When progesterone fails to work

by Dzbourienne Zemira
(Vancouver BC)

I recently learned from a couple sources that at some point progesterone cream applied transdermally will begin building up in the fatty tissues instead of entering the bloodstream, which creates a deficiency in progesterone.

Some say this happens after 6 months. In my case, it's happening now, after a year. I seem to be noticing symptoms of peri/pre-menaupase again, the most disturbing (and new) symptoms noted are hair loss, and full body itching. I've also noticed temperature fluctuations again and severe moodiness. I am almost in a panic over this.

Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests applying the cream to the vaginal membranes where he claims it is absorbed into the bloodstream. This sounds like a simple enough solution, but, in practice, I'm finding it more difficult than I first thought. It's not easy trying to pull cream into a syringe.

I'd like to know your thoughts on this issue, and what solutions you know of, and is it necessary to insert the cream into the vaginal cavity or can it be applied to the inside of the labia?

Many thanks.

Comments for When progesterone fails to work

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Mar 16, 2011
cream build up
by: Anonymous

I too have read that and have been trying to do that. It is easier at night but not possible during the day for me due to work.

I will be curious for the results of your post.

Thanks for posting.

Mar 16, 2011
Anxious to hear answer to this
by: Judy

Please contact me when you answer this.

Mar 16, 2011
VAGINALLY INSERTION OF PROGESTERONE
by: Anonymous

I also have read this info. Have you not tried putting the cream on the tip of your finger & then inserting your finger into your vagina? Exactly the same as inserting a tampon really.

Mar 19, 2011
just an ideal for you
by: Anonymous

My daughter has to give my husband b 12 shots so i took the needle off the end of one of the syringes and place it in the progesterone cream and draw it up in the syringe and then place it into vagina then push in on the syringe and it goes right in , works great.

Mar 22, 2011
Also curious
by: Anonymous

Does this really happen that is stops working and does not absorb into the blood. ?

Mar 23, 2011
vaginal
by: Mary

This month I took a needleless syringe and inserted my 3ml of progesterone cream at night into my vagina. The morning dose causes a mess for work and seems to come right out. I have been using the cream faithfully for about 8 months. This is the first month I felt close to normal. I will continue and see if the good results continue.

My question. How long does the cream have to stay in to work properly if I continue the morning deposits?

Mar 23, 2011
helpful hint
by: Mary

I take the plunger out of the end of the syringe and squirt the cream down into the syringe. The plunger will completely pull out with a little effort. I then place the plunger back in. The syringe is easier to fill that way. There will be some air in the syringe so be careful when you place the plunger that you don't squirt the cream all over the place.

Mar 23, 2011
Inserting Progesterone cream into Vagina
by: Anonymous

I read this also and tried it. I was getting my cream from a compound pharmacy and it comes in a syringe (no needle)with a cap on the end. The problem was that it sortof clumped up and ended in my underwear all through out the day. Very annoying and messy. It lasted like 24 to 48hrs before it was completely out - and all I used was 1/2 of ml. That's less than an 1/8th tsp. I KNOW MORE THAN THAT CAME OUT. It was nasty. So I never did it again. I just received my Natpro and haven't tried it with the Natpro yet. What I'm told by my Compound Pharmacist is that I just need to rotate where I use the cream. Any soft/thin skin area is best. ... tummy, breast, hips, inner thigh, inner upper arm, buttocks. He said NOT to hands or fingers to apply, Wrong type of skin there. Apply the cream first to your wrist and them use your wrist to rub it in. I've been on his compounded cream now for 3.5 months. The Natpro is a little cheaper and I don't have to have an Rx so I am trying it. My Compounded cream is MUCH more concentrated so it takes about twice as much cream for the same amount of Progesterone. Not looking forward to that. I filled my emptied syringes from the compound Pharm. with the Natpro for easier measurement. It's not hard to do. Just press the end of the Natpro tube firmly to the opening of the syringe where you have pulled out the plunger and squeeze the tube. Do NOT completely fill the syringe but leave plenty room for the plunger to be re-enserted without ejecting cream at the other end. I have vertually no air bubble doing it this way. Works great.

