Questions on progesterone as birth control

by Allison
(Ca USA )

Hi Wray, not my first time here, I've been using progesterone cream now for about one year I think, but unfortunately I've made some mistakes in its usage. At first I was only using 36mg, then I thought I was using 150mg with another cream, then I switched to natpro and started using 290 mg a day. Now I'm using 1 tsp in the am and 1 tsp in the pm, which totals to about 332mg a day. However I've only been using 332mg for about a month or two now, I've lost track and my symptoms have not cleared up. I'm still overweight, scalp hair has not grown back, eyebrow hair hasn't filled in all the way yet, the hirsutism has not gone away, the hair that grows where none should grow is a slightly bit thinner, but then it grows thick then thin again, and I still get acne and pms symptoms. I've also started on 10,000 ui's of vitamin d to help the progesterone work better. Not all is bad, my depression has gotten better, my fatigue has gone away, although from time to time it does come back slightly and my overall mood has improved. My questions are many: if I'm on 332mgs now, why haven't I seen more improvement? Before when I was on 290mgs, why wasn't that enough? I should also note that I've cut about 90% of xenoestrogens such as my shampoo, soap, body lotions, and only eat organic grass fed beef and chicken. The other 10% is my makeup and hairspray and just regular daily stuff tha one can't always avoid. I've also been using the cream continuously for the last three months without a break and my cycle has gone from 23-25 to 32-35 days which is weird but I'm not complaining! Also I want to use the cream as birth control and I know you recommend over 200mg to prevent ovulation, but since I've been using over 200mg since the beginning of this year, why have I still bled? Should I still have a period even if I'm taking over 200mg of progesterone a day? I'm very confused about it. Now that I'm using 332mgs, should I expect a period this month? If I still bleed, does that mean that I didn't use enough progesterone and need to increase the mgs even more? If i were to prevent ovulation correctly should i still expect a period? I'm sorry for all the questions, I just feel recently like I've been using the cream incorrectly again and it's just been like throwing money in the trash. Hope to hear back from you soon, thanks!

Comments for Questions on progesterone as birth control

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Mar 14, 2012
Questions on progesterone as birth control
by: Wray

Hi Allison Well it's good to hear from you again! But please remind me, all the symptoms you describe sound like you have PCOS? I would need to know this before I get a clearer picture. But 'about a month or two' is not really enough time for even that amount to have much impact. Although you say you were using 290mg/day, can you remember for how long. It appears you have high testosterone, this is notorious for increasing visceral fat, see here and here. Have they checked your free testosterone levels, it also increases hirsutism, see here. There's no need to take the drugs they suggest to bring it down, as progesterone does, see here. The SHBG they mention in this study binds free testosterone, which therefore lowers levels. If SHBG is low excess free testosterone predominates. It's the free testosterone which does the damage, ie acne, oily skin and hair, scalp hair loss and facial or body hair, weight gain. You'll notice the amounts of progesterone they used were exceptionally high, up to 1200mg/day. But it's because they used oral progesterone, this is not the best Delivery system. So progesterone lowers testosterone levels, and helps PMS. I'm delighted you're taking 10,000iu's of vitamin D per day, it really seems to help. You might like to see this comment here. You'll see one woman says she was using in excess of 1000mg/day progesterone, but once she got her vitamin D levels up, her remaining symptoms resolved. Please have a test in about 3 months. And I'm so pleased you're looking at labels and getting rid of the oestrogenic chemicals in skin care and food. You're right it's impossible to avoid them all. But one thing you could consider is avoiding all grains and legumes, these have one of the highest phytoestrogen content of all foods. Continued below.

Mar 14, 2012
Questions on progesterone as birth control Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Alison The following paper lists in descending order the phytoestrogen content of foods, with nuts and oilseeds having the highest content, but we don't normally eat much of these, so I continue eating them, see here. All oilseeds contain phytoestrogens. The USDA Food Composition site is an excellent resource. It's best to get the full report, see here. Not only that but grains and legumes contain sugars, and the starch they contain is converted into glucose. It fact it's best to avoid all sweet, starchy foods, including that found in veggies and fruit. Fructose, sucrose and glucose decrease SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively. With a drop in SHBG free testosterone rises. Progesterone can upset the cycle, specially when using it continuously. It can be used as a contraceptive, but please be cautious when stress hits as levels drop, so you might not have the protection you need. And you will bleed, women who take drug based Contraceptives still bleed. Stopping ovulation does not stop oestrogen from building the lining each month. 400mg/day or more are needed to stop bleeding. If used as a contraceptive, the progesterone can be started round about day 8, but not after. There's no need to use it all month, unless symptoms dictate this. I don't think you've thrown money away, you say your tiredness, depression and moods are better, so it is helping. But not everything is going to come right all at once. We have no idea of what else needs to be corrected internally, we're only aware of the symptoms we don't like. If you have problems, please don't leave it for another year before asking me! Take care Wray


