Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms

by Amy
(New Jersey)

What a blessing to have found this site! It's comforting to know I am not alone, or crazy as my last Endo suggested.

For the last 4 years I have been to countless doctors, been put through countless tests for everything from thyroid, heavy metal poisoning, Lyme Disease, etc. I was misdiagnosed with "probable Lupus" and treated for it for about 10 months. I have been to 3 different Endocrinologists and the only thing they found was a Vitamin D deficiency which I was treated for.

My symptoms were everywhere from hair loss, increase in allergies, muscle and joint pain, joint swelling, numbness in hands and feet, skin issues, night sweats, ringing in my ears, partial seizures, panic attacks,heat intolerance, loss of libido, excessive bruising for no reason, mood swings,tendonitis pain, insomnia, heart palpitations, weight loss at one point, etc.

I found out through my saliva test in August of 2012, that I am estrogen dominant and very low on progesterone.

My results read like this:
Estradiol: 4.6 High pg/ml
Progesterone: 20 L pg/ml
Ratio pg/E2: 4 L pg/ml

My testosterone, DHEA and a.m/p.m cortisol levels were in normal range.

My compound pharmacy put me on only 50 mg of progesterone capsules nightly, and a pea size amount of E2/E3 cream in the morning, Days 1-25. I started this routine in September of 2012. It seemed to help slightly with mood swings, but nothing else. Hair loss is still going, and I've gained weight in the hips, and behind. So much so, that none of my pants fit! Also, I noticed that about 8 days before my period every month, the progesterone did nothing. All of my symptoms would go crazy, including heart palpitations nightly. The last few months, I was so bloated before my cycle that I took water pills, which I have never taken before in my life! After several attempts of requesting a higher dose, I gave up and decided to do it myself. (this is where needing some guidance comes in lol)

I just ordered 3 tubes of Natpro, which I will use a soon as I get, but for now I am using Pro Gest. I am using about 200-360 mg per day, divided into 3 doses. (I am no longer using the E2/E3 cream at all) I've only been using this for 4 days. My period is only a few days away, and my symptoms are creeping in again. I'm agitated a lot, but that may be because I can't sleep for more than 2-3 hrs at night.
I take 5 HTP and melatonin for sleep and it does nothing.

My question is, am I taking enough progesterone? Do I keep increasing it daily until the symptoms go away or am I not being patient enough? Also, I am not sure since I have severe symptoms, if I should take a break or not?

Any guidance you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!!!!!

Comments for Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 17, 2013
Progesterone Dosing Question
by: Randy Ice PT, CCS

More than likely, you need considerably more progesterone with no estrogen replacement. In our clinic, we would have started you on a 10% compounded progesterone cream to be used twice daily for days 12 - 26, then stop to induce a period 2 days later.

You may find you need more progesterone then this, and the concentration could be increased to 15%, or switch you to compounded progesterone capsules, 200 - 300 mg each day. This should relieve your anxiety, help your sleep significantly and reduce most all of your estrogen dominant symptoms.

You will need the help of a physician or clinic that understands bio-identical hormone replacement and dosing.

Randy Ice PT, CCS
Vintage Medical Group
Murrieta, California

Feb 18, 2013
Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms
by: Wray

Hi Amy No more crazy than the rest of us! You might like to see this excellent comment by Gay, she gives very good reference papers too, see here. Thanks for the kind words about the site. Dr Dalton had a saying about your kind of journey. She referred to women being batted back and forth between one 'ologist' to another, and all they needed was progesterone. It's a pleiotrophic hormone, so has very many roles in the body. It's not the simple pregnancy hormone people think it is. If your oestrogen was so high, and your ratio was only 4:1 why on earth did they give you more! We've found from Saliva Tests it's best if it's 600:1. We do have a few pages which cover some of your symptoms, please see Hair Loss, Epilepsy, Hot Flushes and Libido. The heart palpitations are often experienced by women. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia, Torsades de Pointes and sudden death. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. This is why more women get these problems than men, they have very little oestrogen, whereas we have a great deal more. Continued below

Feb 18, 2013
Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms part 2
by: Wray

Hi Amy Progesterone is also an excellent diuretic, so good it's given to reverse and prevent the oedema that occurs during a Traumatic Brain Injury. I used to have excessive bruising too, I tried mega doses of vitamin C for it which didn't help. But they all went once I'd started progesterone. Many of your symptoms point to low vitamin D too. I do hope they gave you enough and it's now at least 50ng/ml or more, mine is 92ng/ml. It might be worth checking it again. 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. A lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. You have so many symptoms I suggest you try 400mg/day, even this might not be sufficient. The worse the problem the more is needed. You might take encouragement from these women who used up to 1000mg/day here, here and here, scroll to 'Having a Hard Time' or 'Information on Hidden Copper Toxicity'. Please don't take a break, use it daily through any bleeding for at least 2-3 months, or until stable. Once you are you can begin following your cycle again. Each break you take allows oestrogen to rise again. Please let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Feb 18, 2013
Progesterone Dosing Question
by: Wray

Hi Randy Many thanks for the input. I do agree with you about the oestrogen, an extraordinary thing to give Amy. And about needing higher amounts too. She has far too many symptoms for a mere 50mg/day via capsules. Besides oral progesterone is destroyed in the gut and liver......"The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues" see here. Take care Wray

