Progesterone and thyroid

Just wondering - I pretty much self diagnosed my thyroid condition before getting confirmation with the GP ( was underactive although my T3 was fine) The only apparent symptoms were fatigue and having had two miscarriages .

I've since found out that low progesterone causes the same symptoms and can completely diminish thyroid function . I'm getting tested but wondering if I may have jumped the gun about thyroid as the suggestion is that if the low progesterone is dealt with the thyroid can be healed . ( there are some natural creams that would be my choice as I do try to approach things as holistically as possible)

We are trying to conceive and I wish I had explored this before particularly as I have sore breasts and there's a possibility of pregnancy this month but equally this is another symptom of low progesterone .

I am on 2 grains of NDT and levels stabilised quickly. Has anyone any knowledge or experience around this subject matter : progesterone and thyroid?

55 Replies

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  • What do you call a fine FT3? It would probably help if you posted all the results.

  • Mid to upper third of range . Then with thyroid almost too high but reduced just in time .

    Will post when I get a minute.

  • ok

  • Hi Greygoose

    Here are my figures - T3 usually in range.

    First ever blood test

    April - TSH 15.5, Ft4 8.3 , ft3 2.9

    June - ( still no med here but taking thyro complex support minerals ) after a summer holiday when I felt great only to get :

    TSH - 26.9!!!, ft4 6.5 ( if anything we expected it to rise with the extra support) ft3 3.8

    August - on med by now

    TSH 0.05, ft4 11.6, ft3 4.3 .

    Increased after this (2.5 grains on advice of doc P) and too high in T3 for me

    September

    TSH 0.01, ft4 11.5, ft3 5.6 ( very uncomfortable for me - short breath etc)

    Reduced to 2 g but been feeling tired and increased to 2.25 about a week ago: feeling foggy ??

    There...

    it occurred to me that my ft4 wasn't actually that far out to begin with ? I never really felt particularly ill although I had a huge amount of stress End of last year and miscarried in Nov last and Jan.

    Feel free to comment ... x

  • Well, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I can't comment on that, because you haven't put any ranges. And saying that the FT3 is 'usually in range' means nothing, because it's where in the range that counts.

    I rather doubt your FT4 was in range in the first test, but your TSH says you were very hypo.

    Being that there are so many symptoms of low thyroid, you could very well be experiencing symptoms without even realising it.

  • Yep. Apols

    Ranges are TSH 0.35-4.9mlU/L

    T4 : 9.01-19.05mol/L

    T3: 2.63-5.70pmol/L

    (T3 has been satisfactory )

    Don't worry if you haven't got time . It was kind of you to engage

  • Ps:

    I meant although the ft4 wasn't in range I thought it wasn't massively off either.

    I guess it all depends on how that feels to the individual .

  • Yes, that's the way doctors tend to think, as well. But, it's not true. It's not just a question of being 'in range' because the ranges are too wide. And, given that the FT4 should be up near the mid-range mark, under range, even by one point, is bad.

  • That's a very strange range! And a good illustration of why we should always put the ranges.

    So your FT4 was under-range on the first test. So, it was very far out. It should be up near mid-range, at least. The ranges are far too broad. And your FT3 was not fine, it was scraping along the bottom of the range. So, I don't think you 'jumped the gun', at all. You were very hypo.

    So you increased your dose to 2.25 about the time you posted this question? I think the best thing to do would be to wait six weeks and test again, and see how you feel in the meantime.

    And, when you next get tested, ask for your vit D, vit B12, folate and ferritin to be tested. When you're hypo, they could very well be low. :)

  • Thank you Greygoose . That has helped crystallise things again . Just had a wobble as I've felt tired but that's probablyjust adjustment to the increase or too many disturbed nights .

    Thanks again .

  • Hi, I have an underactive thryoid [dx by a private dr in 2001; the NHS only accepted this dx in 2012 when my FT4 slipped below 11 [range 12-22]] during a bad spell.

    I self medicate with 4 grains of WP Thyroid daily. I do my own private blood tests as the GP and lab only tests my TSH.

