Desperate, Need Help!

by Amelia

Hi Wray,

This is going to be a pretty long post, so please hang in there - all of this is important information.

I'm a relatively relatively 18 year old 5'2, was 110lb.I was put on birth control about 8 months ago (Ortho tri cyclin lo), as a way to "regulate" my periods, which before were pretty bad (i.e., cramps, heavy flow but not unbearable in any way). The side effects of the pill were pretty drastic though (major breast swelling/ tenderness, water retention, weight gain, migranes, etc), and I stopped taking it about 2 1/2 weeks into the pack.

When I went off, some of the symptoms went away, but I have not been normal since then. I have gained 10 pounds (almost all in the inner thighs), despite a strict diet and exercise (1600 cals, running 3 miles 5-6 times a week). I retaining water like crazy, have major breast tenderness, acne breakouts, horrible mood swings, migraines (which I never had before trying birth control) formication (ie, the bugs-crawling on your skin feeling), and (most disturbing) have not had a period for 8 months. My periods weren't regular before, but at least I never skipped more than 2 months. Moreover, all of these symptoms keep getting worse the longer I am off the pill - frankly, I feel like a 50 year old menopausal woman. I had my TSH (1.04), FSH (6.8), and LH(2.3) levels tested (after basically twisting my doctor's arm for them), and all came back normal.

I am pretty sure that I have low progesterone levels (supported by the low-normal LH levels), and have gone ahead and bought a bio identical progesterone cream, and have taken a 10ml dose. However, all of my symptoms have gotten DRAMATICALLY worse in the past 24hrs. My questions are

1) Can anyone offer me some reassurance that this will all get better (frankly, the mood swings/weight gain are making me so crazy right now that I would just about anything to make this go away)?
2) Can anyone reassure me about taking a higher dose of progesterone (Even though I have read many of the pages on this wonderful sight about the proper dose,I am simply scared that this taking more cream will help a pretty bad problem become even worse)?

Again, any input would be enormously appreciated - I am pretty darn desperate right now, and am terrified that these symptoms won't go away (especially the weight gain - I am sick and tired of starving myself and STILL gaining more weight).



Comments for Desperate, Need Help!

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Feb 17, 2014
My experience
by: Liesje

Hi Amelia,

It seems to me that all your symptoms (besided the acne - that's testosterone) seem to caused by estrogen (water retention, breast tenderness, mood swings, etc...).

When first starting progesterone treatment, estrogen and testosterone will be raised. That's why using more progesterone cream is suggested to make progesterone the dominant hormone over time. Wray usually suggests 100mg to 200 mg. She says you will only continue to stimulate estrogen production if used in smaller quantities. Have you read the page on estrogen dominance?

I was also reluctant to use higher doses at first. I spent many months reading all the info on this site before giving it a try. I started with small doses (around 50mg) and adjusted the dose daily as symptoms got worse. I decided to trust Wray's advice and increased my dose sometimes to over 400 mg. It took about 4 months for me untill all the symptoms disappeared. I'm 39 and have a normal cycle, so I used the cream only from ovulation untill the first day of my period (14 days). I'm now reducing my dose (I currently use 100mg daily) and have had zero symptoms lately.

Every body's different and it may take longer for you. I also don't know about the usage of the cream when you don't have periods, like when to start using it or if you should use it continually. I remember reading in one of Wray's answers that she recommends using it continually untill your symptoms have completely subsided and then stopping to let your body find its normal cycle. Once you've had a period you can then use it from ovulation (14 days before the start of your period). I'm no expert like Wray, but I can say I had a very positive respons to the cream. It also helped me relax, a lot! I've never been as even-tempered as I am now in my entire life ;)
It feels nice to be calm inside after many years of emotional turbulance.

Hope this helps a little,

Good luck,


Feb 17, 2014
don't worry
by: Lee Anne

Hi Amelia, I couldn't help but respond to your post. I too am 5'2 and have always weighed between 100-120Ibs.(except for pregnancies) and truthfully I feel so much better when I'm closer to 120 or more. Weight sounds it should be one of the least of your concerns right now sweetheart.

Here's some simple advice from what I've learned over the years (I'm 43 now)and Wray's site has helped me tremendously, so the least I feel I can do is respond to this post, being that she's taking a very well deserved rest.

First of all, it sounds by your severe fear of getting fat that you may need extra zinc. Studies have shown that anorexia patients have severe zinc deficiency, which indeed could be caused by excess estrogen that causes copper to rise too high and suppress zinc.

Progesterone can help this, but the dose you're taking is far too low. Successful studies (as you'll find on this site) use 100-200mg. of progesterone, depending how severe the progesterone deficiency is. Smaller amounts are shown to only make estrogen dominance symptoms so much worse, for the low progesterone just stays in the estrogen stimulatory mode, unless enough is used.

