to 900IU's, it's not possible to give you an answer, as it's never measured in IU's. Vitamin D is often given in mcg or iu's, but not progesterone. You said you were taking 900iu's vitamin D, my remark was rather obtuse, I meant this amount of vitamin D would not be doing much good. I didn't mean two suppositories, I suggested you cut the one you use in half, this would give you 100mg in the am and 100mg in the pm. So there's no need to ask your doctor to change the amount. I only suggested using it daily for 2-3 months, to get your progesterone levels up. But if you're happy with the protocol you're on, please continue as you are. But if you want to try it daily for a couple of months or so, then you can use a cream to make up the difference. Take care Wray

May 17, 2012
Question re progesterone and thyroid
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray!

Since i got my period again on March 11, I am doing a trial thing under supervision of my acupuncturist to take progesterone from day 15 through day 30 only for a few months to see if I can get my cycle regular again. It kind of awful going without it for those two weeks, but may be worth a shot along with the acupuncture and fertility herbs. During the two weeks I take progesterone, I am doing at least 200 ml a day over two applications.

My question is, do think low thyroid function and estrogen dominance can have similar symptoms? I am awaiting my test results for Vitamin D levels per Grassroots and just got my thyroid levels, including both antibodies for Hashimoto's Disease, tested, too, and should have both test results this week.

I just feel so rundown, weight in the belly that just won't budge and a puffy face, possible low basal body temp (still measuring) and scalloped tongue that I wonder if my hormones might otherwise be okay if I can fix the thyroid issue, which I would try to do via iodine/iodide plus selenium (key to take selenium) before considering Synthroid or any meds.

How do you think the progesterone cream would affect my thyroid function and symptoms of low functioning? Does it mask it or actually help fix it?

Thanks for your thoughts and info, as always, Wray! Oh, here is a link to hypothyroidism and its diagnoses through the ages, many interesting ways to measure and blood tests are supposed to be the only one. Check out the first paragraph--never heard of this way before!

May 17, 2012
Question re progesterone and thyroid
by: Wray

Hi Jenine So sorry to hear you're still struggling, you've been doing so much to help yourself too. It really is a puzzle and I only hope the acupuncturist can sort you out. It is worth trying the progesterone as you've explained. And yes to the thyroid symptoms and high oestrogen/low progesterone. In fact all these symptoms are found in both… cold hands and feet or feelings of cold, hair loss, tired/fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties, bruising, depression, puffiness, hypoglycaemia, low libido, poor memory, brittle nails, palpitations, panic attacks/panicky, dry skin, poor skin healing, water retention, and more! Oestrogen lowers body temps. Normal oral body temperature in adult men and women ranges between 33.2–38.2 °C (92–101 °F). Typical average temperatures are 37.0 °C (98.6 °F). In women it varies between the follicular and the luteal phase. During the follicular phase, i.e. from the first day of menstruation to ovulation, it ranges from 36.45 to 36.7 °C (97.6 to 98.1 °F). During the 12-14 day luteal phase, i.e. after ovulation to menstruation, temperature increases by 0.15 - 0.45 °C (0.2 - 0.9 °F) due to the increased metabolic rate caused by rapidly rising levels of progesterone. Temperature ranges between 36.7 - 37.3°C (98.1 - 99.2°F) during the luteal phase, but drops down to follicular levels within a few days of bleeding. So progesterone does help the thyroid. Lack of the amino acid tyrosine causes feeling of cold too. Have you tried this? Iodine and selenium too. All three vital for the thyroid hormones. So is vitamin D of course, would be interested to hear what your test result is, so pleased you had it done. Have you seen the website Stop the Thyroid Madness? And you didn't give the web URL for the hypothyroidism, would like to see it. And your adrenals, anyone checked those? I'm sure we've discussed this before, but I can't remember! This is a good site, Adrenal Fatigue. Although the protocol is very costly, and cheaper versions can be found elsewhere. It's almost as if you have an energy block somewhere, as you're doing all you can nutritionally etc. The acupuncturist would be helping it if you do have one, but have you thought of looking into EFT? Take care Wray

May 17, 2012
progesterone/thyroid
by: Jenine

Thanks, Wray! Yes, I have some of the symptoms, TG not all : ) Here are a couple of links on hypothyroidism and diagnosis/treatment in earlier times: http://www.jcrows.com/hypothyroidism.html and http://www.tuberose.com/HypothyroidSymptoms.html and here is a product I am considering taking, though I don't love the hard sell: http://www.1-thyroid.com/index.htm

Yes, I did some EFT sessions about 10 years ago--maybe it's time for a tune-up. Thanks for the reminder!

I am getting a second opinion from another acupuncturist who actually has Hashimoto's Disease, but she is taking Synthroid and I don't want to do that yet. She seems open to my ideas, so I will see.

One of the above sites shows the dramatic improvement in people with the condition after taking desiccated thyroid. I have been vegan for about 20 years and was raw vegan for about six years, ending in 2005, though do a modified version of raw by eating cultured vegetables and lots of supplements. I'm not happy about eating an animals thyroid, but if it works I will only need a little to get mine going again.

Do you think it's okay to do the progesterone as if I had my period for a few months, to encourage it to come back, or just hurting myself?

Maybe it is deeper than the physical body--I will let you know how the test results are, too. Thanks, Wray, and let me know what you think of the sites.

May 17, 2012
Lower leg and ankle swelling becoming a huge issue
by: Tiameg

Hi Wray,
Little update: Headaches, allergy syptoms in the main (not totally) have stayed away and wolly head feel have stayed away too. TOM has arrived without pain, bleeding moderate so far. I'm taking all suggested vitamins etc. and the feeling of being freezing all the time has gone also, which is great. Main huge problem that I have is my legs are so swollen and solid they are like tree trunks (this happend before when I tried the progesterone cream) I've tried everything to get the swelling down but it wont budge. I fear I will have to stop using the cream if I cant ressolve the leg issue as it's getting quite serious. Lower legs are swollen, purple and solid. Tried resting them, support tights, no salt, massage etc nothing seems to be making them go down. Do you know of anything else that I can try for the swelling or do you think it's something that will eventually just go if I persist with the cream? Must admit that it is really starting to worry me and the sheer size of the lower legs and cankles are a concern. It's such a shame as I have had so many great benefits from using the cream - apart from this lower legs swelling and 10lb weight gain! :(

May 18, 2012
progesterone/thyroid
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I do agree with you about the hard sell!! But I do love the J.Crow site, all those amazing old photos! I was so pleased to see the bit about the halogens, and how each displaces the other on the scale, iodine being the lowest. No wonder a deficiency has crept in again, with all our chlorinated water, and some areas fluorine too. The other site was good too, very good. You see how many symptoms overlap those for progesterone, the trick is finding which is causing them. It could be a bit of both. In fact to make you laugh, I kept thinking omg maybe I'm hypothyroid! I do have cold hands and feet, although far better since using progesterone. I used to get chilblains as a child and adult until I discovered it. My skin does get very dry, but I've found it's because I've not been using enough fats and oils, and it's affected by dry weather too. So each time I found a symptom, I realised I had another explanation, a relief! I saved the site for future referrals. How interesting you've tried EFT, I'm so impressed with what it can achieve. A friend of mine is a practitioner, and fills me in on much that goes on. Vegan or not, I think the desiccated version is better than taking a drug. Besides synthroid is T4, and it's often T3 that's missing. You could try using progesterone on and off, see how it goes. I'm continually amazed at how people respond to it! Some need far more, some far less, for the same problem. If it doesn't work, there's no harm done. I don't think we can divorce the physical side from the 'energetic' side. Many physical problems cause mental problems like depression, or vice versa. But then you're left with the chicken and egg question, wondering which came first! Take care Wray

May 18, 2012
Lower leg and ankle swelling becoming a huge issue
by: Wray

Hi Tia I'm delighted all your symptoms seem to be resolving if not gone, but not about the leg swelling. It appears your lymph is not draining the water, but why it should occur now I don't know. The weight gain is obviously from all the extra water in your legs. I asked you to please take more salt, but see you've restricted it. I did give you the following paper, maybe you missed reading it, see here. It explains the change in your sleeping patterns, the water retention too. Please let me know if you tried it and enough salt, did you try it for long enough? Have you had your thyroid checked at all? Please would you confirm you're taking 10,000iu's per day vitamin D, 340mg/day progesterone and salt. Take care Wray

May 18, 2012
Salt
by: Tiameg

Ok read the paper. I had upped the salt at your suggestion but then cut it out in an attempt to reduce the swelling (as your always told to reduce salt?) Ok will try to up it again, as well as the vit D. Every time I've been anywhere near a doctor in the last 15yrs they want to test my thyroid but tests come back and they say it's fine. This leg swelling is odd. I always have a little but last time it went crazy like this was also when I was using the progesterone cream which is odd. I'll up the salt and keep going for a bit and pray this swelling goes away then, soon before I'm forced to give up. I'm trying all sorts of other things to get the swelling down but so far nothing has worked. Thanks as always Wray, for the advice and support.

May 19, 2012
Salt
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg Yes we are always told to reduce salt, but often it's the thing we need most. The adrenals need it too. Please let me know how you get on doing this. The swelling is a puzzle, but I can only assume you've stirred up the oestrogen which is causing the water retention. Are you using enough progesterone, because it appears not. Please let me know how much you are using. And please make sure you take enough vitamin D. Take care Wray

May 26, 2012
Upping my Progesterone Dose
by: IndianaGirl

I'm going to take your advice and up my dose of progesterone cream this month, starting today. I will go from 40mg a day (prescription/compounded) to 100mg a day Emerita.

My question is....
You have to use a teaspoon and a half of Emerita in order to get 50mg (I break my dosage up to twice a day). So I would need to do this twice a day.

It's SOOOO much cream. It's enough to put on my entire leg if I wanted to. Is there no way to get MORE mg's in a smaller amount? My prescription progesterone cream is WAY less cream. But my doctor refuses to refill it because I told him I wanted to do 100mg's a day. He said absolutely not. He felt it was ridiculous to "toy" with hormones like that.

Also - the Emerita kinda smells like dirt. Ewww. Gross. LOL

I am now at 11 pounds gained since starting progesterone cream 6 months ago. I have been doing 40mg's a day for 21 days a month. I work out for an hour 5 days a week and 3 days a week I lift weights. So I am not some big lazy butt just sitting around eating Cheetos. It's the progesterone cream doing it. (Aggravating the estrogen receptors I assume - I hope!)

So today I am starting the 100 mg's broke into two doses and we'll see if it helps.

My acne is really bad too. I don't think I ovulated this month - that seems to bring about the big acne cysts.

I'm doing lots of supplements, extra vitamin D - all from Biotics. They are a ll pharmaceutical grade.

I will keep you posted :-)

May 27, 2012
Upping my Progesterone Dose
by: Wray

Hi Indiana Girl I don't think the 100mg/day will be enough. I have so many write in and complain, as they gradually increase to the amount I suggest, but by then the weight gain is great. You can try it and see, but from experience I've found high amounts initially do help. You might like to see this page here. Mateja has asthma, and started using progesterone to help, but after two months wrote in saying the weight gain was bad. She was using about 170mg/day progesterone. I was too cautious in my approach giving her advice as you can see. An asthma attack can be serious and I was concerned about this. In the end I asked her to use 400-500mg/day, she opted for the 500mg/day and she stopped having asthma, plus her weight gain stopped. I do hope you're taking at least 5000iu's per day vitamin D, anything less is not going to do much. A lack of vitamin D causes weight gain, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. We also have a page on Acne. Excess testosterone causes it. There are creams with a higher strength progesterone, see here. Take care Wray


May 27, 2012
Thyroid tests good, Vitamin D low
by: Jenine

So my tests show that I don't have anywhere near the amount of the antibodies that would indicate Hashimoto's (TPO = 7, Antithyroglobulin = <20) and my TSH is a little high at 4.97. My uptake of T3 is 34 and free T3 is 2.3, which is a little low.

My vitamin D test came back and it's low at 48, so I am upping my daily dosage of the kind made from mushrooms to 10,000 i.u. for at least a month and get some more sun, too.

Will you do me a favor and check out the brand? It says on the label that they have done some kind of process to make it D3 and not D2. It says it is "the first plant-source cholecalciferol from a blend of eight different organic mushrooms." The website is here: http://www.naturesplus.com/products/productDetail.asp?criteria=search&searchVar=30735&productnumber=30735&category=15

I broke my ankle (fibula) pretty seriously, but cleanly, last week so am taking bone support supplements as well as the vitamin D3. I have a new acupuncturist, too, who is working out great, but doesn't like me to take too many supplements in general, including progesterone, if we can get my body to produce it's own, that taking progesterone may just keep my body from making it's own. This may only be the case in pre-menopausal women, but she just believes in using the needles. Any thoughts about that?

Thanks, Wray!


May 28, 2012
Thyroid tests good, Vitamin D low
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Well I'm glad the tests came back negative. But your vitamin D is low, well to my mind, as you know I'm inclined to go for a higher level. I've found it makes such a difference. I have checked the mushroom site, but can find no where on it saying they've modified the D2 into D3. All I can find is a statement saying it's plant cholcalciferol, which does leave me rather puzzled! Seems as excellent product, must cost a fortune though. So sorry to hear about the broken ankle, I broke my arm falling off a ladder some years back, so know how it feels! I do understand some people's stance about taking supplements. But I feel unless we have them, our bodies cannot cope with the extra burden we place on them with all the toxins in the environment. Not to mention the toxins we eat and drink! If we had a clean planet, organic food as it used to be, then the food will be sufficient, but now? Our livers have an unenviable task trying to detox us! It's hardly surprising non-alcoholic fatty liver is on the increase. Using progesterone at ovulation won't suppress ovarian production, using it before will. It does act as a contraceptive. Peri-menopause is difficult. In the early days anovulatory cycles will be few and far between, those will be the months when symptoms are worse. But towards the end they become very frequent. No amount of progesterone or needling is going to make the follicle ovulate, because there isn't one. Most women go through P-M without progesterone as they haven't heard of it. So they live with the adverse symptoms, I for one would not wish that on anyone! There are of course many women who don't have any symptoms, they're the lucky ones. Take care Wray


May 28, 2012
Thyroid tests good, Vitamin D low
by: Jenine

Thanks, Wray! Yes, I am taking higher levels of vitamin D for at least a month then re-test. I am still going to take the supplements that work for me, but also give the needles a chance to work, since I still have active glands and relatively healthy body.

I will just do the progesterone cream during the last half of my cycle for at least another month or two to see what can happen. So far, I feel like my hormone levels are a bit better with her treatments.

The vitamin D3 supplement is fairly inexpensive at $15 or so bucks for 60 caps. Four a day equals 10,000 i.u.

Thanks for the good wishes re my ankle--I'm going a little stir crazy but taking only Ibuprofen for pain and inflammation and hope to be healed in about five more weeks.

Take care, talk to you again soon!

