still confused

by miranda
(florida)

Hi wray.. I recently started a progesterone cream 4 days ago. I have a 30-31 day cycle and was told to use it on my 12th day... I didn't go by that because I don't have a 28 day cycle so after reading some of your posts I took it 14 days before my period... my period is on the 24th of every month(usually) so I started using the cream on the 10th..is this correct?? JWhy would the dr tell me to take it on the 12th? I don't want to mess up my body by not ovulating even further. I am confused as to why women that are still having their menses don't take the progesterone during the follicular phase.. when progesterone is naturally at its lowest... I suffer from pms severely during my luteal phase but was just confused as to why..if my progesterone is at its highest then?? I knew you would be able to help me with that:) Does using the cream during the luteal phase store it for the follicular phase when you are deficient? Well I have been taking 25mg a day... I know you recommend 100-200 a day, but I know you say everyone is different so I wanted to try it... so far I have been much calmer and much more pleasant to be around. I am afraid that if I start taking more that I will need it forever, or I may go thru withdrawals if I feel the need to stop, can this happen?? Should I continue at the 25mg a day if I feel relief? Thanks for all your help!!!

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Feb 15, 2012
still confused
by: Wray

Hi Miranda You are so right about when to use it. Use should follow the luteal phase, which occurs from ovulation to bleeding. For some unaccountable reason, everyone, even doctors, think our cycles last 28 days, they do not. Normal cycles can range from 21 days to 35 days, take the average of this, and you arrive at 28 days! So all the bcp manufacturers produce their pills in 28 day packets, forcing all women, irrespective of their cycle length into 28 days. So now it seems everyone thinks this is normal. The luteal phase is always 12-14 days long, in all women, no matter what their cycle length is. So with a 30-31 day cycle, you should ovulate on day 16, which is when you should start the cream. Using it too early, ie about 8 days before ovulation, can prevent it. But you do have to use about 200mg/day for this. The reason you and others have PMS is the ratio of oestrogen to progesterone becomes skewed during the luteal phase. We do have a Graph which shows the rise and fall of the two hormones. You'll notice oestrogen has two peaks, as it rises during the luteal phase too. The PMS occurs if anovulatory cycles are experienced, of if there's a defective luteal phase, which happens to many women. Ie progesterone levels are too low to counter the oestrogen. During the follicular phase, when no ovarian progesterone is made, there is no 'battle' between the two hormones. But there are some women who have bad PMS just prior to ovulation. This is interesting, as about 50 hours prior to ovulation, there is a surge of progesterone. This is secreted by the brain, and is thought to initiate the LH surge, which in turn initiates ovulation. In other words progesterone is in control of the cycle, if we have enough! If women have very bad PMS and other problems like heavy bleeding etc, I do recommend using it daily, through the follicular phase, through bleeding too. This ensures progesterone becomes the dominant hormone, suppressing excess oestrogen too. Taking a break allows oestrogen to rise, although this is normal, in cases of anovulation or a defective luteal phase, symptoms come back. Once stable it's easy enough to get the cycle going again, we have more info on our page How to use progesterone cream. Continued below.

Feb 15, 2012
still confused Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Miranda Unfortunately we don't store progesterone, in spite of the myths that abound on this. It's broken down into many metabolites, some as potent, if not more so than progesterone. One such is allopregnanolone, which is often low during the last few days of the luteal phase in women who have PMS, see here and here If you find the 25mg/day is helping, then there is no need to use more. Although I am surprised as you say you have bad PMS!
You make a comment which has me puzzled… "by not ovulating even further", what does that mean? Are you not ovulating? If so this would account for the PMS. Please let me know. Take care Wray

Feb 15, 2012
thanks for your help
by: miranda

Hi Wray.. sorry about the confusion. What I meant was I don't know if I am ovulating every month because I was told I do have anovulatory cycles and I don't want to stop myself from ovulating if I am and make my pms worse than it already is. Also you made the comment to start on the 16th day.... I am confused... Lets say I start my period on the 24th of every month..if I go back 14 days that would be the 10th. Which is when I started the cream this month, but the 16th day would be the 8th going from the start of my period on the 24th. Sorry so confusing.. I just want to take it at the ideal time:)If you could let me know that would be great!!! Thanks for all of your help and support.. I would be lost without your website!!!!!

