Severe symptoms after using progesterone cream

by Cheryl
(Vero Beach, FL USA)

After not having a period for 55 days and feeling fuzzy and fatigued I decided to try progesterone cream. My Dr. would not prescribe it for me even though my blood work shows I am well into peri menopause. Prior to using the cream i completely upgraded my dietary habits. I ate pretty healthy anyway but decided i'd had enough of feeling good maybe 4 days a month and am desperate to feel good again. I have to say, removing most processed foods from my diet and adding some vitamin supplements i am finally starting to feel half way human again. When i got the progesterone cream i immediately started between 100 and 200 mg. per day. Within 10 days, emotionally i seem to be much better (don't know if it was the cream or just changing up my diet and taking proper supplements). I gained 12 pounds in just over a week and physically i feel horrible. My feet are so swollen i cannot put on shoes and it's painful to walk. My joints are bloated as well as my feet, you can no longer distinguish my ankles. In addition, my belly is so bloated that it appears i am at least 8 months pregnant.

The only thing that i am doing which might cause such a drastic gain in bloating and fluid retention is the progesterone cream. I do not know if it has made me feel better as many of the symptoms i was having have decreased dramatically but this might just be because i am eating all fresh foods, nothing processed. Physically it's a nightmare, the added weight gain over such a short period of time has got me completely wacked out. The only thing i can attribute this to is adding the progesterone cream. It took me a long time to get that 10 lbs. off and i feel horrible that not only is it back but no matter what i do it actually keeps going up. I watched the scale every day for a week go up a pound or two each day.

I stopped the cream for now until i can find the answer for my bloating, fluid retention and weight gain. I assume the weight gain and inches gained in such a fast time is due to fluid retention. Is this caused by progesterone? If so, how long does it stay in your system? I had started to feel a whole lot better just by eating healthier and taking vitamins but went ahead and used the cream anyway thinking it can't hurt. Boy was i wrong. I am fatigued more than ever, have been a night owl for the past two weeks and don't even want to leave my house because i don't even feel it's me underneath all of this fluid retention and bloat.

Oh, i had blood work done in October for a surgery and they also checked my heart, that came out fine and then in January after my annual pap i had blood work done to find out my levels of hormones. The Dr. confirmed i was in peri menopause and gave me a script for anti depressant. I went for a second opinion and got the same answers. I haven't taken the anti depressants as i have been treated in the past for very real depression and i don't think this is the case now. My liver and kidneys as well as my heart are working very well.

Sooooo how long before i can get this progesterone cream out of my system? Will i lose the 10 lbs. i put on over night? I have read real horror stories about the weight never coming off. I can take one bite of lettuce and immediately get bloated and gain 3 lbs. I think i actually liked it better when i had the awful flu like symptoms. At least my clothes fit me.

Please help me. I cannot find anyone to give me a straight answer.

1. How long does progesterone cream take to leave your system? and...

2. Once out of my system will the bloating and fluid retention go away?

3. Is there anything i can do to speed up this process?

I feel worse than i did when i started all of this.

Oh, also, since starting the cream, i am up until all hours of the night therefore sleeping half the next day away. This is the worst nightmare ... i keep hoping i will wake up and be back to my normal size. I want to start walking the beach like i use to but my feet and legs hurt so much i have a hard time walking to my mailbox.

Any advice or help you can give me is highly appreciated. I have written dozens of letters to so called bio identical hormone specialists who say there is nothing i can do, just deal with it. I am so frustrated and sorry i thought the cream would work for me or at the very least, i'd remain the same. i am 5'3" so 10 lbs. on me is like being obese.

Thank you so much in advance. I look forward to your reply. Blessings.

note from webmaster: Sorry Cheryl but our policy is to not publish email addresses as they attract spam

Comments for Severe symptoms after using progesterone cream

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Mar 02, 2011
by: Michelle

I sounded alot like you 3 months ago. I found a great Specialist in Denver that has helped me a great deal.Just Google- BodyLogicMD on your computer! Check out this group of nation wide Specialist ! I did and it is amazing the difference it has made in my life. Good Luck !