I truly hope my 2 cents worth helps, but don't just stop here, keep researching this site and educate yourself. Perhaps others have had the experience you're having concerning the past birth control use. And do try not to worry dear.

Feb 17, 2014
Desperate, Need Help!
by: RJ

Hello Amelia!
You are using far too little creme which is causing all your symptoms to get worse and worse each time you apply the creme. Start high with your dosage. Yes, you may feel sleepy with no energy but that will subside with time once your body becomes accustom to the creme. I do not know whose creme you are using but Natpro is the best all around, no chemicals and more progesterone for you dollar. I am 48 and use up to 1,000 mg a day when my issues get bad...most days I use 400-600 mg. Your body is out of sorts because of the pill and it is going to take some time for you to come back in line. The weight comes from the 28 year old daughter battled the same thing....she used to look like a puffer fish...all bloated...water weight from the estrogen. Progesterone is not a quick fix and do not get discouraged if you do not see immediate changes. It has taken me two years to finally see major results and I'm going through peri-menopause. Read all of Wray's articles to the left of your page. Progesterone cannot work alone. You need supplements too, which will help. Your weight will come off when the hormones get back in line again. Hang in there and have faith! God Bless! RJ

Feb 17, 2014
Desperate, Need Help!
by: RJ

Amelia, let me correct myself...I thought it read 10mg, instead it says 10ml. If you were using Natpro 10ml would be 330mg of progesterone a day. If you are taking that amount, that is not far too low as I stated above. You may have to go up higher to get relief...remember I take 400-600mg a day and sometimes 1,000 a day...but it's not as low as the 10mg a day I initially thought you said you were taking. You are going to feel worse before you begin to feel better on the high dosage. If you have a lot of estrogen to overcome then you are going to have all the symptoms you are having and they are going to get worse until progesterone overrides estrogen and nobody can tell you how long it will take for that to happen. I have read many times where Wray has told other women that you have a choice; start high and get all the estrogen dominance symptoms out of the way in a quick manner or start low and work your way up and deal with all the discomfort for a long period of time until progesterone becomes dominant. I personally would rather get it over with quickly. I am sorry for the confusion with my first post....fogginess of the brain is a peri problem and some days are better than others for me LOL God Bless! RJ

Feb 17, 2014
Re: Desperate, Need Help
by: Amelia

Thank you both for responding to my post so quickly - I though it would be at least a week before I heard anything.

I have gone ahead and already read much on this site about progesterone cream (and, for that matter, almost everything on the internet that had to do with progesterone deficiency/estrogen dominance. I think at this point I will need to look more into how to use the progesterone cream w/o a cycle, and into getting an actual progesterone test.

Feb 22, 2014
Desperate, Need Help!
by: Joy

Hi Amelia

Excellent news that you stopped taking BCP, all drug based contraceptives and HRT have a potential to cause harm - see here. It always amazes me why the BCP is prescribed when a problem can't be solved, it actually makes matters worse as you have discovered.

You were estrogen dominant before you even started taking BCP, we all are as there are over 100 estrogen mimics in our environment today, see Our Stolen Future. Now having used BCP even for such a short period of time, your estrogen level has increased, please read Estrogen Dominance. All yours symptoms point to it i.e. weight gain, breast tenderness, mood swings etc etc. No wonder you are feeling menopausal!

You need to make progesterone the dominance hormone by supplementing. I would imagine your 10ml that you are using is actually 10mg. In which case I am not surprised that you are feeling dramatically worse. By using too little progesterone you are now aggravating estrogen and now a little 'war' is going on between both estrogen and progesterone, both wanting to become the dominant hormone. This happens time and time again when too little progesterone is use. Nothing less than 100mg/3ml per day is recommended, more depending on how severe symptoms are. Please read How to use Progesterone Cream

Have you been tested for Endometriosis? Sounds to me that you could have it. Please have a test.

An important factor to look for when choosing a progesterone cream is to make sure that it is as organic as possible, and that it contains the correct amount of progesterone concentration, otherwise you will remain in a permanent state of estrogen dominance - see here.

Another very important thing is Vitamin D, do you know that you level is? If not please consider having a test done as a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone, it is also connected to every single cell in our bodies and their formation, making it vital.

Regarding your weight, please try the Ketogenic Diet, it is excellent for weight gain problems and many other health issues. It's no good using and taking the correct things if one's diet is wrong, it becomes so difficult.

Hope this helps you.

Feb 22, 2014
Desperate, Need Help!
by: Joy

Hi Liesje, Lee Anne and RJ

Thank you so much for your input and for encouraging and helping Amelia with her request for help. So very much appreciated.

Take care.

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