Please help understand lab results

by Katie


I have always suspected that I am estrogen dominant, because of constant breast-swelling before my cycle, and severe migraines on day 1 or day 3 of my menstruation.

I supplemented with natural progesterone cream (just for one cycle) and the migraine during those menses put me in bed for 2 days. So I was afraid to try progesterone again, until I got my saliva test done. I received my results, and even though the report says I am estrogen dominant, I am not sure how to understand the numbers, and how much, if any, progesterone should I use.

My estradiol results are - 22,70 pg/ml

My proesterone results are - 165 pg/ml

Hormone ratios Pg/E2 7,3:1

Can you please help me understand what that means, and how much progesterone should I use? Was progesterone the reason I had a very severe migraine the last cycle? I always have a bad migraine, but this was something else.

Thank you

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Nov 20, 2020
Please help understand lab results
by: Joy

Hi Katie

The actual cause of Migraines is unknown. However, it does appear as if hormones could be the cause in many women. Try rubbing progesterone cream at the back of your neck, it should help with the pain as progesterone is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

When first using progesterone and can make adverse symptoms worse especially if not enough progesterone is used. Progesterone therapy takes time and patience, it is not an overnight fix. It can take 2 - 6 months before positive results are felt. Please read the How to use Progesterone Cream and Estrogen Dominance pages for more information. Between 100-200mg progesterone is needed per day, more if symptoms are severe. Use half the amount in the morning and the other half at night, never use it just once a day.

You test results show that your progesterone:estrogen ratio is 7:1, it should be around 600:1. You certainly need more progesterone. The Hormone Testing page explains in more detail.

Nov 26, 2020
understanding lab results
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much! I will report my progress.

Dec 29, 2020
another migraine :(
by: Anonymous

Hello, after this cycle of using between 150-190 of progesterone cream, I had another excruciating migraine. It put me out of order for 3 days, and I still feel like I am recovering from it, my energy levels are very low, and I have a slight headache here and there throughout the day.

While using the cream in my luteal phase I had a lot of energy, slept great, so I was very encouraged. I stopped using on the 1st day of my cycle, my cycles are exactly 26 days, so I start the cream on day 13. On the 26th day, I had no migraine upon waking, which was encouraging since I always wake up with a migraine, it doesn't progress throughout the day, I wake up with it. I have had days where I would get the migraine on the 2nd or 3rd day of my period, so I knew I didn't dodge it yet, but was hopeful. I did not use the cream that day since I started to slowly spot. My migraine came mid-day, which is very unusual, but it was tolerable, so I went on with my day. When I woke up on day 2 of my cycle, my head was throbbing and migraine was in full force. I spent the next 2 days in bed, the pain was intense like I wanted to climb out of my skin, no position gave me relief. I rubbed the cream on my forehead and neck, only once since it seemed to intensify my headache.

I am at a loss on what to do this month. I am afraid of using the cream and experiencing this pain again. The last time I started the progesterone cream I also had a headache that was worse than what I would normally experience. Can I just stop using it abruptly this cycle? I am honestly afraid of experiencing this level of pain again. I wanted to try the cream because I am estrogen dominant according to my saliva test, I have sore breasts leading up to my period (which seemed to have been better this cycle, so that was great), and because I had menstrual migraines every cycle for the past decade.

I take magnesium, vitamin D, Vitamin C, Calcium d-glucanate, vitamin B complex, zinc, selenium, all the supplements that are required for the iodine protocol, which I also started doing in hopes to solve my migraine and breast issues. I take cod liver oil, and eat liverwurst 2 a week for a natural vitamin consumption. I haven't checked any of my vitamin D levels,I cannot afford natural care right now, and I haven't been to an allopathic doctor since I watched my mother die of cancer with their standard of care. I also have read other's experiences with migraines on this forum, and I see that I am not the only one. I haven't read an update of these issues resolving, it would be helpful to know if all this pain would be worth it after continuing with the progesterone therapy.

So, I guess I need some guidance on what to do this cycle, these migraines are really disrupting my life and my family :(

Dec 31, 2020
Please help understand lab results
by: Joy

Hi Katie

May I suggest that you try using 200mg progesterone per day, you may need to use more. I also suggest that you use progesterone every day with no breaks and used as already explained. Once things become more stable and your cycle returns to normal you can start to use progesterone by following a regular monthly cycle, which is your luteal phase as explained in the How to use Progesterone Cream page. If symptoms return then you would need to use progesterone every day going forward.

Progesterone is not the cure for everything but it certainly helps. Migraines are also caused by a number of other things as already mentioned. Your progesterone level is extremely low, it is going to take time before things improve for you.

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