Is Progesterone a life sentence for people with estrogen dominance?

by Nataliya T.
(Massapequa, NY, USA)


A week ago, I have begun using Natpro with 100 mg daily. Almost immediately, the side effects became very pronounced: acne outbreaks, insomnia got worse, but what was even more frightening - my blood pressure readings went out of control - in spite of the BP meds I'm taking. I'm 61 y. o. with a life-long history of hypertension, recently diagnosed with subclinical Hashimoto's.

Of course, I contacted your company (the same way I'm using it now, having followed the link that was emailed to me), but for some reason, I didn't receive a reply. Perhaps, I haven't sent it correctly.

Being limited financially, I cannot afford the integrative doctor to consult one on one and my endocrinologist is against any supplementation, to begin with. She is just waiting for me to get worse in order to put me on synthetic thyroid hormones. But I'm, quite contrary, trying all I can to get better, counteracting inflammation with supplements, doing a mild detox with fulvic acid and other supplements of that kind, digging for the root causes.

So without knowing how to proceed with Natpro, having concluded by symptoms only (and your questionary) that I apparently struggle with estrogen dominance, I have decided to take a leap of faith and to increase the dosage - since your general guidelines suggest just that. Besides, reading your site's posts, I realized that stopping Natpro abruptly is not a good idea, and it takes up to six (!) months for progesterone to counteract estrogen.

I didn't know how much more progesterone my body can tolerate (my weight is 110 pounds), so I increased just a bit - morning and evening dosages of approximately 75 mg, so it's 150 mg daily.

The side effects subsided just a tiny bit, but not quite. Besides, on top of that, I'm having new trouble now with my eyes. I visited an ophthalmologist and he said there is a threat of retina detachment.

It's quite scary to take a plunge with higher doses if your BP readings jump to 180/110 at times! All my maternal relatives died of a stroke at a young age. Clean diet, yoga, breathwork helped me that far.

To tell you the truth, I'm not thrilled with a perspective to get stuck with progesterone replacement for the rest of my days. My insurance doesn't cover detailed lab work (hardly - thyroid panel), and the Natpro is not cheap. I'd sacrifice the other supplements I'm currently taking - only if I'm sure that progesterone can reverse my autoimmune condition for good. Or if by using it for a long time (gosh, not forever!), my TSH and TPO antibodies would drop... But I am confused and scared to experiment at this point.

And really, do I have to use progesterone forever now? Could the withdrawal be just as bad as the initial introduction of Natpro?

So, would you suggest for me to continue with Natpro (meaning - increasing doses) or I'd better stop using it?

Really hoping to receive your reply,


Comments for Is Progesterone a life sentence for people with estrogen dominance?

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Oct 20, 2021
Is Progesterone a life sentence for people with estrogen dominance?
by: Joy

Hi Nataliya T

One will always experience strange things happening when progesterone is first used, this includes acne.  The body needs to adjust to progesterone therapy which can take between 2-6 months.  

Progesterone probably aggravated your BP. However, if the high BP is caused by vasoconstriction, progesterone can help as it's a vasodilator. Sharp declines have been observed in the early and late luteal phase of women when progesterone peaks.  I realise that you are 61 and in Menopause but thought to add this about the luteal phase. If the high BP is caused by excess aldosterone it can help. The hormone aldosterone causes sodium and water retention, which increases blood volume and pressure. Progesterone inhibits aldosterone, by occupying the same receptor sites, see here and here.  BP also increases if the renin-angiotensin system is activated, it's sometimes called the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. If blood volume drops the system kicks in. Renin is made by the kidneys, this stimulates the production of angiotensin, which is a potent vasoconstrictor, which increases BP. Angiotensin also stimulates the release of aldosterone, which of course causes sodium and water to be retained, so BP goes up. Essential hypertension accounts for 95% of all cases of hypertension, i.e. it's idiopathic or not known. Although a number of factors are known, obesity, insulin resistance, high alcohol intake, high salt intake, ageing, stress, low potassium and calcium intake. They are even suggesting our genes are responsible! But one thing which is always overlooked, a lack of Vitamin D3 causes the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system to come into play. I believe this is the primary cause of high BP, which is increasing the world over. Due to the misguided advice of governments to avoid the sun, by covering up or using Sunscreens.  People who live in a 'sunny' country think that they are getting enough sun, they aren't.  Studies of people living on the equator have found a lack of vitamin D3 in the participants. Please have a test done, for more info please see the Vitamin D Society website. Please look at these papers on the effect low vitamin D has on BP here,  here  and here.  A lack of vitamin D3 reduces the benefits of progesterone.  As you have a long history of hypertension, please take note of what has been mentioned.  
Acne could be that your testosterone level is high for one thing.

Run that by me again!  Your endocrinologist is 'waiting for you to get worse" really?  That is unbelievable.  By the way, a lack of vitamin D3 also affects the thyroid.