May 29, 2012
Thyroid tests good, Vitamin D low
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Well I'm most intrigued by your new path, so do let me know how you fare. And the D3 is not a bad price, thought it would be much more being organic, good to know. I'm sure you're going crazy, I did too, found it almost impossible to change gear on the car with a broken arm! In the early days I had to take my daughter along so she could do it for me! Take care Wray

Jun 06, 2012
about to go on progesterone therapy need advice
by: Anonymous

im 41 years old and my doctor performed a few surgical procedures and determined i had thickining of the uterus, fibroids and hyperplasia. she wants to put me on hormones to keep my menstrual cycle in check due to constant heavy bleeding that started in February. I was a size 10 in february and was comfortable in a loose size 8...now in june I can bareley fit into a 14 (most of my jeans and work pants are 16's now and my bra size has gone from a 38d to a 42d.)i am soooo scared to go on the hormones and gain MORE weight considering im still gaining weight from the initial problem. i always had jobs bartending, at health clubs etc and been thin and athletic and active. If the hormones will help this problem i WILL try them but after reading all this im panicking. just looking for some advice before i go see my doctor. she is pushing for the progesterone.

Jun 07, 2012
about to go on progesterone therapy need advice
by: Wray

Hi there I'm puzzled the surgical procedures caused such an upset in your hormones. Unless you had a hysterectomy, which you obviously haven't. The 'progesterone' your doctor wants to put you on is not, it's a progestin. Unfortunately they use the same term to denote all synthetic progesterones. All drug based Contraceptives have the potential to harm. I'm not sure what's making you panic. If you read the comments from women who have used too little progesterone, you will notice they do gain weight. But reading those from women who have used enough, they haven't. If you have heavy constant bleeding you will need to use 400mg/day progesterone. Please consider taking 2000mg/day NAC (N-acetyl cysteine), this inhibits the MMPs which cause heavy bleeding. There's more info on our Menstruation page. Your vitamin K2 level could be too low too, you might consider taking this. Please read the page on Oestrogen Dominance if you should use progesterone. We ahve two other pages which you might to look through, How to use progesterone cream and Peri-menopause. If you have Fibroids, progesterone can help, as these are caused by oxidative stress, and exacerbated by high oestrogen. Your vitamin D is probably very low too, as a lack of this also causes fibroids. Please have a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits 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. Take care Wray

Jun 25, 2012
Back to using Progesterone Cream
by: Debbie

My Aunt who is now 86 years old gave me Progesterone Cream to use for my hot flashes and I stopped using it because of weight gain also. But the flashes and night sweats were so bad that I started the cream again two weeks ago along with vitamin D, C & E and magnesium. I have also been using a small amount Iodine tincure on my skin every other day. I have not seen any gain yet and have noticed increased energy. Keeping my fingers crossed that I am on the right track this time.

Jun 26, 2012
Back to using Progesterone Cream
by: Wray

Hi Debbie All too often women are told to use a very low amount ie 20-40mg.day and this does cause weight gain. Primarily because it stimulates oestrogen, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. Oestrogen is a mitogen causing cells to proliferate, plus it causes water retention. So if you should notice you're gaining weight please increase the progesterone. We do have a page on Hot Flushes too. Take care Wray

Jul 01, 2012
When will it all stop?
by: San

Wray,
I have tried so many things to stop hot flashes and night sweats! I'm currently on progesterone cream and have gain weight. This is very upsetting to me because I am a fitness instructor. If I go off everything and just struggle throught the heat, how long do you think it should take for it all to STOP?

Jul 02, 2012
When will it all stop?
by: Wray

Hi San It seems you're probably using the standard 20-40mg/day. I recommend 100-200mg/day, but for Hot Flushes I've found 400mg/day or more is needed. If you stop the progesterone it's impossible to tell how long it will take, some women still get them after Menopause. It seems you could be in Peri-menopause, this page has more details on it. The weight gain is caused by using too little progesterone which is stimulating estrogen, leading to Oestrogen Dominance. It's essential to use sufficient to prevent this. Oestrogen is a mitogen causing cells to proliferate, including fat cells. Progesterone itself cannot cause weight gain, it speeds metabolism and inhibits mitosis. Take care Wray

Jul 03, 2012
Water weight gain
by: Debbie

As far as the weight gain, mine was due more to water retention. I am in menopause for a year now and am 55 years old. I am in the 5 day off phase at the moment and keep thinking any minute the hot flashes will begin.....but so far so good.

Jul 03, 2012
Thx Wray
by: San

Thank you for the information. After reading everything, I may have left out an important fact. I had a hysterectomy about 7 years ago. (I'm 48 now) They took everything but my ovarys. The majority of things I have read assume I'm still having periods. Do I still need progesterone cream? (Thanks again for all your help. It's also nice to read of other womens concerns and know I'm not alone!)

Jul 03, 2012
Water weight gain
by: Wray

Hi Debbie Water retention is usually the cause of the immediate weight gain women get. As I said previously, also caused by oestrogen. Luckily progesterone is an excellent diuretic, so good over 1200mg/day is given to Traumatic Brain Injury victims. It reduces the oedema, inflammation too, very quickly. But enough does have to be used. I see no point in taking days off the progesterone, as each time we do it allows oestrogen to rise again. We have more info about this on our Menopause page. I also hope the hot flushes stay away, they were the worst things about Peri-menopause and menopause. Take care Wray

Jul 03, 2012
Still struggling.... frustrated.
by: IndianaGirl

I tried upping my progesterone from 40mg a day to 110mgs and OMG. I don't know if it was a coincidence or what. I did 110mgs for only TWO days....

I immediately got a bladder infection. Then a yeast infection.... still feel's like my vagina is on fire - this has been going on now since June 1st!!

I think it dried up everything down there like a raisin!!! I'm 45 and all my hormones are fine. Just my progesterone and estrogen ratio is out of whack. I had the saliva testing done in December 2011 - so around 6 months ago and started with 20mg a day on progesterone for 14 days a month, horrible - bumped myself to 40mgs a day for 21 days - better. I should have let well enough alone - but because I'd gained 11 pounds - I freaked out.

My test results:
Ratio: Pg/E2 (saliva) 39
(Optimal: 100-500 when E2 1.3-3.3 pg/ml)

Now I'm freaking out again.... because I think you have to do your increases SLOWLY. I messed up my whole system now.

I have my yearly GYN exam mid-July and trying to just deal with my vagina of fire until then. LOL

I'm just so confused and frustrated. I want to anxiety and heavy periods and acne to go away - but I don't want to have weight gain either.


Jul 04, 2012
Cant continue
by: Tiameg

Tried the cream at a higher dose now for 4 months. Fuzzy head and migraines cleared but (and was not sure this was connected) suffered extreme leg swelling, bladder problems and plantar fasciitis) A pal decided to try the cream also. She had no history of leg swelling or plantar fasciitis but interestingly she now also has both. I have also gained 3 stone so have decided to come off the cream...cannot cope with the leg/foot problem any longer. Stopped the cream about a week ago and leg swelling is slowly starting to improve. It's odd that both of us have had leg swelling etc since using the cream? Shame but cant go on keep gaining weight and legs fit to burst with water retention...

Jul 04, 2012
Still struggling.... frustrated.
by: Wray

Hi there Increasing progesterone slowly as you did, i.e. from 40mg to 110mg would have caused Oestrogen Dominance symptoms to occur. It's essential to increase sufficiently. Although I recommend 100-200mg/day, I've found on the whole 100mg is too low, certainly initially. The women who have benefitted the most have started on 400mgday, and have rarely had any oestrogen dominance symptoms. It's a pity Dr Dalton isn't around anymore, she would have been most puzzled by the 20-40mg/day most women are told to use. She would use 400mg, 800mg and up to 2400mg/day for patients with severe symptoms, see here. Never once in her papers or books does she mention oestrogen dominance as her patients never got it. It doesn't surprise me you had a bladder or yeast infection. Excess oestrogen causes them, whereas progesterone is protective, see our page on Candida. Don't take my word for it, please read the papers on the page. We've found from Saliva Tests we run, that the ratio of P:E2 should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Take care Wray

Jul 04, 2012
Thx Wray
by: Wray

Hi San If you want those symptoms you have to go, then yes you do need progesterone. The ovaries begin to atrophy after about 3-4 years, although they can go on for longer producing hormones. But evidently yours are not producing sufficient progesterone to counter the excess oestrogen you have. I gave you the page on menopause, please read through it as it explains more than I can give you here. It is good to read of others join through the same problems. Unfortunately when I was going through them the internet had barely started and no one could help me! Luckily I found a sympathetic doctor who suggested I try progesterone, and I haven't looked back. Take care Wray

Jul 04, 2012
Cant continue
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg I'm sorry to hear of your continued struggles. Did you ever have a vitamin D test done? And were you taking sufficient, also did you try increasing the salt as I suggested. I know you find it hard to believe, but progesterone cannot cause cells to proliferate, as it inhibits mitosis. It also cannot cause water retention, please read those pages I gave you on this. Take care Wray

Jul 05, 2012
Leg swelling
by: Tiameg

Hi Wray,
No, I didn't have a vit D test done but I'm taking a large dose. Yes I did increase my salt and read those pages. I don't know what else I can tell you about the swelling except that now I've stopped the cream it is starting to go down on my legs...unfortunately I expect the migraines will return also and that my friend who is trying the cream and never had leg swelling in her life now also, has swollen legs. I feel really stuck but the legs swelling was becoming frightening. My legs were like tree trunks and getting bigger....stopping the cream has seemed to stop further swelling and they are reducing slowly now.

Jul 06, 2012
Leg swelling
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg You are probably right, the migraines could return. I do understand about your concern over the leg swelling, I don't know what else to suggest. It does seem obvious to me you have excess oestrogen. You could try calcium D-glucarate and DIM, both of which help reduce or make potent oestrogens less potent. Stopping the progesterone would have stopped the swelling as it was no longer stimulating oestrogen. We do now have a page on Migraines you could look through for any clues. Take care Wray

Jul 06, 2012
DIM?
by: Tiameg

Sorry, what is DIM (apart from me for not knowing what it is.lol) Thanks

Jul 07, 2012
DIM?
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg I have give an explanation higher up the page, but here it is…… DIM is regarded as an anti-oestrogen. Oestrogen is broken down into 2 principle metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 16-alpha hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1). 16alpha-OHE1 is regarded as a potent oestrogen, whereas 2-OHE1 is a weaker oestrogen. In some studies DIM (3,3'-Diindolylmethane) increased levels of 2-OHE1, by doing so it also increases the ratio of 2-OHE1:16alpha-OHE1. This increased ratio is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer in some studies, not in others. It appears to have a positive affect on pancreatic, thyroid, prostate and gastric cancers too, and leukemia. The precursor to DIM is Indole 3 Carbinol (I3C) which also has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. These are a selection of papers here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here Continued below.

Jul 07, 2012
DIM? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Tiameg And if you want info on the calcium D-glucarate it follows….. Oestrogen is metabolised in the liver by glucuronic acid, the process is known as glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is one of the major detoxification pathways of the liver. It removes carcinogens, toxins, tumour promoters, the sex hormones ie, the androgens and oestrogens, mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids, aromatic and heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, various nitrosamines, drugs, fungi etc. It's then excreted in the bile, but an enzyme in the intestine called beta-glucuronidase reverses the glucuronidation process. It breaks the glucoronide bond between a toxin and glucuronic acid, and releases carcinogens, toxins and excess steroid hormones back into circulation. There's evidence beta-glucuronidase activity is increased in breast and prostate cancer. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase, see here, here, here and here. Incidentally this enzyme is produced by undesirable gut bacteria, supplementing with probiotics suppresses the bacteria, and subsequently the beta-glucuronidase. Silymarin from milk thistle also inhibits beta-glucuronidase, plus it helps the liver detox. Take care Wray

Jul 25, 2012
my experience with progesterone
by: linda

I have been on progesterone cream for estrogen dominance and pcos. It has made me put on weight as well. I believe one reason for this is that progesterone affects the blood sugar. When you have a high glucose level, you put on weight. I also believe that progesterone levels in the blood signal estrogen to ramp up, making you gain weight on your belly, hips, and thighs. In the original post you mentioned that you use 30mg progesterone cream and someone mentioned you should increase to 100-200mg which is WRONG. That could actually be fatal. Progesterone dosage for oral progesterone is 100mg, but topical progesterone (cream) is around 20mg. Hope this helps.

Jul 25, 2012
It's a Rodeo !
by: Mary

Hi Ladies. It has been a while since I have posted. I am 51, partial hysterectomy @ 29. Besides having Crohn's I never had any "female hormone problems" untill Last August, it started hard & has not stopped. Waking up drenched in sweat every time I sleep, hot flashes through the day, weight gain, fluid retention, aging as fast as a roller coaster. Last year was on Compounded Progesterone & estradiol, felt nervous & awful so I stopped the estradiol, stayed on Progesterone cream, still felt awful, TSH levels @ 4.6 since last august as well. I got even sicker so I stopped Progesterone in March, still getting sicker, 2 weeks ago my TSH levels @ 10.9, started generic Synthroid med @ 50mg, I am miserable with swelling, my face & eyes so swollen, hands, feet and my joints hurt so much. Throat & esophagus hurt & hurt even more taking Synthroid or even when using the progesterone cream. I am so swollen that yesterday I remembered that Progesterone helps with fluid retention so I found it in the med cabinet and even though it said do not use after 02/12..I used it..applied 2 clicks of 0.5 ML on forearm..by midnight I was losing some water & feeling a little relief today from more swelling. I have called the dr since yesterday & they have not called me back. I hate to self medicate but I am not running to ER for something the dr should do since I just saw him 2 weeks ago. They did not test for T3 & T4 levels. They have been assuming every symptom is menopause related, I think It is a combination of Menopause & Hypothyroid..just weird to me that I never had a problem with Thyroid TSH levels untill I supposedly am in Menopause based on Saliva tests done last August. Has anyone else had problems with Thyroid and Menopuase starting at the same time and can Menopause cause Thyroids to have problems. I use to be a positive person and I am feeling like a complete train wreck. I don't even leave my house anymore unless to get meds, to drs or groceries and lately I have been asking my husband to get the groceries. Doctors don't really care or don't know what to do themselves. Sorry Ladies but hoping for a ray of sunshine, just the right medicine that does not seem to be out there. Also I can tell anyone that I have been living with Crohn's for 30 yrs. and with all it's challenges it was and is a breeze compared to this last year of menopause and thyroid issues.


