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.

Feb 28, 2021
do I continue using throughout all cycle?
by: Kat

Hello, it's been 2 months since I've been using Progesterone cream all the way through my cycle. I am in day 20 of my third cycle (26 days), and I should have my period this week.

Since starting the cream all the way through my cycle - my migraines moved to my luteal phase days. Instead of having a 2-day migraine on the 1-3 day of my period, I had them during around/after my ovulation time, and they were just as severe. The first cycle my period did not start on 26th day (I am very regular) it began 3 days late, but I read that's to be expected. My period lasted 9 days instead of the usual 5-6, and my ovulation came almost immediately, with a migraine. The luteal phase was normal, next period came on very slowly, took 3 days to start normal bleeding, but other than my menses taking a long time to start and slow time to finish, it was fine.

After my period ended I have been experiencing weird symptoms. I continue using 200mg of the cream, apply morning and night. I have not ovulated this cycle. I know how my body goes through ovulation and it did not happen this cycle. My breasts look like they grew a size, they are very sore and look like they are retaining water. I would have sore breasts with lumps before, but it would only happen a week before my period, now they have been like for the past 2 weeks. I am constantly cold, seems like I always need layers on and socks on my feet, I would always be fine walking my house barefoot before. And my new symptoms that I have noticed this past week, - my legs and arms feel like they are tingling, like they are about to fall asleep and moving position doesn't help.

I am not sure how this period will start, but do I continue with the cream all throughout the cycle again? I don't see too much recommendations here on using the cream past the luteal phase, so I am not sure if I should be continuing.

Thank you.

Mar 02, 2021
Do I continue using throughout all cycle?
by: Joy

Hi Katie

You will notice changes when first using progesterone, the body needs to adjust. Your cycle will become irregular. If the amount that you are using is not working for you, then increase as explained previously. You will have to experiment to see what suits you. Continue to use the cream every day with no breaks until your adverse symptoms improve, then use can use the cream by following your regular cycle i.e. your luteal phase. I am a bit confused when you say that you see no recommendations on using the cream past the luteal phase. It is all explained on the How to use Progesterone Cream page, I gave you the link for that page.

Painful breasts could indicate that you are lacking in iodine or thyroid problems. You mention being cold, that is also a thyroid symptom. May I suggest that you have a test. Progesterone is an excellent anti-inflammatory, try rubbing some cream on your breasts to see if that will help ease the pain.

Mar 03, 2021
thank you
by: Anonymous

I appreciate your reply, I sent a comment yesterday but somehow it did not post. By not seeing a lot of advice on using progesterone through the cycle - I meant that I read many testimonials and only saw a couple of posts with this suggestion, and no feedback on how it worked out. I really appreciate this forum and all you do to answer my questions.

I had my thyroid checked a few times in the past and it was always normal. I started supplementing iodine a year ago because of my migraines and swollen painful breasts prior to menses. It helped for a few months, but then these problems returned. That's how I found this forum, searching for problems with excess estrogen.

Mar 18, 2021
still going
by: Anonymous

Hello, as of today I have been on my period for 14 days. Needless to say that has never happened before. Every day I hope it's winding down and then it comes, as I noticed, about an hour after I apply progesterone. Everywhere I look besides this forum, says to not use progesterone all the way through, so I can't find any feedback on anyone going through the same thing.

This is my third cycle of using progesterone all the way through, my other two periods were slow to come and were a bit longer than usual, but nothing like this. Last cycle I didn't ovulate, and now I am not sure how to proceed with using the cream every day. I am afraid I have messed up my hormones with so much progesterone. I have never been un-regulated, my periods were always 26 days apart, my problems were menstrual migraines, but now I feel I've encountered a whole new set of issues.

What do you suggest I do? Can I stop using it abruptly, and wait until I hopefully ovulate this time, and use it then?

Mar 19, 2021
Still going
by: Joy

Hi Katie

Progesterone therapy isn't easy, I wish it was. I have explained how the body needs time to adjust to progesterone therapy, but will explain again. Your body is still adjusting. Every women is different, they react differently. It is always a good idea to use progesterone cream every day especially if one is experiencing adverse symptoms, in your case migraines, until your body adjusts and a regular cycle returns and adverse symptoms clear or improve. Once that happens then, use progesterone by following your cycle.

If you are concerned about your continual bleeding, which I might add, is normal for many women, but again, every women is different. If concerned, try this heavy/continual bleeding protocol ....

• Natpro Progesterone Cream - 400mg to 500mg per day
• N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) - 2000mg per day
• Taurine - 2000mg per day
• Vitamin D3 - 5000iu's per day more if Vitamin D3 level is low. Co-factors are needed when taking D3 such as magnesium and zinc
• Bioflavanoids - 1000mg per day

This website and forum provides the correct information about the benefits of progesterone. It is up to the individual to follow the information given, or they can follow a different protocol. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so do be aware of that.

It is far better to wean off than go cold turkey, it is easier on the body.

Mar 19, 2021
still going
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I understand about body adjusting, I am very hopeful that all this is for a purpose and I will see results in the future. It's just very daunting to see continues bleeding, I've never experienced anything like it, and with having my mother die of ovarian cancer, all things that have to do with abnormal bleeding scares me a lot.

I also understand about conflicting information out there, that's why I search for people's commenting on their own experiences, that's what led me here. I believe progesterone therapy has helped many people, I just wish I knew my body was on the right track and that there is an end in sight in this bleeding. I don't want to go off cold turkey, but I am afraid to try using more progesterone for the bleeding protocol.

I have been using about 200 mg, 2x a day since January, I was looking to stop using it throughout all cycle after these menses, since I am coming about 3 months of using it every day, but now I have no idea what point of cycle this is supposed to be, and will I just go into the next period without a break? I've searched the forums for continuous bleeding problems, and have yet to see someone give an update that it all subsided and all is well now.

I thank you again, that you keep replying. I will keep updating and hopefully there is a light at the end of this.

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