Progesterone therapy can take between 2-6 months before benefits are felt.  Some need a longer time and some are lucky enough to experience it's benefits much sooner.  I keep stating here that what suits one may not suit another.  We are all different.  The amount of Natpro that you are using is very little in comparison to others.  Some use as much as 400mg and others 800mg until their symptoms improve then they reduce the amount used.  

Progesterone therapy is a lifelong commitment, the moment you stop, all adverse symptoms will return sadly.  Progesterone needs to be the dominant hormone at all times.  Only you can decide if you wish to use progesterone indefinitely.  I will never stop using it, I have been using it for 17 years now.  

Should you wish to wean off progesterone, please do that gradually, it's kinder on your body.  Just be aware that your adverse symptoms will return.

Oct 21, 2021
Seems like Progesterone IS the companion for the rest of the life journey
by: Nataliya T.

Hi Joy,

Thank you so much for your thorough reply!

Most of all, I appreciate what you said about the relation between progesterone and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. It rings the bell because the only BP medications that work for me belong to angiotensin receptor blockers. If progesterone will help to lower blood pressure, it would be a major breakthrough for me!

As for vitamin D3, since the pandemic started, I take 5,000 IU daily. The ocean beach is my favorite place to be and - living on Long Island - I do yoga in the swimsuit in my backyard until November - without sunscreen. But I thank you for pointing out the antihypertensive effects of vitamin D.

Hypertension runs in our family. I hope it will help me to persuade finally my hypertensive cousins who are still concerned about vitamin D overdose - in spite of my suggestion to take the D3/K2 combo in high doses. They live in Siberia and both came down with covid.

In our healing journey, sometimes we have to be "the scientists of our own laboratory" which involves risk. If progesterone will be that missing magic piece of the puzzle in my quite solid (so I thought) pack of supplements, I would stick with your company for as long as it takes. And now I'm going to order a three-pack bundle of Natpro.

Thanks again!

Oct 22, 2021
Seems like Progesterone IS the companion for the rest of the life journey
by: Joy

Hi Nataliya

Thanks for your kind words.  If only people would realise that many of the so called ‘modern’ diseases can be prevented or cured by progesterone therapy.

Please don't forget to add those co-factors when taking D3, they are extremely important.  The thing about getting enough D3 from the sun confuses people.  Unless one can enjoy the sunshine with absolutely no clothing on at the hottest time of the day for about 20 to 30 minutes with NO sunscreen, every day, then yes one would be getting enough D3.  None of us can do that. Supplementation is vital.  You would be getting more than most.  As for D3 toxicity.  It really is impossible.  To get my level up where it should be, bearing in mind that I live in a sunny country, South Africa, I thought that my level would be optimal, how wrong was I!  I took 10 000iu's for 8 months, then dropped down to 5 000iu's per day EVERY day.  Perhaps your family could read the Vitamin D Society link given to you and also Grassrootshealth, link on the D3 page given to you.  You might also like to read this.  

Please keep us posted on your progesterone journey.  Just a little reminder, if not used correctly it will not work.  We are here to help you through this.

Go well.

Dec 13, 2021
The journey took a wrong turn
by: Nataliya T.

It wouldn’t feel right if I left this conversation on that positive note. I took into the heart everything you were saying here and ended up buying not three as I promised but one additional bottle of Natpro — with the idea to increase the dosage (following your advice). All my adverse side effects worsened. On top of that, I developed a very strange skin condition that dermatologists couldn’t identify correctly. They offered contradictive and mutually exclusive treatments that potentially would have aggravate the condition if diagnosis wasn’t right. Doing an extensive research, I came across a description that seemed to perfectly fit my condition. It’s called autoimmune progesterone dermatitis (APD). It’s an aberrant skin response to rising progesterone level.

I don’t wish to an enemy what I’m going through right now. I’m writing this as a precaution both for your customers and for the team: Please be very careful in advertising progesterone, especially when it comes to increase of the dosage. This is a dangerous game to play on your own — without doctor’s supervision and without closely monitored regular testing.

I don’t have a hard feeling towards your company. Lesson learned! But I would appreciate if I can return my order (I only have one bottle left) and receive a refund. Thanks!

Dec 14, 2021
The journey took a wrong turn
by: Justine

Hello Nataliya,

We are sorry to hear you are having such troubles. Can I ask what dose of progesterone you were using and the frequency?

AED Autoimmune estrogen dermatitis and here and the supposed APD are generally related to women who still have their cycle. The sudden drop in progesterone is what can bring on all the symptoms, including dermatitis. As you are over 50, it is probably estrogen that is the cause of your problems. Have you been able to have a hormone test done? if not we would highly advise it.