Feb 18, 2013
Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms
by: RJ

Wray, I just had to add here....I am so glad that I DID NOT listen to my doctor or clinic. Only the Good Lord would know where I'd be right now. Unfortunately or I guess for we, the suffering, fortunately, it is because of our doctors and clinics that we sought your site and thank you for every bit of information. If we had to leave our health to the care of some doctors and clinics alot of us would be far worse off than what we are right now or were....my poor mother, case in point. And for the original poster...increase the cream. When I first started Wray's cream I was in the emergency room for what I thought was a heart attack, because my heart was racing terribly, age 45. Doctor there said you are fine, we see no problems...pumped me up with morphine, believe it or not LOL. Told me women who still have periods do not suffer from heart attacks, it is only those who have entered menopause that do. Thus started my journey to throw the doctor out the door and search how to take care of my own body, alone....with the help of Wray. Am I normal...nope LOL...but I can say most of my severe symptoms are gone except for flowing two weeks out of a month and a half...which I deal with. Luckily, for me I ovulated this month LOL...oh the pleasures of an egg! It should be a fairly normal month because of it, all things considered! The D is helping also, but it has taken almost a year for me to see marked improvement. Take your health into your own hands and use all the other supplements that Wray speaks of on her site because they have worked wonders for me and my husband. God Bless! RJ

Feb 18, 2013
If only I could find a doctor around here...
by: Amy

Hi Randy,
Thanks so much for your input. I agree I need a lot more progesterone. I am working with a compound pharmacy who has a specialist,and has read my results, yet they still refuse to up my dosage. I will make a last ditch effort to have my Gynecologist help me and send them a new script, but I am prepared (with the help of Wray and all the helpful women here) to do this myself if need be.
I guess you could say that after being led on a wild goose chase for the last 4 years, and after being treated with some pretty serious medicine I never needed(Plaquenil), that I have lost some faith in my doctors.

Thank you again!

Feb 18, 2013
Thank you Wray!!
by: Amy

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to answer me and point me in the right direction! I appreciate it so much!
I questioned my pharmacy regarding the e2/e3 cream and was told it was "just a small amount to oppose the progesterone". That made no sense to me at all given my situation, but I went along with it anyway.I didn't want to tell an "expert" she was wrong. You'd think after the last few years I would have learned my lesson. Well...I finally have lol.

I was given 50,000 iu's of D for a 12 week period and my next test showed my numbers came up. I don't think they were as high as you mentioned they should be though. I just started taking 6000 iu's daily again, but I will make an appt. with my GP to have it checked, along with my magnesium levels.

Meanwhile, I will increase my progesterone to 400 mg or so a day and see how I do. Thank you for making me more confident in what I am doing for myself. I thought I shouldn't take a break, but hearing it from you made me feel completely sure about it. It's such a relief to know what I need now after 4 years of feeling sick, crazy and alone.
I will continue to spend as much time as I can on this sight reading and learning. (as long as my 4 yr old will let me lol)
Thank you again!

Feb 21, 2013
Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms
by: Wray

Hi RJ Bless you for this support! And what an indictment against doctors, they actually told you themselves that women only have heart attacks after menopause. And yet they persisted in giving women HRT to 'prevent' them! The Million Woman study in the UK, and the WHI in the States both stopped early due to an increase in, amongst other things, heart attacks. It's all daft, daft! I do hope your 'egg' makes it a better month for you. Take care Wray

Feb 21, 2013
Thank you Wray!!
by: Wray

Hi Amy I'm so pleased the info helped you. But this sentence caught my eye at the end of your reply above....(as long as my 4 yr old will let me lol). So I've just looked back at your original post. I had wrongly assumed you could have been in Peri-menopause, although I didn't actually ask you, or for your age. In that post you said "For the last 4 years I have been to countless doctors". You have post natal depression, it's so obvious the doctors should have picked it up, and I should have asked for your age. So I apologise! No wonder you feel so awful, I had it too, and it lasted 4 years before I finally crawled out of it. I refused drugs too. I know you will come right, but I feel progesterone alone won't be enough. Please look at our page on Anxiety. There's a list of nutrients which will all help. Although you're not pregnant now, we do have two pages you could look through which explains the role progesterone plays in Pregnancy, and here too. Dr Dalton wrote a book called Depression after Childbirth, well worth reading. She points out that 'depression' is often not experienced, and that the term is a misnomer. So 400mg/day might be sufficient, although Dalton would use 800mg/day or more with her patients suffering from it. If you take some of the nutrients, taurine is excellent, and get your vitamin D level up high, I don't think you'll need more. Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Feb 21, 2013
Sorry for the confusion Wray!!
by: Amy

You were correct,I am in perimenopause now. I didn't explain myself well enough in my first post, so I am sorry. My story is so long and convoluted, that I was afraid it would've been too boring/long for anyone to read lol.

Here is the back story to the last 4 years...

