Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression.

by Never AGain
(Smithfielf, CA)

Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression. Get yourself tested, saliva tests are low in cost and will tell you if your progesterone is low or not. If you guess and didn't need more progesterone, look up the effects of too much progesterone in the body: weight gain, constipation, depression. Elizabeth Vliet MD wrote several books on this.

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Aug 27, 2013
Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression.
by: JL

Hi "Never Again"

I am sorry but I totally disagree with you. It's not progesterone which is causing the weight gain and depression, it's excess estrogen. You probably did not use enough cream, I am guessing around 20mg-40mg per day would be the amount that you used. This is incorrect? It should be nothing less than 100mg/3ml per day, more if symptoms are severe.

I have not read any books by Dr Elizabeth Vliet but I feel that I do not need to when the Late Dr Kkatharina Dalton used to prescribe 2400mg per day to her patients suffering from PND and psychotic like symptoms. I am sure that you will find her books rather interesting. And 1200mg per day is given to TBI sufferers.

To me progesterone IS always the answer, so too is vitamin D as a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone!

It certainly has changed my life and many others too for which we are truly grateful!

Aug 28, 2013
Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression.
by: Carol K

Hi there

I don't want to sound rude but you are grossly misinformed. It is ESTROGEN which causes the symptoms you have mentioned. You have a right to your opinion but I suggest you get yourself a bit more informed, as you clearly do not understand how Progesterone works. What you are referring to is Estrogen Dominance. There is plenty of information on this site, so start reading:).

All the best
Carol K.

Aug 28, 2013
Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression
by: Wray

Hi there Progesterone cannot cause weight gain and depression. It's a potent anxiolytic. Luckily, otherwise all pregnant women would go around in tears! Oestrogen causes cells to proliferate, including adipose cells, see here. These are also a source of oestrogen, so excessive oestrogen leads to excess fat, which in turn leads to excess oestrogen, and so the cycle goes, see here, here, and here. Oestrogen also causes constipation by taking water from the gut and drawing into the tissues, thus causing the oedema for which it's renowned, see here. It appears you were using far too little, this woman was given 400mg/day by her doctor, the result....the constipation she'd suffered from for a long time went, see here. I suggest you look up the effects of progesterone in PubMed, not blogs or books. Take care Wray

Sep 25, 2013
by: Anonymous

Never Again is Correct. Progesterone is not always the answer.

Many of you folks on here are so quick to think progesterone is the answer for all women. And you suggest such extreme doses. It isn't the answer for everyone. I believed the hype...been there done that. I can't find many doctors or health practioners that suggest using such high amounts as you do on this website.

I've experimented over many years. I've tried all different dosages. Bioidentical Progesterone caused me weight gain. Bloating. Acne. It was only when I cut back on progesterone (I use a very low dosage) and ADDED some bioidentical estrogen that I actually LOST weight. Estrogen is not necessarily the big evil if one is deficient in it. In fact, some can not drop weight until they get their estrogen up to an appropriate level. It's all about finding the right balance...not too low and not too high.

Progesterone is not the end all be all and not the solution for everyone. Our bodies are all different and what works for one may not work for another. It bothers me when I see the way some of you reply to those that say progesterone didn't work for them. You tell them they are wrong and that they aren't using enough and add more, more and more. Do you ever tell anyone to decrease their progesterone???

Sep 26, 2013
Progesterone Has Side Effects...
by: Anonymous

For those that think progesterone has no side effects, take note:

The Web MD website cites the following:

The progesterone prescription products that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are safe for most people when used with the advice and care of a healthcare professional. However, progesterone can cause many side effects including stomach upset, changes in appetite, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), fatigue, acne, drowsiness or insomnia, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, depression, breast discomfort or enlargement, PMS-like syndrome, altered menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding, and other side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Intravaginal progesterone gel is LIKELY SAFE when used as part of infertility treatment. But don’t use progesterone otherwise. It’s also best not to use progesterone if you are breast-feeding. Not enough is known about how it might affect a nursing infant.

Arterial disease: Don’t use progesterone if you have arterial disease.

Breast cancer: Avoid use unless you are directed to do so by your healthcare provider.

Depression: Get your healthcare provider’s advice first before using progesterone if you have major depression now or a history of major depression.