Mar 08, 2011
Severe symptoms after using progesterone cream
by: Wray

Hi Cheryl Paradoxically it's not progesterone, but excess oestrogen causing the water retention. These two hormones activate the opposite receptor sites, so when first using progesterone Oestrogen Dominance can occur. Ie oestrogen rises. You say you were using between 100-200mg/day, which is the amount I recommend. But evidently you needed a higher amount to over come the oestrogen effect. It's essential to make progesterone the dominant hormone. Progesterone is a potent diuretic and analgesic, so good that it's now being used via IV transfusion for brain trauma victims. It prevents the oedema and inflammation that occurs after the injury, see here, here, here and here. I've found the more oestrogen present in the body, the worse the oestrogen dominance symptoms. Unfortunately oestrogen is rising the world over, none of us can escape it. There are now over 100 oestrogen mimics in our environment, plus the HRT and contraceptive oestrogens which are not removed by water purification plants. See this excellent website Our Stolen Future for more info. The only safe way to counter all this oestrogen is with progesterone. As it's not a sex hormone, it can be safely used by both sexes. So the last thing you need is for your progesterone level to drop too low. You say you had blood work done, please check the ratio between your oestrogen and progesterone levels. We've found from Saliva Tests we run that the progesterone to oestrogen ratio should be 600:1 and over to feel well. Progesterone is also a potent anxiolytic, helping with depression too, please see our page on Anxiety. I feel you could be short of vitamin D too, please have a test done. It's low in most of us, and is a critical nutrient for health. Amongst many things a low level causes depression and insomnia, plus it reduces the benefits of progesterone. For more info please see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Blessings to you too. Take care Wray

Mar 13, 2011
Progesterone cream
by: Anonymous

I to have also gained about 8 pounds while I was dieting or it's hard telling how much it would be. The Pharmacist was very educated but did not mention a thing about gaining weight because he knew that most women would not use this product.

I'm getting blood work done tomorrow to see how things are after 2 1/2 months. It has definately taken the hot flashes away but not much more. I am going to look into another product because I do not deal well with weight gain. Any help or suggestions please?

Jun 22, 2013
a year later.....
by: Michelle


Now that it is a year later, have the pounds come off.

I'm very interested as I am right where you were a year ago. I gained 7 lbs in 2 weeks on a combo of bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.

I hope you can share some good news!

Jun 23, 2013
by: Wray

Hi Michelle I just have to put in a word here. It seems the specialists you went to put you on oestrogen too, it's no wonder you have gained weight. Oestrogen is a mitogen, stimulating cells, including fat cells to proliferate. Progesterone inhibits mitosis, but it will have an uphill battle if it has to fight against oestrogen. I doubt the amount of progesterone is sufficient, with or without oestrogen. You might like to read this page here. Take care Wray

Oct 10, 2013
weight gain & joint pain
by: Anonymous

I know it's the two months on progesterone cream that has caused me a migraine all month and I have gained 10 pounds (and my clothing doesn't fit, I'm 5'1" so it's upsetting also my fingers and feet hurt do much it's bad. I've never gained weight easily. I did a similar weight changes when put on the birth control pill at 18, I ballooned then. I do wish someone who is better would write in after some time after stopping. I know progesterone is a God send for many, but not me. My period was very heavy too and I hoped it would make it lighter, no it was heavier. I have stopped now for about 17 days with pain in my hands and feet the same and my weight is horrible. Now that's not long, it's ovulation time, my first off progesterone. I have noted the headache is better. Nothing else yet, if this following my birth control pill experience (one brand) I believe my weight became stable on a different brand in a pretty short time. I began this because my old and periods are hell this is worse. It did help my cramps, but come on? Maybe the brand does effect it as I am not on the brand on this web site. Anyway I will try to update my changes it stands to reason with any other medication, you stop it and the problem stops. There is no way I'd up my dose. No more of this I have a great fast metabolism and I don't believe I'll have any long term problems. I'm just sensitive. It takes our bodies time so I wouldn't see a doctor for this. I introduced it and it's bad for me. I have stopped and I strongly believe my body is normalizing. This was and is awful. It will get out of my b body very s ion some of the pregnancy sites talk about this problem and it does take time then they are normal again. Acne is bad for some women as well that they say goes bye bye in time too. Our bodies are made by God remove the cause and that's a fix, God willing. If you have been where so m a ny of us are and are normal please write in.