Jul 26, 2012
It's a Rodeo !
by: Wray

Hi Mary I'm relieved you stopped the oestrogen as that worsens Crohn's disease, see here, here, here and here. They should never have given it to you. Even the menstrual cycle can affect some women, the Crohn's becomes worse just prior to bleeding and during it. This is because of progesterone withdrawal, leaving little to counter the oestrogen. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, but for a full effect much more than the possible 20mg you used is needed. Traumatic Brain Injury victims are given over 1200mg/day to reduce the oedema. I feel you would do better on far more, probably about 200mg/day. I think you could be very short of vitamin D, a lack not only affects the benefits of progesterone, but is a possible cause of Crohn's, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Plus a lack of it affects the thyroid too, see here, here and here. Please consider having a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml and not the 30ng/ml 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. Take care Wray

Jul 26, 2012
my experience with progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Linda Too low an amount of progesterone will cause weight gain, as it stimulates oestrogen. So it's not the progesterone causing the weight gain, as I've pointed out on this page numerous times, but oestrogen. Oestrogen is a mitogen causing cells to proliferate, including fat cells. These also secrete oestrogen so a vicious cycle forms. Progesterone actually speeds metabolism slightly, so it can't cause weight gain. Oestrogen also causes Insulin Resistance, which increases weight and makes it difficult to loose. Progesterone affects blood glucose positively, whereas oestrogen causes problems leading to cravings for sweet things. I said she should use 100-200mg/day, which is not wrong and works for those who try it. It most certainly is not fatal, if it was every pregnant woman would die! We make over 400ng/ml per day during the third trimester. Traumatic Brain Injury victims are given over 1200mg/day via IV transfusions, and they all recovered, with less disability than those who did not receive it. Over 70% of the victims are men. Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day to her patients with post natal psychosis, all of whom recovered, none died. 20mg of topical progesterone will not bring the serum levels to that of the luteal phase, see our page on Progesterone Misconceptions for more info on this. So giving a woman 20mg, 40mg or even 60mg will do nothing for blood levels, and little if anything for symptoms. We do have a page on PCOS, it's caused by oxidative stress and large amounts of antioxidants are needed to reverse it, plus large amounts of progesterone, due to an ovulation. Take care Wray

Jul 26, 2012
Bladder/Vaginal Burning
by: IndianaGirl

All I can say is that 8-9 weeks ago I tried to up my progesterone from 40mgs a day to 110mgs a day to help get off the 12 pounds I've gained in 6 months from progesterone cream (which aggravates the dormant estrogen receptors and causes the weight gain) - and within two days of this jump in dosage I got a bladder infection and I've suffered vaginal burning ever since. NO - I did NOT apply it to my vagina!!!! I applied it to my thigh in two 55mg dosages for two days.

I've been to the GYN. I do NOT have a yeast infection, I do not have a bacterial infection, I do NOT have a bladder infection.

My thoughts are that high dose of progesterone has caused something hormonal to go off balance down there and now I have these vulvadynia symptoms and probably need an estrogen cream like Estrace that you can apply down THERE to correct it.

I'm thinking even though I'm 46 - going back on birth control sounds better and better instead of trying to tinker with this hormone stuff on your own.

Getting advice on the internet is like asking like asking a stranger in line at the grocery store what you should do.

Jul 27, 2012
Bladder/Vaginal Burning
by: Wray

Hi there I think getting advice on the internet is slightly better than your suggestion. The woman in the grocery store would not be able to give you research papers to read immediately. Whereas I have given many papers to many people asking questions, plus it's easy enough to do our own research on the web, and I don't mean blogs. I mean sites like PubMed or Google Scholar. Progesterone doesn't 'aggravate' oestrogen receptors, which are most certainly not dormant! VVS is usually found in premenopausal women or women on oestrogen replacement therapy. It's associated with a number of symptoms, one is peripheral neuropathy. Progesterone is known to regenerate nerves, see here. Another is candida, progesterone reverses the inflammatory oestrogen response, see here. Mast cells are also implicated, progesterone has an inhibitory affect, see here. Whereas oestrogen stimulates mast cell secretions. Significantly higher levels of TNF-alpha are found in women with VVS, progesterone inhibits TNF-alpha, see here and here. In the USA 61% of chronic pain patients are women, starting at menarche and decreasing at menopause. In some cases symptoms of VVS increase at mid-cycle and at menses, when the oestrogen to progesterone ratio is high. I wouldn't recommend applying an oestrogen cream in your vagina, in view of the above. I don't know why you are bothering to struggle with using the progesterone, and why you don't stop it. I have suggested you use a high amount, but you seem reluctant to do so. This woman here has just written in, saying she was prescribed 600mg/day progesterone which she used vaginally, and says it's worked. Luckily the suggestion came from her doctor and not me! Take care Wray

Jul 30, 2012
Been on progesterone capsules for 2 yrs
by: KD

I've been on a progesterone capsule made by a compounding pharmacy doctor...and have not been able to lose weight the whole time...1200 diet...exercise most days of the week..but when I go off I get hot and Moody...but I'm really starting to thing about getting off and dealing with it to see if that is the culprit. Input?

Jul 30, 2012
How much progesterone to use?
by: Anonymous

This question is for Wray.

I am 25, and I have been low progesterone for a few years now. My levels have dropped from about 75 to 45. I tried progesterone cream before but never stuck with it. I just started using natural progesterone cream again for two weeks a month, twice a day (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, which is 20-40mg, each time). My estrogen levels appear normal, but I know that xenoestrogens are also present. I am taking DIM supplements and a low dose of Calcium d-Glucarate to minimize the effects of the environmental estrogenic substances. I have also been suffering from candida for about 3 years.

How long and at what level should I continue using the progesterone cream? The first few days I felt exhausted and so out of it that I seemed intoxicated. I've used it for one cycle and am currently a week in on the second. I've experienced no weight loss, but I have less acne and I feel mentally clearer and somewhat less fatigued. The candida has not yet cleared, but seems a little better.

What would you recommend?

Jul 31, 2012
Been on progesterone capsules for 2 yrs
by: Wray

Hi KD Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system as most gets destroyed by the gut and liver, leaving little to help. I suggest you open the caps, add the contents to a small amount of skin cream and rub it on. That way you get the full benefit of the progesterone. I've given all the papers on weight gain, oestrogen, water retention to others on this page, please have a read through them all. Take care Wray

Jul 31, 2012
How much progesterone to use?
by: Wray

Hi there I would really recommend using more progesterone. Too little causes more problems than it solves. It can help a few things, as you've found, but not all, which is the whole idea! I usually recommend 100-200mg/day, or more, it's entirely dependant on symptoms. We do have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. You're so right about the xenoestrogens, there are over 100 now, if interested Our Stolen Future is an excellent site. Plus it's impossible to avoid the phytoestrogens, the only thing we can do is not eat the grains or legumes which have one of the highest contents, besides being consumed in large quantities by most people, see here, here and here. Some people have found DIM and Ca D-glucarate to help, particularly the latter. DIM can cause bloating in some, so please watch for this. Unfortunately using such a small amount can leave you exhausted and out of it. Progesterone can help Acne too. I haven't added this to the page yet, but high testosterone initiates acne, if bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive. Progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Progesterone can also help Candida too, whereas oestrogen exacerbates it. Take care Wray

Jul 31, 2012
Thanks Wray:)
by: KD

Thanks Wray where can I find the papers?

Aug 03, 2012
Why now...follow up
by: Anonymous

I posted on May 2nd. I am feeling better a lot of the time, but I am not good at times. The suppository is a bit unpleasant. I am taking it as perscribed, otherwise I will run out of progesterone for the next month. I have 200mg doses. The perscription is for 14 days every 26 days. Apparently, insurance and pharmacy play a role in how the doctor writes her perscriptions. My weight continues to come down as I diet and exercise, but I am still out of whack at times. My largest concern is that I start spotting a little over a week before my period is supposed to come and then it comes early (while I am on progesterone). Once I have a constant flow, I stop the progesterone. This is the second time this has happened. Last month, I had hives appear in different spots for the week before my period as well. This is not happening this month. I re-read your notes and you had suggested taking progesterone more frequently. Does it make sense for me to supplement my perscription with a cream? I have the idea that the progesterone is not dominant and there is so much estrogen in my system that the progesterone does not stop my period from coming. Also, I checked my vitamin D and the doctor says it is good, but my cholesterol was very low. I read that your body needs some cholesterol to make progesterone. Perhaps this is another clue that my progesterone is just too low. There was an indication that my progesterone was very low, but we re-checked and it seemed normal. I suspect the level may not be static because changes in stress levels. I just wonder if I add a low dose of progesterone in a daily routine, if I might achieve some kind of balance sooner. I would especially appreciate not getting my period when the progesterone level is supposed to be too high for that (not only is it confusing, but it is inconvenient). Please lend me your expertise. From earlier posts, it seems to me that you may have more experience with this than my doctor.

Aug 03, 2012
Why now...follow up
by: Anonymous

I posted on May 2nd. I am feeling better a lot of the time, but I am not good at times. The suppository is a bit unpleasant. I am taking it as perscribed, otherwise I will run out of progesterone for the next month. I have 200mg doses. The perscription is for 14 days every 26 days. Apparently, insurance and pharmacy play a role in how the doctor writes her perscriptions. My weight continues to come down as I diet and exercise, but I am still out of whack at times. My largest concern is that I start spotting a little over a week before my period is supposed to come and then it comes early (while I am on progesterone). Once I have a constant flow, I stop the progesterone. This is the second time this has happened. Last month, I had hives appear in different spots for the week before my period as well. This is not happening this month. I re-read your notes and you had suggested taking progesterone more frequently. Does it make sense for me to supplement my perscription with a cream? I have the idea that the progesterone is not dominant and there is so much estrogen in my system that the progesterone does not stop my period from coming. Also, I checked my vitamin D and the doctor says it is good, but my cholesterol was very low. I read that your body needs some cholesterol to make progesterone. Perhaps this is another clue that my progesterone is just too low. There was an indication that my progesterone was very low, but we re-checked and it seemed normal. I suspect the level may not be static because changes in stress levels. I just wonder if I add a low dose of progesterone in a daily routine, if I might achieve some kind of balance sooner. I would especially appreciate not getting my period when the progesterone level is supposed to be too high for that (not only is it confusing, but it is inconvenient). Please lend me your expertise. From earlier posts, it seems to me that you may have more experience with this than my doctor.

Aug 06, 2012
Thanks Wray:)
by: Wray

Hi KD Please click on any active link above, although it's best to read the context first, as it might not be a paper you want. The first page you could look at is the one on Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

Aug 08, 2012
WEIGHT GAIN
by: Carolyn

I am 59 years old using compound Probitest. Proesterone micronized (yam) 3GM TESTRONE MICRO CIII (soy) 0.0375GM estradiol USP MICRONIZED 0.045GM. Have been on this 3 weeks and have gained 10 lbs around the waist ugly rolls that i did not have before. was having problems with sleeping sweats, tired all the time even though i exercise 5 days week. also since starting this program i want to eat even though i am not hungry.

i have read the post do i need more progestrone?

Aug 16, 2012
Why now...follow up
by: Wray

Hi there The progesterone via a suppository is absorbed well, although I do agree with you having used them before. Thanks for telling me about the insurance playing a role in how the script is written, it's not something I had ever thought about. How foolish too, as this would be quite useless for a woman in menopause with no cycle. There are only two things I can suggest for the spotting, other than increasing the amount. One is to use half a suppository for the first week, and then use up the remainder for the next week. The higher amount might stop the spotting. The other thing you could try is taking at least 2000mg/day NAC (N-acetyl cysteine). It's a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which inhibits the MMPs which cause the bleeding. There's more info about them on our Menstruation page. I would be interested to hear what your vitamin D level is, as all too often doctors use the FDA level of 30ng/ml as adequate. The specialists are now saying it should be no less than 50ng/ml, some suggest 75ng/ml. You are correct about progesterone needing cholesterol to form. Cholesterol is the starting point for all the steroid hormones. You are also right about the levels changing too, stress in particular causes it to drop sharply. I suggest you try cutting the suppositories in half first and see if that helps, plus taking the NAC, before increasing the amount. If neither of those work, then you could try increasing the amount. But it would have to be substantial if the 200mg/day is not stopping it. You'd probably need about 100mg/day extra. Please let me know how you get on and thanks for true kind words. Take care Wray

Aug 20, 2012
WEIGHT GAIN
by: Wray

Hi Carolyn I don't agree with giving women a combo cream, particularly one with testosterone in it. This hormone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Oestrogen increases subcutaneous fat. Testosterone also causes Insulin Resistance, which would account for your increased appetite, see here, here and here. I'm not sure how much progesterone you're getting, but certainly not enough to counter those two hormones. The Hot Flushes need at least 400mg/day progesterone to get them under control. Progesterone also helps with the tiredness and sleeping problems, see here, here and here. We do have more info on our Menopause page. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are severe. Take care Wray

Aug 29, 2012
Why now...update
by: Anonymous

I am actually perscribed oral progesterone that the doctor suggested I use as a suppository. It is not clear to me why an actual suppository was not perscribed. In any event, it was no practical to cut in half as all of the liquid would be lost. I am already taking vitamins that include a good level of anti-oxidants. The doctor said my vitamin D was good, but I will be getting the numbers from his office. I decided to try supplementing with the cream. I applied 2mLs or so in the morning and took the 'suppository' at night. There was absolutely no spotting. Things seem pretty normal as far as my period goes. I do suspect that my progesterone is pretty low. I understand it is the surge of estrogen (which is not balanced with a surge of progesterone) during the cycle that makes all of the other symptoms so intolerable. Would it help to apply some cream (just a small amount) in the days leading to ovulation?...or will his adversely affect ovulation? It is my understanding that large, unbalanced changes in hormone levels lead to symptoms like anxiety and irritability.

Aug 29, 2012
Weight Gain
by: Anonymous

OK, someone please tell me that if I stop using progesterone cream the weight will fall back off! I started using Progest about 2 weeks ago, according to the directions, and have gained 4 lbs. I've noticed bloating and everything getting bigger, especially my abs, hips, things, and upper arms. I started using it thinking that I was estrogen dominant and hoping that it would help me lose weight, not GAIN! What happens when you stop taking it weight-wise? I don't care about the other symptoms as much as the weight. Feel like I've shot myself in the foot.

Aug 30, 2012
Help!
by: C.J.

Hi, I've learned a lot reading your Q&As here about Progesterone. I've been at my wits end. I started going through menopause and was prescribed, estradiol gel, testosterone gel, and pill form of progesterone. I felt better as far as hot flashes, foggy brain, etc..But I blew up like a balloon and was nauseas ALL the time. So I quit cold turkey. I lost the weight quickly, but the original symptoms came back. I then went to a doctor that implanted those pellets in my rear (testosterone and estradiol) I still take 100MG progesterone by mouth. I've gained 15 pounds, was bleeding for 3 weeks, cramps all the time, and I'm still nauseas. I've had these pellets about 9 weeks now and they last 3 to 4 months. Should I keep taking the progesterone, or stop until these pellets wear off? Instead of taking by mouth, I could poke a hole and put the gel on my arm? Then once the pellets have worn off, should I use the progesterone only?