Liver disease: Progesterone might make liver disease worse. Don’t use it.

Vaginal bleeding: If you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, don’t use progesterone.

Sep 27, 2013
Progesterone is not always the answer. causes weight gain, depression.
by: Alyce

Oh my goodness, what utter rubbish. Progesterone DOES NOT cause weight gain, depression and all the other adverse symptoms that you are referring to ANONYMOUS!!

Think about it, if this were true then every single pregnant female would have major problems as their bodies produce HUGE amounts of progesterone while pregnant.

I have been using progesterone for 10 years now and have never suffered the side effects that you are referring to!

Problem always arise when not enough progesterone is used in the first place. It is excess ESTROGEN that is causing all these side effects.

I will never stop using progesterone, ever, it saved my life!!!

Sep 28, 2013
by: Wary

Hi there Maybe you'd like to see the answer I gave to the anon who wrote under the title "Progesterone Has Side Effects..." Take care Wray

Sep 28, 2013
Progesterone Has Side Effects...
by: Wray

Hi there If you read all the sites like WebMD, plus all the leaflets which come with progesterone, you'll find they all say this. Why I have no idea, probably because none of the sites or companies have read the research on it. Progesterone has been used safely for over 60 years now, with no reports of adverse side effects, none at all. Levels over 1200mg/day are given to Traumatic Brain Injury victims, to prevent oedema forming. So it does not cause fluid retention and swelling as WebMD state! Not only that it is the only substance which helps TBI victims, no drug does. Their disability rating is reduced considerably too. They would not give it to someone in such a severe condition if it was dangerous! Dr Dalton started using it in 1948 for her patients, using up to 2400mg/day for women with post natal psychosis. The latest research on Cancer found extremely high amounts, see here, caused tumours to regress. It does not cause appetite problems, oestrogen certainly does as it destabilises blood glucose, see here. It does not and cannot cause weight gain, oestrogen does. It causes cells to proliferate, including fat cells, see here, here, here, here and here. It does not cause Acne, testosterone does, see here. Continued below

Sep 28, 2013
Progesterone Has Side Effects... Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there It's excellent for headaches or Migraines. For depression and Anxiety. It's a potent anxiolytic, and has been used as one for countless years. It certainly does not cause breast enlargement, only oestrogen can do that. It's excellent for Breast Tenderness and Breast Cysts. PMS is caused by the withdrawal of progesterone in the few days prior to bleeding, leaving oestrogen the dominant hormone. It does not cause irregular cycles or bleeding, see Menstruation. And arterial disease?! It prevents platelets aggregating, thereby preventing clots, see here and here. It prevents arteriosclerosis, see here, here, here and here. It prevents lipid peroxidation, see here and here. All these can be caused by oestrogen of course. And fever?! Good heavens what will they think of next! If all the above are attributable to progesterone, no pregnant woman would survive long, they would all do themselves in! None of the TBI patients would have survived either. And Dr Dalton's patients would have committed infanticide, or murder, or suicide, none would have recovered as they did. Take care Wray

Sep 28, 2013
by: JB

Can you please provide or cite names of current doctors (besides Dalton, which seems to be the one you always refer to) that believe in the usage of progesterone in such high amounts? Where are they???

I have spoken with women who have had very low levels of estrogen. When they added bioidentical estrogen, it allowed them to LOSE weight, not gain. How do you explain this? Are you saying that women should only use progesterone and never use estrogen? I don't buy it.

I'm sorry but I believe just as one can have excess estrogen, one can also have excess progesterone. If progesterone is the end all be all, then a ton of physicians would be touting it as a miracle cream and prescribing high dosages of it. There is a reason why we test via saliva or blood serum and those tests include ranges. Ranges are there for a reason and if one is excessively over the recommended range, then it should be looked at, whether its progesterone, testosterone, etc.,.

I'm very surprised at how nasty people can get on here if you post a negative experience with progesterone or challenge it. That's sad.

Sep 29, 2013
Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression.
by: Alyce


I hear what you are saying, but I do not think it is a case of being nasty, it's more a case of pointing out that progesterone is not the cause of adverse symptoms as many say it is. Gosh if it were I would be 6 foot under by now. I will never stop using it, it has worked for me and I praise the Lord the day I discovered progesterone and Wray Whtye.