After I had my son in 12/08, I did have severe depression. I was given Zoloft for it, and it did nothing. After a while I just "lived with it" and prayed it would go away. January of 2010 I got pregnant again. 12 weeks later I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum. I chose to use a vaginal pill instead of having a DNC because I had gone into cardiac arrest during surgery a few years prior and wasn't taking any chances. ( another long, even more convoluted story. I had an allergic reaction the meds in the anesthesia)

While the loss of that pregnancy was hard, it did alleviate my post natal depression. 5 months later is when I noticed handfuls of hair coming out, horrible mood swings,weeping and excess bruising all over my body. I went to my ob, who ran a bunch of tests, and found I had a slightly elevated ANA. That is where my wild goose chase, and misdiagnosis of Lupus started.

I never truly believed I had Lupus, or Lyme (I was treated for both) which is why I continued to see doctor after doctor. My symptoms were getting worse, and new ones were popping up almost daily. I kept saying it was my hormones, but all my blood work said otherwise. I was so scared at one point, I initiated a search for my birth mother, so I could finally have access to some medical information. I found out through talking to her for the first time, that her period stopped at age 39. I was 38 yrs old myself then. (I turned 41 this past December)
Armed with this new info, I went into my Endo's office with a word document of my symptoms, when they started, how they seemed to cycle around menstruation, etc. She told me I was no where near perimenopause because my "estrogen levels were like a 20 yr old." If only I knew then what I know now!
Continuing...


Feb 21, 2013
Part 2
by: Amy

The time between that appointment and my sailva test in Aug of 2012, I had been treated with antibiotics for Lyme, been told by an infectious disease doc that I had encephalitis, been rushed to the ER twice with seizures, and was dismissed by a top Endo in my state with the name of a good psychiatrist he thought I should see. He flat out told me to stop spending money on doctors and not to bother having my saliva tested! I left his office, had a panic attack and never looked back.

That's still the short version, but I hope I cleared up some of the confusion I caused. Thank goodness I documented all of this because sometimes I can't remember it all myself!
Good news is..I received my Natpro yesterday and the difference just in how it goes on is amazing. I've used it on my face twice and it already has calmed down the broken blood vessels I've developed on my cheeks. I'm hopeful between Natpro, getting my D checked and looking into the nutrients you suggested, that I'm on my way to "human" again. Thanks SO much for what you do Wray :)

Feb 24, 2013
Sorry for the confusion Wray!!
by: Wray

Hi Amy What an awful journey you've had. It seems the depression re-surfaced after the blighted ovum. I remember my own PND started slowly, with more symptoms being added as time went by. I wish I'd had the foresight to write down my experience at the time, but little did I know I would be doing this work 31 years later! I used to give talks on progesterone and stories such as yours would send me into a rage. So much so I gave myself very bad urticaria, complete with angioedema. I have learnt to breathe deeply and accept the horror, without taking it on myself. So pleased you like the Natpro, we have tried to make it as simple and as effective as possible. I'm delighted it's already calmed the blood vessels down. Please let me know what your vitamin D level is when checked. I don't doubt you'll become 'human' again, I did, what a relief it was too. Take care Wray

Feb 25, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Jessica

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on natural progesterone and breastfeeding? I had severe postpartum depression (severe insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety) after my first child and am due with my second in June. After my first child I ended up going on Anti-anxiety and sleep meds, but would like to avoid that this time. My aunt is an OB and is a HUGE proponent of Natural Progesterone, but suggested that synthetic progesterone (micronor) may be better while nursing. I have taken prometrium (natural progesterone pills) throughout this pregnancy (in the first trimester to help maintain pregnancy and combat some insomnia and occassionally in the second trimester to help with insomnia). I've taken between 200-600mg/daily. Would love your thoughts. Thanks

Mar 01, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Wray

Hi Jessica Progesterone can be used while breastfeeding, in fact Dr Dalton recommends it. She also goes into PND too, see here. She would give amounts from 800mg/day for PND, and 2400mg/day for post natal psychosis. She wrote an excellent book on Depression after Childbirth, well worth reading. We also have a page on Pregnancy you could look through. I would not use the progestins as they cause depression, see here and here. Another thing which is often overlooked, the progestins are not metabolised into the all important allopregnanolone. This metabolic of progesterone is probably more important than progesterone itself, see here and here. It's also used for Traumatic Brain Injury see here. 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. 200-600mg/day is the amount usually given to women with pregnancy problems, but as suppositories. You get the full benefit of progesterone via this method. The creams are as effective too. So please consider opening the caps and emptying the contents into a small amount of skin cream, and applying that to your skin. The insomnia could be caused by a lack of vitamin D too, please have a test done. It's the most important nutrient for the developing foetus, and for breast feeding. There are excellent videos on our pregnancy page about this. Continued below

Mar 01, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Jessica Please consider taking taurine too, also vital for a developing foetus and breast feeding, it's an essential amino acid to newborns, they are unable to convert it from cysteine, see here, here, here, here, here and here. Please either continue with the progesterone throughout your pregnancy, or certainly start it again immediately after birth. But not as oral as it won't be enough to prevent any PND. Take care Wray

Mar 01, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Jessica

Thank you for your response Wray. Last time I had my Vitamin D levels checked they were 42.1ng/ml - and I take 5,000 daily, so I think that is adequate, is it not?