Aug 31, 2012
Weight Gain
by: Wray

Hi there I've addressed this aspect of progesterone therapy on this page with other similar queries. All I can ask you to do is read the comments above. Simply put you are not using enough progesterone to overcome the excess oestrogen you have. Too little and it merely exacerbates things. Take care Wray

Aug 31, 2012
Why now...update
by: Wray

Hi there It is odd he didn't give you a suppository. But the caps can be opened and the contents added to a small amount of skin cream and then rubbed on the skin. Topical progesterone is just as effective as a suppository, see our page on Delivery systems. I'm delighted the spotting has stopped and your period is near normal. You are right it is the unbalanced ratio which causes the problems, not the amount of each hormone. I often recommend using the progesterone during the follicular phase if symptoms are bad. Both hormones drop to their lowest level during bleeding, often progesterone is much lower, so some women still suffer bad symptoms during bleeding. Then about 4 days after bleeding stops oestrogen begins rising, and continues to rise until there's a rapid surge about 50 hours prior to ovulation. Progesterone remains very low during the follicular phase, but it too has a rapid surge about 50 hours prior to ovulation. This surge comes from the brain, and is nothing to do with ovulation. Many women fail to get this surge, so can have appalling symptoms round about ovulation. Using progesterone during the follicular phase is the only way to overcome any adverse symptoms, but it does require adjusting the amount as oestrogen rises. Progesterone can act as a contraceptive, i.e. it stops ovulation, if amounts of 100mg/day and over are used before ovulation. Often this is necessary if symptoms are not controlled using it only during the luteal phase. It's not harmful, as it will start up again once using progesterone from ovulation. Unlike the Contraceptives, where it can take many months before ovulation begins again. Take care Wray

Aug 31, 2012
Help!
by: Wray

Hi CJ It seems there are many women who suffer from the pellets, it doesn't surprise me. That combo of oestrogen and testosterone is the last thing we need. You might like to read what others have written here and here. It's unusual you were given the progesterone too, as it's not on their website as part of the protocol, in fact they don't even mention it. Unless you have another version of them. Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, most getting destroyed by the gut and liver. I would advise continuing with the progesterone, and would suggest you use much more too. About 200mg/day might help the adverse symptoms the other hormones are causing. I do advise opening the caps and rubbing the contents on to the skin, but it's easier if you add it to a small amount of skin cream first. That way you'll get the full benefit of the progesterone. It seems you have no regular cycle now, so it's best to use the progesterone daily. We do have more info on our Peri-menopause and Menopause pages. Oestrogen is a mitogen causing cells to proliferate, hence it's cancer risk, it also causes fat cells to proliferate, so it increases subcutaneous adipose tissue or SAT. Testosterone is notorious at increasing visceral fat, or VAT, see here and here. But testosterone has a dark side too, as in women it increases the risk of cancer and heart disease, see here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Sep 06, 2012
Progesterone/Estradiol
by: Lynn

I am 50 and have been taking Bio Identicals for three years now. I never use to have a weight problem (15 lbs) and just figured over the last few years it was due to perimenopause.

After reading so many of your responses (eyes can't take anymore today) I have realized this weight gain may be due in part to the ratio my doctor has given me on my HRTs.

Currently I am on Estradiol (1.5 mg) and Progesterone (75 mg) combo cream.

Question:
1) I'm wondering if my Progesterone needs to be increased to the minimum 100 and possibily more (would help w/ weight loss).

2) Estradiol should it be lowered? I will say I don't experience Hot Flashes (maybe mild ones on occassion) and no vaginal dryness, itchy skin etc. which makes me think the estradiol is preventing this from happening. Prior to estradiol I was having some hot flashes.

3) Testosterone - .25/daily (doctor said for loss of muscle) I lift weights and my muscle mass was not returning (when I was 47) so she prescribed testosterone.

Thanks in advance for your advice!


Sep 08, 2012
Progesterone/Estradiol
by: Wray

Hi Lynn Thanks for reading the pages so thoroughly! I don't believe any women needs more oestrogen, we get too much as it is from the 100 plus oestrogen mimics in our environment, see Our Stolen Future. Besides which our fat cells secrete it to the day we die. But they don't secrete progesterone at all. You might like to read more about oestrogen's affects on our HRT page. It matters not what form it comes in, synthetic, natural or a phytoestrogen, it still has the same affect. I do recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, more if symptoms are severe. Oestrogen is a mitogen, stimulating cells to proliferate, including fat cells, which only add more oestrogen. It also causes water retention. Progesterone inhibits mitosis, causing differentiation instead. Plus it's an excellent diuretic, now given to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to prevent the oedema that occurs. And giving a woman testosterone, that should never be considered, see here, here, here, here here, here, here, here and here. Plus it increases visceral fat, see here and here. This just ensures a middle aged woman will get a middle aged spread! Progesterone can be used in the vagina to prevent inflammation and dryness, plus it does help with Hot Flushes. We do have more info on our pages about Peri-menopause and Menopause. Take care Wray

Sep 08, 2012
Oestrogen Dominance Question
by: stephanie

I'm sure this information is contained somewhere but I just can't seem to find it. Can you tell me how long the oestrogen dominance phase usually lasts? I've just started using 200mgs per day so hopefully it won't be an issue but wondering just in case.

Sep 09, 2012
Oestrogen Dominance Question
by: Wray

Hi Stephanie I wish I could tell you, but can't. It really depends on the severity of the symptoms, how high oestrogen and testosterone are, how much stress you have, do you eat a lot of phytoestrogens, etc. You have chosen a good amount to start with, so hopefully it won't be too bad, or occur at all. For more info on the phytoestrogens, see here, here and here. These papers here and here, on infertility in sheep, show how a high level of phytoestrogens in food can affect the reproductive organs. Many women have found by getting their vitamin D levels up high, symptoms are lessened. Due no doubt to the fact low vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. Take care Wray

Sep 24, 2012
No hormones
by: Piglett

I am 49 yrs old I had a partial hysterectomy at 29 and have had a rollercoaster of symptoms since. In the last few mnths they became unbearable. I have been told in the past I have 11 thyroid nodules but test on TSH and further thyroid test are always normal. Long story short I finally went to a doctor who did a salive test and my results were not good. My estradiol was 0.6 my progesterone was 22, my ratio was 37. She told me my adrenal glands were shot. The testosterone was 40 and the DHEA was 4.2 the cortisol in the morning was 7.2. She told me to take DHEA 5mg once daily and an adrenal support supplement. She put me on 1mg estradiol once a day and 20mg of progesterone cream compounded at a pharmacy. It does not say what is in it. I have been on this for 6 days and have gained 4lbs already. Is this from this combination? I feel so much better but cannot gain this weight I just lost 30lbs. 2yr ago and so far over the last 2mnths have gained a total of 10lbs back. Please advise I have read alot on this page and it all leads to taking these hormones. I can't gain weight back. Thanks

Sep 26, 2012
No hormones
by: Wray

Hi Piglett Your ovaries would have long since ceased making much in the way of hormones. They tend to slow down 3-4 years after a hyst. Which effectively means you are now in Menopause. The average age for this is 51, so I would say the tiny amount of hormones they were making has now come to an end, judging by the recent increase in your symptoms. You could also look through our page on Peri-menopause. Your adrenals would be suffering too, from all the years of stress you've had. Progesterone levels range from 12-100 pg/ml, oestradiol from 0.5-1.7 pg/ml, testosterone from 16-47 pg/ml and DHEA from 32 - 240 ug/dL. So your progesterone is at the low end, so is your oestradiol. Your testosterone is at the high end, and your DHEA low. We do have a page on Hormone Testing you could look through. Unfortunately increasing DHEA can increase testosterone, see here, here, here and here. Another unfortunate thing, giving you oestrogen and so little progesterone will worsen your ratio, which is the last thing you need. 20mg/day would stimulate oestrogen, which can exacerbate any existing symptoms, plus cause weight gain. Oestrogen is a mitogen, causing cells to proliferate, including fat cells. It also causes water retention, the reason for the rapid weight gain in many women when using 20mg/day. This amount does not raise levels to that found in the luteal phase. I go into this on our Progesterone Misconceptions page. We've found from Saliva Tests we run that the ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. I recommend 100-200mg/day, but feel you would need at least 200mg/day to help your symptoms, possibly more. Another page you could look through is the one we have on How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Oct 19, 2012
What Next?
by: paintblusher

Wray,

I have had the mirena once for 5 years and again for a year. I just recently removed it a few days ago. I had been in so much pain with it and I gained almost 60 lbs with the mirena over time. I am great about working out and never lost any weight. I recently became aware that the mirena can cause your body to stop producing progesterone. I was thinking about the progesterone cream before the removal. I just waved to caution I felt I had so many side effect associated with it head aches, stomach swelling, weight gain, cramps, mood swings etc. This may have been because I wasn't producing progesterone. Before I had the mirena and my son I had endometriosis at which I had laproscopic surgery for. A few weeks after I was preggo after 8 years of trying. I would like help getting the weight off and my body back on track since I haven't had a period in 6 years. Will the progesterone cream be a great kick start since it hasnt been long since my mirena removal? Two would it help with the endometriosis symptoms I had before the mirena and surgery? I am afraid since it has been so long they will return. I had to spend hours in the tub with hot water to keep from doubling over in pain..Help Please Thank you- Paintblusher

Oct 19, 2012
Why now? (part 3)
by: Anonymous

I have been supplementing progesterone since May. The chest pain and hives have gone away. The pre-menstral anxiety has changed to irritability ( which is oddly easier for me to deal with). I have not had issues with my blood pressure. In fact, I rarely measure it anymore. I still get palpitations occassionally. Overall, I feel better. I have not had an issue with weight gain.

I began supplementing my perscription with Natpro when I noticed spotting before my period. It helped. I had no spotting the past 2 months. However, I went shopping for bras revently and I had gone up a size. I have also noticed loser stools. Is this a sign that I am now taking too much progesterone? If so, how would you recommend gently reducing the amount? I don't want to undo all of the progress, but I don't want to take more than is needed. I am considering eliminating the suppository perscription and replacing it with the cream. It seems to make sense to simply apply 2x a day, rather than taking the suppository at night (200 mg) and cream (approx 2-3 mLs) in the morning. I also like the idea of controlling the amount by how much I apply. It seems to me that 200 mg at night, when I am sleeping, isn't the best way to dose. Please advise...

Oct 19, 2012
What Next?
by: Wray

Hi there Well the Mirena is one of my most disliked drugs. It does not release progesterone, although many women are told this, but a progestin called levonorgestrel. This has been shown to lower progesterone levels, plus impeding the blood flow in the uterine arteries, see here and here. Levonorgestrel is derived from testosterone, so has androgenic properties. This is the prescribing information here, and please see here too. You might like to read these comments here from women who've used the Mirena. It doesn't surprise me you have put on weight and can't loose it, testosterone increases visceral fat, see here and here. Plus increasing the risk of cancer, and causing Insulin Resistance with it's increased risk of getting heart disease. Endo is caused by oxidative stress, as are most of our diseases, large amounts of antioxidants are needed to reverse it. I have found if pain is present, 500mg/day progesterone is needed. We do have a page on Endometriosis you could look through. As you're not sure about the endo coming back, and you haven't had a period in 6 years, plus you have many other adverse symptoms, my recommended 100-200mg/day is not going to be enough. Well the barest minimum would be the 200mg/day. I have found, certainly with existing adverse symptoms, using too little merely exacerbates them. It is trail and error, only the user can tell if it's helping. One mistake many make, is to stop using it if symptoms increase, believing it's the progesterone causing them. Ironically stopping the progesterone does help, as it's no longer stimulating oestrogen, which in turn causes Oestrogen Dominance. Continued below.

Oct 19, 2012
What Next? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there But this defeats the purpose, which is to make progesterone dominant and suppress excess oestrogen and testosterone. Which incidentally can also cause severe PMS symptoms. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. You might like to see our Nutrition page, they are several options to choose from, all good. We also have a page on How to use progesterone cream with more info. And one on Menstruation too. Please have a vitamin D test done, the chances are your level is low, particularly in view of the endo. It's a potent antioxidant, it prevents cells proliferating, plus being an anti-inflammatory. In fact both Progesterone and Vitamin D work synergistically, a low level of vitamin D reducing the benefits of progesterone. 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. Take care Wray

Oct 19, 2012
Why now? (part 3)
by: Wray

Hi there I'm delighted things have progressed so well. If you increase the amount of progesterone, which you have done by using the Natpro, this will again stimuli oestrogen. Luckily you haven't had any major symptoms, but the increased breast size is one. It's caused by water retention and in some cases an increase in fat cells. Oestrogen causes cells to proliferate, plus causing water retention. It does this by drawing water from the gut, and storing it in the tissues. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, so the excess water is put back into the gut, hence the looser stools. You might like to see this comment here. The progesterone is doing what it should be doing, so don't disturb the balance just yet by reducing. Rather keep on that amount for a few weeks, you should find your gut stabilising. Use this as a sign that you could begin reducing, but please take a few weeks to do this. I must confess I didn't like the suppositories I was given! Mine were suppositories too, so I couldn't empty the contents into some cream and apply it. You do have much more control over how much or little you need too. Besides it can be used for so many things, excellent for burns, the best thing I've ever used, sunburn too, minor wounds, leg ulcers, piles, pain, it can be applied to any of these areas for relief. Good for the face too, see here. I do agree, using the progesterone in one dose is not ideal, as levels begin dropping after about 13 hours. It's far better to use it as and when needed, hourly if things get really bad! Take care Wray

Oct 30, 2012
Whats Next
by: paintblusher

Thank you Wray,

So far so good. I started the progesterone cream. Not sure how much I am using exactly but I know it more then a pea size amount twice a day. SO finally after 6 years I had a period, I didn't miss them , but for once I wasn't in any kind of pain. It literally was less then a week after mirena removal that i had started. Removed on 15th started on the 20th and ended on the 21st. Luckily it was only 2 days. Since then I have been using the creme I seem to be doing well. Over all I still need to review what you were saying about the nutrition portion as mentioned in your last statement. I'm still a little bit confused about the nutrition portion and the testosterone bit. Sorry for taking so long to respond I was starting a new job.

Also one last thing. My former mother in law has had a full hysterectomy for the past 10 or so years, she has thyroid issues and takes meds for them. She read the same book I did about the Miracle of Bio identical hormones and wanted to try to progesterone cream. She stated she doesn't really seem much of a difference. I do know her doc prescribed her vitamin D pills because she was low. shes in her 50's and using about a pea size 2x a day. would you recommend this? I think she want to see if it helps with her thyroid issues and some other things I cant recall at the moment. Thanks for all your answer as they are always appreciated.

Nov 01, 2012
Whats Next
by: Wray

Hi there I'm delighted to hear you had a painless period and so short too. Let's hope it stays that way. I'm not sure what cream you are using, but a pea sized amount of many creams will only give you about 20mg/day. Slightly more than this won't be giving you much more. The same with your mother in law too. I recommend 100-200mg/day, more if symptoms are bad. Maybe you could suggest she increases the amount. I don't know what her symptoms are so can't really advise you further. I do hope she's taking enough vitamin D, the minimum dose should be 5000iu's per day. She would probably need more, as a lack of vitamin D affects the thyroid, see here, here and here. Oestrogen has a tendency to suppress thyroid function, so enough progesterone needs to be used to suppress this oestrogen. That book by Dr Platt is excellent, I have it too. Take care Wray

Nov 07, 2012
How much initially to prevent weight gain
by: Depressed

Hi there, I have never used progesterone cream before, and am planning to soon. I have come across many posts about some initial weight gain on the cream, due to it "waking" up the estrogen, and therefore causing estrogen dominance.

Is there any way I can prevent this initial weight gain? I have PCOS which indicates estrogen dominance. Can I jump straight to a high dose of the cream to prevent the weight gain?

