From prescription bioidentical progesterone pills to over-the-counter cream experience
I was told I had osteopenia, so I went to a doctor who prescribed bioidentical hormones. The doctor did the usual blood tests, including hormone tests for estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. He put me on compounded pharmacy cream for estrogen and also progesterone pills, both bioidentical. I was with him for three years, dutifully taking these compounds at my own expense because insurance said they wouldn't pay for them. My cost was over a hundred dollars a month for the two prescriptions. The doctor tested me every few months. During the time I had him, my ratio was never in balance. The lab suggested that a ratio should be at least 100 pg, but I was never above 30. Even with a doctor, it's guesswork as to how much hormone should be used. I decided to give up going to the doctor and start taking over-the-counter creams, which were cheaper and more convenient to use, and decided that I'd do my own testing using the same lab the doctor did.
I already had an idea of what I was using and needed, so fortunately I had a baseline for taking the new prescription. My uncharted territory was changing from a progesterone pill to a progesterone cream. I read and found out that the 200 mg of progesterone in the pill could be met with about 75 mg of cream, so I used that. I also did a full pump of bi-est estrogen that seemed to be the equivalent of the pump I used from the pharmacy. To a degree, I didn't have much confidence that the over-the-counter stuff would work as well, but to my surprise, it worked extremely well. My hormones were in balance. I felt fine. That lab test was in January, 2023.
Fast forward to October, 2023, our current month and year, and I have found that I suddenly no longer have a tolerance for the creams. I tried adjusting the amount I took, even balancing it out over two sessions so that I was not slammed with so much hormone at once. I tried cutting it way back, only using a pea-sized amount with a ratio of 2:1 (P:E2) and still have symptoms of intolerance. I even tried the three-day break that was suggested by a doctor.
It could be that since I have taken hormones for 4 years and 3 months that my body has developed an intolerance to them. During my three-day break over the past 3 days, I found that I felt calmer and slept better. I don't like the idea of giving up on the cream, but I don't want to go on living with the physical stress that the hormones have brought onto me.