Nov 17, 2014
Well it is 2014, so what happened?
by: JLongpre

Hi Cheryl-

Can you let me know, did the weight come off when you got off the progesterone? Or was it just there as with old fashioned weight gain for good ie) never coming off without exercise and calorie restriction? I'm going through the same thing. I wanted a period, but I'd rather no period but looking normal instead of a fat, bloated mess with huge boobs!

Jan 08, 2015
Terrible side effects
by: Anonymous

I am using bioidentical progesterone cream prescribed by a doctor with instructions to apply 0.4ml twice per day from day 14 to 28 (there is 240mg/ml).

I had no problems but didn't feel any benefits for the first couple months when I was only taking 0.3ml twice per day. Once I upped it to 0.4ml twice per day I had the following symptoms for the last two months:

Month one after stopping the cream on day 28:
- a one day light period
- gas and bloating
- weight gain
- severe tension headache
- vomiting
- cramping
- water retention

When I restart the progesterone I feel fine.

Month two after stopping the cream on day 28:
- very light spotting for 6 days
- still no period 7 days after
- severe headache
- on/off bad cramps
- water retention
- diarrhea
- nausea (but taking gravol regularly when it gets bad)
- very sore nipples

Both months I have had negative pregnancy tests. I am not perimenoposal. I had very low testosterone and pretty low progesterone and that is why I am taking the bio identical hormones.

I feel like my symptoms are quite severe and I have decided to stop taking the hormones for now. I have to figure out if this is the hormones causing these or if I have had two separate flu's which coindided with the weeks of of the progesterone.

Has anyone else experienced this?

May 11, 2015
Used to stop period
by: Anonymous

I had horrible ide effects of progesterone cream. I took it to stop a long period. My period stopped, but at the cost of my temporary sanity. I used an average of 100 ml for 3 days and have had horrible side effects. Nausea, dizziness, crazy feelings, tiredness, numbness. Been off 2 days and still feel a little off, it comes in waves. Every single person at my work has asked if 'I'm okay' today. They have all said I seem 'off' in some way.

I usually feel great. With the exception of a long period one month, I am in good health.

This cream has made me feel awful. Period.

Jul 01, 2015
period late 9 days on Progesterone and counting
by: Anonymous

I am 50yrs old and I believe am in perimenopause because my blood tests in Follicular stage: for FSH was high(28iu/L), low progesterone 2.1nmol/L, and very low AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone)at <0.2pmol/L. I was trying for a baby so took progesterone cream 20mg /day for 14days prior (luteal phase)to my period. Now its exactly 7 days since I stopped it and still no period and infact my period is 9 days late now cos I stopped it 2 days after my period should have being due.

MY blood tests a day after I stopped it showed increased/normal progesterone 38nmol/L, FSH 2.6iu/L and Oestradiol 1240pmol/L (all Normal Values for Luteal phase).

My symptoms for just this two weeks on progesterone included rash on my forehead, still having hot flushes, small weight gain (2 kg in 2 weeks)and several negative pregnancy tests plus no period.

When I eventually get my period, I intend to use it during the follicular phase and stop immediately I get peak LH. I believe this 2 wk treatment should correct my FSH/PROG and maintain it thru luteal phase and also would not prevent my period from showing up on time. If I become pregnant, then I can resume the PROG to maintain the pregnancy. I am treating myself -no stupid Dr interference.

Aug 22, 2016
Cheryl's story
by: Jessie

I just read Cheryl's story,and to my surprise I am going through the EXACT same thing! It is horrible and I too would love some answers and help. I have stopped taking the compound cream 2 weeks ago and still do not feel like myself. I feel like the real me is lost somewhere inside this foreign body that I refuse to accept as mine. It is all making me very depressed.
Please help .

