Progesterone cream ruined my life and I can't find any answers

by lauren
(rhode island)

I am a 34 year old female, who used natural Progesterone cream as a means to ease horrible endometriosis symptoms/estrogen dominance.
I began the cream in September of 2015. Initially, i was using 60mg of the cream 3x a day. I felt fine at first, slept great, my hormonal acne seemed to clear up, and I began to lose a little bit of weight, which has been a VERY big struggle for me over the past 3 years since being diagnosed.
After using the cream for a month, I began to have horrible breast swelling (I went up 2 cup sizes) abdominal bloat, and periods where my cramps were so bad they had me vomiting. I missed days of work because of this. I stumbled upon this website, and read many articles saying that if you are in a continuous state of oestrogen, you need to take more progesterone to make it the dominate hormone. Well, I did just that. I was taking 300mg a day. What happened during those 3 months, was a 20lb. weight increase, extreme depression, extreme period pain, zero libido due to both depression and body image issues as a result of the extreme weight gain, and anxiety.

I used the cream from September- the end of december and decided to stop, as it literally ruined my entire life.

Here I am, almost a year later, and I have lost maybe 6lbs if that.
My body is transformed from taking that cream, and because of it, i can barely even look in the mirror anymore. i have always been extremely active but now I can barely get to the gym because i am so embarrassed.

Just wondering if anyone out here has experienced this.
It's hard to find sites where people used the cream for endometriosis, as many people on here seem to be using it for menopause.

I just want some kind of answer or reasuurance.

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Aug 30, 2016
Progesterone cream ruined my life and I can't find any answers
by: Renee

Hi Lauren,
I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. Just out of curiosity, have you had your thyroid levels checked in the last year? Not just the TSH, but T4 and T3? Have you done a saliva cortisol test for adrenal insufficiency? And since you live in the northeastern United States, have you had your vitamin D levels checked?

I would suggest finding a functional medicine doctor (holistic/naturopath)to speak to about what you are going through and who is willing to run all the thyroid tests, adrenal tests, sex hormone tests and vitamin d test. Some of them are covered by insurance. I have a great functional medicine practitioner who helped me a lot and I feel better.

I think it would be a good thing for you to get a whole picture of your health. If you have thyroid or adrenal issues, they can account for some of the symptoms you are having as well.

I hope you find some answers soon and feel better.

Aug 30, 2016
I feel your pain
by: Melissa

I had the same reaction initially, it was a very unpleasant experience. Your symptoms are caused by estrogen, the only way to reverse this is to increase the dose and take supplements that balance estrogen. I take dim and calcium d glucarate these supplements have done wonders, I also use up to 1500 mg of cream per day during luteal phase of cycle. There is still hope for you as by following the supplement plan and increasing my dose of cream I was able to loose all the weight I gained initially and I feel better than ever before. You can do it.

Aug 30, 2016
Progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

I know it's not what you want to hear, but you probably just needed a much larger amount of cream. I've been taking upwards of 2000 mg a day and I still have problems. I am also the same age as you. I would strongly, STRONGLY suggest going on Amazon and ordering calcium-d-glucarate. It will help. The breast pain and being unable to lose weight is from excess estrogen and CDG will help. But I would say use upwards of 2000 mg of it. That is what's worked for me. Good luck. And read all the reviews you can on it, there are some very knowledgable people on there.

Aug 30, 2016
progesterone ruined my life
by: Anonymous

I have had a similar situation. The first time I got anxiety was from taking oral progesterone. that was in 2004. It was shocking to me.and have had it off and on since then. I tried doing huge doses of Natpro, before the VD3 info. It was horrible. Even taking that much the testing showed no raise. Don't think I was absorbing it. Ive tried shots, troche, cream, and prometrium(which seemed to work better for me). My doc is now trying vaginal compounded and so far not much luck as she wont raise the dose. Ive had oophorectomy and was using it everyday 60mg a day which I think is low. And she wants me to go off it for 5days a month. Will see how that works. YOU are not alone. Its great if raising the doses works but hell if it doesn't and the agony of ED can be unbearable. Ive used every "calming" natural supplement out there. Herbs aminos, essential oils etc. They work for awhile then have to switch to another one. I get where you are at and there are others too, but I wish too there was an answer for you. Everyone is so different about hormone issues. I do believe Wray about progesterone but it has not worked for me and cannot afford to buy the amount it would take. My insurance pays for compounding prog. I know this probably isn't that informative but I just wanted you to know you are not alone. I also have chronic high cortisol levels.

