Used progesterone creme before and had problems. what now?

by Chris
(Maryland)

I'm a 47 yr old woman. I started using progesterone creme around 2002. It was the Vinco brand at 3%. At first it was wonderful. My joints stopped hurting. Helped my carpal tunnel, period cramps reduced, did'nt catch colds anymore. I used it on a 14 day cycle I believe it was.

After awhile it stopped helping slowly. I began breakthrough bleeding. Near the end I never knew when my period was coming. Or I would get a period, stop and restart a few days later. I can't remember what dosage i used or the cycles I used at this point because I was always changing since my bleeding had me so confused as to when to use it.

In 2007 I was under extreme stress from a multitude of reasons during the late fall which was never a good time for me anyway and it got real bad. Enormous water retention and weight gain so I stopped. I started getting hot flashes, mood swings and very bad water retention. I also stopped getting periods for about 3 months at at time.

My friend who owned a natural food store and started me on the creme in the beginning convinced me to start again and us ALOT of it. So I tried and it just go worse. So i stopped again. It seemed like my symptoms would be better in the spring and summer months. Finally I spoke to a woman who used chinese herbs and she told me I needed to cleanse my liver and gall bladder. She also said that Progesterone creme starts to act like estrogen in the body after you have used it for a long time. I believed that was the problem. So I didn't use it again.

I used her herbs for a long time but never did the gallbladder flush because it scared me. I got my last period last september. I get hot flashes and cramping, water retention and it feels as if I'm "cycling" but I assume I'm in menopause. I am using chaste berry which helps with the hot flashes but the water retention still comes and goes and seems to correspond with how many carbohydrates I eat.

I wish to try progesterone creme again because I fondly remember how good I felt on it. But I'm afraid I will get worse and that the chinese lady was right that it will act like estrogen in my body.
Please tell me if this is true. Or perhaps how I can take it again and get the results I once had. Before all this happened I always had cysts on my ovaries and Horrible period cramps since I was 11yrs old. I also have anxiety and OCD.

Can someone tell me what happened before to me with the progesterone creme and how I can take it again? PLEASE! I'm miserable.

Comments for Used progesterone creme before and had problems. what now?

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Feb 07, 2011
How to Use Progesterone Cream
by: Karen

Wray says to use 1/2 tsp of the cream she sells in the morning and at night. It has helped me greatly but it took a while because if you have a lot of estrogen in your system, you get estrogen dominance at first.

I have never heard that if you use progesterone cream for long that it will act like estrogen. I hope that is not true and am interested to see what Wray says. Maybe she was talking about a synthetic kind.

I really helps my anxeity but it took a while. At first I had more anxiety and also developed insomnia. Both have since gone away but it took a while. So I would recommend buying Wray's cream and being consistent with it and being patient with it as you might get estrogen dominance at first. Mine lasted like 3 weeks. I was so miserable and anxious but then it got better and went away and I started sleeping and noticed my anxiety lessening. Hope this helps.

Feb 07, 2011
Dont stop using it!
by: Anonymous

After reading your story, which I can totally relate to, my advice to you is to not stop using progesterone cream. I am 54 & have had similar symptoms & I continue using cream every day. I use John Lees Progesterall because after trying a few I find his is the best. After all he is the Pioneer of bio identical progesterone.The advice you have been given regarding the conversion of progesterone into estrogen is incorrect. It is only synthetic progesterone, called progestin that the body converts to estrogen. Also it takes awhile for the body to adjust to the progesterone as the estrogen will oppose it so you may have estrogen dominance symptoms for a bit. You really have to be patient & allow your body to adjust.

I hope I have been of some help.