    I had additional symptoms of low progesterone about 7 years ago. Saw my GP who refused to do any hormone testing, so I told her I was going to try bio identical progesterone [Wellsprings] cream which made a huge difference to me. I shall continue with this progesterone cream and, after menopause, I shall switch to their 20:1 progesterone/oestrogen cream [I'm 49].

    My older sister found her menopause acutely aggravated by the GP's synthetic oestrogen meds, after a successful few months on it initially. I told her about the 20:1 cream and it changed her life, no exaggeration. No more anxiety, flushes much reduced, better sleep, reduced fatigue, etc.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your miscarriages with low progesterone and hope that if you try some of the bio identical prog, cream that you can successfully start a family :0)

    Good luck

    Hels

  • Thanks - there are many parallels between us and it's Wellsprings I'm looking at.

    Think my anxiety lies with the fact I might be pregnant and could be too late : I haven't started any cream and so I'm kicking myself I didn't check progesterone before .

    On the other hand if progesterone comes back ok - happy days and I'm good to go x

  • I have to let you know that no over the counter cream will sustain a pregnancy if you have a low progesterone problem, this is for other progesterone issues not for pregnancy. You will need a prescription from your doctor

  • Hi the low progesterone and maybe low folate if not tested needs doing may be the reason for your miscarriages. As you'll probably know, estrogen launches the pregnancy, progesterone carries it to term. But there are accompanying nutrients needed to, no single nutrient works on its own there's teamwork involved.

    Also if your low in thyroid IE hypothyroid your most likely low in zinc, studies have found this is common as is the opposite hyperthyroidism tends to have high levels of zinc...

  • May I ask how you dose your progesterone whilst still a fertile, menstruating woman?

  • Think it tells you on the box :-)

  • No, it only has instructions for post-menopausal women. For young fertile women the dosage is discretionary, so for instance, my bioidentical cream is privately compounded and dosed at 40mg every day without a break for 2 months, then 20mg on days 14-28 of cycle. For a friend of mine, however, her advisor has compounded 100mg to be used daily indefinitely.

  • I am looking at the pot of Wellsprings.

  • Yes, which means you are looking at an over-the-counter version of progesterone with a generic prescriptive dose.

  • Am I ?

  • With Wellsprings, there is one cream for pre menopausal women [Serenity which is progesterone] and one for menopausal women [20:1] which is 20 parts progesterone and 1 part oestrogen.

    Hope that helps.

  • On the website it says to dose 1/8 of a teaspoonful. The loading dose when starting is, IIRC, 1/4 of a teaspoonful for a week or two. Full information is on the tub of cream, and the company have helpful staff too.

    All I can say is that using the cream, which is a bioidentical hormone and not synthetic [they are chemically different], has helped remove my perimenopausal symptoms by at least 95 per cent. I've been using it for some 7 years with success [no connection to the company!].

  • Sorry as I can't reply directly to pregnancy, but I can share my experience with sex hormones with you in case something can help. I'm female and even though I was in my early 30s, my body wasn't able to produce any or enough sex hormones. The blood tests showed absolutely none in some cases, and others were a very very small percentage of what they should be. I was on the wrong thyroid medication, and, therefore, my body couldn't make all the normal hormones. This is often why our cholesterol is high - because cholesterol is converted to our sex and some steroid hormones via the thyroid. I went to a bioidentical hormone doctor, and felt like a new person in about a month. It was the best thing at that point. I was on them for about 2 years, then on and off as I was getting closer to finding the right thyroid meds. I've been off them now for about 9 months (I think - I'd have to check my records). For me, it was a lifesaver. Maybe check your morning temperatures to make sure that the NDT is the right dose? If so, maybe look into a bioidental hormone doctor who is also more into natural healing (as you mentioned you are wanting more holistic approaches) and specialises in fertility?

