Topical HRT cream and Hypothyroidism

I am having my levels checked as my doctor says I am borderline hypothyroid. I am not on levothyroxine yet (have been avoiding it). My symptoms are few: hair loss, depression and tiredness. I seem to have also a very flabby middle which I've never had in my life.

However, I recently asked the doctor to prescribe HRT cream as in the last year or so I have lost interest in sex, partly as it's very painful. My husband is a lot younger than me. However, what I do not know is what effect, if any this NhRT cream will have on my borderline hypothyroid. Indigo on and if I start taking Levothyroxine what effect it will have on that hormone . I don't see any reference to HRT creams and hypothyroidism in the posts. Does anyone know?

6 Replies

  • I have used various forms of hrt for years, now on a topical as and when I feel the need, not aware of it causing any issues with thyroid meds.

  • lcb,

    Welcome to our forum,

    I take a low dose of HRT and need to be mindful that higher oestrogen levels can encourage the liver to produce more of a protein called “thyroid binding globulin” (TBG).

    When there is too much TBG, too much thyroid hormone can become bound leaving too little available to be "free". As only the free thyroid hormone can be utilised by the body into eventual energy, this may encourage hypothyroid symptoms.

    The adrenals, thyroid and ovaries form the Ovarian Adrenal Thyroid Axis (OAT-Axis) and all are co-dependent hormonally on each other. The adrenals may become compromised with low thyroid hormone as they compensate and when there is low levels of cortisol (adrenal hormone), oestrogen is secreted instead.

    You may find that adding HRT improves thyroid function or you may find that adding Levothyroxine helps oestrogen levels, or you may need to medicate both. Oestrogen levels should balance those of progesterone. Ask your GP to test all sex hormones.

    Post any test results complete with ranges (numbers in brackets) for members to comment.


  • lcb,

    Re fat around the middle -If you have low thyroid hormone the adrenals glands will be compensating and secreting cortisol. Cortisol will stimulate the appetite, and when that food//sugar isn't used to fight off the stress that the cortisol should have been secreted for, we store it as fat as there are many cortisol receptors in our abdominal fat.

    Also if you feel hungry after eating, look into insulin resistance.

    Depending on how long you have been suffering low thyroid hormones, you may have high or low cortisol levels. High cortisol competes with progesterone receptors, so stress can lead to oestrogen dominance meaning you may do well with something like Wellsprings Progesterone Transdermal Cream but you won't know until your GP tests your sex hormones.

  • My gp said nothing about testing sex hormones. He simply prescribed HRT cream for the vagina. And has not suggested testing cortisol levels. I don't have any problems with appetite or feeling hungry after eating but I am feeling stress periodically, can't cope with difficulties and am depressed

  • I wouldn't worry about tests being done, no point in overcomplicating things, just try your cream and see if if helps, there are many different ones so plenty to experiment with, I have a problem with lots of them but have been on my current one for probably 5 + years.

  • I didn't find creams any use at all. But if you have vaginal atrophy, ask for vagifem pessaries - they are bioidentical.

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