Feb 19, 2011
Used progesterone creme before and had problems. what now?
by: Wray

Hi Chris I can't find the Vinco brand on the web, maybe it's discontinued. It's certainly a good strength, but how much did you use? I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms. The reason it stopped helping was Peri-menopause. Our cycles become so erratic naturally that it's impossible to follow them. So you should have switched to using it daily and not taken a break at all. I do agree with your friend, the amount normally recommended is far too low. Progesterone can't act like oestrogen, but what can happen if you don't use enough, is it stimulates oestrogen, so causing Oestrogen Dominance. This occurs in many women when first using progesterone or when increasing the amount. I've found the effect is far worse in women who have high oestrogen levels, as you did and still do. The period cramps and cysts indicate this, and now the hot flushes, mood swings and water retention. Progesterone is an excellent anti-inflammatory and diuretic. It also helps Anxiety too. On this page is a list of nutrients which also help, the best for OCD is the B vitamin inositol. But large amounts need to be taken, from 12 to 18g/day, see here, here and here. An excellent way to clean the gall bladder is by taking the amino acid taurine. I agree the flush is not fun having tried it! The liver needs taurine to make bile, with insufficient little bile is made, so blood fats and toxins can't be removed. It's also a remarkably calming nutrient, it could be your level is too low. Please consider taking it, about 2000-5000mg/day. Chaste berry does have a weak oestrogenic effect. It's interesting you say you feel better in the summer months, vitamin D levels are highest then. They start dropping at the end of summer, through winter, when they are at their lowest. Please have a test done, for more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. It could be you are in Menopause, but this is only certain once you've had no period for 12 months. If you should consider using progesterone again, please make sure you use enough. Take care Wray

Feb 19, 2011
How to Use Progesterone Cream
by: Wray

Hi again Karen Thanks for your encouragement! Take care Wray

Feb 19, 2011
Dont stop using it!
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for your encouragement too, we all need it! I must add here that Dr Dalton was using progesterone for her patients in the late 1940's, Dr Lee first heard of it 30 years later in 1979, at a lecture given by Ray Peat, Ph.D. Also the oestrogens can only be converted from the androgens, nothing else. Oestradiol is produced from testosterone and oestrone from androstenedione by the enzyme aromatase. In fact women secrete greater amounts of androgen than of oestrogen, see here. Wiki have a good steroidogenesis pathway, showing the conversion of the oestrogens, see here. Take care Wray

Feb 28, 2011
while waiting
by: chris

Thanks for your advice Wray. I have ordered Natpro, but while I was waiting for your earlier reply, I ran across this article, where Dr. Mercola talks about "dermal fatigue" where the fat tissue gets so saturated with the creme it stops working and the levels get very high.

He says the best way to use the creme is vaginally.
Has anyone done this or would you recommend it, and if so how would you recommend applying it. Please read over this article. I believe you said you recommend reading Dr. Mercola. I go to his site for most of my health questions. Please reply and here is the link...

http://www.mercola.com/article/progesterone/cream.htm

Jul 12, 2011
Dermal fatigue
by: Anonymous

I'm also interested in the " dermal fatigue" issue having read that progesterone cream stops working after awhile. Could Wray please comment on this!

Nov 27, 2011
while waiting
by: Wray

Hi Chris and Anon I'm so sorry I missed your posts, I've no idea why either. Yes Dr Mercola does talk about dermal fatigue, and advises vaginal use. I advise it too, and have used it there myself for over 5 years now, but most of it goes on my skin. Some women are using amounts up to 1000mg/day, this is 30ml of cream. Unless you inserted it every hour, you'd have difficulty! I get asked this dermal fatigue and 'saturated fatty layer' 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 P/E2 ratio is 800:1. Incidentally we've found it's best to have a ratio over 600:1. The aim we are all trying to achieve is to feel well, which she does and so do her patients. I doubt if this would stand up in a court of law, but it satisfies me! Take care Wray

Feb 10, 2014
Not a fan
by: Kim

I was on progesterall cream for 3months as prescribed by naturopath 1/4 tsp for 3 weeks on and one odd for my menses. I was extremely uncomfortable with this situation and should have listened to my inner wisdom. All was fine the first month. But the 2nd holy man, all he'll broke loose my cycle was 34 days I had acne all over my chin p, my eyelashes started falling out and I got a double eye infection. Right after my second cycle my breasts became tender and stayed that way until my 3 period which was 19 days after the first. The anxiety and depression was unimaginable and I developed a tremor. I thought that I was going to Ned's tube committed I couldnt sleep and I would get zaps in my head and Bright lights in my eyes when I would close them at night. I stopped taking the cream 2 days before thanksgiving and still on feb9 I still have the same jitters(tremors) that I had when I was taking the cream not as bad thank god or I might have to jump off a bridge. I hope that these jitters go away. It would be a hard sell to get me to try that again I have read many, many posts of women having similar experiences with the cream



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