Also If I take 800mg/day of the progesterone for PND after I have this baby, how long would I continue on this amount for?

My husband and I are also done having children after this one,(I'm only 31) so I'm wondering what are my best options for contraception if synthetic progestins are not good? He is thinking he will have a vasectomy at some point, but it'll probably be a year before he does.

Also, I've never experienced PMS symptoms before having children, but after having my son, after he turned a year old, I started having hot flashes around ovulation and insomnia and anxiety along with bloating during the second half of my cycle. So wondering what your thoughts were on all of this.

Thanks so much!

Mar 01, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Jessica

Hi Wray,

I wrote you back once already, but it hasn't appeared on the site. I'm wondering if you got it?

Thanks,
Jessica

Mar 03, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Wray

Hi Jessica 42.1ng/ml is too low, it's best if it's in the 70-100ng/ml range. 5000iu is a good dose, but it's a maintenance dose, it's not going to get your levels up high very quickly. It's the most important nutrient for the development of the foetus, vital in fact. Also for breastfeeding. Please watch those videos I told you about on the pregnancy page. If you get your level up high, I don't think you'll need anywhere near the 800mg/day. And how long? Impossible to say. I would suggest staying on a high amount for about 3 months then begin reducing very slowly. You'll soon know if you've reduced too fast. Please see our page on Contraceptives for advice. It's quite common to get PMS after having a child. It can be due to high testosterone levels, high oestrogen or low progesterone. Oestrogen surges mid-cycle, progesterone should too, it appears you're not getting the progesterone surge, hence the unpleasant symptoms. If you're not ovulating, or your corpus luteum is not secreting sufficient progesterone, this would account for the symptoms in the second half of the cycle. Using the progesterone on a cyclic basis, once you begin bleeding again, would help. I took 2 days off to finish a page on memory loss, which I'd started about 6 months ago. This caused me to drop way behind in answering queries. I spend about 12 hours a day doing this, 7 days a week. I need to update the web site, but never have enough time to do it! Take care Wray

Mar 03, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Jessica

Wray,

Thank you again for your response. I really appreciate it. I think something must be wrong with my own server b/c I'll get an email saying someone has posted a comment or response, but then nothing shows up for days...so again, I apologize for the confusion (and also for the confusion of posting in two spots). The service you're doing is wonderful, ...thank you!

In order to get my Vitamin D levels up past 42 (into the ideal 70ng/ml range), what daily dose would you recommend and for how long (I live in Wisconsin, so we don't get a lot of sun exposure, especially this time of year)?

And thank you for your link on contraception. I've heard from multiple sources that taking natural progesterone in combination with birth control pills can reduce the effectiveness of the birth control pill, is this not your experience or understanding as long as I take the natural progesterone at the same time as the active pills (pills containing progestin)? And if I decide to go the copper IUD route, is that okay to use in combination with natural progesterone? I know on the page where Dr. Dalton talks about PND there are some guidelines on how use natural progesterone exclusively for contraception as well. Do you know of women who've gone this route successfully for a year or many years?

Thanks!
Jessica

Mar 05, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Wray

Hi Jessica It's strange you get the email, and then can't find anything. And of course if I fall behind it also confuses the issue, as people are expecting an immediate answer as that's what they are used to! Thanks for the kind words too. Well as your vitamin D is low, I would suggest 20,000iu for a month or two, then 10,000iu and then have a test done. Studies have found the higher the vitamin D levels the slower the increase, so there's little danger in getting too much. Unless doses of 500,000 are taken on a daily basis. This study here found even 40,000iu showed no signs of toxicity if taken daily. Using progesterone with contraceptives doesn't reduce their effectiveness, as you're merely supplying the natural with the synthetic. And the copper IUD doesn't react with the progesterone, so it's safe to use concurrently. I've not had any personal stories I can relate about using progesterone as a contraceptive, although Dalton did. There's only one caution and that's stress drops progesterone levels. So more would have to be used to cover the stressful time, or abstain from sex if it's over the ovulation days. Take care Wray

Mar 05, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding

Thank you again Wray. I will start upping my dose of Vitamin D to hopefully get it to a better level in time for baby to come. Just a few more questions, and hopefully I'm done for a while :)

On your How to Use Progesterone Cream page, under the reproductive phase it says natural progesterone is safe while on drug based contraceptives if used in the 2nd half of the packet. But on the Contraceptives page it says natural progesterone should be used during the progestin phase (which for most birth control pills wouldn't be the second half of the packet, but would be days 1-21). Can you clarify?

Also on the Progesterone Misconceptions Page it says using progesterone at ovulation will not prevent it from happening, but if it doesn't prevent it from happening, then how is natural progesterone used by itself as a contraceptive (ie. not in conjunction with other contraceptives, either drug based or IUD).

Thanks!