Nov 09, 2012
How much initially to prevent weight gain
by: Wray

Hi there Yes, all too often women are advised to use too little. Oestrogen is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone. It also causes water retention and cells to proliferate, including fat cells, which are also a source of oestrogen, so a vicious cycle starts. PCOS is a sign of testosterone dominance, it is possible to reverse it. Oestrogen can be too high, but often it's normal. PCOS is caused by oxidative stress, i.e. lack of antioxidants, so large amounts of these are required to reverse it. Progesterone is needed too, but using it alone won't reverse the condition. Progesterone does bring down testosterone levels. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. High testosterone can cause depression too. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. Wine and beers contain carbs, so it's best to avoid those too. Sugars, all alcohols, including wine and beer, and large meals also drop progesterone levels, which means SHBG also drops, another vicious cycle. I always advise using a high amount of progesterone when first starting it, to avoid the Oestrogen Dominance. And two more pages which could help, How to use progesterone cream and Menstruation. Take care Wray

Nov 09, 2012
Switch from caplets to cream, HCG shots
by: Kat D.

Hi Wray,

I was here a few months ago and was asking about the caplets I was on. I went from 200 mg caplets to 1000 mg cream about 2 months ago. I just started a weight loss program with pharmaceutical grade HCG shots that I do daily with a low calorie diet around 800 to 1000 cals a day. Will switching to a higher dose cream and now starting the HCG affect weight loss?


Thanks!
Kat

Nov 10, 2012
Switch from caplets to cream, HCG shots
by: Wray

Hi Kat I'm pleased you changed from the caps to a cream, and increased the progesterone too. Progesterone does speed metabolism slightly, so does assist in weight loss. Provided of course enough is used, all too often women use far too little, then complain that progesterone is the cause! You are using a great deal, do you feel you need that much? It's not dangerous in any way, just costly. And a smaller amount might be just as affective. Please remember to reduce very slowly when you do, i.e. no more than 20mg at a time. And stay on that reduced amount for a few days to adjust. I would caution against the hCG diet, I'm not in favour of it, as it will disrupt hormones. hCG can cause ovarian hyperstimulation which can result in luteal-phase dysfunction, see here, here and here. You might like to read these comments from Lori who tried it, see here and here. She hasn't had a period for over six months after stopping the diet. Take care Wray

Nov 10, 2012
Novasure done
by: Kat D.

Hi Wray,

Thanks for the input. I will read the HCG info. I had the Novasure procedure done in Feb 2010 because my periods were so heavy and painful, my ob suggested it since we were done having children. The procedure involves thinning out the uterus so that there is little or no period. My husband has also had a vasectomy so we're pretty set on not getting pregnant since I wouldn't be able to carry a child anymore. I have not had a period since the procedure. I can't say I miss it. I only do the progesterone once a day, one small pump. I can talk to them about reducing it. I have tried so many diets that I would like to give this one a try. The progesterone is now for hot flashes at night and helps me sleep. The Novasure just helped with periods and bleeding; ovaries and everything are still in tact so I still have the flashes some, that all was going on way before the diet. What do you think about the procedure?

Nov 12, 2012
Novasure done
by: Wray

Hi Kat Please would you check the amount of progesterone you're getting. I suspect if you only do one small pump per day, you are not getting any where near the 1000mg you previously said. Even if you were using a 10% cream, the highest available strength, you would need to use 10ml of cream per day, or 2 teaspoons of cream! Maybe you didn't mean 1000mg/day, but 1000mg/container, and it was my error in thinking you meant a daily amount. If the 1000mg does mean container, then in all probability you are getting about 20mg/day progesterone. This is the standard recommended amount. To my mind far too low. For instance I've found 400mg/day is needed to stop Hot Flushes. For heavy and/or continual bleeding, at least 400mg/day is needed, often 600mg/day. Progesterone plus a number of nutrients, all stop excessive bleeding. There was no need for the uterine ablation you had. I feel these are barbaric, medieval procedures. Yes they do work, but they are only treating the symptom and not the cause. The cause is excessive oestrogen, which you will still have. And excessive MMPs, which you will also still have. Oestrogen builds the lining, the MMPs break it down. Progesterone and the other nutrients inhibit both these two. There's more info on our Menstruation page. If you are using only 20mg/day, this won't help with weight loss at all, and could in fact increase it. As it will be stimulating oestrogen. Progesterone should be used a minimum of twice a day too, as levels begin dropping after about 13 hours. There's more info on our How to use progesterone cream page. Take care Wray

Dec 15, 2012
Bio identical progesterone
by: Momma K

I have been taking progesterone (drops) for a year. They have helped with my endometriosis and I am so thankful. I didn't gain but a few pounds but I am struggling to lose weight- maybe it's age-who knows? I am having trouble with acne on my chin and extremely oily skin so I have stopped the drops but now my pain is slowly returning. Thinking of trying birth control.

Dec 18, 2012
Bio identical progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Momma K I'm amazed the progesterone drops helped the Endometriosis, as the level of progesterone is so low in the drops. Plus much gets swallowed, leaving little to help. I've usually found 500mg/day progesterone is needed if the pain is bad. Endo is caused by oxidative stress, leading to Inflammation. Oestrogen exacerbates it by causing the cells to proliferate, plus it's an excitatory, inflammatory hormone. If too little progesterone is used it stimulates oestrogen leading to Oestrogen Dominance, one of the symptoms is weight gain. Testosterone can rise too, this leads to an oily skin and Acne. Drug based Contraceptives have to potential to cause harm. They slow the ovaries down, in particular stopping ovulation, leading to the total suppression of ovarian progesterone. If sufficient progesterone is used, it suppresses both oestrogen and testosterone. Please have a vitamin D test done, it's low in most of us. A lack reduces the benefits of progesterone, plus it leads to weight gain. 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. We have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Dec 22, 2012
Am I using enough & HOW LONG BEFORE ED ENDS
by: Lorna Doom

Hi Wray,

I know that I said I would check in with you in about a month's time, but I have to ask:

I have increased the Natpro and take a total of 400mg daily (spread out throughout the day--am, afternoon, evening.

I have been on the 400mg amount now for about 10-12 days and I am still feeling the Estrogen Dominance (ED)such as: severe water retention, aches, very very sleepy, sensitive breasts, and simply feeling downright unattractive.

I am wondering HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THESE SIDE EFFECTS. Does that mean I have to increase the progesterone? If so, how much should I use? Do you think one tube per day would combat the ED? I am trying to figure out what it is going to take to get out of ED and if I can afford an increased amount of cream.

Please advise especially on a general idea of how long I will have ED while on 400 mg of Natpro?

Thanks for your caring and time,
-Lorna Doom

Anyhow, I am still experiencing

Dec 23, 2012
Am I using enough & HOW LONG BEFORE ED ENDS
by: Wray

Hi Lorna Doom You've asked me a question I can't answer! All I can say is the worse the symptoms, the more progesterone is needed and the longer it will take to get results. I advised one woman with very severe symptoms to use 400mg/day. She found it wan't until she went up to 1000mg/day that she got relief. You might like to read her encouragement to one woman here, scroll down to 'Sage'. In fact you originally made comments on Sage's page here. And have you been for that vitamin D test yet? You said your previous test showed very low vitamin D. It's essential to get it up high, many women find greater relief when they do, this is one comment here. Take care Wray

Dec 24, 2012
Thanks Wray
by: Lorna Doom

Hi Wray,
Thanks for your encouragement. I plan to have my doc test me for my vitamin D level when I see her again mid January. In the meantime I have been taking 5000 IUs per day.

Although I am still having the ED symptoms, I am going to be more patient as I have been in this condition for quite a long time now.

I will also try increasing my dosage to see what happens.

From what I have been reading, it pays off to stick with the program because then... and only then, will the progesterone win.

Thanks again to you and everyone else's feelings, experiences, and comments. Merry Christmas to you all.



Hi Lorna Doom Do let me know if it helps you. And Merry Christmas to you too! Take care Wray

Jan 14, 2013
progesterone and uterine hyperplasia
by: Anonymous

Several years ago my doctor treated my uterine
hyperplasia with a Mirana IUD. Within a week after insertion,I developed extreme fatigue, severe muscle weakness and flu-like symptoms which worsened until the IUD was removed 6 months later.
Now the hyperplasia has returned and my doctor has ordered Medroxyprogesterone 10mg daily for 12 days each month for 6 months.Both she and I are concerned as I almost died from some sort of reaction to the IUD and have been left with major residual health problems.I am now too weak to consider hysterectomy.I have also developed urinary retention and wonder if progesterone might affect this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, especially as regards the estrogen effect of intermittent progesterone theapy.

Jan 14, 2013
progesterone and uterine hyperplasia
by: Wray

Hi there My views on the Mirena are rather strong, I feel it should be banned. It does not release progesterone as many women are lead to believe, but a progestin called levonorgestrel. This has been shown to lower progesterone levels, plus impeding the blood flow in the uterine arteries, see here and here. Levonorgestrel is derived from testosterone, so has androgenic properties. This is the prescribing information here, and please see here too. You might like to read these comments here from women who've used the Mirena. Lowering progesterone levels would cause muscle weakness or myopathy. I had that during Peri-menopause. Luckily progesterone reverses it, so mine cleared up, see here, here and here. This last abstract has nothing on it, so I've pasted a passage from the full paper... 'Substantial relief of myopathic disability by progesterone therapy'.....
(We report about a 41-year old woman who was suffering from a general muscle weakness since her early childhood....From July 1998 until July 1999 the patient was treated with progesterone suppositorium 0.4 g once a day from the 14th to the 25th day of the menstrual cycle. In July 1999 her gait had improved significantly and she could get up from a chair more easily, even her ability to walk up and down stairs had improved....Progesterone dosage was increased from 400 mg to 600 mg. In January 2001 the patient reported enthusiastically about the improvement she had gained from progesterone-therapy. The patient reported a clear increase in strength in all affected muscle groups resulting in dramatic functional improvement.) If you still have myopathy you will need a great deal of progesterone to reverse it. Anywhere between the 400-600mg/day mentioned in the paper above. Continued below

Jan 14, 2013
progesterone and uterine hyperplasia Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there MPA is another of my pet hates, it is not progesterone but a progestin with androgenic properties. So many doctors get confused about the difference between the two and often erroneously use the term progesterone when meaning a progestin. All drug based Contraceptives have the potential to cause harm. In fact... "MPA is used instead of progesterone in mouse models of sexually transmitted diseases to increase infectibility because progesterone does not have this effect." These are a selection of papers on MPA, see here, here, here here, here and here. Please avoid it at all costs. Progesterone does help endo hyperplasia, see here, here, here, here and here. You might consider taking at least 2000mg/day taurine too, see here. Taurine levels are low in women with uterine hyperplasia etc. It's interesting you have urinary retention, it could be because your oestrogen level is too high. There are many oestrogen receptors in the bladder sphincter, oestrogen causes constriction of smooth muscle. So it could be constricting the sphincter tight shut. Another reason is high calcium, as that also causes constriction of muscle. If so you need to increase your intake of magnesium to relax the muscle. Please have a vitamin D test done, this is the most vital nutrient, needed by every cell to function normally. A lack reduces the benefits of progesterone, and causes myopathy, see here, here and here. Continued below

Jan 14, 2013
progesterone and uterine hyperplasia Part 3
by: Wray

Hi there 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. Take care Wray

Jan 29, 2013
soooo confused
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have been on Estradiol 1mg. daily and medroxyprogesterone 10mg/first 10 days of each month, for 3 years now. I have always been very thin with never a weight problem. In the last year I have noticed about 10 pounds in added weight. I started reading about estrogen and progestins and decided to ask my Dr. about getting off the estrogen and just try Progestrone for my hot flashes. Everything I read told me to stay away from progestins!! So, my Dr. agreed to try just progesterone and perscribed an oral type. I have yet to try it alone because everything I have read tells me I will gain and gain and gain weight. I also had read that the oral form is not absorbed into the body...like I said...Im sooo confused..just ready to put up with the hot flashes!! please help.

Jan 30, 2013
weight gain
by: Anonymous

hi, ciao tutti
i been taking the bio identical hormone progesterone now for about a month to shrink about a gazillion fibroids making life tricky plus it'll be impossible to have a baby until they are gone, i am 43, but i have been low and sleeping 14 hours a day when possible and gained 13 pounds. i am close to throwing them down the toilet. i am a stage performer and in the public eye and this cannot happen! it has to stop. they were also wildly expensive as i am treated in harley street london. i am now taking 100mg a night. i started at 50mg. thanks, excellent site x

Jan 30, 2013
soooo confused
by: Wray

Hi there I'm glad you've opted for the natural route, and going off the HRT, it's not worth the risk. It's good your doctor was open to the suggestion of progesterone, so many aren't. But oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system. Most of it gets destroyed......"The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. The creams are absorbed well, we run Saliva Tests on our cream, as you can see the progesterone does shoot up. The problem with a low amount of progesterone, in any form including oral, it merely stimulates oestrogen. This causes cells to proliferate, including fat cells, it also causes water retention, see here, here, here and here. Both of which contribute to the weight gain. As you've found from the HRT, it causes weight gain. I usually recommend 100-200mg/day, but often more is needed if symptoms are severe. Hot Flushes need about 400mg/day to stop them, the progesterone can then be reduced very slowly. It seems you are in Menopause, so you might like to look through this page for more info. Take care Wray

Jan 30, 2013
more on hyperplasia
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the excellent work you did helping me understand about endometrial hyperplasia and use of progesterone.I asked my Gyn to treat my hyperplasia with natural progesterone and she said there are no studies using "natural" progesterone to sucessfully treat this precancerous condition,and that she would have no idea what dose or how to give this to me.Could you please refer me to afew articles that I could give to her?
In addition, is it possible that there is data to indicate treatment long term with progesterone alone will prevent this condition? Each time I take a progestin like medroxyprogesterone acetate to slough the lining, I gain weight which has proven impossible to get off...this in turn causes more estogen production and hyperplasia.
Lastly,I was told again that mpa is a progesterone only and taken alone can not increase my risk of breast cancer.Any literature
on BC risk with mpa use alone? Also,I was told estrogen cream intravaginally is a treatment of bladder retension and so estrogen is not a cause.
Sorry to take so much of your time. Thank you again and in advance of your reply.