  • Could you please pm me your dr that you found? I'm in the same boat xx

  • I will PM you, but it may be worth mentioning here for others that my doctor was in Massachusetts in the US, and I am now in New Zealand. I may have a (legal and legit) source for you to get bio-identical hormones from so I'll PM you with the info :-)

  • I am in the US and have been seeing a NP for the last year. 43 yo, Gained 12 pounds in 2 weeks in Feb and can't loose it. Fatigue, body aches, brain fog, extremely low testosterone, very low progesterone on day 19 of cycle, , hypothyroid symptoms (T3-RT3 is 11), on WP thyroid 32.5 mg, morning temps still not reaching 98* and no corpus luteum. Please, please, please share you legit source for bio hormones with me. I'm ready to feel normal again. Best, Stephanie

  • Maybe you need pregnenolone? Most health food shops in the US carry progesterone, pregnenolone, and DHEA (converts to testosterone). If you are near Rhode Island (now that I think about it, I may have travelled there from Massachusetts), PM me and I'm happy to give you the name of my bio identical hormone doctor :-)

    Also, does that mean you're only on half a grain of NDT/WTE? If so, from what I hear, that's usually way too low of a dose. What does your doctor say? Have you tried increasing?

  • Hello, low thyroid levels are a precursor for low progesterone. I use thyroid hormones and progesterone (bioidentical). Since being my own thyroid fertility advocate I'm now 18 weeks pregnant. Good luck. :-)

  • Congratulations !!!!! xxxxxxxx

  • hi goodlife1 which brand of prog cream do you use if you don't mind me asking? Thank you.

  • I use 'Supplement Spot' progesterone gel from USA. 5 pumps equals 100mg. :-)

  • Hi there

    I'm a bit worried that I'm Pregnant but haven't started the cream. I believe it needs to build up for a few months.

    It's serenity cream. I need the results first I guess but wishing had tested earlier .

  • Wouldn't hesitate starting up with bio identical progesterone cream as it it vital for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Normally the levels rise enormously in pregnancy, so if you suspect you have a problem you would want to be on the safe side.

  • Hi Katoir

    It may help you to know that you can get bio identical progesterone prescribed by your GP.

    I had to prove that my surgeon recommended continuous low dose of progesterone

    The GP wasn't too keen to prescribe it, but it is in the recommended list of prescribed medicines by NICE, which they must go by

    It is called progesterone 100 and is also known as Utrogestan 100

    They used to do a 200 version, but this has stopped being supplied on the NHS

    All these medications, blood tests, health supplements and private endocrinologists are so expensive. If we can find a way to reduce the cost........Allellujah!!

    You may find the tablets to be cheaper than the cream. I don't know as I haven't checked

    Good luck with your health. Everything you are doing is great, you cannot expect anything more of yourself. ❤️

  • I was listening to a talk about thyroid and conception the other day. They were saying that TSH needs to be below 2 preferably under 1 to conceive.

    They were also talking about the sex hormones.

    Look at Dr Amy Myers website, there may be some more info.

    Dana Trentini is a conception specialist.

    Margaret Christensen had really good conception information too.

    It was on the thyroidconnections summit.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you

    My TSH is below 1 and levels all good . Will check that out sometime .

  • I had a complicated miscarriage at 12 weeks, and the physical trauma meant I never conceived again, no one ever talked about my being hypo thyroid and whether my levels were right., I now have a ten year old who I adopted when she was 10 months, so although I would have chopped my arm off (literally) for a baby at the time all is well now - well apart from me having had m.e for the past five years and missing so much of her life. (Now I'd chop my arm off to be recovered, I keep working on it)

    Anyway, I wanted to say that my friend had trouble conceiving, was referred to NHS clinic and had low progesterone which they treated and she conceived. If you are pregnant they should be able to check your levels to make sure they have gone up, and treat if not, but personally I wouldn't go bunging any progesterone in there if you are with out medical guidance, as we all know hormones are so delicately balanced by our bodies, let's hope the NDT is doing the trick and all is well. How many weeks since you ovulated? It's easy to start obsessing about physical changes and then be disappointed, I did it enough times before conceiving. If you re not pregnant then you can get your progesterone checked and get help and guidance and hopefully go on to conceive and maintain a pregnancy. Good luck, it's a heart breaking tough old road when it doesn't go right.

