Interstitial cystitis and progesterone therapy.

by Aurora
(Las Vegas)

About two years ago I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. It took around seven years and six different urologists to finally be diagnosed with IC. Being able to be diagnosed gave me some sense of closure to my horrible symptoms but being told that there was no cure was, and has been, very disheartening.

After doing about a year of my own research I found a holistic MD who suggested oxygen therapy to the bladder and progesterone therapy replacement to help my symptoms. Finally a doctor that actually tested my hormones and I did have a big imbalance, in fact at the time I was producing zero progesterone.

This last month was the first time in over nine years that I have been pain free before my period, I believe the progesterone therapy is working, but I had a set back, I stopped the progesterone because I thought I had to give my body a break after my period started and a couple days later had one of the most horrible flareups I've ever had.

I am very confused on when and how to take the pill form of progesterone. I don't understand when I should take it during the month and when I should stop it during the month? My symptoms are horrendous the first week before my period. I have also been having flareup not before my period.

I want to try to stabilize myself. Is it too much to take progesterone everyday? Or should I take it the first couple days during my period then stop for 10 days? And how much should I take?

Sometimes I feel like I should take more for my symptoms to go away. But I stick to 50 to 150 ml. I need to get on a schedule and stick to it so I can see if it helps my symptoms. I feel like it might but I'm still in pain.

So confused, please help!!

Comments for Interstitial cystitis and progesterone therapy.

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Jul 03, 2018
There are answers for you
by: Anonymous

You need to see a hormone specialist. Ideally you find out why your hormones aren't balanced. There are so many reasons this could be happening. If you are forced to supplement then do so under the guidance of a specialist.

Jul 04, 2018
Interstitial cystitis and progesterone therapy.
by: Joy

Hi Aurora

Oral progesterone is not the best Delivery Method as so much gets destroyed by the gut and liver. Please consider using a good organic progesterone cream such as Natpro. Between 100-200mg progesterone is needed.

I suggest that you use progesterone every day until your cycle has become regular and you feel stable, then use the cream by following your cycle with your luteal phase. The cream should only be used from ovulation (Luteal Phase) for the last 14 days of the cycle. Should your symptoms return then perhaps you need to use progesterone every day. Please read How to use Progesterone Cream and Estrogen Dominance.

It is always a good idea to have hormones tested. The Hormone Testing page explains exactly what levels should be.

A vitamin D3 deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone, please make sure that your level is between 70-100ng/mL. Co-factors need to be taken when taking D3, magnesium and vitamin K2 are the important ones.

Mar 17, 2022
Is progesterone making my IC worse?
by: Tracy

A year ago I was diagnosed with IC and put on local estrogen which did nothing, so I was switched to oral. The pain went away. I added progesterone for balance, in the form of a 40 mg cream, and the pain came back. I stopped taking the progesterone and the pain went away but I got estrogen dominance symptoms so I started it again but the pain came back again. I switched to estrogen injections and the pain went away again, but once I upped my progesterone to 100 mg to 200 mg (gel cap this time) my pain came back again. I know I need the progesterone because I have Hashimotos which is aggravated by the estrogen dominance, but without it the pain is unbearable, often sending me to the doctor or emergency room for pain management. Please let me know what may be happening so I can fix it. I’m desperate.

Mar 18, 2022
Is progesterone making my IC worse?
by: Joy

Hi Tracy

No, if anything the estrogen that you were given and are taking would be aggravating the situation.  Cystitis is linked by the action of water retention. Both cystitis and urethritis are more common during the premenstruum (premenstrual) and are thought to be due to water retention caused by high levels of estrogen which is an inflammatory hormone. Hormone imbalances caused by environmental poisons including the 'xeno-estrogens' are thought to be one of the causes of the problem. Maintaining adequate levels of progesterone helps in the reduction of retained water. Progesterone causing cystitis is one of many Progesterone Misconceptions.

The two hormones are now fighting each other, both wanting to be the dominant hormone plus the fact that you have switched to oral progesterone.  Please read the links given to Aurora below - Delivery Method, How to use Progesterone Cream and Estrogen Dominance.  We don't believe that any women needs to take extra estrogen.  There are well over 100 estrogen mimics in our Environment as it is, why take more?

Progesterone therapy when used correctly can take 2-6 months before positive results are achieved, longer if symptoms are severe.  

What is your Vitamin D3 level.  I urge you to have a test if you don't know.  A deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone and is connected to every single functioning cell in our body making it vital.  It is also important for the thyroid.

Mar 18, 2022
Is progesterone making my IC worse?
by: Tracy

My Vitamin D level was midrange at 50. I’ve ordered some D3/K2 supplements. My initial hormone tests showed I had zero Estrogen and Progesterone. I’m not taking the Progesterone orally as I absolutely could not tolerate it that way. It gave me terrible indigestion. I’m using it rectally and asking the doctor to let me try the cream again but at a much higher dose than the 40 mg she had given me. If she doesn’t agree, I’ll probably switch over, anyway. What I don’t understand is why the Estrogen alone improved the situation if it is supposedly the cause of the problem.

Mar 18, 2022
Is progesterone making my IC worse?
by: Joy

Hi Tracy

Get your D3 level up as stated on the D3 page. Please do not forget Magnesium, it's and important co-factor and very much needed. Inserting progesterone is far better than oral. Cream must be no less than 100mg as stated on the website.

I am baffled as to why estrogen helped your cystitis as it's an excitatory, inflammatory hormone. Please read this post and take note of what Wray advised.

Jul 14, 2022
Topical estrogen
by: Anonymous

Just want to address some misinformed comments. Systemic estrogen measured by blood doesn’t equate to adequate amounts bioavailable to the genitourinary system. There are many many reasons people can be estrogen deficient- years on oral hormonal contraceptives, low body fat, lactation, PCOS and menopause. Topical estradiol caused a tremendous improvement in my bladder pain symptoms, after 15 years on the hormonal contraceptive pill (at urging of doctors) wrecked havoc on my body. I also had vulvar atrophy from the pill at age 30. I had dryness, itching and urethral leakage from the atrophy. I was more susceptible to UTIs. These are all documented side effects of both low estrogen and the pill. Topical estradiol fixed all of the above, and also gave me regular, normal periods and reduced debilitating pre-menstrual symptoms. Estrogen may be "inflammatory" in excess but when you are deficient, like anything else, there are consequences.

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