Jan 31, 2013
weight gain
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for the kind words about the site. I think I know the doctor you're getting them from, having met her and I know she works from Harley Street. Although I could be mistaken, as she always prescribed a cream, not oral progesterone. Dr Dalton used to work from there too, before her death. Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. Because of this, you were and still are using far too little. I suggest you open the caps and add the contents to a small amount of skin cream, and apply that. I generally advise 100-200mg/day, often far more if symptoms are severe. The weight gain you've experienced is due to the low level of progesterone stimulating oestrogen. The amount has to be far higher to overcome this, and get results. You might like to contact our distributor Julienne via her website here. She is also a registered EFT therapist, a wonderful therapy. She can give advice on the progesterone and vitamin D. Which I think you also need. Living in the UK your levels are probably far too low, and a low level not only reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. Continued below

Jan 31, 2013
weight gain Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there But also causes weight gain, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. We have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Jan 31, 2013
more on hyperplasia
by: Wray

Hi there I'm pleased the info helped. I'm not sure if it was you above, but please look at the entry of Jan 14, 2013 'progesterone and uterine hyperplasia Part 2', I've given papers to whoever asked for it. Also in that same reply, I gave papers on MPA, plus there's more on the contraceptives page I gave. MPA is not progesterone, but a progestin, very, very different. You could also look at our page on HRT for more papers. And our page on Cancer and how progesterone is used successfully in a number of cancers. Plus this page here too. MPA is not worth the risk, as I said in that same reply. Please also read the paper I gave on taurine in that reply, as it's low in endo hyperplasia, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, cancer of the uterus and fibroids. Please consider taking it. Plus have a vitamin D test done, that's the most potent anti-proliferative nutrient there is, along with progesterone. But a low level of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. I really don't think you need bother with going to a doctor about this, as hyperplasia is very common and very easily reversed. I would suggest using at least 200mg/day, on a daily basis. But if it's you with the weakness, then you will probably need 400-600mg/day as per the study I pasted above. I did mention the possible causes of the bladder retention too, so please consider taking magnesium. It's also the most important co-factor for vitamin D. All doctors believe oestrogen is what we need for all problems, including the bladder. They never consider the implications, they never read the adverse studies of which there are countless hundreds, dating back to 1975. There have of course been some good ones, but it's not worth the risk, because of the potential damage it can do. Oestrogen constricts smooth muscle as I said in my reply above, progesterone relaxes it, see here. Continued below

Jan 31, 2013
more on hyperplasia
by: Wray

Hi there These are some more papers on the benefits of progesterone in the kidneys and urinary tract, see here, here, here and here. I'm not sure if the retention is causing you incontinence, if so please see these papers here and here on how oestrogen does cause it. Take care Wray



Feb 12, 2013
Another weight gain question
by: Ally

Hi Wray -- you are kind enough to answer so many questions. I'm pretty sure I know what you are going to say, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway...I think on some level I'm looking for someone to concur with my thoughts.

I'm 35 years old, and may have had some PCOS symptoms as a teen. Was put on birth control for 13 years. I've since gotten off birth control 3 months ago, after a year of whacked out hormones and unexplained weight gain. I went to a bioidentical hormone expert in my local area, and she put me on progesterone, 20mg 2x/day, as of 12/22/12. My hair stopped falling out and it helped with the fatigue. However, I have continued to gain weight (size 4 to a size 10+ now). I contacted her after 3 weeks, as my digestion was atrocious (has been for the last year). She put me on sustained release T3, 2x/day. It definitely helped with the digestion.

However...the weight gain has continued. I've been on the therapy she recommended, but my period is still wonky -- 3x in 6 weeks, the weight gain continues to creep up, and my digestion..it's hit or miss with the bloating. The doc tells me to be patient. Which I'm truly trying to be, but I am overwhelmed with the hormone swings and weight gain. I can't afford to buy another set of clothes -- nor do I want to. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Thank you so much.

Feb 14, 2013
Another weight gain question
by: Wray

Hi Ally Thanks for the kind words! I find the problem is always the amount suggested, 20-40mg/day. This almost invariably stimulates oestrogen, leading to weight gain, water retention, mood problems and much more. It always baffles me, there are countless studies which show oestrogen and progesterone work in a feedback loop, as do all the hormones in the body. So oestrogen 'primes' the cells, which then produce progesterone. When that has reached a certain level, it stimulates oestrogen which increases, ad infinitum. The only time the feedback loop does not occur, is in the corpus luteum. Studies have found progesterone stimulates it's own secretion, see here. They still don't know how this happens, or why. The higher progesterone initially inhibits oestrogen so levels fall, but again the feedback loop kicks in, and oestrogen rises mid-luteal phase. If at this point the body senses the egg has not been fertilised, levels of both hormones begin dropping and we bleed. It's also at this point that all our troubles begin! Progesterone is no longer being produced by the corpus luteum. It appears to withdraw faster than oestrogen in many women, leaving oestrogen dominant. This is an inflammatory, excitatory hormone which disrupts the body's equilibrium. I think this paper here explains this aspect very well. Although on epilepsy, substitute any word you like and you get the picture, i.e. asthma, palpitations, panic attacks, migraines, depression, menstrual psychosis, PMS etc. Using sufficient supplemental progesterone the feedback loop is over ridden, and the higher level continues to inhibit the release of oestrogen. I would suggest you increase the amount substantially, and use it daily through any bleeding for about 2-3 months, or until stable. There's more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Take care Wray

Feb 16, 2013
Okay to use Natpro before saliva testing or wait?
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray! I had been using the cream, up to 300mg a day but stopped in May of 2012 per my acupuncturist's advice to see if we could get my period to come back. I guess it's necessary to go off of it, right, to get the levels to drop enough to allow for a period. Anyway, I am only now able to afford a full month-long saliva test plus stress hormone panel plus thyroid panel and I think I will add on another vitamin D test (I was low a few months ago). Should I hold off of using the Natpro until after completing my test or are the tests accurate enough to account for the cream. Also, I want to start at a HIGH level, like 600-700mg so as not to put on any weight, if possible. I read in one of your answers to someone that Dr. Dalton would prescribe between 400 and 800, so I am hoping my desired amount would be safe. My symptoms, I should say, are pretty much gone except no period and still at least 30 lbs overweight from that initial low dose and breaking my ankle last May. If I am not experiencing other symptoms, maybe I should hold off on using Natpro? Is there a downside, since I am probably perimenopausal? Thanks, again!

Feb 16, 2013
Okay to use Natpro before saliva testing or wait?
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Good to hear from you again! If you use progesterone before your test, the test result will show a high level, particularly using a Saliva Test. And if you use the amount you were using, or your new suggestion, they'll freak! Saliva always shows much higher levels than serum. If you want to know what your baseline is now, then don't start it. Please do have that vitamin D test. I've come to realise how important it is for progesterone, from others experiences taking it. Some have found even with high amounts of progesterone, symptoms persist. But once they get their vitamin D levels high, they do go away. These are some of the comments, see here, here and here, scroll to 'Having a Hard Time' or 'Information on Hidden Copper Toxicity'. 600-700mg/day is safe, you might like to read this page here. A most remarkable finding. Although we do have a page on Cancer, with past studies showing it's been used successfully and safely, this study confirms it beyond all doubt. I can't remember if I ever gave you the papers on vitamin D and begin overweight? Please have a look at them and get your level up very high. To at least 70-100ng/ml, nearer the 100ng/ml I feel, toxicity is only reached at 200ng/ml. One study found no toxicity taking 40,000iu per day, see here. These are the papers on weight gain, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Continued below

Feb 16, 2013
Okay to use Natpro before saliva testing or wait? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine And more here, here and here. If you can get your vitamin D levels up high, I don't think you'll need as much progesterone. I'm delighted your symptoms have gone, hard work on your part has paid off. It's difficult for me to advise on whether you should continue with progesterone, it is beneficial for ageing, which is why I continue to use it. But I do get very emotionally 'wobbly' if I don't have it! These are the papers on ageing here, here, here, here and here. Why not see how you feel on high levels of vitamin D, before trying the Natpro again. Please let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Feb 19, 2013
Thank you, Wray, re saliva test and Natpro!
by: Jenine

Yes, I agree completely!

I want to get my vitamin D level up before using Natpro again, last time, the results were low at about 40, so I am taking 15,000 to 20,000 a day, more on overcast days, and also just getting at least 10 minutes of sun whenever it's out--I read somewhere, maybe Dr. Mercola's site, that studies have found that supplementation will not produce the same end result as the process our bodies do when we make vitamin D3 ourselves.

And it's been confirmed that the vegan supplement I take IS actually vitamin D3 and not D2. For your vegan or vegetarian readers, they may want to look for Nature's Plus Source of Life Garden brand (5000 IU per capsule, 60 per bottle for under $13).

Thank you for all of your help, Wray! I tell everyone about you : ) xo

Feb 22, 2013
Thank you, Wray, re saliva test and Natpro!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Yes 40ng/ml is too low, that's the level we begin storing it, but this leaves little to have any effect. You have read right, Dr Cannell says that too, the sun is all important. There are other benefits to it besides vitamin D. Dr Popp in Germany found cells emit light or bio-photons, see here. "His work shows that DNA in a living cell stores and releases photons creating “biophotonic emissions” that may hold the key to illness and health." There is only one place the cell can get light from and that's the sun. These are more studies since his discovery, see here, here and here. So get as much sun as you can, naked, and without sunscreen for the first 20 minutes. After all we evolved naked in the sun! Thanks for checking on the D2/D3 issue, that's good to know. I'll make a note of the brand in case I get enquiries. Bless you for telling everyone about me, xxx! And thanks again for the feedback, always so invaluable to me. Take care Wray

Feb 22, 2013
Vitamin D and testing question
by: Jenine

Thanks, Wray! I feel lucky to know about this site and you : )

I am taking 15,000 iu's of the vegan D3 by Nature's Plus a day and will keep it up for maybe a month, then taper to 10,000 a day for another month or two, then retest.

I know ZRT. the lab recommended here via GrassRoots Campaign, uses a different standard of testing than LabCorp so their numbers have been adjusted to reflect that, I think. Mine was 48, but their low range is 32 and upper range is 80, so I want to be at 80 in their tests, but their numbers are lower overall due to the difference in methodology, so I wonder if the 48 is my real value...I think it is.

Do you have any comments about the different testing methods and how to interpret the numbers and ideal levels? FROM THEIR HANDOUT AT ZRT:

Optimal Clinical Relevance for LC-MS/MS Testing of Vitamin D
ZRT Laboratory is committed to giving its clientele the most accurate results possible. For
vitamin D analysis, this issue is not as simple as it may seem. Results may be analytically
accurate yet still lack clinical accuracy. ZRT, with the help of experts in the field of vitamin D
testing, is helping to change the industry towards more clinically relevant results.
· Vitamin D status is monitored by measuring blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.
· There are three common methods used for measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D:
- Liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
- Radioimmunoassay (RIA) most commonly from DiaSorin
- Liaison, an automated immunoassay by DiaSorin that has largely replaced the RIA
· LC-MS/MS is the preferred method for many labs (Mayo Clinic, Quest Labs, Esoterix,
ZRT, and others), while Liaison is favored by other testing labs like LabCorp.
· Most LC-MS/MS analysis correlates strongly to DiaSorin, but LC-MS/MS values, on
average, are higher across the entire range of results by 20-30% (see Figure 6 on page 5).
· Whether LC-MS/MS or DiaSorin values are more accurate analytically is not fully
understood. Clinical accuracy is ultimately what matters to physicians and patients.
· The DiaSorin RIA was used in almost every major vitamin D study (these are listed later
in this document). From these studies have come the recommended optimal levels of 25-
hydroxyvitamin D (many experts prefer 32-100ng/ml while some prefer a range that
begins at 50ng/ml).
· For LC-MS/MS labs to have clinical relevance, our results must agree with the DiaSorin
RIA results because they were used to generate currently accepted ranges.
· As of August 11, 2008, ZRT results will be calibrated against DiaSorin RIA values.
· While analytically accurate, results prior to August 11, 2008 were 27% higher than the
adjusted values. A prior value of 32ng/ml will now be adjusted to 25ng/ml, for example.
· ZRT’s reference range, based on the majority of vitamin D studies, will be 32-100ng/ml.

Feb 23, 2013
Vitamin D and testing question
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Thanks for the ZRT info, I have read it before. I don't really have any comments about the testing methods, beyond believing the DiaSorin method the more accurate. To my mind the most critical thing is not so much the testing method, but that all labs should stick to the same one. This would give a bench mark to work from. If they were all different and gave different readings to patients, there would be no standard, and the patient is left wondering! I also feel 32ng/ml is too low, and prefer the higher range stated above of 50ng/ml. According to studies we don't begin storing vitamin D until the level reaches 40ng/ml, and only after that can we effectively use it. These two similar studies showed hunter-gatherers having levels of 46ng/ml up to 59ng/ml, see here and here. Dr Cannell goes into the papers in great detail, he's obviously read the full papers, see here. He says "One of the highest levels was a 65 year old whose level was around 70 ng/ml. The highest level overall was in a pregnant woman (105 ng/ml), 5 points higher than the usual upper limit, a limit most practicing physicians think is toxic." Love that don't you! And she wasn't on supplements, it all came from the sun. Which is why I prefer it if levels are 70 to 100ng/ml. That child will be so healthy too, unlike ours, now being born with diseases due to a lack of vitamin D while a foetus. Because the mothers are not getting enough sun. Diseases like type 1 diabetes, directly attributable to low vitamin D while in utero. Cannell suspects autism too, as levels of that have escalated since dermatologists told us to stay out of the sun. There's evidence heart disease is another, which has lead to the term 'the foetal origin of adult disease', see here. I have 15 others on the topic I can send if interested! Continued below

Feb 23, 2013
Vitamin D and testing question Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Epigenetics fascinates me, it's 'altered gene expression without changes in DNA sequence'. What are we doing to our children? Even the food we eat affects the way a gene expresses itself. Excess oestrogen in pregnancy can cause foetal death, see here. Put 'estrogen excess' into 'find' and the passage will appear, it's a very long, very fascinating paper. Put 'elevation of glucocorticoids in maternal blood', and it will take you to a passage which explains that high levels of cortisol in a pregnant woman "results in depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and age-related cognitive dysfunctions" in the offspring. Is it any wonder so many of us have these problems? A high level of testosterone causes miscarriages, but if it lives, it alters the way a girl child will develop. Conversely higher than normal oestrogen levels adversely affect a male child. A lack of taurine in the mother increases the risk of epilepsy, and causes the foetal pancreas to be malformed, leading to potential insulin resistance and diabetes in the child. The list of changes is endless, and yet we are ignorant of this and continue giving birth to children who are basically damaged, some beyond repair. Sad. Rather off the topic you asked me about, sorry! You always say such kind things, and patiently listen to my ramblings! Take care Wray

Feb 24, 2013
Vitamin D and testing standards
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray! Thanks for that really interesting answer! I was thinking that ZRT's method sounded more accurate but maybe not! I think one question I still have is whether or not, from the info I posted (it's in there), are ZRT's numbers altered to be in accordance with the more common standard?

It says something about their numbers now being presented as around 20 ngs lower, I think, so that all numbers can be compared against each other, whatever standard was originally used.

In other words, the standard ZRT uses would give readings that would be higher than the other standard if not adjusted to account for the different methodology. I am wondering if my 48 is really a 68, but I guess not if the numbers have been adjusted.

Thanks for all the info, Wray, as always!

Feb 25, 2013
Vitamin D and testing standards
by: Wray

Hi Jenine ZRT are using the most common method, i.e. the DiaSorin RIA, as this 'was used in almost every major vitamin D study'. They say 'As of August 11, 2008, ZRT results will be calibrated against DiaSorin RIA values". So as your test was done after 2008, and by ZRT it would reflect accurate results. Well as accurate as they can do, as they also say "Whether LC-MS/MS or DiaSorin values are more accurate analytically is not fully understood. Clinical accuracy is ultimately what matters to physicians and patients." I know GrassrootsHealth use ZRT and Dr Cannell. It's the LC-MS/MS values which are on average higher across the entire range of results by 20-30%. So I think you can assume your 48ng/ml is correct. Each time you have a test done, make sure the method used is always the same. Then you'll know if your level has gone up or down. If you switch methods, you'll end up confused! Take care Wray

Feb 25, 2013
Thanks, re vitamin D testing!
by: JENINE

Thank you for clearing that up, Wray! My thyroid panel was all very good according to the acupuncturist (going to see the numbers on tomorrow) so bit by bit narrowing down the suspects. I just wonder if the weight I gained by using too little progesterone cream in the beginning, before I found you and this site, can only be lost via a lot more progesterone cream. In other words, if I am holding onto extra fat created by multiplying cells via estrogen dominance, this fat probably won't go away with exercise as it is not just full fat cells but extra fat cells, right? If estrogen creates new fat cells, does progesterone actually get rid of them or just shrink them, like exercise does? Thanks, Wray!