Mar 24, 2011
When progesterone fails to work
by: Wray

Hi Dzbourienne There is this belief that it builds up, but in the 15 years I've been using it and advising on it's use, I've not found it the case. I use about 170mg/day, and have done since shortly after starting it. In the early days I was using the standard recommended amount, ie 20mg/day, but rapidly found this insufficient. Even double the amount doesn't cause a build up, and only raises progesterone to sub-luteal levels, see here. Sub-luteal levels of progesterone are not going to help at all, certainly not if there is a severe problem. And in fact will more than likely cause adverse symptoms by ramping up oestrogen. This then leads to excess oestrogen and all the Oestrogen Dominance symptoms. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone. To do this I recommend 100-200mg/day, sometimes more. We've found from Saliva Tests we run, that the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Oestrogen does cause pruritis, particularly during the few days prior to bleeding. Pruritis is caused by the inability of the liver to excrete bile, oestrogen interferes with this function, see here. Progesterone inhibits mast cell secretion, whereas oestrogen stimulates it, see here. Progesterone also increases bilary excretion, see here. Insulin Resistance, hyperinsulinemia, hyperaldosteronism and excess testosterone are implicated in hair loss, see here, here, here, here, here and here. I don't agree with the drugs used of course, as progesterone suppresses excess oestrogen, testosterone and aldosterone safely. I'm running out of space so will open a new comment below. Take care Wray

Mar 24, 2011
When progesterone fails to work
by: Wray

Hi Dzbourienne Progesterone also helps stabilise blood glucose, whereas oestrogen destabilises it and causes insulin resistance, so does testosterone, see here, here, here, here, here here, here, here, here, here and here. A finger is the simplest means of applying the cream in the vagina, progesterone is excellent for vaginal dryness. It's also absorbed well via the vaginal route. The labia would absorb it well too. I think your symptoms have come back, plus the new ones, because you're using insufficient progesterone. Please see our page on Peri-menopause for more info. I also believe it's because you have just experienced winter. Vitamin D levels drop over winter, a lack of this vital nutrient reduces the benefits of progesterone, see here, here and here. You live in Canada, where insufficient sunshine for 6 months of the year results in severe deficiencies, see here, here, here and here. Please have a test done, see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites for info. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
cream build up
by: Wray

Hi there It is best used in the vagina at night, I've been using it there for over 5 years now. Prevents inflammation and dryness. But I also rub some on my face, neck and breasts every night and morning too. I then rub the remainder into a different part. It's excellent for the face, see here. Whereas oestrogen doesn't help age-related skin changes, see here and here. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
Anxious to hear answer to this
by: Wray

Hi Judy If you clicked the notify me after posting this, you should get my reply to Dzbourienne. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
VAGINALLY INSERTION OF PROGESTERONE
by: Wray

Hi there A finger is by far easiest means of putting it in the vagina. It saves all that mess, loss and having to sterilise the syringe too. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
Also curious
by: Wray

Hi there As I said to Dzbourienne, I've never experienced this. Transdermal progesterone is absorbed well and the fatty layer is in fact essential to the transport of progesterone. Progesterone is lipophilic, so only absorbs into fat. Or is bound to transcortin and carried around the body, transcortin is a globulin made by the liver. Capillaries passing through the fatty layer carry red blood cells, these pick up progesterone as they squeeze through. So the more progesterone in the layer, the more the red cells have to pick up, see here, here and here. If preferred you can use a fizzy progesterone vaginal tablet, not sure I like the sound of that! See here. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
just an ideal for you
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for the tip! It all sounds like too much hard work for me, and having to sterilise the syringe too. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
vaginal
by: Wray

Hi Mary I don't recommend using it during the day in the vagina. The heat will melt the cream and no matter what you do it will come out. It sounds as if you are using Natpro, as you mention 3ml. If it's only now beginning to help it appears you should have been using more. I have found many women do, especially if they have high oestrogen levels to begin with. I would always recommend using a higher amount initially to overcome any adverse symptoms, then reduce the amount to the optimum. Bearing in mind stress drops progesterone levels, so more should be used to prevent symptoms returning. Progesterone should be used as and when needed, and not as a fixed daily amount. The 100-200mg/day is a recommendation, and not a hard and fast rule. I have some women using it hourly for severe symptoms, and up to 400-600mg/day. If you live in the northern hemisphere you will have passed through winter. This causes a drop in vitamin D levels, low vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. Please consider having a test done, most of us are low in D, for more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Take care Wray