Feb 17, 2017
by: Anonymous

I found that my mom had the opposite effect that Cheryl experienced.
My mom was on 6.25mg progesterone and .1mg estradiol for a year and I stopped them cold turkey due to it causing excess mucus and throat clearing.
The mucus and clearing went away but she went into a flare of her disease and has had extreme breathing problems, constant panic attacks, restlessness, severe feet and leg swelling (could be her disease) and pain.
She is postmenopausal.

I reinstated the hormones, but now I am holding off on the estrogen and giving 25mg progesterone per day. She is in 4th stage chronic kidney disease due to glomerulonephritis, so the dosage needs to be lower. Originally her estradiol was only .6 pg/mL, so it must have been the added estrogen that caused the estrogen dominance symptoms. While on the hormones, her kidney function had improved the best it had been, but now she is back to worse.

Feb 21, 2017
Q for anonymous 9 days late.
by: Anonymous

Hello anonymous 9 days late progesterone. Were you using bioidentical cream? Did your method of swapping the days you applied it work? How long was it before you began to menstruate.

Many thanks.

Mar 16, 2017
anxiety caused by natpro
by: Anonymous

So I have been on Natpro for about a month and at first I had a lot of anxiety and hot flushes and after a while I actually slept through the night and felt normal.

Just recently I went off a very small dose of Zoloft ( 12.5 ) ( I started back on today) and became extremely anxious to the point of panic attacks constantly. My TSH is 0.02 and my T3 and T4 are within normal range but that was before the Natpro. My concern is that the Natpro changed the dose of thyroxine that I need because I am feeling quite hyperthyroid. Also extremely emotional with severe social anxiety all the time.

I was taking a good amount of Natpro ( sometimes 800 mg / day) and I just read a girls story on the internet about the progesterone cream building up in your fat cells and taking a long time to detox from it. She was following Dr. Lee's book.

I feel as though I am losing my mind, I am completely non-functional and when I email Joy, she does not respond. I am very frustrated!

Anyone else have this experience? I want to know how I can get rid of this progesterone quickly and get back to normal. The only symptom I had before I started this was insomnia now I have a whole slew of other problems!

Any encouragement out there????

Mar 16, 2017
by: Anonymous

I have been using Natpro for a month and I am having terrible side effects now.

I have so much anxiety and panic attacks and cannot leave the house. After the first 2 weeks it was working but I had to use 800 mg some days to stop the anxiety and get to sleep. Now the anxiety is worse than ever and I just read a testimony of a women following Dr. Lees protocol and after 3 months her symptoms got so much worse and she said it took 2 years for the progesterone to make its way out of her system.

I stopped Zoloft (12.5 small dose) last week and I thought the anxiety was due to that but it has gotten increasingly worse and worse. I restarted it today.

Before I started the Natpro my TSH was 0.02 and the Dr. said that was normal. I think the progesterone has adjusted my thyroid hormones. Despite numerous attempts to discuss this with Joy she has not responded. I am thinking of discontinuing the Natpro as the support received is not adequate and I don't want any more complications.

I am an active, fit, fun person and my daughter is getting married in July and I cannot be like this.

Can anyone out there give me some advice please??

Mar 29, 2017
Severe symptoms after using progesterone cream
by: RJ

Hello Annon!
The first thing I can say is if your doctor thinks a TSH of 0.02 is good and you do not have all the other thyroid levels, like FT4, FT3, RT3, both antibodies, iron (all 4 tests), coritisol, magnesium, Vitamin D3 you need another doctor. My husband has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. You know what I have been doing for two days, pulling every bit of information on the disease and Wray has a wealth of it on her site...I've been copying and pasting all day today...that's how I happened on your comment. I don't respond much anymore now that Wray is gone. That's neither here nor there with relation to progesterone. Let me say Joy is probably still grieving over Wray and her world is probably upside down right now because of it. Give her time.