  • Sulamaye, have you had your thyroid levels checked? I had very low thyroid levels unknown to me after my son's birth and it appeared like M.E. I was being treated for low thyroid but my medication was far too low. I struggled so much bringing him up and he definitely lost out. It's sad when you can't enjoy your child as you should. Best wishes x

  • Thanks Marigold22 - yes I've tried the lot, NDT, T3 only, I was on T3/T4 combo when I hit the wall. I take hydrocortisone, eat grain free, dairy, gluten, everything nice free etc etc You name it I do it or have done it. Now I'm trying Lymes type treatments. Still in bed 50% of the day. Some people simply have m.e and who knows why or what will enable my body to recover.

  • My thyroid holistic specialist also prescribed oestrogen cream and progesterone lozenges for me. Plus DHEA for adrenals. And plenty more vitamins and minerals. Said my thyroxine wasn't being absorbed anyhow because I was running on empty all round. Oh and he told me to put some coconut oil in my coffee each morning - wow, that helps! In fact it all helps. I'm having another blood test soon - will be most interested to see the results.

    Don't panic about being pregnant and yet taking thyroxine. Better that than nothing at all as I suspect you DO have a thyroid problem and you don't want that possibly affecting the baby .... I can assure you. Go back to your doctor for a chat though, if only to ease your mind. 😘

  • I suffered from low progesterone for years and doc was no help just wouldnt listen as I was in my 50's and hadnt gone through menopause. Im now almost 59 and Im just about there now with no bad side effects and no hot flushes as I started using progesterone gel manufactured in texas. Dont know which country you are in? Im in Scotland so it wasnt easy to find. To try to answer your question. Thyroid and progesterone are related and it all starts with vit d! You need to have that checked as if its low your body wont make enough progesterone. Its complicated as I found out. Its all related to vit d/cholesterol/cortisol/progesterone. And without the progesterone your thyroid doesnt function properly. This is why women of my age have thyroid problems brought on by menopause because of estrogen/progesterone imbalance because when the ovaries stop producing the adrenals should take over but without vitd the adrenals malfunction. If you are already pregnant your doctor can give you natural progesterone called prometrium comes in pills 100 or 200 also can be inserted into vagina to be more effective. Also called utrogestan as mentioned earlier. Doctors will give these to prevent misscarraige. If you are pregnant also make sure you are not iodine deficient as it is also very important for the developement of your baby but has to be taken with selenium to prevent problems. Good luck I hope all goes well xx

  • Sorry to hear, that you experience this. I know how hard it is. I had two miscarriages is well, i couldn't get pregnant for 3years, i knowed that something vrong, i was only 27 old. going to NHS doctors but always been told it's normal, as many women's had many miscarriages. but i was so desperate to get pregnant, physical and emotional. finally they asked if i had cervical screening test, so i did this, and received answer " abnormal " moderate dyscariosis. then urgent Tey send me to hospital apoitment with suspected cervical cancer. had to many bad cellular in my cervic, so benn treated straight away ,also sended for biopsy, get answer that is non cancerous. after so much stress, finally get in hope to still try for a baby. so after 1year after treatment removal of bad cellular, finally pregnant. but in all my pregnancy felt that something is wrong, six months after birth, benn diagnosed hypothyroidism. started on levothyroxine 50mcg, now more than 3 years on tablets,worked on blood test, but not in symptoms. I think all hormones including sex hormones, minerals, vitamins, adrenals is important and need to get checked if you get in struggle with health.

  • But don't give up Katoir, finally defo you get pregnant, just need to put thinks on the right way, but NHS doctors not help. but this site is brilliant, just seek advises, and do your own research, you will get on the right way. I know that it takes long way, just stay calm, as stress is not good. I wish you all the best.!!! and hope to hear good news soon :-)

  • This man explains in detail how the thyroid works. He also has videos about female hormones on you tube. Worth watching.