Mar 05, 2013
Vitamin D results and a question :)
by: Amy

Hi again Wray,
I was blown away when you mentioned PND after the blighted ovum. It never even crossed my mind that PND could be the culprit!! It makes perfect sense though, so thank you again for sharing your knowledge. It does make me wonder however,why my OB/GYN never thought of it!! He agreed on perimenopause and promptly gave me Prozac!!
I wanted to let you know that my Vitamin D is 48. As you mentioned, the labs range for normal is only 30-100 ng/ml. Right after the blood was drawn last Tues, I started taking 10,000iu's daily, so I'll continue that for a while and try to get that number higher. My Magnesium came back at 1.8, which is at the low end of what they consider normal.
I've begun taking 2000 mg of Inositol powder and NAC daily. I also just ordered a new vitamin that has Taurine in it as well. Hopefully, with the addition of those nutrients on top of what I already take, I am covered.
I do have a question for you regarding my symptoms. I'm noticing that mid cycle (where I am now) is brutal. I have more hair loss, anger, skin issues etc. I'm using 400-500 mg a day of Natpro. I'm wondering though, during this time when things flare up, should I up the progesterone or am I not being patient? I realize this isn't going to be fixed overnight, so I don't know if I should stick to that one amount, or adjust as needed until I'm stable. Thanks so much!

Mar 07, 2013
Natural Progesterone & Breastfeeding
by: Wray

Hi Jessica I'm relieved. It's such an important nutrient. re the use of progesterone with progestins, it's a difficult one. Each manufacturer has a different protocol. Progesterone is only produced by the ovaries from ovulation. The progestins should in fact be taken then. Why at the beginning of the cycle makes no sense whatsoever. It would probably be safest to use the progesterone all month, as it will protect to a certain extent the effect of the oestrogen. If using progesterone at ovulation it's using it after the horse has bolted, i.e. ovulation has taken place, so therefore nothing will stop it. It has to be started well before ovulation to suppress it. Take care Wray

Mar 08, 2013
Vitamin D results and a question :)
by: Wray

Hi Amy I find the lack of knowledge about PND extraordinary, in fact about any of our symptoms. One of the first things I often ask is 'when did they start'. Stress is almost always behind them. And of course if someone has had a baby and has odd symptoms that is only too obvious. But as I said all too often depression isn't one of the symptoms. I had extreme fatigue, myopathy (muscle weakness), terrible rages, but I can't remember feeling 'depressed'. This is where I found Dr Dalton's book on PND so invaluable, as she lists a host of symptoms no one would ascribe to PND. Some do have depression, and of course the choice is obvious.....give antidepressants! But this doesn't solve the problem. Interesting your vitamin D has only gone from 42 to 48ng/ml, I'm not sure how long you were taking the 5000iu for, but it raises it too slowly. I'm pleased you've upped the dose. Giving a range of 30-100ng/ml is far too large, yes 30ng/ml is fine if you want to prevent rickets, but what about cancer, that needs far higher levels to lower the risk. 100ng/ml is the top limit, in fact some believe this to be a toxic level, and yet the highest found to date was a pregnant Masai woman with 105ng/ml. The study was completed in Aug 2012, see here Unfortunately the abstract doesn't give the full details. Magnesium is low in most of us, little in our food now due to our soils. It's so interesting you have bad symptoms mid cycle, we're all lead to believe it only occurs at the end of the cycle. And yet many women have far worse symptoms mid-cycle. Oestrogen begins rising exponentially about 50 hours prior to ovulation, it then surges about 12 hours before. Progesterone should do the same too, this surge comes from the brain, see here, here, here, here and here. I know you're using a high amount of progesterone, but it's evident the oestrogen surge is counteracting this. So you could adjust the amount to suit how you feel. How easy would it be if we had a steady flow of hormones as men do! And not this continual up and down that we have. Take care Wray

Mar 28, 2013
Cramping and back pain after period
by: Amy

Hi again Wray,
I wanted to ask you a question regarding cramping and back ache after my period. I have been using the Natpro (about 600 mg a day) for a little over 2 months now. This last period was later than usual, which I expected since I don't break in using the cream. My bleeding finally ended about 3 days ago. This time it lasted for 7-8 days, not heavy, but long. Today I am having pretty painful cramps and I feel like someone took a baseball bat to my back. I rubbed some cream on my back and lower tummy, but nothing is working. I can deal with the pain, just wondering if this is normal or if I'm doing something wrong?
Also, is there anything else that I can be taking to combat insomnia? My sleep (or lack of it) cycles with me. A few days before my period I can actually sleep. Right after it, there's no hope. I can fall asleep, but cannot stay asleep no matter what I do. I am not getting more than 4 hrs at a time. I've tried(at different times) Melatonin, 5-HTP, Valerian root, Unisom, Valium, Lunesta, and I'm now taking 2000 mg Inositol before bed. When I've been very desperate, I've even added 200 mg progesterone capsules, hoping they'd keep me asleep. Some nights, I wake up feeling like someone has just scared me...where your heart "sinks" and then starts pounding. Other nights, I'm just up.
Thanks so much for any suggestions. This tired Mama certainly appreciates it! :)