Feb 16, 2012
thanks for your help
by: Wray

Hi Miranda We seem to be confusing each other! If you're not ovulating each month, this then certainly accounts for the PMS. In which case you do need far more progesterone than the 25mg/day you're currently using. I take it they did test to see why you're not? High oestrogen, testosterone, LH, FSH and prolactin can all stop ovulation. If any one of these is high, or all of them, progesterone will suppress them…….if enough is used. You might like to see our page on PCOS, as it explains how to get the cycle going again. You told me your cycle was 30-31 days, so taking 14 from 30 brings us to day 16. So if you bleed each month on the 24th, you would begin the progesterone on the 10th. I'm not saying deduct 16 days. Please can you let me know if they did any of those tests, ie what's causing the anovulation. Because I suspect it would be better if you used the progesterone daily, for 2-3 months, through any bleeding, to ensure it becomes dominant. Then once stable to follow your cycle. But let me know what they told you. Once I know this I can advise further on when and how much. And bless you for the kind words! Take care Wray

Feb 16, 2012
sorry about the confusion:)
by: miranda

Hi Wray! So sorry about the confusion. I have never had my progesterone tested but they did test all of my other hormones and I guess after testing my fsh the Dr told me I have anovulatory cycles. Never prescribed anything for it until I complained about the ups and downs I was experiencing during the month..especially during ovulation and before my period.. she advised I start taking bcp which I refused. I told her I wanted to try the cream and she said to use 25mg a day from day 12 until I start my period...which after reading everything you have said I didn't think I had ovulated since I have a longer cycle... I guess if I usually have it on the 24th of every month that would be 32 days...oops sorry!! I was going to start out higher on the cream like you have advised but I am sooo sensitive to everything so I figured why not try it low and see if my anxiety gets worse if so then up the dose.. so far my anxiety has really calmed down.. hopefully thats not all in my head:) I have read that taking progesterone can mess up your cycles so my last question is if my period is upset and comes early or later do I still go by my usual cycle..31 or 32 days? Or do I subtract 14 days from whenever I start to get estimated ovulation date for that month? Will it change every month or do I follow the 31 or 32 day cycle constantly..does that make sense?? Thanks so much for alllll of your help..you are a Godsend:)

Feb 16, 2012
one more question
by: miranda

Hi wray.. also if the progesterone doesn't build up in our system how come you recommend to some to take it for 3 months so it is the dominant hormone? Will I have to take this forever or can taking this now help regulate my hormones so I won't need it in the future? Thank You!

Feb 17, 2012
sorry about the confusion:)
by: Wray

Hi Miranda Ah so they were tested, but as usual progesterone wasn't, this always amazes me! As if it was of little consequence, in spite of the fact it rises exponentially during the luteal phase and is a vital part of our cycle. I've very glad you refused the Contraceptives, reading this page you will see why. No, definitely not in your mind! Calming down is something progesterone does, see here, here, here and here. We also have a page on Anxiety, which gives a list of other nutrients which help. When first using it, it can upset the cycle, but it's nothing to worry about as it does right itself. We do have more info on How to use progesterone cream, it explains what to do if the cycle is upset. Using it daily for 2-3 months usually allows enough time to suppress the excess oestrogen, not to build up. Once you stop it levels will drop, this often causes Oestrogen Dominance until or unless you are ovulating. It can take time to right the cycle, but I doubt you'll need it forever, although I for one will not be stopping! It's very protective, particularly as we get older. There are now over 100 oestrogen mimics in our environment, these also disrupts things, see the website Our Stolen Future. It's interesting you find ovulation a difficult time too, oestrogen rises sharply just before this. Progesterone does too, there's a pre-ovulatory surge which comes from the brain, see here, here, here and here. Continued below.

Feb 17, 2012
sorry about the confusion:) Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Miranda It appears this is not occurring, as this surge would normally counter the high oestrogen. Please consider using more, and if following your cycle doesn't right things for you, try using it daily. Please read that page on PCOS I gave you, as there's a list of nutrients on it which all help to initiate ovulation. Vitamin D is most important, please have a test done. For more info on vitamin D levels, testing etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth, Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml or 175-250nmol/L and not the 30ng/ml or 75nmol/L most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although the latest research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. Let me know how you get on, and bless you for the kind words again! Take care Wray

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