You are taking 800mg a day for just a bit over a month? Considering your daughter is getting married, I'll say you are in peri. Remember when you first start progesterone it excites the estrogen, since you are having issues that tells me you are full of estrogen. Next, for the majority of your life you have endured estrogen mimics. Those mimics have increased your estrogen to progesterone ratios by a large number over these years. You cannot expect 800mg of progesterone for the last month to reverse all those years of mimics in such a short time. It will not happen. I started progesterone four years ago, Wray saved me, and I used anywhere from 300 - 800 mg a day. It has taken me almost three of those four years to finally see some balance. Although there are days I have to increase the dosage...I currently use 500mg a day, non-stop. It has taken this long and I am 51. Look up the side effects of Zoloft and not on Zoloft's website either, one of the first side effects of this drug, is what you are probably taking the drug for in the first place, panic/anxiety. Most drugs we take create the problems we are taking the drug for in the first place! Are you taking estrogen and testosterone also? Don't if you are.

Testosterone converts to estrogen in our bodies, believe it or not. Strange I know, but it's true. Why do you want more estrogen. If you are in peri your body has stopped making progesterone so your level of estrogen is going up and has nothing to counter-balance it now that progesterone has stopped. Don't rely on Joy right now, it's sad times for all of us who loved and cared for Wray and she is just trying to cope. Look through Wray's site, all the information you are requesting in your post is there. Read it yourself and then come to your own conclusions. Oh and that progesterone/fat build up is complete nonsense. I'll tell you why. Non-stop for four years I have taken progesterone. I have lost weight, but when I started I was 309 lbs. I would run out of progesterone and within two days I would start to bleed again. If progesterone builds in our fat cells and causes a buildup then I would never resume bleeding when I run out of the cream cause I have lots of fat cells. Just silly analogy and really nothing to back it up. I have never read of a research program that has actually aspirated a fat cell from someone who put progesterone there for weeks to see if the progesterone was high in that fat cell. Read Wray's site. On her front page is a search bar, put in panic, anxiety, any word that causes you alarm and be prepared for all the results. Also remember it's far more than just progesterone. Again, you will find all of that within Wray's pages. She did this for over 20 years and all her data is backed up with tried and true research. Best of luck to you, your answers are out there, it's just gonna to take you lots of time to gather it all...but it will be worth its' weight in gold when you do!
God Bless!

Mar 31, 2017
update to RJ
by: Anonymous

thanks for your response! I just saw it! So recently, I was taking anywhere from 300 -800 mg per day and the anxiety was still there. I would sleep through the night about every 2 weeks but something else was going on. I was on 75 mcg of thyroxine even though my tsh was 0.02 and my dr said it was fine. I started to take less, at 50 mcg/day and still was anxious.The anxiety worsened when I decided to go off a very low dose of Zoloft which was prescribed for the insomnia which I had since December. I cried non stop for a week and was not functional. I asked my dr if we should wean off it more slowly and he said there was no need. So part of the anxiety was due to that I am sure. I also have a theory that the progesterone started to normalize my thyroid function so my thyroid was working better. This, in turn, may have caused a hyperthyroid effect. My doctor did not agree and would not test me. After the week of crying he just recommended that I take Xanax! I said , lets get to the bottom of this and figure out what's going on to which he had no comment. I forced his hand and asked him to order TSH, free T3 and Free T4 and iodine and some thyroid antibody tests to check for hashimotos or Graves. I also had my GYN check my progesterone and estradiol as well as FSH and LH. 2 weeks after completely stopping my thyroxine and before that reducing it to 50 mcg, my TSH is 5.61 (0.4- 4.2), T3 is 60 (80- 200). T4 is 0.8 ( 5.4-11.5) Iodine and the other thyroid antibodies are pending. FSH was 43.9 ( was 21.2 in Oct)( normal is 23-116), LH was 28.5 ( was 13 in Oct)( normal is 10-54) progesterone was 4.4 ng ( was 2.8) estradiol was 114 ( was 31).