Mar 15, 2012
suspect I do have pcos, and some questions on menopuase
by: Allison

Hi Wray, thanks for getting back to me, I've always suspected I have pcos and when I went to get tested years ago, the doctor said everything looked fine and normal. Obviously not feeling fine and normal, I gave up on doctors since they are only good at prescribing drugs and mending broken bones. They never address the underlying causes of things, just treat symptoms. Anyway, assuming I have pcos, I went to progesterone to help with the symptoms naturally while I work on my diet and take supplements such as vitamin d and other stuff. I tried maca for awhile, but it didn't' do much, I was hoping it would help with the adrenal fatigue I was experiencing with poor results so I stopped it. Progesterone is the only thing that has actually made a difference, I just wish it would work faster! I was on the 290mg for about 2 months when I switched over to the 332mgs. I guess 2 months is not enough time. Before I was on meltdown yam jam cream and it was hard to tell how much progesterone I was using, that is why I switched to natpro so I could finally figure out how much I was using. I gauge how my body is responding to it by watching my skin and hair growth, since I know weight loss will probably be the last thing that resolves itself with longer term use. This may be tmi but I get a few stray hairs on my chin, and when I pluck them out, if they feel super thick, almost like a man's stubble then I know I'm not using enough progesterone I guess, and when it starts to grow back in thinner and finer then I know the progesterone is working. The same goes for my acne, my face has generally been clear but this last time, I guess right before I "ovulated" (I put quotations because I wasn't ovulating before according to the ovulation sticks, and since I've been using over 200mgs for 3 months now) I broke out again, worse than I have in awhile. The weird thing is, that the chin hair was growing out thinner when all of a sudden it started to come in thick again, that is why I was confused about 290mg not being enough so I increased to 332mg. Also I guess this could've been because I changed from meltdown to natpro? I don't know, I get frustrated trying to guess what's going on anymore. I do appreciate everything you do for all of us women with these problems. I do have some more questions: my mom is starting to experience menopause, but she had a hysterectomy 20 years ago, but she kept her ovaries so she didn't have a period anymore. She figures she's in menopause because she is getting more and more tired, her skin is drying, she is getting depressed, and the hot flashes have begun. I want to get her started on the natpro, about how many mgs should I get her started on? I don't' want her to make the same mistake I did and start on a low dose. Also she wanted to know if the progesterone in natpro was bio identical? I'm not sure what that means but I've heard that term used on progesterone before. Thanks again for all your hard work!

Mar 17, 2012
suspect I do have pcos, and some questions on menopuase
by: Wray

Hi Alison I'm so relieved you use symptoms as a guide, and not go by the amount you use. I had facial hair before using progesterone, in fact I had it waxed off once only! That was enough to convince me not to do it again as I broke out in spots. Once I'd begun to use it the hair never grew back again, but how long it took I simply can't remember. I wish I'd made a note of how long each symptom took to go, but I never thought so many of the symptoms I had could be due to hormones. I'd put them all down to ageing. I occasionally get a rogue hair even now, so use more progesterone when they appear. Plus I've found vitamin D does help too. I make a vitamin D cream and use that on my face, we don't have it on the website yet, but there are others on the market you could try. Alternatively you could open one of the caps you take, and add that to about 2ml of a skin cream. This would give you 5000iu's per ml, then rub that on the area which troubles you. I would be interested to hear if it helps. My vitamin D level is now 92ng/ml, so I think that's also helping. I do know that the progesterone in Natpro is absorbed very well, this is from Saliva Tests we run. Because of this I've found when switching creams Oestrogen Dominance symptoms can return, even using the same amount of progesterone as you did. In other words you were getting the full amount of progesterone, which would have the same effect as increasing the amount, which you also did. Oestrogen dominance can occur when first starting progesterone, when increasing it or when reducing it. I'm so pleased you're taking the vitamin D, it does seem to make a big difference. You might like to read this page here. Although I recommend 100-200mg/day, I'm finding that the barest minimum should be 200mg/day when starting it. Even on 400mg/day some women still get oestrogen dominance, although most don't. But the 100-200mg/day is 5-10 times the amount generally recommended. I think most women who read this think I'm nuts, or trying to sell more Natpro! But over 50% of the queries I get are from women who use another brand. So if your mother has already started getting symptoms, ask her to try 200mg/day. You'll be able to guide her having experimented yourself. Please ask her to have her vitamin D tested too. And bio-identical? It's a term invented by marketeers. Whether it's called 'bio-identical' or 'natural' it's still progesterone. They probably think it reassures customers that they are buying progesterone and not some progestin. Do let me know how you get on, and your mother too. And thank you for the kind words! Take care Wray