Aug 31, 2016
Progesterone ruined my life
by: Rachel

Hi there. I saw your post and felt moved to reply because you sound so unhappy and frustrated and although I don't have exactly the same medical diagnosis, I understand how utterly miserable it is to experience your own body doing things that you can't seem to combat.
I really hope you get some answers here. In case you don't do so already please take a large dosage of vitamin d3. I take 10,000 iu daily. It does seem to help with the blues and will help you to produce your own progesterone.
Also, a ketogenic diet helped me shed the pounds once I stuck to it, and it really isn't that difficult to be honest. I also trawl the Dr Mercola website for information on diet and supplement info.
I now only eat good fats and veggies and good quality protein and the difference it's made to my body and state of mind is shocking. I never eat after 7pm as well. My doctor insists on blood tests and won't even hear me when I request for saliva or urine tests, so I'm hoping to see a more understanding doctor soon. Please don't give up, and like I said, I'm hoping someone here will provide some more information and guidance for you very soon as you're clearly in a very miserable place and it's just horrible. X

Aug 31, 2016
calcium d glucarate and DIM
by: jayem nh

HI -just a quick response from herbalist/nutritionist - calcium d glucarate (CDG)along with it's companion DIM, 4X DAILY (every 5 hours)for 6 months - dosage - follow serving size on the bottles, but "go hard" for 6 months (=4x daily, every 5 hours)
Wash each dose down w 12+ oz water and 500mg vit C - as you will be flushing/peeing out excess estrogen (vit c will help)
pinch of pink salt will help you maintain minerals as well (lots of water can wash away essential minerals - pink salt will put them back!)

research foods high in estrogen (don't eat those)
research estrogen mimickers (get rid of them)
research ancestral diets - follow that
research probiotics and effects on weight - follow that advice
research vit D - critical
research magnesium - essential
"what brand CDG and DIM?"
like anything else, THERE'S TOP SHELF" and GARBAGE - GO MIDDLE OF THE ROAD if price is an issue - read customer reviews!

here are some suggestions to start ur research =
Dr. Carolyn Dean = magnesium info
Grassroots = vit D info
Authority Nutrition - nutrition info
Dr Chris Kresser - functional medicine/health

you'll feel (and see!) the effects of CDG and DIM within 20-30 minutes of dosage (fast enough? lol)As well, you'll feel it's effects wearing off around the end of that 5 hour window (time for another dose) - you'll be moving a s-ton of estrogen out, so maybe make notes of time of dosage and pay attention to what u r feeling and and NOTE the time as well - this will help u understand what's going on w ur body and how the CGD and DIM work ...remember that water n pink salt n c w each dose - flush flush flush!)

sorry you're feeling so bummed out and frustrated - been there - you'll be ok, thou!

Aug 31, 2016
simple thyroid test
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to say in response to the previous comments regarding thyroid testing, that there is an easy at home test you can do, which is considered to be more accurate than typical blood tests: Basal body temperature. You can place a digital thermometer under you armpit when first waking up in the morning. Place the digital by the bed, and when you awake, immediately place the thermometer under your arm. Leave it there for 10 minutes BEFORE turning it on, and then when it beeps, wait another minute or two. If using a non digital thermometer, you would leave under tongue and wait 10 minutes before reading. Digital is easier I find. Keep as still as possible when you are testing. If the temperature is between 97.8 to 98.2 you are considered normal according to one of the leading specialists in desiccated thyroid hormone, Dr. Broda Barnes. Anything below that temperature may indicate low thyroid. A very good supplement which is desiccated thyroid hormone and non prescription (one I use) is Thyro Gold created by the late Dr. John Lowe. I mention all this just in case. Progesterone also supports thyroid and I wouldn't be without it. I wish I had known what I know now years ago. I hope this is helpful. Don't give up! We are all here to help each other when we can. Thank goodness for this site!!

Sep 02, 2016
Thank you all
by: Lauren

Thank you all so incredibly much for your responses and comments. You have NO idea what this means to me. I have been through absolute hell.
Unfortunately, I don't have the money or the patience to ever do that high a dosage of progesterone cream. It wouldn't be worth the absolutely devastating side effects I've experienced.

I do see a holistic Doctor, and many of you mentioned CDG and DIM which I have been taking religiously for the last 6 months per her instructions. I take 500mg of DIM 2X a day and 500mg of CDG 2x a day. Should I be taking more?
I definitely will be buying the high potency vitamin D as suggested. I'm taking about 20 supplements a day: evening primrose, vitex, multi vitamin, fish oil, vitamin b complex, you name it.
I had my thyroid levels checked by my regular doctor, where they pronounced me having " a Harvard clean bill of health" which is obviously complete BS, because when I showed my blood test results to my homeopathic doc she said i was two points away from hypothyroidism.
She started me on a natural thyroid supplement called thyrtophin which seemed to help at first and now I don't think it is. I refuse to step on the scale.
I also follow a diet eliminating dairy, gluten, and now have eliminated meats. I'm eating just fish when I do eat meat.
I have tried EVERYTHING. From how I eat, I should be very thin. I'm lucky if I drop a pound these days and it's so incredibly frustrating. I don't know what else to do.