What saddens me though, is how Wray gets 'put down' if I may use that word. I have read this wonderful website of hers for years now and to see how many people she has helped is mind blowing. Yes there are instances when progesterone does not work for a certain individual, not many though, and mostly that is because they are not using progesterone correctly. Wray works 24/7 on her website, the only rewards she gets are from helping people and hearing about all the countless success stories, they by far out weigh the negative ones. Perhaps it is time that we all commended Wray for her work and for sharing her wonderful knowledge of progesterone.

At the end of the day it is down to choices .... to use progesterone or not to use. I am certainly a user!

Keep up the good work Wray, there are so many who need you!!

Sep 29, 2013
Progesterone is not always the answer. Causes weight gain, depression
by: Wray

Hi Alyce Bless you for this! There will always be the nay-sayers, but luckily progesterone does help so many. And the feed back I get is worth it all. For instance this comment came in today, see 'Update on using Progesterone Creme and Weight Loss with Low Carb diet' here. Take care Wray

Sep 29, 2013
by: Wray

Hi JB I wish I could give you names of doctors who use high amounts. Women search for them and rarely find them, if I knew them I could refer women in need to them. Some women have written in saying theirs gave them high amounts, but they never disclosed the doctors names. Understandable really. So I have to go by the studies, all of which have the researchers names on them if anyone wants to query the high amounts used. This study here used the highest amount I've ever seen. Then of course the studies done on Traumatic Brain Injury victims used high amounts, over 1200mg/day. Dr Stein who runs the research studies is approachable, I've written to him before. Dr Wright ran the study on humans, I'm sure one could write to him too. Progesterone and oestrogen stimulate each other. Which is why when women use oestrogen it can help, as it's stimulating progesterone. Often after time the affect begins to wane as oestrogen levels climb. The same reasoning applies to progesterone. Many women feel awful when first using it, because it's stimulating oestrogen. Luckily the affect lasts and doesn't deteriorate if enough is used to prevent oestrogen rising. The ranges given for hormones are pointless, it's the ratio which is the critical factor, not the amount. I tend to go by the results we run, which can be viewed on our Saliva Tests page. The same goes for testosterone too. Some women have this checked and are told it's normal. But they have symptoms of testosterone excess, i.e. oily skin, acne, hair loss, facial hair. It's the active hormone which should be checked and the ratio of the total and free which should be taken into account. It lies between 1-4%, one woman had a 7% free testosterone result, once I'd asked her to have that checked too. There are only two labs that I know of that look at ratios, ZRT Labs USA, Genova Diagnostics UK and Genova Diagnostics USA. I'm sure others do too, but it's not something many doctors check. Continued below

Sep 29, 2013
Doctors Part 2
by: Wray

Hi JB The concern I have with oestrogen is it's not only a mitogen, but is an excitatory, inflammatory hormone too. It's implicated in so many of our diseases/disorders, the HRT page gives some of them. We don't need much, and most of use have too much. There are now over 100 oestrogen mimics in our environment all playing havoc with us, see Our Stolen Future. Not to mention the many foods which contain phytoestrogens. I wish physicians would prescribe progesterone, but they've all been told/taught that oestrogen is the miracle hormone for women. Since the early sixties when the book "Feminine Forever" came out. This is another review here. Why should they change their minds when they've been taught the reverse. And yes some women do get nasty, but luckily there are those who have nothing but success with it, which encourages me to keep going. Take care Wray

Sep 29, 2013
by: Anonymous

I know of many women who have gone through pregnancy and not enjoyed it. They've complained about feeling absolutely horrible, swollen breasts, miserable moods, skin problems, etc. If their progesterone is so high during this time, why aren't they all feeling just wonderful?

