Low progesterone level

by SaDonna

Background and Question: My last 'normal' period was in January '08. I have never had menstruation problems other than missing a month or being a couple weeks late - that has always been the case since I was a teen, though.

After January, I went through some rather stressful events and did not have a 'normal' period again until May. In May, I started my period, only after the 'normal' duration of 4-5 days, I continued to bleed, producing large blood clots. I bled for two weeks (which is NOT normal for me). The bleeding stopped after the two weeks. I thought all was going to be ok and it was just a 'fluke'. However, I noticed (as well as my family) an increase in irritability and sadness - a great sense of loss/loneliness... and seven days later, I was bleeding again. That lasted almost three weeks.

I decided to see my physician. She did blood work, TWO pap-smears, and an ultrasound. The only thing that came back 'abnormal' was a low progesterone level. So... she prescribed YAZ (birth control) for HRT. I stopped bleeding, BUT I had immediate side effects - numbness and tingling of the left hand and leg/foot, acute chest pains, heaviness in my chest, shortness of breath, etc...

I stopped those pills after only three doses and called my doctor. She then changed the prescription to Orthotricylomen (a lower dose)... after four days of taking those, I started having the same reactions. I called my doctor again and we agreed to stop the BC pills and 'see what happens'. I did not bleed the entire time I was on the BC pills. Two days after stopping the Ortho, I started bleeding again.

I wanted to do some research on 'natural' means to treat pre-menopause (my doctor told me I was too young to be going through that... I'm 38 years old - my mother went through menopause at 42...?) to see what I could find. I thought since the blood work revealed a low progesterone level, I would go to my local natural health store and see what I could find.

I found an all-natural progesterone cream. I am just a little confused on HOW to use it. The directions say to start using it 12 days after the 1st day of your menstrual cycle... but since the bleeding won't stop, I'm not sure when that would be! Is it ok to use the cream WHILE I am bleeding? Some sites I've been to say to not use it while bleeding... I don't know... I need some guidance... I've been to multiple websites and read the directions, but it's just a little confusing to me, I guess.

I would rather use the cream than go back to the doctor and spend more major bucks on meds that feel like they're going to kill me! I also purchased magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D supplements. I think I'm on the right track, I just need more HELP regarding the cream!

Comments for Low progesterone level

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Jul 20, 2008
Low progesterone level
by: Wray

Hi SaDonna If your mother went through menopause at 42, then you are not 'too young' to experience the peri-menopause symptoms you have now. Peri-menopause can start from 5-10 years before menopause itself.

I'm relieved you have stopped the Pill! All OC's lower natural progesterone levels in the body because they prevent ovulation. Unless you ovulate you will not make any progesterone in the ovaries. So if you have a low progesterone level the worst thing possible would be to go on the Pill! You might be interested in reading the warnings about YAZ:

Please read my answer to 'Risk of no Periods' on what all OC's can do:

if you use any progesterone cream before ovulation it will also prevent it, so unless your cycle is 26 days long, do not use it on day 12, it should only be started at ovulation or 14 days before you bleed again.

Having said this, as you're now in peri-menopause, the cycle becomes too erratic to follow, so use the cream every day, without taking a break. Your periods will come and go when they will, there is nothing you can do about it. No amount of progesterone will help regulate it now. Due to your symptoms you will need a higher dose than normal. All the successful studies done on progesterone use between 100mg to 200mg per day. This equates to 3ml to 6ml of Natpro per day. Some go as high as 400-600mg/day, one as high as 1200mg/day as it was the oral variety.

Once the symptoms have been reduced, the amount of progesterone can be reduced until the optimum level is achieved. Here's a web page giving all the details on how to use the cream:

You might experience symptoms of oestrogen excess when first using progesterone, please go to this page which explains why:

Do hope this helps. Take care Wray

Jan 09, 2011
Genetic low Progesterone
by: Kayla

In the past couple of years, my daughter began having mood swings, rages, and anxiety. Believe me, this was beyond normal teen hormones. We have been to many medical specialists from UCLA to Duke and received no answers. In a desperate attempt to help my daughter, I ordered a genetic panel from Dr. Yasko and discovered a gene deletion of ACE which causes low progesterone. Two days ago, I purchased a natural progesterone cream but was afraid to try it. Last night, however, when my daughter (now almost 14 years) started to go to 'her bad place', I rubbed a little of the cream on her arms and it was like magic. Tonight was the same scenario. Amazing! I am sure that she is suffering low progesterone but don't know what to do next. Should I try to get a doctor to hear me (very difficult) or is it safe to keep her on the progesterone cream? Her periods were so irregular that there is no way to determine a day to begin and if the gene deletion is causing on-going low progesterone, should I just use a little cream on her every night? Will this prevent her from ovulating? I am very impressed with Wray's knowledge regarding hormones. Please help!

Jan 12, 2011
Genetic low Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Kayla I can find no evidence that deletion of the ACE gene causes low progesterone. It does cause an increased risk for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, see here. There is evidence it can cause increased risk for type 2 diabetes too, see here. And the potential to cause recurrent miscarriages, see here. None of which concerns me, as all these are possible to reverse with vitamin D, with a little help from progesterone! Please get a vitamin D test done for your daughter. It's low in most of us, and a lack reduces the benefits of progesterone, plus it can lead to the above problems. For more info please see the Vitamin D council website. And see here here, here, here and here for further info. I'm amazed none of the doctors etc you went to didn't pick up low progesterone, but maybe they didn't bother to test for it? I've found this one of the most prevalent problems in puberty, I had bad depression then. Most of the time it arises from a lack of ovulation, in spite of a 'normal' cycle. The ovaries often take 2 years after menses to start ovulating. To prevent my 14 year old daughter from the depression I had, I put her on daily progesterone as her cycle was very irregular, I had been using it 6 months by then, and was a changed person. She's still using it and is now 29. By age 18 her cycle had settled down, and she began using the progesterone following it. You could try to get a doctor to listen, but it is difficult! Specially in one her age, as they will tell you she's too young to have hormonal problems. They can start at birth. Have they checked for PCOS? The amount you are using seems to be working, but watch for any stress, as that drops progesterone levels. Just use more in this case, school is stressful! So is puberty. I do suggest using it a minimum of twice a day too, as levels drop after about 13hrs. Take care Wray

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