  • I am being treated for low progesterone and have been for about 2 years. I have a wellness doctor who also is a GP, she tested me for all my hormones and I was also high with my estrogen, low with progesterone. We worked on getting the progesterone up, with a bioidentical cream dosed at what my body would naturally make in a day, an I worked on my diet, supplements and naturals products, and as far as watching products I put on my skin that may have estrogenic properties like sunscreens, perfumes, makeup, bodywash to help get the estrogen down. Just this last year she discovered the thyroid antibodies in my bloodwork, I have hashimotos as my sister, and what my dad may have had too, she has now placed me on a compounded T4 T3 med, my levels are not very bad but not optimal for feeling the best, and I already notice a difference in myself after a week. You need to find a great doctor, Im in Canada, and had to hunt for a wellness/alternative care type of doctor as standard doctors and specialists just seem to pop standard pills, dont hunt for the answers, dont monitor well. My sister just sees her regular doctor, he takes blood tests once a year, never discusses them, and just prescribes a T4 drug, she feels horrible and has for years, and he is not willing to do more. I suspect her progesterone is also low, but he does no other testing for her.(My doctor does testing all the time and discusses it with me, and listens to my feedback)Find someone who knows what to do, make sure they check your levels, and dont take anything with more estrogen unless you know you need it, it is not good to have more estrogen if we already have enough.

  • Hi, you have had lots of wise replies. My own story is that I had 4 miscarriages 30+ years ago and was lucky enough to find a gyni who (without any blood tests) knew about low progesterone. He gave me progesterone injections from about week 8 for a few weeks. Sorry it's a long time ago now and can't remember the full details. I managed a full term healthy baby with the progesterone injections, schirodker stitch around the cervix and 8 months bed rest. I would recommend you start on the Wellsprings progesterone cream immediately as it cannot hurt and have used it for many years. However if you are very low in progesterone you would probably need a higher dose than the cream can give. Best wishes and good luck x

  • I first heard this theory when I read the Hypothyroidmom article: hypothyroidmom.com/progeste... Obviously I have no personal experience with it. :)

    What I do want to say about pregnancy is: avoid pregnancy until you are absolutely sure your hormone levels have been corrected. There are too many risks otherwise. Take a look at thyroidpregnancybook.com.

  • I recommend you read " Premenstrual Syndrome and Progesterone Therapy" by Dr Katharina Dalton. Chapter 22 'The Outcome of Pregnancy'.

    It was Dr Dalton who first recognised and named Pre-menstrual Syndrome, and pioneered progesterone therapy.

    She helped me recover from post-natal depression brought on by letting myself be bullied into taking the high-dose pill in the 70s when I was weaning my daughter.

    She then helped me to have a pregnancy free of extreme 'morning' sickness by monitoring me on 400mg natural progesterone pessaries 3 times daily.

    Doctors still confuse progesterone with progestogens (what an unhelpful name to give to a synthetic substance which differs in many ways from progesterone!)

    The most relevant difference to this discussion is that a major function of progesterone is the maintenance of pregnancy, and it has no detrimental effects on the foetus, Whereas progestogens, particularly the 19 norsteroids and testosterone derivatives can result in masculinisation of the foetus.

  • I've never heard of this but I too have low progesterone when I get a positive pregnancy test I have to start supplements right away. I take a prescription progesterone twice a day at 200mg. I just wanted to let you know that you must take them right away or you will miscarry, this has happened to me once and I learned my lesson :(

    However this last pregnancy my progesterone was really high and I didn't need them for the first time ever. I still took them anyway though

  • Look at the Wellsprings website (Guernsey). I have been using Serenity cream for several years and I feel well on it. It is a plant based progesterone cream they also do a combination one. The website has lots of info.

  • I have considerable experience with progesterone. Have you heard of Natpro? There is a wealth of info on progesteronetherapy.com.

  • I like the idea of a pump dispenser but is it available in the U.K. Do you know?

  • I am in the UK. It is from the US, but there are suppliers here. It goes out of stock regularly though! Check out the website.

  • Oh, and get your vitamin D level checked. If you are deficient, supplement with D3. I take 10,000iu daily. Without enough D3, your body can't make progesterone.

  • Hi I saw a great Endo in Joburg, He said to me there is a trangle at the apex, Thyroxin, on the base testostorone in men and Progestone in women and on the other base point of the triangle DHEA. Take any of these out or make them higher they all effect one and another.

    That is why I keep banging on here on this board it aint just Throroxin that is the cause of you feeling unwell.

    Cheers

    John C

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