Sep 30, 2013
by: Anonymous

Say a woman has labwork done and her estrogen is extremely low, free and total testosterone is also below range. Her progesterone, however, is high. This woman still has symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Are you saying that she should never think of supplementing with estrogen and testosterone? Would you recommend her to go even higher with her progesterone, even though she is already on the high end of the range? To me, it is about finding balance and I don't see how progesterone can be the only way to solve a hormonal imbalance. My progesterone has been high normal in the past. My free and total Testosterone is below normal and my estrogen is low. My Vitamin D levels are great. It was only when I added a low dose bioidentical estrogen and testosterone did I start to feel better (I mean really well for the first time in a long time). Taking bioidentical progesterone alone did not do it for me. I had experimented with low doses and high doses and just couldn't get to where I needed to feel well. Only until I incorporated testosterone and estrogen did things start to "click". That is my personal experience. If you want to call me a progesterone "nay sayer" because I believe in using other bioidentical hormones if one is truly deficient, than so be it. For me, slathering myself in massive amounts of progesterone cream didn't work. Are you willing to admit that some women do well using a full complement of bioidentical hormones and not just progesterone?

Oct 02, 2013
by: Wray

Hi there For the simple reason their progesterone is not high. It can get to over 400ng/ml in the third trimester. But it can be as low as 48.4ng/ml. The range varies between 48.4 - 425 ng/ml, see Medline Progesterone. So their oestrogen would be high, but it's evident the placenta is not producing sufficient progesterone. This would skew the ratio in favour of oestrogen, making it the dominant hormone. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2013
by: Wray

Hi there I'm not saying people should only use progesterone. I advocate the use of all the nutrients, diet plays a huge role too. So too does low vitamin D, low magnesium. My concern with both oestrogen and testosterone are the adverse effects they can have if in excess. I've repeated this on this page, my answer to JB covers your queries, and I've repeated it all over this website. And I will continue to repeat it. Too many women have written in to this site asking for help, having been given these hormones. Their doctors only looked at levels, not the ratios, so mistakenly thought they needed more. Oestrogen could be low and progesterone high, but what are the ratios? The same applies to the free and total testosterone, what is the ratio? If you've found they have helped you, so be it. If others find it helps them, all to the good. Take care Wray

Oct 03, 2013
by: Anonymous

God bless wray for she does to help us but I'm afraid I think everybody is different for instance I have been on progesterone for about 7 years with constant apathy and no motivation no weight gain or breast soreness but feeling crappy. A test 6 months ago revealed I had low estrogen ratio 845 to 1 and during pregnancies I had very high progesterone not 1 day of morning sickness but always felt mentally horrible by the way GABA and trytophen have the same horrible effects I just think it's about body chemistry no disrespect wrays helped so many women thankyou I've always used no less than 300mg aday

Dec 05, 2013
Different Imbalances
by: Michele

It seems to me that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to this. I have had good luck with progesterone cream, and I've been able to fix certain symptoms (anxiety, thinning skin/hair, acne) by upping the dosage as Wray recommends. However, I'm also in perimenopause, and my symptoms reflect low progesterone/estrogen dominance/high-low cortisol.

We all have different hormone imbalances that require tailoring the approach to get back in balance. I suspect progesterone is not always the answer for everyone. There are some good books available out there on hormone imbalances. I took the time to educate myself on my personal ones and how to treat them both nutritionally and with bioidentical hormones. I haven't had tests done, but that seems like a good idea, especially if progesterone is not working for you.

Feb 08, 2014
Progesterone and pregnancy
by: Anonymous

To the comment about high progesterone in pregnancy not causing ill effects. It works the same way when not pregnant. If you are pregnant, all hormones rise dramatically together, progesterone rises fastest in the beginning I suppose. However, it's the balance of the two that causes you to have a good pregnancy. In the beginning when the one is higher, we feel sick to our stomaches, headaches, all of that. Then they balance a bit and we feel better. So it's all about the balance, and always will be. When we hit perimenopause, they go off balance, and as we approach menopause, they can still be off, but are starting to get lower and eventually would be low but in balance.

So, to say on this site to only use progesterone, or to use high amounts, it should only be said to do that if your estrogen tests very high and your progesterone tests very low.

for me, all three hormones always tested very low. I used all three, but never felt balanced, it was too hard. I tried, estrogen only, felt okay, but some things not better; i tried progesterone only, same thing, but i gained weight. I went back on all three, weight came off.

So it was hard to find the right balance.

I believe it should be stressed here, that no one should take progesterone only and in the doses suggested, unless it's is very clear that your symptoms, along with serum and saliva levels show very high estrogen, say, 150pgml and up vs. a 0.5-1pgml of progesterone.