Mar 30, 2013
Cramping and back pain after period
by: Wray

Hi Amy I'm actually amazed you are still having any bleeding on 600mg/day progesterone. I've found 400mg/day often stops it in many women. It's evident you still have a great deal of oestrogen being secreted, as only oestrogen can build the lining, progesterone can't. Vitamin D is helpful for pain too. I know your level was too low, and you have increased the dose, but have you had a recent test? It could be it's still too low. The cramps are caused by prostaglandins, plus an assortment of other inflammatory cytokines. Progesterone normally suppresses these, in fact it's one of the roles it plays in pregnancy, by keeping the uterus quiescent. You obviously have inflammation going on so would ask you to consider taking at least 2000mg/day NAC (N-acetyl cysteine, 2000mg/day taurine, at least 10,000iu per day vitamin D and 1000mg/day bioflavonoids. The NAC inhibits the MMPs which cause the lining to break down, there's more info on our Menstruation page. Taurine is always low in any dysfunctional uterine problem, see here. The vitamin D of course is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and the bioflavonoids strengthen capillaries, see here and here. The first paper has no abstract, but the second gives a resume of it. The heart sinking and then pounding is caused by adrenaline, something is making the adrenals secrete this. I feel it could be your blood glucose has dropped too sharply. If the pancreas secretes more insulin than needed, this would cause it to drop sharply. There's an explanation on our Anxiety page. I would hope the inositol helps, as it does sensitise the body to insulin, meaning you don't need as much. Why the pancreas sent out so much I don't know, unless you had a sugary, or starchy meal for supper. Or ate something like ice-cream or a chocolate? Or bread, pasta, a drink with sugar in it? Please only eat protein and green leaves at night and see if that helps, no legumes as protein as they have too many carbs. You could also try taking 4000-8000mg glutamine at night, stirred into some water. The body can use this in place of glucose, but being an amino acid it's converted into glucose very slowly so doesn't give a sugar shock. You could also try taking 1/2tsp salt in water before bed, as this also helps. The adrenals need sodium to function and if salt falls too low they have a hard time. It does help sleep too, see here. Let me know if any of the ideas help. Take care Wray

May 04, 2013
Question on bleeding while on Natpro
by: Amy

Hi again Wray,
Thank you for your last reply about my insomnia. I did add to my supplements, the NAC, taurine, Vitamin D (10 or 15, 000 daily), the inositol and I'm still using 500-600 mg a day of Natpro. My sleep has improved a bit, but still seems to follow my cycle. I seem to sleep better right before my period and very little for days afterward. It slowly gets better, and then by the next period, we start all over again.
My question though is about my bleeding. In April, I bled from the 17th-26th. (And, like a big cosmic joke, those were the exact days I was on vacation in Florida lol) I wasn't bleeding heavily, but longer than usual. Now last night, I started bleeding again.(May 3rd) I haven't taken any breaks in using progesterone at all since I started on Feb 12th. Thankfully, many of my symptoms have subsided. My moods,anxiety,bruising, hair loss, skin issues, heart palpitations, sweats, joint pain and swelling, etc have all but gone. Some surface a bit at mid cycle, but not nearly as severe as before. Yay!!! I'm just concerned if my bleeding like this is "normal" or if I'm doing something wrong. I plan on not taking any breaks for at least another month or two, more if needed. I feel like my battle at suppressing this oestrogen isn't quite over just yet. Thank you so much for any advice you can give me!

May 06, 2013
Question on bleeding while on Natpro
by: Wray

Hi Amy I'm so delighted to see that whole string of symptoms have all but gone, that is wonderful news. I loved your cosmic joke! Travel......it's stressful, even if going on vacation. So this doesn't surprise me in the slightest. And starting again so soon too. You might like to read what happened to Annie, although she really got herself in a state before leaving, see here. I can't remember if I told you about the bioflavonoids, but they also help bleeding, see here and here. The first paper has no abstract, but the second gives a resume of it. It might be worth adding those to the protocol. Has this upset in your bleeding pattern helped the sleep issues? For instance did you notice whether you slept better before beginning bleeding on the 3rd, and has it got better afterwards? I do hope so, as it might break a pattern. I don't know what else to suggest. Do let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Sep 09, 2013
is it time to start following my cycle again or do I need more Progesterone?
by: Amy

Hi Wray,
I decided to write you on this same page since we had a previous conversation here. I'm going to try and sum up my issue quickly and hopefully I don't forget any important info for you :)
I am 41 and had been having very severe symptoms since 38. With your help, (which I cannot thank you enough for!) I have come a long way.
I started using 500-600 mg of progesterone daily back in Feb of this year, not stopping for a period. It took a few months but my symptoms did get better. (I bled every month even on that high dose.)
2 months ago I tried to stop the cream during my period. I made it 3 days before my symptoms went haywire. I went back on the cream, using 500-600 mg daily. I noticed after that break, that my hair started shedding more. Now my hair is really shedding again as bad as it was before I started progesterone. It's so severe that I am scared I may lose it all. (I had already lost about half my hair before I started the cream) I did start bleeding today and was surprised.I had only a few mild cramps,was a bit weepy ,and had hot flashes right after getting up in the morning for the last 3 or 4 days.
I was reading through many old posts about hair loss and one of your replies was that if you are using the cream at the wrong times, it can upset your balance and make things worse. I am starting to wonder if that's what is happening to me.
This month is 7 months that I have used the cream daily. I don't know if I should stop and follow my cycle and take a chance, or if I need more. I am using all the nutrients you had suggested for hair loss and have been for months. I'm just so frustrated and scared. I know stress makes it worse, so I'm trying to be calm but it's hard. This morning I even had hair on my pillow.Ooops, not so short, will continue below...