Through our research we have learned that it is oestrogen and not progesterone that is usually the cause of inflammatory responses. Please see this page on inflammatory diseases.
Progesterone is an anti-inflammatory agent, please see this paper here. It has been shown to reduce the response of natural killer cells, the Th1 cytokine response, as well as other known initiators of inflammation. Progesterone suppresses oestrogen, which is an excitatory hormone, a known initiator of inflammation.
From what I can tell, you are probably experiencing excessive estrogen dominance symptoms and have not given your body enough time to come into balance. It would also depend on how much progesterone you are using and how often?

Please read what Wray has written here:
"…I don't believe such a thing as APD exists. For a very simple reason, we make great quantities of progesterone during pregnancy, over 400mg/day in the third trimester. The occurrence of this so called disorder would therefore be far, far higher than it is. But it's extremely rare. It always occurs in the few days before we bleed. Progesterone increases from ovulation, peaking mid luteal phase, then the few days prior to bleeding it starts dropping sharply. It's this drop which which causes all the major symptoms many women suffer from, including the dermatitis. The ratio of progesterone to oestrogen becomes skewed during these few days, with oestrogen dominating. One study says "The patient... had recurrent cyclic lesions on the skin... that appeared just before regular menstruation and persisted until a few days after." Ironically the anti-oestrogen drug tamoxifen was given to suppress it. Another study mentions "a significant premenstrual flare of skin lesions", but in this case it was caused by oestrogen, which makes a great deal of sense. The paper ends by stating "Women can become sensitized to their own estrogens; the major clue is worsening of the skin problem premenstrually" Again the drug used to suppress it was tamoxifen, see here and here.
Another study suggests "the possible impact of estrogen mimetics, in the environment and in food... is associated with mast cell activation" Progesterone inhibits mast cell secretion, see : here.

It can take anywhere up to 6 months, (in some extreme cases longer) for your body to come into balance, and if you already have other health issues then your body may be needing more time to balance out and adjust. But I understand dealing with unpleasant symptoms can be most off-putting, hard to manage and confusing so if you don’t feel that sticking it out is the best thing for you then you can of course return the remaining dispenser and we will refund you.

We do wish you all the best love.

Warm wishes,

Dec 16, 2021
Perhaps it's the time to correct your policy?
by: Nataliya T.

Hi Justine and Joy, thanks for replying.

I understand your sincere effort to protect your product reputation and don't see it as a corporate bias. I truly believe that you're presenting all these arguments according to your best knowledge supported by rigorous research.

The point I'm trying to make is not about what to blame - progesterone or estrogen. I don't really care what is the culprit - whether it's sensitization to estrogen or not enough progesterone. It's obvious: If I wouldn't have started messing up with the delicate balance of hormones (which means bringing Natpro into the play), I wouldn't have that host of adverse reactions.

If you follow the chain of this exchange, it wasn't just a skin problem. I'm struggling with hypertension and Hashimoto's - the autoimmune condition that easily can lead to another autoimmune disease. BTW, APD is autoimmune as well. I wouldn't insist that this is what I got - very likely that you are right, and this is not that. Coincidentally though, I have these awful skin outbreaks on the areas where I applied Natpro: on the upper chest and on my inner low arms. I don't know - very well may be that this is the allergy to some ingredient. I'm curious if that progesterone was made out of soy that is a "no-no" thing for Hashi's? But according to your point of view, you are certain that the reason for all the adversity is that I don't use even nearly enough progesterone - both in dosage and timing.

But for someone who has all the complications I'm dealing with (including life-threatening BP spikes and horrible skin outbreaks), if somebody tells you that the dosage is not enough, and it takes up to 6 months or even longer - excuse me, but it sounds like a bad joke.

And if you see what I began this discussion with - it's a concern that progesterone supplementation looks like a life sentence. I cannot afford it - on top of other supplements that are life-saving for me. And just to think, it's quite a grim promise that if you stop with Natpro, all the symptoms will return.

So what you're basically offering is HRT for life. And yet, I did let you know right at the beginning of this conversation that I don't have the means to afford the integrative doctor, my endocrinologist doesn't agree to do estrogen/progesterone testing, and my insurance doesn't cover it. So in fact, you're encouraging a person to blindly follow your advice without regular testing the hormone level that can easily fluctuate.

My sense is safety trumps everything. And if you aren't sure of it, I would put it as a requirement (not a suggestion) to do REGULAR testing - not just an initial one-time shot. And if people like myself who has no access to it, perhaps it makes sense to offer testing as a part of your protocol. I am not a doctor, but my guess is that the test must include the whole trio: progesterone, estrogen (or their derivates), and testosterone -- since they are all interdependent.

I know, it involves a lot. But I think it would only boost the credibility of your company. Scientific rationalization cannot beat the dictum "do no harm"- if you care for the integrity of the company and ethical standards.

All the best,
Nataliya T.

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