It seems from reading the advice here, that it is pro progesterone, and bad estrogen, and I believe too much estrogen in our diets, and products, etc can reek havoc, but that converts to estrone, and one could take DIM maybe to rid the body of the bad estrogens, and supplement with the weaker estriol if you are way low in estrogen and have low estrogen symptoms.

Also, everyone has different results. Progesterone does great things,but if we had progesterone only since birth, we wouldn't be women, and feeling the energy, sharpness needed to live, as progesterone is the calming, causes sleepiness, etc. You need the balance of both.

I do believe that at menopause and post, we don't produce much progesterone and when you see a thin older woman with a belly, I believe it's the lack of progesterone since there is more ovulation. However, high doses, I'd say, try it, but it may not be what works. It's the balance of both even if they are low levels that works.

Mar 06, 2014
Really Bad side effects
by: Amber

I do think that this site has a lot of useful information and Wray does an amazing job.

I initially had quite a good reaction to Progesterone cream when I first used it but only in much smaller doses than recommended here. But recently I have gone through a great deal of stress and grief and ended up quite unmotivated and flat, I am in menopause and thought that all the stress has depleted my progesterone.

After reading all the advice on this site I upped my cream to 2 teaspoons a day.
I have had some really bad side effects for the first few days I felt drunk and could not drive or function and really crippling headaches. Thinking that maybe I needed more and upped the amount again and I then became seriously depressed and almost suicidal, I have also completely lost my appetite and have never felt so bad in my life, even after my husband died.

I have also had blurred vision and a terrible spaced out feeling. I do not feel that this is estrogen dominance has I had no symptoms of that prior to using the cream, just a rather flat feeling. I am now weening myself off the cream and will go back to eventually smaller doses and look for another way to elevate my mood.

I think higher doses work for some people but not for me and could have had quite serious repercussions if my family had not been around me to support me through the crashing depression

Mar 13, 2014
I have to agree with Amber
by: Anonymous

I've also been experiencing very similar symptoms as Amber. Very tired, can't focus my eyesight. Super flat feeling. No motivation.

This is very unlike me and I've never felt this way before. I'm glad I used the higher amounts of progesterone for a few months (my only symptom was tender breasts, which is now gone). But the last two months I've been feeling terrible. I have no other estrogen dominance symptoms at all and I've been using high amounts like Wray suggested.

I kept using high amounts because I was hoping to relieve joint pain, which has gotten worse.

Even if I wanted to, I simply can't use more progesterone cream now. I simply can't work anymore. So I defenitely relate to Ambers'story.

I do believe some women need more, but maybe not all women. Still I'm super grateful for all the information I found on this site. I also love sharing on the forums. It's a great way to learn A LOT!!!!

I also found some info on this topic that really hit home for me:



PS My favourite book on the topic is by Dr. Uzi Reiss (Natural Hormone Balance). He also discusses estrogen dominance and confirms most of Wray's statements, besides the fact that - according to him - estrogen dominance is also caused by a decrease in the more protective form of estrogen (estriol). This is due to contraceptives that only have agressive estrogens (estradiol and estrone) and environmental agressive estrogens. I've learned so much from this book! Everything is starting to make sense now.

Sep 01, 2014
Progesterone is safe and effective
by: Anonymous

Progesterone is a safe hormone. It improves deep sleep, respiratory function, increases the number of calories burned, and even aids in addiction recovery.

Estrogen, especially in excess, is responsible for the great majority of symptoms of PMS and perimenopause. The latter is characterized by a swinging and HIGH estrogen levels and low/absent progesterone. The weight gain, moodiness, sore breasts and heavy flow are due to estrogen.

Numerous trials have shown that progesterone and even progestin added to estrogen is better for symptom control than estrogen alone.

May 14, 2015
by: Shan

I have to be very careful with progesterone. It doesn't take much to put me in a bad depression, along with sleepiness and fatigue. My neighbor tried it once and it made her feel suicidal...She said never again and discontinued it! I have a friend that had a yeast infection after starting it..she stopped using it too. I will also say I tried a popular progesterone serum and it gave me horrible migraines, sleepiness, and no motivation. I felt like a space cadet. It is NOT for everyone!!

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