Mar 27, 2012
some more questions
by: Allison

Hi Wray, I appreciate you still getting back to me, I know you are extremely busy, so I just want to thank you. I was wondering, I've been using about 332mg daily 1 tsp in the am, 1 tsp in the pm, I've also been stressed, (i'm just a worry wart and very anxious by nature) so in order to keep progesterone levels up, by how much should I increase when I'm stressed? I plan to use the cream as birth control, but if it happens it happens (get pregnant I mean)I only ask because once again I'm about 2 weeks late and I'm not sure if I should chalk it up to stress or the fact that I'm using a higher dose of the progesterone since you said that amounts over 400mg would stop bleeding. When I use my measuring spoon, I don't level it out, I actually pile on just a little more so the amount I'm using may be over 332mg. There have been other changes as well. My scalp hair is still thinning with some baby hairs here and there, but now I've noticed that my hair seem greasier even right after I shower. I usually use shampoo and conditioner but if I use conditioner now my hair will feel and look oily right after it dries so now I'm only using shampoo although it still looks greasy, not as much. I've always had a very oily complexion (probably bc of the undiagnosed pcos, and oily scalp to the point where i need to wash my hair everyday) What does this mean? DOes it mean I'm finally getting better or worse? I haven't changed shampoos lately so it's not that. I've also noticed that my breasts are really soft, like water balloon soft and not firm. A couple of months ago they went through this stage where the nipples where constantly erect even when I was warm and they were sore, and now it's the opposite, completely mushy with no soreness. I took a otc pregnancy test and it came back negative so that's not the cause. Have you ever heard of this happening to anyone else? is it normal?

Mar 30, 2012
some more questions
by: Wray

Hi Alison If you're a 'worry wart' please consider looking at our Anxiety page. It might be a cheaper option to take some of the nutrients listed, than increasing the progesterone. It could be you are deficient in these, hence the 'worry'. For instance taurine and glycine are very calming amino acids, I take both daily. Taurine is only found in animal protein, so it could be you're not eating enough of this. The amino acid tyrosine drops with stress, this also causes anxiety. Don't forget stress drops progesterone too, so you might find the progesterone doesn't give you any protection as a contraceptive. When you say you use a heaped tsp, what size tsp?! A standard tsp is 5ml, a kitchen tsp used for stirring tea, coffee etc, varies from 3- 5ml. 5ml of cream will give you about 170mg progesterone. If I'm right, you've only been using this high amount for just over 2 weeks. If so it does take time for things to settle down. As you know it initially stimulates oestrogen. But before this it stimulates testosterone secretion, as oestrogen is converted from testosterone by the enzyme aromatase. In fact we make more testosterone each month than oestrogen, luckily most of it gets converted. It's the testosterone which is causing the oily hair and thinning. Oestrogen causes water retention, see here, here, here and here. Progesterone is an excellent diuretic, now given to Traumatic Brain Injury victims to prevent oedema forming. So the progesterone is reducing your water content, hence the breasts being as they are, this will also rectify itself. Nipple erection is caused by contraction of the smooth muscles. This can be caused by cold, sexual arousal, breast feeding. Oestrogen also causes the smooth muscles to contract, which is what I suspect happened with you, a sudden surge of it. It occurred once with me too. Your hormones are all about the place at the moment, does take time to iron this out. Take care Wray

Apr 30, 2012
Autumn balance natural progesterone cream
by: Allison

Hi Wray, just wanted to ask you if you've heard about this cream? These are the ingredients: Other Ingredients: Deionized Water, Aloe Vera, Natural Progesterone, USP, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Bees Wax, TEA, Optiphen Plus.

I only ask bc I think my mom is looking for something other than natpro, I'm not sure why, maybe she can get it over the counter or something, she doesn't seem convinced about natpro even though she's never used it. I also noticed it only has 500mg of progesterone. I only ask bc I need to know if it is safe in case I can't convince my mother to use natpro

May 01, 2012
Autumn balance natural progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi Alison Most of the ingredients are ok, but there's concern about using vitamin A on the skin, see here. Also TEA and the Optiphen contains phenoxyethanolbanned by Ecocert for use in natural and organic skin care, see here. It's half the strength of Natpro too, as you point out, so it should be half the price too! Take care Wray

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