Sep 09, 2013
continued...
by: Amy

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my gyno and was planning on asking if he would write me a script for 500mg compounded cream. I can't afford to keep buying it for much longer. My husband was planning on taking out a loan so we can have a bigger supply on hand for me, but at some point, I'll need more again. To sum up, I am wondering if I should continue my daily use or stop and follow my cycle. If I do stop and follow my cycle, do I still use the high dose at first and then try to taper off? I just don't want to make my situation worse.
Thank you once again Wray for any advice you can give me.

Sep 10, 2013
is it time to start following my cycle again or do I need more Progesterone?
by: Wray

Hi Amy I've just re-read all our conversations above, it does help! I'm so sorry you've had this set back. Stopping suddenly from 500-600mg/day would have sent you into a cold turkey situation. Not only that but it has allowed oestrogen and testosterone to rise again, hence the hair loss and other adverse symptoms. Starting the progesterone again would have disrupted your cycle, but it's nothing to worry about. What concerns me is you've gone back to square one. I suggest continuing as you were on a daily basis with the 500-600mg/day, and when you feel ready to stop it, reduce very slowly. Until you get to about 150-200mg/day, and then at your next period stop it. Do try to get the compounded cream if you can, it will help the pocket. Or ask if he can write a script for the Natpro! I don't think you can afford to follow your cycle right now, not after that reaction you had, you'll need a few more cycles before you can do that. But please reduce the progesterone slowly before you attempt it! Let me know how you get on. Take care Wray

Sep 11, 2013
Thank you Wray!!
by: Amy

Hi Wray,
Thank you so much once again for your help! I will make sure to reduce very slowly once I get myself back on track. Until then, I am sticking with what worked before, which was 500-600mg a day.
My appt. yesterday did not go very well. My doctor kept telling me if I am having regular periods then it's probably not all a hormonal issue. He suggested that I see a psychiatrist and perhaps get myself on a low dose of an antidepressant. Frustrating to say the least! Thankfully, my husband came into the room and was able to get through to him that my use of high amounts of progesterone DID help me and that I was just having some sort of set back. I had gotten so flustered (honestly more aggravated having to defend myself once again) that I didn't even bother asking for a script. I am going to call his office back today and see if he'll write it. I never thought of a script for Natpro!! I like that idea better lol. Thank you again Wray. I truly appreciate your help :)

Sep 11, 2013
Cost for 20 tubes
by: Amy

Hi again Wray :)
My husband was able to move some money around for me so I can order 20 tubes this time instead of my usual 3. When I went to place the order, the price is coming up as $23.70 a tube, which makes the total $474 instead of $374. That $100 makes a huge difference for me. I can't get a hold of anyone at Organic Products, so I'm writing you here. Has the price changed? Is there no longer a discount for purchasing 20 tubes? I'd appreciate any info you can give me. I'd like to order before the stock runs out again. Thanks so much Wray!!

Sep 14, 2013
Thank you Wray
by: Amy

Hi Wray,
I wrote you back a while ago and it never appeared here, so I'm trying again. Thank you very much for your advice. I will follow it to a T!! I can't believe that a 3 day break almost 3 months ago still has me all messed up!
My doctor appointment did not go well. It took me quite a while to get him to understand that using high amounts had helped me. His advice was to see a psychiatrist and perhaps get myself on a low dose of an anti depressant. Then he suggested I see a dermatologist for my hair loss. Even after telling him that I had already been to every kind of specialist I can think of,had all the tests and treatments for hair loss, he still insisted this was the answer. How frustrating!!! When I asked if he would write a script for me, he very politely had his nurse give me the names of 2 female gynecologists he thinks I should try!! Isn't that wonderful?!
Thank God for you Wray and all the helpful people on this site! I cannot believe I've been dismissed by the man who delivered my son who I once thought was a great doctor!
I will be ordering my 20 tubes once the discount is reinstated.
Thank you again!!

Sep 15, 2013
Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms
by: RJ

Amy, keep up what you're doing. Right now I'm going through the same situation. Everything was going well and out of the blue things got out of whack again. Luckily, the hair loss stopped some time ago. Possibly because I take about 800mg a day (truthfully, I'm scared to decrease because of what you've encountered by stopping for those days...what a setback to work so hard to acquire a somewhat balance and then have it all messed up and slamming you back to square one...there are many a day that I question whether I'm taking too much and it's causing all my troubles, but then I remember all the things that were negative and have changed for the positive...not cured but have improved). Anyway, it was when I bumped it up to that high amount that the hair quit coming out. A once, normal hair loss day for me was about 300-400 stands a day. Now mind you I have a head full of hair so I was able to afford that loss and I know it's gross to some, but because it is so long and thick, it stays in a braid or bun and I do not wash it everyday, daily washing of hair is really hard on it. But I didn't want that loss to continue so I upped the amount of my dose. About your doctors....keep in mind, if we patients find a natural cure that we can grow in our own back yard or buy in a health food store and take everyday like the food we ingest each day, all these doctors would not be able to write out the prescriptions that make big companies money, and they would no longer be able to give patients numbers, instead of using their name because there wouldn't be so many going to them if we had natural cures. It's called corporate greed and the healthcare industry brings in trillions a year and it would destroy the economy if we all cured ourselves naturally. It's a rough road, I spot most days, then am normal for a week and it starts all up and I've been on the cream since March of last year. Most of my ED's are gone except for some intense hot flashes, cramps once in a while and that annoying spotting. Your balance will come and then maybe all it will do is just not make symptoms so intense, but you'll still have them. There is no telling, what's good today may really stink tomorrow. Hang in there....eventually menopause will come ;) Hello to you Wray...boy I sure wanted to comment on that Corky thread last night, but the good Lord says it's our mouths that snare us...so I kept quiet. You handled her well...your progesterone is doing well in the patience department ;)
God Bless!

