Ray Peat Advice on Progesterone Cycling

by MR

Hi. I just listened to Ray Peat advise that progesterone should always be cycled from about 2 days after ovulation until day one of a woman’s period. He advises against continually taking it through the entire month because he states that continual use will fail to lower estrogen. He mentions the need for progesterone to surge which he says will not occur without the two week break. Frustratingly, he does not address perimenopause or what happens if the cycle is so erratic that one can no longer track it consistently. I was under the impression that if this is the case, it’s fine to take it everyday. I thought it was the amount of progesterone that effectively lowered estrogen and that cycling was only to follow natural premenopausal cycles. His advice seems either faulty or incomplete.

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Aug 10, 2022
Ray Peat Advice on Progesterone Cycling
by: Joy


There is so much misinformation about progesterone these days. More and more progesterone creams are coming onto the market, they all have their own wonderful ideas on how it should be used. You have come to the right place for your information, Natpro Progesterone Cream was formulated about 30 years ago, it really is the best cream and the information provided on this website is the real deal. You might like to the Progesterone Misconceptions page.

Whilst Ray Peat is excellent in so many areas, we often refer people to his website actually, he is a little way off when it comes to progesterone and how it should be used. If one has no adverse symptoms/monthly cycle issues, then progesterone should be used by following a regular cycle i.e. luteal phase and especially if one is TTC. If the monthly cycle is irregular and has severe symptoms, progesterone cream should be used EVERY DAY until the body reverts to normal and a regular cycle starts. Those is Peri-Menopause (PM) and Menopause use the cream every day. PM often brings irregular periods as you correctly pointed out, making it difficult to use during your luteal phase. Menopause, there are no monthly cycles, the cream should again be used every day. I have been doing this for 18 years now, I am 67 and will never stop using it every day.

Please read the How to use Progesterone Cream page. It explains all about the surge and more.

I hope this answers your question.

Aug 10, 2022
by: MR

I appreciate the answer. I respect Peat’s work and find his research fascinating for the most part but this one made no sense. It sounds like he was addressing just the pre crowd and neglected the peri and post ladies. I have tried his oral oil and honestly find the cream far more efficacious. He seems to think differently on this one as well.

Sep 20, 2022
by: Anonymous

Hi. I have a question regarding strengths of creams. Recently, I added a 20% progesterone cream to my Natpro regimen. Ona’s is the brand and I thought this might be a good alt to running through product too quickly. I also upped my dose from 350 to
450mgs at the exact same time I started the Ona’s 20%. I was feeling pretty good before but still had some lingering ED symptoms I wanted to knock out. Immediately, night sweats came back which were gone for me along with several other miserable ED symptoms. I was surprised b/c I was already on a relatively high dose. I didn’t think I would experience this aggravation. I poured through this forum looking for something related and I came across an older thread where Wray spoke of doing an occasional "top up" (assume this meant taking more than her usual dose) and experiencing temporary ED symptoms. I don’t know what her daily dose was but I was under the impression that if one is stabilized on a dose then upping the dose would not make symptoms temporarily worse. Am I wrong on this? Would love your thoughts.

I also wondered if the Onas was truly a 200 mg dose. I did speak to someone over there and she told me that some women do not absorb the higher concentrations well. She actually said that 400 mg of a 3% cream is not necessarily the same as 400 mg of a 20% cream. I had no idea. She suggested adding an oil to the cream to possibly improve absorption. Have you ever heard of this? It is true that I don’t feel the Onas 20% is working like Natpro. My goal is to stay on a higher dose until I knock these symptoms. I don’t really like mixing brands but trying to find the best way to supplement. Thank you.

Sep 22, 2022
by: Joy

Hi there

A 20% cream is not the same as a 3% cream.  If using a 20% cream you need to reduce the amount so that it equates to a 3% cream.  Advice given here is based on a 3% cream.  Why on earth would an oil be suggested on top of what you are already taking?  I am baffled by that, you are already getting enough, more than enough progesterone from the 20% cream.  I am not in favour of oils either. It is not a common form of delivery but few exist.  Progesterone might crystallise out if the temperature drops too low, although with gentle heating it can be reversed.  Oils may be coconut and caprylic/capric triglycerides.  Dose depends on the amount used.  Also why would the amount of cream, both brands not be absorbing enough.  Again, very strange. 

I think you need to decide what method suits you and stick with one brand.

Wray's 'top up' quote is a good idea.  I do the same once a month.  I rub my entire body with Natpro just to make sure that my progesterone level remains dominant and avoid estrogen dominance symptoms.  Also if stressed for whatever reason, increase the amount of progesterone used as stress destroys progesterone and vitamin D3 levels.  You can always reduce back down until after the stressful period has gone. 

Hope this helps.

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