Feb 26, 2013
Thanks, re vitamin D testing!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Progesterone does speed metabolism slightly, like testosterone it's an anabolic hormone. Although rarely is this aspect discussed. It therefore requires energy expenditure to so this. It's involved in differentiation, and building up rather than breaking down. Hence it's anti-ageing aspect, see here. And here, here, here, here and here. Whereas oestrogen is a catabolic hormone, the best example I've found is it's production of free radicals and destruction of beta-endorphin neurons in the brain. This paper says "Although it is widely accepted that exposure to estradiol throughout life contributes to reproductive aging.... Recent evidence ..... of chronic estradiol-mediated accelerated reproductive senescence now suggests such a hypothesis. It has been shown that chronic estradiol exposure results in the destruction of greater than 60% of all beta-endorphin neurons in the arcuate nucleus .....This loss of opioid neurons is prevented by treatment with antioxidants indicating that it results from estradiol-induced formation of free radicals", see here. I don't think progesterone should be relied upon to reduce weight, the process would be too slow. There's strong evidence weight gain is an inflammatory process, which of course would be influenced by oestrogen and it's production of free radicals. Progesterone would certainly help this aspect, as it's an anti-inflammatory. But toxins in our environment are another. For instance they are now finding 'obesogens', chemicals which alter our physiology to the point where we gain weight, see here, here, here and here. Continued below

Feb 26, 2013
Thanks, re vitamin D testing! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine The last paper is very long, enter 'obesogens' into control/find to get to the reference to them. Excess oestrogen, and testosterone too in a woman, cause Insulin Resistance, which causes weight gain. A lack of vitamin D causes IR too. To my mind it would be essential to reverse the oxidative stress which is causing the inflammation. Large amounts of antioxidants are needed to do this, not the RDA's or the amounts found in caps or tabs. As the paper above says "loss of opioid neurons is prevented by treatment with antioxidants". Vitamin D is an essential, a powerful antioxidant, but it's involved in normal weight control, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. I wouldn't hesitate to get my level up very high, near the 100ng/ml mark, if not higher, see here. Take care Wray

Mar 03, 2013
High Cortisol and progesterone cream
by: Jenine

Thanks, Wray, for all of the previous info. We are testing my hormone levels (a flexi-panel--a one day sampling of specific reproductive hormones plus stress and adrenal hormones) and we suspect I have too much cortisol production due to a series of very stressful events which have for the most part, gone away.

What hasn't gone away is the tire around my middle, though healthy eating and supplements for kidney/adrenal health and exercise are helping me to keep it at the place it's been for awhile. I am mostly getting good sleep, thanks to shizandra/gynostemma tea and melatonin.

If the testing confirms cortisol is the culprit (I don't think I have full-on adrenal fatigue anymore), would the higher doses of progesterone cream help regulate the cortisol and other hormone production/reduction?

I'm still waiting for my vitamin D test results and been reading how high cortisol can lead to metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance. Don't know if there is a test specifically for insulin resistance but I bet I am on the verge, at least.

Thanks, Wray. f

Mar 04, 2013
High Cortisol and progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi Jenine It would be interesting to hear if you have high cortisol, I wouldn't be surprised either. I think many people have it, or too low and adrenal fatigue. The tire is of course testosterone, it's notorious at increasing visceral fat, which causes abdominal fat gain, see here and here. On top of that is subcutaneous fat caused by oestrogen. Women have it all! The problems women have, and have had for millennia, even the ancient Greeks called women 'hysterical' and of course that's the route for our word hysterectomy, should be addressed. They believed it all stemmed from the uterus, so right too, but why isn't anything done about it. Why is it swept under the carpet, or brushed aside with patronising phrases like "it's all in your mind"? In fact Dr Dalton had something to say about this in her book on PMS, "Morning sickness in early pregnancy is another hazard for PMS sufferers. In fact, many will tell you that the name is wrong -they are sick all day, not just in the morning. When this problem is severe it is called hyperemesis (from the Greek words hyper, meaning 'excessive' and emesis, meaning 'vomiting'). This seems to mean that in former times doctors (who were always male, of course) considered mild vomiting in early pregnancy to be quite natural, something to be expected and which the women should learn to accept. It's a pity they never had to go through it. In fact it is caused by a hormonal imbalance before the placenta is fully formed, and usually improves by about the 16th week of pregnancy. Using progesterone will help this problem, too." It's time now that they should wake up to the fact none of what we suffer from is normal. Progesterone does reduce cortisol, by lessening the stress response. Zinc inhibits it too, see here and here. Lack of vitamin D causes Insulin Resistance. Excess oestrogen and testosterone cause it too. There isn't a specific test for IR, but a series. These are given on our Hormone Testing page. Take care Wray

Mar 05, 2013
Progestrone cream and caffeine consumption
by: MG,

Hi, i've bought Natpro cream , would start using in a couple of days. My monthly cycle is 37 days long, so i would start 12-14 days before bleeding?
Moreover can i use green tea extract with some caffeine or can drink just two cups of regular green tea, while i am on cream. I used Depo provera injection, when i was 19, after just 2-3 shots i stopped mensurating for 1-1.5 year, i put on weight n think i am estrogen dominant, as my cycle is 37 days long, sugar cravings, tiredness etc.
I would be using 100-200mg of progestrone, around a tsp? I am taking agnus vitex 2(400) mg capsul, since one month, should i stop? Or can take with cream? I used capsules for 2wks and my periods were 3-4 days late, but i am still using them.
Actually mostly my cycle is usually 37 days long but this month 38 and previous month 30, may be agnus cactus capsules delayed them for a couple of days, so when should i start using cream exactly?

Mar 06, 2013
Thanks, re cortisol question!
by: Jenine

Yes, I was diagnosed about a year ago with adrenal fatigue, fairly serious case of it, and did some licorice root and other things to bring it up, which also made me heavier!

So the weight isn't due to the cortisol but testosterone? That makes me wonder if taking more zinc (I'm only getting about 15 mg right now from supplements and not sure about how much from food, but I do eat raw pumpkin seeds!).

I was hoping that increasing the zinc to around 75 mg a day for a little while would cut the cortisol down and with it some of the tire. Do you think it would help that issue or is progesterone cream the only thing that will cut down/balance the testosterone and oestrogren and thus my tire?

Thanks, Wray--I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Mar 06, 2013
Progestrone cream and caffeine consumption
by: Wray

Hi MG Thanks for considering the Natpro. Green tea, caffeine, or coffee too don't react with progesterone, so if they're fine for you, carry on drinking them. All Contraceptives have the potential to harm, provera is one of the worst as far as I'm concerned. It sounds as if you now have Insulin Resistance. Oestrogen, testosterone, progestins can cause it, so can a lack of vitamin D. Please have a test done, as a lack of this not only reduces the benefits of progesterone, but can cause weight gain. I do recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, but it is trial and error. 5ml or 1tsp of cream contains about 170mg progesterone. Agnus castus does have some oestrogenic activity. It can reduce prolactin levels, prolactin is an inflammatory hormone which can cause tender breasts, see here, and luteal phase dysfunction, with subsequent problems in embryo implantation, see here. But because agnus castus has a mild oestrogenic action, levels of 17 beta-oestradiol can increase. One study found mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in the luteal phase, see here. If Prolactin levels are high both progesterone and the amino acid tyrosine are very affective at suppressing it. Agnus castus doesn't contain progesterone as many believe. Please read the papers and decide yourself if you should continue with it. You are right about using progesterone 12-14 days before bleeding. I usually recommend the full 14 days, this ensures you get enough progesterone. So you would start on day 23. You will probably find the progesterone disrupts your cycle, it often does, but it does settle in time. Your cycle length is very long, so you might also find progesterone makes it shorter. Normal cycle lengths vary between 21 to 35 days making 28 the average only. We do have a few pages you could look through, How to use progesterone cream and Menstruation. Take care Wray

Mar 06, 2013
Thanks, re cortisol question!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I suggest you try the zinc first and see if that helps you. If not then start the progesterone. As you take the zinc you could try peppermint or spearmint tea, as that reduces testosterone too, see here. Can't think of anything else off hand. Let me know if it helps. I hope you reach the end quickly! Take care Wray

Mar 06, 2013
Thanks, re cortisol question!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine I suggest you try the zinc first and see if that helps you. If not then start the progesterone. As you take the zinc you could try peppermint or spearmint tea, as that reduces testosterone too, see here. Can't think of anything else off hand. Let me know if it helps. I hope you reach the end quickly! Take care Wray

Mar 06, 2013
Caffeine and estrogen
by: MG

Hi, thanx a lot for your detailed answer, i think i ll quit AC Capsules.
Sorry to bother you again but i read somewhere that cofee (caffeine) can increase estrogent levels, as i think i am already estrogent dominant so i dont want anymore.
I use pills, containg green tea extract with little caffeine (cola) and ceyanne pepper.
Thanks again

Mar 06, 2013
Thank you, Wray! My vitamin D levels are super low!
by: Jenine

Hi, Wray! You are heaven-sent, for sure!

I received my vitamin D results from ZRT and I've gone from 48 ng last May to 33 ng this month! Yikes! I intuitively want to load for a few months then retest.

Do you know if it would be safe to take 15,000 to 20,000 or even higher a day for one month then maybe taper down to 10,000 for another month then just 5,000 daily for the third month and retest sometime in the third month? Of course, I will also stay out in the sun a bit more,at least 10-15 minutes on the legs and arms each day.

My core is cold a lot and I am always taking hot baths and showers to heat up, wonder if that is related. I should have my hormone testing results by next week but want to address this matter now. Does this sound like a good plan?

I also love your info about zinc supplementation for extra cortisol production and the peppermint and spearmint teas for extra free testosterone...should I wait on those until after I do the flexi test for my hormone levels? I don't want to screw them up.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You should receive an award of exceptional community service for your amazing website and help. xoxo

Mar 06, 2013
blah
by: J.

I despise my birth control, at first I loved it because it stopped my period completely, which I despise as well. But it also made me gain like 30 lbs. It's unfair really, I just want a bc that stops my period as it is so inconvenient, but not make me be fat (ugly). wtf do I do. I am going to get this implant removed because I despise being a fat cow but I really do not want to have a period again or children really ever. i'm on nexplanon which I believe has progesterone in it.

Mar 08, 2013
Hi, J!
by: Jenine

I spent nine years on the pill (blah, indeed) and suggest the best form of birth control I've found--a cervical cap. It's fitted unlike a diaphragm and doesn't require spermicides, unlike a diaphragm.

Check out my nurse practitioner's (Suzann Gage) website here.

Wray and I have chatted about her and this organization and I think every woman should read Suzann's book, A New View of a Woman's Body. I even got one for my seven-year-old niece for the day she becomes a woman : )

Good luck!

Mar 09, 2013
Thank you, Wray! My vitamin D levels are super low!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine You do make me chuckle! Thanks so much for the kind words, but I get so much feedback from you it helps no end. You try what I suggest, you have that excellent nurse practitioner, you have tests done, you make enquiries yourself. By doing all this the patterns begin to emerge, and the puzzle can be put together. That is a large drop in your vitamin D, don't forget winter, you've just been through it, and levels drop over the dark days. As far as dose and toxicity goes, according to this study, done by some top researchers too, 40,000iu per day shows no sign of it, see here. The toxicity they are all worried about isn't due to the vitamin D per se, but to increased calcium levels. Vitamin D draws calcium from the gut into the blood stream. High calcium can be a result of low magnesium levels too, and of course magnesium is the most important co-factor for vitamin D. Vitamin K2 prevents excess calcium being deposited in artery walls and soft tissue and making 'bone' there. That's another important co-factor for vitamin D. So if you should be concerned about your dose and high calcium, when you have another test done, you could ask for calcium to be checked too. A normal serum calcium level is 8-10 mg/dL (2-2.5 mmol/L). Hypercalcemia is defined as a serum calcium level greater than 10.5 mg/dL (>2.5 mmol/L), see Medscape Hypercalcemia. If blood levels of calcium drop, parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases. This removes calcium from the bones and causes resorption from the kidneys, blood calcium must be kept stable above all else. PTH increases if vitamin D drops. Chronic elevated PTH would cause osteoporosis, all because vitamin D is too low, circles within circles. If we lie naked or semi-naked in the sun on the equator, for 20 mins to 2 hours, depending on skin colour, we make about 20,000iu in that short time. The higher the latitude above the equator, the less vitamin D we'll make. I know you said your thyroid results were normal, as that can cause one to feel cold if they're not. But a drop in blood glucose can do the same too, if mine drops I spend my time shivering! I've found whirling around like a dervish for 21 full circles really warms me up. Difficult not to fall over at the end though! Continued below

Mar 09, 2013
Thank you, Wray! My vitamin D levels are super low! Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine And finally oestrogen, this drops temps. Normal oral body temperature in adult men and women ranges between 33.2–38.2 °C (92–101 °F). Typical average temperatures are 37.0 °C (98.6 °F). In women it varies between the follicular and the luteal phase. During the follicular phase, i.e. from the first day of menstruation to ovulation, it ranges from 36.45 to 36.7 °C (97.6 to 98.1 °F). During the 12-14 day luteal phase, i.e. after ovulation to menstruation, temperature increases by 0.15 - 0.45 °C (0.2 - 0.9 °F) due to the increased metabolic rate caused by rapidly rising levels of progesterone. Temperature ranges between 36.7 - 37.3°C (98.1 - 99.2°F) during the luteal phase, but drops down to follicular levels within a few days of bleeding. Of course during Peri-menopause when we have anovulatory cycles, oestrogen is normal, but progesterone is not. As a lack of vitamin D influences progesterone, I'm sure low D would affect temps. And yes wait till the tests are over before trying the zinc etc, as you won't know your base levels. One thing I forgot to mention, oestrogen lowers zinc, increases copper. Progesterone does the opposite. So progesterone helps the adrenals not only by reducing the stress response, but by increasing zinc too. Take care Wray

Mar 09, 2013
Caffeine and estrogen
by: Wray

Hi MG Glad the info helped. I'm sure someone somewhere will say coffee increases oestrogen levels. I've not come across a study showing this, so can't comment. Green tea exact and cayenne are both excellent. Take care Wray

Mar 11, 2013
Thank you, Wray, for all of this great info!
by: Jenine

Really, you and your site are much more helpful than most doctors. They just don't know or keep up on the info half as well as you do, even a lot of the alternative healers!

I don't have my test results from the hormone/stress hormone/insulin saliva tests, but am going to up my zinc starting now to around 50 mg a day--any known toxicity for that level? The studies I looked at were for one day only, so not sure that level is okay for a month or more.