Sep 03, 2016
feel better soon
by: jayem nh

hi - yup, according to the protocol i was given (nutritionist/herbalist), "go hard" for 6 months w/CDG & DIM (so every 5 hours - see comment above re flushing)

i feel the idea there is to "empty" estrogen receptors continuously and keep them empty (for a limited period of time, 6 months, then reassess)

question : what's ur water source? (private well, city?)
do you live or work in/around petrol chemicals?
does anyone you live with work around petrol chems?

look for daily exposure to petrol chems...

i had 2 clients struggling - similar stories as urs - one ate clean, detoxed, supplemented, etc etc - but her husband worked on diesel engines - it's on his skin, clothes, etc (can't escape, it's even in their washing machine, etc) the second one literally lived next door to oil fields in TX (she hadn't considered the source) ...

and, yup, the labs for thyroid are dinosaurs! useless! thyroid supplement should be increased super slowly w ur docs guidance until you reach a functional level ... we aren't robots, and ur thyroid needs are unique ...

idk about ur diet - seems super limited ... i don't know you, but what has made the most sense to me is to go ancestral - why? what else would fit ur genetics better? to that id add the advice to skip the foods highest in natural estrogen (at least for the 6 months ur clearing out, then reassess)... one-size diet does not fit all or work in the long term, but ur genetics are ur genetics ...

sure, there's adaptations and we now are learning about "epi-genetics" - which is how to switch stuff off n on, but for the most part, what got u here today - survival of the fittest - your gut biome or probiotics - crave, need and thrive on certain nutrients ... happy functional gut, happy functional organs, happy functional you! it's only in the last 100 years or so we've had access to literally any food from anywhere on the globe...previously, we ate what our families ate and it was all local, eat what your great-great grandparents ate - and do ur best to make sure it's clean clean clean! (aka organic)

Sep 03, 2016
Hi Lauren
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad Lauren that you are doing what appears to be really good things for yourself. And may I say that you are right to label the thyroid testing as BS - if you don't mind my saying! As I mentioned, the best way to test thyroid is with that simple basal temperature test. Also, the natural thyroid supplement you are taking I also once took and found not affective . Thyro Gold developed by the late Dr. John Lowe is excellent, as it contains all the thyroid hormones. Dr. Lowe's wife Tammy is available to help you. Just go to their site, it's full of information and question and answer section, etc. It has helped many people and it is within your own control as to how much or how little to take. All the supplements you are taking appear to be good, depending on the quality. I say that Lauren , because so many are filled with fillers and not affective. High quality supplements are available, and yes, they are more expensive.
I hope you don't give up on progesterone. I think once you experience greater balance with the diet, etc. you are pursuing, the progesterone will do its job better for you. It is a vital component of all you are doing - It is not merely an adjunct. Perhaps you should write to Joy Lewis and ask her advice. She is most helpful and has had years of experience, along with Wray Whyte helping so many women. It's not easy to get all this figured out but nothing is impossible! I believe that. I am on a journey too. Our bodies have the ability to heal. I like to say a "thank you" to my body every day for all it does. Yes, having issues that you want to be better get us down sometimes, but remember: it is a journey. It took a while to get there, and it takes a while to sort it out. Keep going Lauren!

Sep 06, 2016
by: Lauren

I am a jewelry designer and work in a very large design room where there are boxes and boxes of casted metal pieces that I work with daily. Do those fall into the petro chemical category?

As of now I'm batting two things, flushing out the estrogen and endo pain. Some days I literally want to die from how much pain I'm in. I'm going to keep going on the path I'm on, but at times I'm so overwhelmed I get very depressed.

I wrote down everything you said. Thank you again so much

Sep 13, 2016
Progesterone cream ruined my life and I can't find any answers
by: Joy

Hi Lauren

Sadly you were not advised on how to use progesterone cream correctly. Endometriosis requires 200mg per day, as much as 400mg per day is often needed if severe. I have dealt with many who suffer from endo and can’t thank me enough as progesterone has made such a difference. Progesterone, when correctly has helped so many with endo which is caused by oxidative stress and unless the inflammation is dealt with you will battle. Progesterone can cause the pain to get worse when first using it and if rubbed on the painful area it will help with the pain as it is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

There are many progesterone creams available today and most of them are either not strong enough or they contain parabens, chemicals, estrogen and/or testosterone, and as mentioned many times before, this is NOT what any women needs. So if progesterone is not used correctly or the incorrect cream is used it can cause weight gain. Even Natpro can cause slight weight gain when first using it, but this should soon settle down as the body adjusts.

