Estrogen and progesterone love to live in balance with one another. But when estrogen takes the lead, this can cause lower progesterone levels and you may experience missed periods, infertility, insomnia, bloating, anxiety, PMDD, and endometriosis. At this point is when we’d want to check your hormones to see if you’re a candidate for bio-identical progesterone replacement therapy via a cream. It’s a safe method to get your hormones back into balance. But there are some things you should know if you decide to start using progesterone cream.
Your symptoms may get worse, at first.
Estrogen dominance may become worse when first beginning natural progesterone cream. When first introducing progesterone back into the body after an extended period of progesterone deficiency, the estrogen receptor sites ‘wake up’ (are stimulated), enhancing the action of estrogen for a short period of time. This is a sign that the body is responding well to the progesterone, even though at the beginning it can exacerbate estrogen dominance symptoms such as breast tenderness and swelling, spotting, fluid retention, dizziness, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches and nausea. But this should level out and go away over the next couple of cycles, as progesterone levels increase.
Progesterone cream takes some time.
Severe progesterone deficiency requires more time to increase progesterone levels with progesterone cream supplementation. It takes anywhere from 4-12 months to bring progesterone levels back up in women with very low progesterone levels. Following a loading dose protocol may help to bring the levels up quicker, but consistency of use over an extended period of time is best. For women who are trying to conceive, a realistic plan is going to help achieve pregnancy and prevent miscarriage due to progesterone deficiency. Give yourself many months of progesterone cream supplementation before even trying for a baby, to help prevent the likelihood of miscarriage.
Stress affects progesterone levels.
How? Stress increases cortisol levels. Cortisol competes for progesterone receptors; the higher the stress, the more cortisol the body produces. This means that those receptor sites may be occupied by cortisol rather than progesterone, which may require a temporary increase in progesterone supplementation. If you are not managing your stress levels, the natural progesterone cream you are currently using may not be effective because of elevated cortisol levels. Make sure stress reduction plays an integral part of your plan to balance hormone levels.