So I am not having as much anxiety during the day but I cut down on my progesterone when I stopped everything 2 weeks ago. Now I am adding it back in. Last night I took 250 mg and I was anxious all night and then finally took another 200 mg and felt more relaxed. I am without a dr now as my dr has written me off and I don't want to go back to him. I have an appointment with a physical dr on May 3 and one that deals with the endocrine system , my thyroid and adrenals on May 9 ( also does bioidentical hormones.) I have read every articles dozzens of times on Wrays and joys sites but I still find I have questions and need support and am not getting it with Joy- I understand she is overwhelmed, but this is a business and I have bought a lot of product which I will return if she wont return my emails or answer my questions. I really appreciate you answering my questions and it really does give me hope. I am a registered nurse so I have a really scientific mind and I am constantly doing research but sometimes the answers are so vague and I am doing the very things suggested. Currently I am taking 15 mg of 2% Lugols/ day times 3 days and I do feel a lot better. No anxiety at all all day yesterday but it crept back in later last night while I was trying to sleep. I take Dr. Cannells Vitamin D3, selenium, zinc, B complex, inositol, lots of vitamin C, NAC, chromium, fish oil, Magnesium citrate and magnesium gluconate, seriphos ( phosphorolated serene) for anxiety and sleep which doesn't seem to work really well, GABA for the same which inconstantly works. I also take clonapen to help me sleep which doesn't work too well. I was not having any oestrogen symptoms except insomnia and now I seem to have more issues than I started with. I am 5 ft 7 and weigh about 125 pounds and have not been retaining any water. My acne rosacea has cleared almost completely though which is a good thing.. I have eliminated almost all xenoestrogens from my detergents and makeups, and try to avoid phytoestrogens. I am currently juicing. Do you think I should continue with the progesterone cream to see if it will normalize my thyroid? I recently did an iodine patch test and the iodine disappeared within 12 hours which suggests I am iodine deficient. My hands and feet are always cold and my D3 level is 60 which is a little low according to the Vit D3 council. They want it to be between 70-100. I also have had Lymes several times and was diagnosed with epstien barr last year by a naturalpath. So my question to you is, did you use for example, sometimes 500 / day some days and 800/ day other days? Joy said I should only be taking 400 mg per day. Just wondering. I don't want to be throwing my money away. Its not cheap and they don't even give you a quantity discount. Thanks so much for your kind response. Joy's responses have been so short and abrupt giving me the impression she thinks I am a complete idiot. I have gone over the charts and every page of both webpages. I was even going to ask if they were looking for someone in customer service in the future if this worked for me as I am not working now because of my health.

Apr 11, 2017
Progesterone: Love-Hate relationship
by: Anonymous


I'm a post-menopausal woman who has been suffering from IBS-C and IC (Interstitial Cystitis), brain fog and severe bloating and occasional migraines.

On a whim I tried some of my old BHRT Progesterone. I'd tried BHrt prior to menopause, but always suffered severe side effects. I thought I was estrogen-dominant, because these problems occur when you have these conditions.

At first with the Progesterone, my IC and IBS-C improved. I didn't have to use the bathroom as much. I had more energy, and best of all, the brain fog lifted and my brain started to get sharp again. I loved it.

However, the Progesterone I was taking was old and weak. When I got fresh Progesterone, I started getting side effects: severe bloating, weight gain, constant severe migraines, mood swings and irritability. I had to stop the progesterone. I had tried reducing the dosage, but still was getting migraines, mood swings and bloat. The mental sharpness I had gained also leveled off; I no longer felt as "smart" as I did at the start of taking progesterone.

I was also put on estrogen, but every other day and half the amount of progesterone.

I decided just to take the estrogen. What's strange is that my bloating went away. My stomach wasn't so big by the end of the day. My brain is not as sharp as when I was on progesterone, but at least I have more energy, no migraines, and my IC and IBS-C hasn't gotten any worse.

I seem to do better on estrogen than I did on just progesterone or progesterone and estrogen together. The weight I gained on progesterone has gradually been disappearing. I don't feel as bloated either.

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