Many posting here have given you some excellent advice like the Ketogenic Diet which is excellent. We all need to eat more fat, moderate protein and low carbs. Sugar needs to be chucked in the trash can, it is toxic! You are also heading towards Peri-Menopause which usually starts at around 35. It can be a torrid time for most women, but it need not be with the correct use of progesterone which will also prepare you for Menopause. Progesterone levels start to drop in PM, just one word, it is a flipping awful time in a women’s life. Depression, anxiety, anger etc all seem to appear out of nowhere!

I see that you mentioned working in an environment where toxins could be a problem. Environmental Toxins play havoc health wise as there are well over 100 estrogen mimics in our environment. Please consider taking the amino acid Cysteine (NAC), in fact it is one of the vital nutrients mentioned that helps with endo. NAC is a powerful amino acid and helps alleviate sinus build up and fluid on the lungs, it builds the immune system and boosts metabolism. It also chelates heavy metals. I really think that you should consider taking it.

What is your Vitamin D3 level? A deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone, so if you were not using enough progesterone, or a cream that did not contain the correct progesterone concentration then I am really not surprised to read about your weight gain. Vit D3 is excellent for depression too, so is the correct use of Magnesium.

Please read these pages if you have not done so already and use the search bar provided, you will find many posts on endo.

How to use Progesterone Cream

Estrogen Dominance



Environmental Toxins


Ketogenic Diet


Hormone Testing

Vitamin D3


Sep 13, 2016
by: Lauren

Thank you Joy, for all of that information.
I was using Kokoro Balance cream, and as I stated above, I was using close to 200mg a day when I noticed symptoms starting.
I came on here and read that using more would help ease the symptoms which is why I up'd my dosage. It did nothing but make my life a living hell.
I also rubbed it on my stomach during what I would describe as the most severe and awful menstrual cramps I have ever experienced in my entire life, and had ZERO relief. I missed so many days of work from dealing with the side effects of the cream.
My goal is to try to return to normal before trying to conceive a child. In hoped of actually being able to. I feel like my body is toxic right now despite my absolute best efforts to clear all this crap out of my system. It is a year now since I first started the cream, and my body still has yet to return to normal.
I am taking NAC, but am not noticing any differences. I also am taking magnesium and I do feel a difference with that.
I work out, eat clean, and I am literally killing myself trying to get healthy again, what an OXY moron.

I don't know what my d3 levels are and it's something I need to get checked. I will be seeing an endocrinologist at the end of the month.

Sep 13, 2016
endo diet
by: Lauren

I just wanted to add that as far as diet goes,
the #1 diet recommended for Endo is plant-based.
Even organic, grass fed meat has naturally occurring lipids knows as Prostaglandins, which, at high levels in the body, actually make Endo pain so much worse.
I have been doing a plant based diet for almost a month and am actually noticing less pain.
No weight loss, of course, which again is frustrating , but i mean I could eat a piece of lettuce a day and still gain weight due to this mess.

Sep 15, 2016
Endo Diet
by: Joy

Hi Lauren

Kokoro Balance is not strong enough, it only has 1224mg of progesterone concentration, whereas Natpro has 2000mg. Even more concerning is the chemical called Phenoxyethanol which is used as a preservative. This chemical was banned by Ecocert in June 2008 for the used in ALL organic skin care products. How much NAC are you taking per day, 2000mg per day is needed, but the other nutrients mentioned on the page are also needed. In other words this is what you should be taking and using:

•NATPRO Progesterone Cream - 400-500mg/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
•Bioflavanoids - 1000mg/per day

Are you using and taking magnesium as suggested on the page given to you? I do not agree with the diet suggested to you, who advised it, a vegetarian by any chance? Diet needs to be high fat, medium protein and low carbs. Of course at the end of the day, the choice is yours to make.

Sep 16, 2016
by: Anonymous

I won't be taking any form of progesterone EVER, but thanks for the suggestion. I don't recall seeing phenoxyethanol listed as one of the ingredients on the Kokoro jar. My concern is how to reverse and move out the weight that I've gained from using that crap.
If you do research on what diets work best for Endometriosis, plant based is #1. This was not reccomended to me by a vegetarian, my holistic Doctor is not, nor are my other docs. There's a book out called " eating right for your blood type" and it's suggested that my blood type stick to plant based as well.
I actually prefer paleo but I'm noticing a good amount of pain reduction cutting out meats.
It's not a one size fits all thing here.
I'll look into the other supplements though.

Thanks again.

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