How long do I need to wait to be retested for the flexi panel and zinc? Is it around three months like the vitamin D test?

Thanks, Wray--you are a winner in my eyes!

Mar 13, 2013
Thank you, Wray, for all of this great info!
by: Wray

Hi Jenine You do say the kindest things! I do have the time to search for studies of course, as I don't see people for consults. Deliberately, as I'd never have the time then. I've suggested 100mg/day zinc for a month if there is an obvious deficiency like acne or hypogonadism. For oestrogen dominance the 50mg/day would be a good dose, and I'd do that for a month. Then reduce to 15mg/day. The RDA is 15mg which is what I take. I get those white spots on my nails if I don't take it, the 15mg seems to be enough for me. But then I have been using progesterone for 16 years now! And yes have the test about 3 months later. Let me know how you get on, and would love to hear the results of the tests. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2013
Hi, Wray! Got my saliva test results...
by: Jenine

Doesn't look like I am insulin resistant, but low in the female hormones and DHEA. You aren't a fan of taking DHEA, but what are the options? Will the progesterone cream, which I am low in as well as estrogen, I think, address these issues by itself, usually? Guess my long-term stress is still taking a toll on my body, even though I'm better than I was a year ago. I can even have a cup of coffee a few days a week without feeling drained the next day. What your your thoughts? My acupuncturist wants to come to my place to give a treatment and go over the results some time this week. Oh, and I am taking the 50mg of zinc for a month and drinking a cup or two of peppermint tea a day now. xoxo

DHEA (free) pooled value 2 Depressed
(3-10ng/ml)

TTF - Free Testosterone 12
(normal 10-38 pg/ml)

E1 - Estrone 35 Depressed
(normal for age 40-49: 38-68 pg/ml)

E2 - Estradiol 2
(Postmenopause-No HRT: 1-4 pg/ml
HRT Target Range: 2-10 pg/ml
Follicular: 2-10 pg/ml
Luteal: 3-16 pg/ml)

E3 - Estriol 15
(Postmenopause-No HRT: 7-18 pg/ml
HRT Target Range: 14-38 pg/ml
Cycling Female: 12-25 pg/ml)

P1 - Progesterone 488
(Postmenopause-No HRT: 5-95 pg/ml
HRT Target Range: 100-300 pg/ml
Follicular: 20-100 pg/ml
Luteal: 65-500 pg/ml)

FSH - Follicle Stimulating Hormone 140 (Premenopause: <125 uIU/mL
Postmenopause: 90-500 uIU/mL)

LH - Luteinizing Hormone 196
(Premenopause: 8-30 uIU/mL HRT: 8-30 uIU/mL; Postmenopause-No HRT: 25-200 uIU/mL)

ISN Insulin - Saliva Fasting: <3
(Normal: 3-12 uIU/mL)

Non-Fasting: <3 Depressed
(Optimal: 5-20 uIU/mL
Low: < 5 uIU/mL
High: > 20 uIU/mL)

AND Androstenedione 71
(Borderline Low: 75-124 pg/ml
Normal: 125-274 pg/ml
Borderline High: 275-400 pg/ml)

DHT Dihydrotestosterone 31
(Female (18-80 yrs): 15-75 pg/ml

P17-OH 15 Depressed
(Adults
Optimal: 22-100 pg/ml
Borderline: 101-130 pg/ml)
Elevated: >130 pg/ml

Mar 25, 2013
Oh, here are my corisol levels
by: Jenine

I guess I'm not in adrenal failure or fatigue, but seems like my adrenals still need support. Licorice root can help, but I definitely put on weight last time I did that and I am already at least 50lbs over my normal weight, prior to the stressful times. Any other suggestions that wouldn't mean I put on weight as part of giving my adrenals a rest? Thanks, Wray!

06:00 - 08:00 AM 11 Depressed 13-24 nM
11:00 - 1:00 PM 6 Normal 5-10 nM
04:00 - 05:00 PM 3 Normal 3-8 nM
10:00 - Midnight 3 Normal 1-4 nM

Mar 25, 2013
Hi, Wray! Got my saliva test results...
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Your DHEA is lower than the range, but did they check DHEA or DHEA-S? It seems likely the DHEA-S as levels of these are 300 times higher than DHEA, see Medline DHEA-S, here and here. Your lab gave the reference range in ng/ml, all the others give it in ug/dL, which would make yours 20ng/ml. It's up to you if you take it, I did give you all those studies, but I'm sure there are ones in favour of it! You were going to try the 7-keto DHEA, did you? It is meant to help loose weight. I don't know where your lab got their ref ranges for the free testosterone from, as the ones I have are much lower, which makes your testosterone very high, see Keratin.com. They give 20 to 40 yr 0.6 to 3.1 pg/ml and 41 to 60 yr 0.4 to 2.5 pg/ml. Free testosterone is also difficult to measure, although it is the measurement that's needed. If bound to SHBG or albumin, testosterone doesn't have any affect on the body. Likewise your oestrone, the result bears no resemblance to the ones I have! See Medical University of South Carolina. And here for oestradiol, also different ref ranges. No you don't have adrenal fatigue, although your cortisol is slightly low in the morning only. I would avoid the liquorice for the reasons you give. progesterone does help them, so you might consider going back on it. Taking your labs refs for the ratio, your P:E2 ratio is 244:1 which to my mind is low. I think I gave you before the Saliva Tests we run on the Natpro, we found from this that the ratio is best if it's 600:1 and over. Well put it this way the progesterone levels were all in the region of 3000pg/ml, which gave that ratio, and the women were feeling well from it! Continued below

Mar 25, 2013
Hi, Wray! Got my saliva test results... part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jenine There is something you could consider, but I feel you'll find it difficult, and that's the Ketogenic Diet. Why you'll find it difficult is the protein, it can't come from veggies, as they have too many carbs. In it's strictest form it's very difficult to adhere to. But this is usually only used for people with epilepsy and cancer, which it does help. The reason being it reduces glucose levels to the barest minimum, and the body uses ketones for energy. It's a very high fat, moderate to low protein and very low carb. Only the good fats should be used, i.e. MCT oil, coconut oil, butter, olive oil or macadamia oil. The first three are saturated fats, the other two mono-unsaturated fats. The best is the MCT oil, an extract from coconut oil. The body converts the fatty acid into ketones, in fact the brain does better on these than glucose. MCT oil forms ketones more efficiently than the other oils. The diet varies from a 4:1 ratio of fat to protein/carb down to a 1:1 ratio which is the easier to follow. The best and clearest explanation I've found of the 1:1 is this web site on the Basic Ketogenic Diet. I've just put one woman on it and she's lost 7 pounds in 7 days. This will be mostly water as she was very water logged! But once the ketones kick in the fat weight does come off. Stanford University have a calculator, see here. There's plenty of info about it on the web, and I do have papers I can give you, but this article here covers it well. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2013
Thanks, Wray, for your feedback!
by: Jenine

Yes, I will look into the kind of DHEA measured and will look into the 7-keto DHEA again, don't know why I haven't gone on that before, I do recall your mentioning it. What did you think of the super low insulin levels for both fasting and non-fasting? Hypoglycemia alert or okay?

I did thy the keto diet to the degree a vegan can do it, but didn't feel very good. I have type-A blood, which is good for me as a vegan. I'm wondering if any additional supplements, including the progesterone--maybe start really high, 600 mg a day divided in two, for a couple of weeks then down to 500 to 400 and eventually lower like 200 over not sure how many weeks?

I'm so glad to have received your feedback prior to speaking with my acupuncturist because you raise some VERY important issues. The lab we used was Diagnos-Techs, Inc., but if you know of others that will use the better reference ranges and measurements, let me know. I guess I will need to do at least one retesting with this lab, right?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Mar 25, 2013
Oh, and DHEA was pooled with DHEA-S to get result
by: Jenine

So my pooled value of DHEA + DHEA-S is 2. Is it better not to pool those for accuracy?

Mar 25, 2013
How does the body get rid of excess oestrogen?
by: Smoore

I just started progesterone a week ago and I am loving the result. My problem (for many years) has been hypothyroid. The #1 help for me has been taking high dose (100mg) per day of iodine (I take Idoral). My integrative gyno is very supportive, and gave me the progesterone once she checked all of my levels. Vit D is good. Thyroid is good. Estrogen high. Progesterone low. She says this will help me lose the weight that I've been trying to lose for the last 8 years.

My question is... how does the body dump the excess estrogen? If I start losing weight, won't that release the oestrogen into my blood stream?

Thanks in advance for the response.

SMoore

Mar 26, 2013
Oh, and DHEA was pooled with DHEA-S to get result
by: Wray

Hi Jenine Oh that's fine, the DHEA is very low, so won't make much difference. Oh so you didn't try the 7-keto, apparently it does help weight loss, see here. According to the blurb, 7-keto increases thermogenic enzymes which drive the liver cells to burn fatty acids for energy, i.e. ketones. Progesterone also increases thermogenesis. I must confess to not being convinced by the blood type diet, too many anomalies for me. The simple solution to any lectins disturbing metabolism, is to stop eating those foods which contain them. You would not have felt good trying to do the keto diet as a vegan! If you still want to use the principle of burning ketones instead of glucose, I suggest you try to incorporate as much MCT oil into your diet as possible. In fact only use that as your source of fat, for cooking, on salads, in smoothies etc. And to avoid all sweet starchy carbs, eat just the green ones. Before you go overboard dismissing your labs results, I suggest asking them why the difference, there might be a simple explanation. That link I gave you for the University of South Carolina has the test results for all hormones, worth checking it out. Another I use in MedLine, see here. And another good one is Keratin.com The best lab to my mind is ZRT Labs. They do both blood and serum tests. Take care Wray

Mar 26, 2013
How does the body get rid of excess oestrogen?
by: Wray

Hi SMoore Iodine is so often overlooked when a thyroid slows down, in fact there's now a widespread deficiency of iodine, see here, here, here, here, here and here. I suggest having a test after a few months, as too high a level is not good either. Selenium is another vital mineral too, it's a co-factor for the manufacture of the two thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. I normally suggest 100-200mg/day progesterone, sometimes much more is needed. You don't say how much you are using. Too little will stimulate oestrogen, causing water retention, an increase in fat cells and weight gain. There's more info on our page about Oestrogen Dominance. Oestrogen is produced primarily by the ovaries, if enough progesterone is used it inhibits production. So there is no excess to 'dump'. Fat cells also secrete oestrogen, and always will even during Peri-menopause and Menopause. I'm not sure what stage you're in, but the progesterone will inhibit their production too. Progesterone only mildly stimulates metabolism, so don't use it as a weigh loss substance, I think you will be disappointed. It is an excellent diuretic, so if you have a lot of water retention, you should loose this, see our page on Traumatic Brain Injury for more info. Take care Wray

Mar 26, 2013
How does the body get rid of excess oestrogen?
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the response Wray. I am 46 years old and just in peri-monopause. I take one 100mg/day progesterone 3 weeks per month. I also take Selenium and Cofactor (B2-6 I think) to assist the iodine with my thyroid. I also take a good bio-Vitamin C, bio B-12, and 5000 mg Vit D per day (because my Vit D gets low without it). I also use Magnesium (Ancient Minerals helps with muscle cramps and aches) lotion and I take Fish Oil. All of this goes along with my 100 mg Idoral and 125mg Synthroid. It's a lot to take in a day, but the results I'm getting is sooo worth it, and my doc says it's not too much when I FEEL GOOD. I also drink LOTS of water every day. I now feel good enough to exercise - all of my joint pain, fibromyalgia symptoms, sore feet and achey muscles are GONE!!!

I originally went to the hormone doc because of my thyroid, but it seemed to be in check although I was still retaining a LOT of water, not losing any weight no matter what I did! I'm moderately active and eat very well. No ounces lost. My endo blamed the thyroid, and claimed I was IR (without even testing she wanted to put me on meds). My gyno/hormone specialist checked me for IR and diabetes to see what the issue was, and all of that was fine. She said everything pointed to estrogen dominance, and the progesterone will help me feel better, alleviate water retention, assist with insomnia, and help me lose the weight that I SHOULD be losing with as much exercise I get and the proper diet as I consume.

I can honestly say to your readers... only one thing will not cure your ills. It's a comprehensive approach to health that you need, requiring ALL of your nutrients to be in line... not just a few. Eat good, as much raw foods as you can stand, stay off the junk, and exercise 20 minutes per day. Don't get frustrated. If you have any signs of hypothyroidism... immediately start taking Idoral... The key besides iodine for me was finding a fantastic integrative medicine gynocologist who specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement. She won't give me anything that's synthetic if there's a natural alternative.

Mar 29, 2013
How does the body get rid of excess oestrogen?
by: Wray

Hi there You are so lucky to have found that integrative medicine gynocologist, a very rare breed! I do agree about checking all systems and taking the nutrients needed to get everything working again. Take care Wray

Apr 04, 2013
Progesterone for premenopause
by: Mmb

Wray, I was experiencing very erratic perios and very heavy when I had the period. I am 48 so the doctor said i am pre-menopsuse. I was given a progesterone tablet (Provera 10mgs) to be taken the first 10 days of the month. I have been taking it for 3 months but are experiencing weight gain. It has helped regulate the period but I am not willing to gain the weight so i am considering stopping. The doctor had given me the option of Provera or birth control pills, should I go to the pill, continue Provera, change to progesterone cream or stop alltogether?


Apr 04, 2013
estrace and Vagifem
by: mmb

I forgot to mention that I also recently started on Estrace and Vagifem (estrogens) for a short period of time to help healing after a surgery. I was applying Estrace externally to the labia twice a day for two weeks and now was asked to stopped that and start using Vagifem twice a week for one month, Vagifem is a small tablet that is inserted in the vagina. I am skeptical about using these estrogens and what interactions they can have with the progesterone I am already taking. In fact I have noticed the weight gain only in the last two weeks since using the Estrace and not really before for the three months I have been using Provera.

Apr 04, 2013
7-Keto DHEA WORKS!
by: Jenine

Wow, Wray, thanks soooo much for the recommendation re 7-Keto DHEA! After getting my hormone levels checked, including the stress hormones, and findng that I was low on DHEA, I was bummed about the idea of taking straight DHEA, given that it converts to estrogen and testosterone, things I don't want for a number of reasons. By taking this other form, 7-Keto DHEA, which doesn't covert to the other hormones and has a thermogenic effect, as you said, not only am I able to safely take higher doses (100-200mg a day, as recommended on the label) so I feel better and have more energy right away, but the extra belly fat I had gained over the last few years due to stress and hormonal imbalance is dropping away DAILY. I encourage anyone to look into taking this inexpensive supplement, especially if your testing reveals low DHEA. It seems to have a balancing effect overall of the hormones, as does progesterone, but is more appropriate for my needs right now, since I don't have very many of the symptoms for a need of it right now. I am going to do just the 7-Keto for a couple of months and get retested (saliva) to see what is still out of whack, if anything, before using the progesterone cream--I may need less, if at all, right now. Also, Wray is right on about D3 levels--I've been taking 15,000 iu a DAY and feel great without any downside. I also try to get enough sunlight. Just wanted to share and say thanks, again, Wray! xoxoxox