Pain and swelling: Will progesterone cream help?

by Pam
(United States)

Dear Wray, My order arrived today. Hurray! I could hardly wait to get started. So, I've already applied the progesterone to areas where it's needed.

I have questions about a very delicate subject. But first of all, I want to say thank you for your informative website. I've read for hours and appreciate your hard work, heart, and dedication to helping women.

Since I haven't found the main symptom that concerns me on your forum, I'll write it here.

I'm 50 years old; had my last period when I was about 45. Since the birth of my last child, 19 years ago, I've experienced severe to moderate pain during physical intimacy with my husband. She was a natural birth, no complications, no episiotomy.

Doctors have not explained the cause of the pain.
Over the years, some have suggested I take HRT or an estrogen cream. This is an uncomfortable idea for me, and I haven't tried it.

In addition, last December I found a walnut-sized "lump" right on the edge of the vaginal orifice. It's soft, yet firm, and it can be pushed back inside the vagina.

I went to a gynecologist 100 miles away, because there isn't a gyno doctor in my hometown, and he examined me and said that he didn't see anything wrong.

After I was home, while standing, I checked and sure enough the lump was still there. It moves a little and can be pushed back inside. I think that while I was lying on the table during the exam that it was back inside and not detectable.

The doctor said that the walls of my vagina are thin. He said that I have vaginal atrophy, and explained that this is the cause of the pain. He prescribed a low dose HRT, recommended a mammogram, the whole shabam. He also ordered blood work--the typical panel.

Have you heard of anything like this lump? And if so, do you know what can be done for it?

I applied about 1 1/2 tsp cream. I'm unsure of the amount to use. Even after reading the information, I'm unsure of the correct dosage. I'll apply a second dose this evening.

Thank you for reading my long inquiry. You are a dear.


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Feb 01, 2015
Pain and swelling: Will progesterone cream help?
by: Wray

Hi Pam Bless you for the kind words, I try! I think you are right about the lump 'disappearing' while the gynae examined you. The only thing which springs to mind is a cyst. Have a look at the list on Wiki. There are two cysts which fit the bill, one is a Gartner's duct cyst, the other a Bartholin's cyst, both can be mistaken for the other but for where they arise. Which appears to be right where you describe, but you would be the better judge once you've read the info. It appears to be caused by the duct getting blocked. So massaging the duct should clear it, but please ask your doctor first. Other possible cysts are a papillary hidradenoma, an epidermoid cyst and a Skene duct cyst. More on the Skene duct here. Vaginal atrophy is very common and does cause pain. Oestrogen creams are normally given, as doctors are oestrogen orientated. But I use progesterone cream there every night and have for years, and recommend it to all women if their vaginas are either dry and/or inflamed. It seems to work wonders, but with a vagina already painful it might take some time to heal. I suggest using half of your daily amount in the vagina, and best to apply it twice daily, but definitely at night. Either a finger or an applicator can be used to apply it. It could sting to begin with, the pH of the cream is quite acid, in keeping with that of the skin. As for a mammogram, evidently he hasn't read any of the studies, and there are many advising extreme caution. The following paper is the latest from the National Cancer Institute, Harms of Screening Mammography. These are a few more here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. It's impossible to advise on the correct amount to use, it is trial and error. The 1 1/2 tsp cream twice daily will give you a very good amount of progesterone, in the region of 500mg/day. See our page on How to use Progesterone Cream there's a chart at the bottom showing the mg progesterone per millilitre of cream. I don't think you need that much, the tube will only last you 4 days. As you've only just started, you can reduce down to 200mg/day without suffering withdrawal symptoms. But if you do feel good on the 500mg/day and it's helping the 'cyst' and the dryness, then stick to it until such time as you feel you can reduce it. Then do it in amounts of 16-30mg per reduction. Take care Wray

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