Mar 25, 2011
Inserting Progesterone cream into Vagina
by: Wray

Hi there It is messy! And as I've said in my replies above, the transdermal route is very efficient. The skin comprises 95% kerotinocytes, these have ample progesterone receptors. So really there is no area on the body which doesn't absorb it well, the soles of the feet are very good. In fact that's where I recommend mothers with new born babies put it to help calm them down and get them to sleep. The palms absorb it well too, I know of one woman who only used it there to rid herself of fibroids, see here. I hope you enjoy the Natpro, it is absorbed well, as evidenced by Saliva Tests we run on a regular basis. Take care Wray

Mar 29, 2011
Progesterone in Vagina
by: RDP

This is a lot of cream to be rubbed into the labia. I commented above under Anonymous-Inserting Progesterone cream into Vagina. I have been trying it vaginally with the syringe. Seems to sork wonderful. If insert it at night, I have vertually no mess. This cream is very different and that respect to the cream from my Compound Pharm. That cream got lumpy like cottage cheese and went on forever. My Rx was for 8% cream and I have to use quite a bit more of the Natpro which is annoying but it is absorbing well I believe. I am now using about 80mg p/day but think I will increase because I still battle with anxiety (almost depression) and hot flashes. Wray, one thing I don't understand. You said that fatty tissue is essential to transport the Progesterone. Yet, I thought the whole reason for vaginal use was to avoid fatty areas to avoid saturation. This implying that the vagina has little to no fat. Hmmmm. How does that work.
Glad to hear about the face, I WILL do that for sure. Thanks!! ...For everything.

Apr 12, 2011
Progesterone in Vagina
by: Wray

Hi RDP It is fine if used at night, but not recommended in the morning, far too messy. And such a waste too. You will have to use more Natpro as it's not as strong as your Rx, but I do hope it never becomes lumpy! We've never experienced that. It is absorbed well, as evidenced by the Saliva Tests we run. The before and after tests took place over a month. If you are still suffering Anxiety the 80mg/day is not enough. Hot flushes need about 400mg/day for 4-5 days, then reduce the amount slowly till the optimum is found. There are a number of nutrients which help depression and anxiety, all listed on the link I've given above. Please consider trying them. As for the fatty layer, it is essential if applied to the skin, but doesn't preclude other routes. For instance injections go straight into muscle and the progesterone is taken up by the red blood cells. The same in the vagina, which as you point out is not fatty, but there are a plentiful supply of blood vessels. There are implants, mostly used in animal husbandry, nasal sprays and more. We do have a page on the various Delivery systems. The main reason for using the vaginal route is fast delivery to the uterus, where it arrives in minutes. But progesterone and it's metabolite, allopregnanolone, are excellent analgesics. So I always recommend rubbing the cream where any pain is felt. It works faster if applied directly to the area it's needed. Thanks for the kind words! Take care Wray


Apr 19, 2014
using nightly
by: Anonymous

is this a 30 days a month use?..also..if using at nite..how soon after vaginal application is intercourse ok?

Jun 25, 2014
Vaginal thinning
by: Anonymous

I read 'somewhere' that progesterone use vaginally causes the walls, outer or inner, to thin. Is there any validity to this?

I have LS and have been using estriol + T religiously with not a lot of success. Progesterone makes sense, but am concerned with further thinning.

Thanks

Oct 17, 2016
Want my period back
by: Anonymous

I'm a Fifty four years old had surgery to remove a free floating mass next to my right ovary last may 10 2015, I would have started my period that day but had the surgery, after surgery doctor gave me medroxyprogestrene for three months to thin my lining along with a d&c, I have not had an period since the operation, just one months of spotting. Now using the cream progestrone to rid the hot flashes. It has worked within one week of using along with taking maca 1575 mg each day. I know that I'm of age and should be happy not to have a mizzy. I would like to have it back.

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