Sep 16, 2013
Cost for 20 tubes
by: Wray

Hi Amy Firstly I'm so sorry about the stock outs, they cause me as much anguish as they do the people needing it. It's a question of supply and demand and of course cash flow. They don't always follow! I have heard someone contacted you about the discount option, there simply isn't the stock available now to allow it, helpfully soon. Secondly I'm sorry about the delay in replying, but I was travelling and couldn't find an internet connection! I can't believe, and yet I can, that your doctor was so patronising. It happens all too often and why, how easy is it to listen to someone, surely we know best about our bodies. So good your husband supported you. Their pet answer is to put someone on an antidepressant, how appalling is that. So many women write in asking for help after a hysterectomy, given because of fibroids or endo. So the doctor's removed the symptoms, but not the cause of them, which in this case is oxidative stress. They still have that and always will unless they take large doses of antioxidants. The pattern repeats itself endlessly, they should always look for the cause, what's causing the symptoms. This is usually so hard, I battle sometimes to help. And of course the medical profession don't have the time. I know I go on so, but have you had another vitamin D test done? Your level was too low, I know you're taking a higher dose, but best to have levels checked again. And if you're still battling with adverse symptoms, please look at our page on Anxiety, you might find help from some of the calming amino acids. Please keep in touch. Take care Wray

Sep 17, 2013
Thank you RJ
by: Amy

Thank you for taking the time to write to me RJ. It is always nice to know that someone else understands. Most of the time, my doctor visits do nothing more than make me wonder about my own sanity. Then I read a response like yours and remember that I am right lol!!! ;)
I will continue doing what I am doing. It did get better for me. MUCH better, which is why I got the "bright" idea to try and stop for a period. That will teach me. I haven't stopped since, yet I'm on day 8 of bleeding now. Ugh. Please don't be afraid on my account. I didn't go about it the right way. When I feel ready I will start to slowly decrease. Slowly being the key word lol.
Here's hoping we will both improve and get our "normal" back soon! Take care!!

Sep 17, 2013
Thank you Wray
by: Amy

Hi Wray,
Thank you so much for your reply. I completely understand about the stock. When I was working, I managed the office in a fulfillment warehouse. I remember what it was like to deal with stock depletion. I was the one who had to answer to all the customers, sales reps, etc, and I know how stressful it can be!
I'm sure I was being overly anxious in trying to find out the "when and why" answers to my questions. I apologize, but I start getting anxious every time I'm on my last tube, and that's where I was this time for the stock out. I just received my 3 tubes this morning, so I'm at least covered for a little while. I have to say, when I'm out of Natpro and have to just use Progest, the difference is amazing. I feel like I'm completely saturated in cream, oils and chemicals. When I exercise and perspire, I can feel the not-so-good ingredients coming out of my pores!
I'd buy a 50 gallon drum of your cream over theirs any day :)
And yes, it's not too surprising that my doctor dismissed me yet again. I had myself prepared for it this time, just in case. I'm not having many other symptoms other than hair loss and sleep issues. My moods, bloating, anxiety, aches and all are still better. There was NO way I was going on another antidepressant. His other suggestion was a dermatologist for my hair, which I had already been through. When I was misdiagnosed with Lupus, I was having steroid injections into my scalp and they did nothing. The only thing that helped was progesterone. Not only would he not write a script, but he suggested I start seeing another gynecologist! I Have been taking 10-15,000 iu's of D for a few months now. I will try to get my primary doctor to test me again. He even gave me a hard time about testing me at all. To say I have lost faith in my doctors over these last few years is an understatement. I don't even have the right words to express my gratitude to you Wray, for all you do. You and the other lovely women here have been the only people who have helped at all. I am now the "go to " person for my friends who are just starting to go through this. I am so grateful to have learned enough from all of you to help my friends along the way. Hopefully, I can help them so they don't have to go through what I did. I'm trying to "pay it forward" so to speak. It's the least I can do!

Sep 18, 2013
Would love some guidance on dosing with Progesterone Cream, severe symptoms
by: Wray

Hi RJ I so appreciate your comments! Thanks for giving Amy encouragement, it's not an easy road. And yes there are some who are very difficult, my dentist tells me I clench my teeth too hard! Years ago there was a British TV series in which the refrain was "I'm not a number, I'm a name". Maybe we should all go around with stickers on saying that! Our society has become mindless with all the numbers, passports, IDs, social security, drivers licence, not to mention all those 'passwords' we need! Take care Wray

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.


Search over 7,500 pages on this site...