Disappointed and frustrated with doctors and Progesterone for heavy periods?

I went to see a London Endo Professor a few days ago as a second follow up appointment. He was the on the TUK list but response I got from him was largely disappointing. I think he's cautious to recommend any thyroid treatment because he thinks it won't produce enough benefit. Other than high cortisol levels all day long, I informed him that my Genova Adrenal Stress Profile shows that DHEA is low so he then added that I could try taking DHEA. The way in which he said it didn't inspire me with confidence because it was though he hadn't thought it through. I think supplementing with DHEA could mean that the DHEA may convert into more of the wrong hormone, for example Oestrogen. Whilst I don't know what my hormone levels are but judging by the amount of fat on my legs and heavy periods its possible my oestrogen levels are high. In terms of thyroid treatment, he said T3 is too expensive and I could try NDT. However, I don't think he's willing to help me with this route. He did recommend 200mcg of Selenium and so I have started taking that and he then wants me to take another set of tests in 6 weeks time. At the same time he thinks my "low mood" should be addressed by anti-depressants. I am not happy about this and I refuse to take them. I don't believe I am depressed but I do feel stressed easily and struggle to sleep. My recent blood tests from the GP show that Ferritin is half way through the range 150 ug/L as I had an iron infusion via the Professor. Folate and B12 are above range as usual. For some reason whether I do or don't supplement they are always high. Vitamin D was 68 nmol/L range is (51-75). TSH has risen to 2.86 and Serum Free T4 is 11.70. My cholesterol has risen slightly once again. It is above range at 6.05 and I'm sure its down to my thyroid.

I feel like I am getting nowhere with improving my hypothyroid symptoms. I also get heavy periods and PMS can often start many days before. In fact I can never predict when they will start as my cycle varies from 23 to even 36 days. I have been like this for many years. I went to see Dr P back in December and he recommended Progesterone cream however when I asked the Professor he said it will not make a difference.

Does anybody have any experience in improving heavy periods and PMS with progesterone cream? How should it be used correctly? What brand have you tried? Should I have a hormones test via Genova before trying it?

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17 Replies

  • Tranexamic acid stops the blood vessels overdilating and therefore is good for heavy periods, I had a very good result with it. It is an option to consider with your GP. My best wishes to you.

  • I used Tranexamic acid for a little while and it really helped, now my levels are fine i don't use it anymore.

  • I've tried that but it never really works for me. Thank you though.

  • Hello,

    I understand your frustration at being offered antidepressants - though for a good many medical professionals they are a useful aid when faced with a patient who has said he/she feels down. Of course you are under no obligation to take them esp. if you haven't said you feel down!!

    I am not sure why you are so disappointed by the endos reaction though. He has suggested NDT. You seem disappointed? Many here would be happy. I cannot get NDT where I live...He is right: T3 is too expensive. He didn't say he didn't know what it was or that it would give you a heart attack. For the NHS it is a crippling amount of money. You might find even if he did yes to T3 your GP wouldn't prescribe it.

    Your DHEA is low and he cautiously by the sounds of it suggests supplementing. You don't like the answer because it may increase your oestrogen -though until you have your hormones tested you won't know whether it's too much oestrogen or whether it's a question of ratios that's causing some of your issues. I think the endo sounds pretty helpful actually.

    Do you want progesterone cream because Dr P suggested it or because the Endo disagreed? :-) If you search online I think you'll find some interesting testimonies regarding progesterone cream. Might be worth reading Dr Lee's book too. Depending on your age there are two or even three books you can choose from. They're not expensive either.

  • I'm also disappointed because Professor C told me to supplement with DHEA without proper hormone testing. He didn't even propose hormone testing. I don't think he really trusts Genova testing because he only took copies of the blood results from my GP and I can also understand that. However, why then suggest something so radical in such a nonchalant way. I honestly think there is a problem with my hormones because my monthly cycles vary so drastically and I have PMS symptoms for days on end. This has affected my life for years. Plus I have stubborn upper leg fat which refuses to shift despite weight training, cardio, diet control etc. I don't feel confident experimenting with hormones as I have enough problems as it is.

    Thank you I'll look up Dr Lee. Even using Progesterone cream it seems will require some knowledge and I am just running out of patience.

  • I'm going through the menopause and have had some problems with periods over the last couple of years - one was a light bleed that just wouldn't stop and the other was a heavy bleed that meant changing pads every couple of hours.

    Progesterone worked for the first but I was given an enormous dose (I have problems with B12 absorption and metabolisation and it just seemed to send that haywire after it being okay ... so the second time I just took a very small amount of progresterone and that did do the trick in stopping the period - just one 1/2 tablet was sufficient and didn't give me the B12 issues.

    I don't have a thyroid problem - just B12 issues.

    Progesterone works because it puts you back into the ovulating part of the cycle

  • When you say you took Progesterone, was this the cream or something else? I think I have an issue with B12 and Folate absorption because even without supplementing it is usually at the upper limit of the scale or beyond. I'm not sure why that is. I've heard things about the MTHFR gene but never been tested. Other than that I'm not sure why that would happen. Could it be down to bad gut health?

  • not sure that serum B12 would be raised by MTHFR but .... and if you are at the upper end of the normal range that's still within the normal range - and if you have a problem with the gut that would mean your serum B12 etc would be low - as you wouldn't be absorbing it from your food. High serum doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a problem though but functional B12 deficiency is generally where you are above the range. See you have posted about the high B12 on the PAS forum

    Is your thyroid under control.

    Took progesterone as tablets.

  • I found progesterone doesn't work for me and has never worked. I've had GPs try various progesterone hormones from a teenager. One problem with menstruation is every woman is different so what may work for one woman doesn't work for another. So the professor saying it doesn't work is probably because he deals with cases like mine where we still have heavy bleeding plus other side effects. Professors don't tend to deal with the easy cases - they get to deal with the misdiagnoses and hard cases.

    What is more likely to be helpful is to take NDT and get your thyroid hormones optimal in addition sort out your vitamin D levels so they are around 100 and keep an eye on your ferritin so you aren't iron deficient.

    When doctors prescribe medication for people they are taking a gamble as people can have side effects, and they don't know who will have a problem as we haven't yet reached the point where we do genetic based prescribing. This is while he suggested DHEA when you stated your test result. Regardless if you are on NDT all the doctor will do is monitor your thyroid hormone levels like they would on levo, and guess the dose you need to take like they do with levo.

  • Did the progesterone cream simply not work for you or did it cause unwanted side effects?

  • Progesterone cream didn't work for me and neither does progesterone in any form. To be fair I had an idea before trying it as I have 3 female siblings where mucking around with their progesterone and oestrogen levels doesn't work.

  • Hi there, I use progesterone cream and have used it on and off for years. I only took brakes because I either tried other natural supplements or because I couldn't afford to keep using it. I have read what Dr Raymond Peat and others have said and it does help reduce heavy periods and improve pms in some women. I was bleeding very heavily every 21 days and my pain, fatigue and misery would increase. I now have a regular 28 day cycle that has improved to the point when I'm not sure when it's due because the pms symptoms are so mild now. I also take t3 after a year and a half on ndt which didnt really help much. I also tske adrenal support. Dr P diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism in August 2015 I was nearly dieing and my gp kept trying to put me on anti depressants, pain killers transamic acid? Sleeping pills, tranquilizers and God knows what else after becoming impossibly ill I was finally diagnosed with chronic fatigue and sent to a useless cbt course etc.... I was already grain, dairy and refined sugar free plus supplementing a whole load of stuff. I was tested for thyroid for 20 years as I was symptomatic but no gp would believe I was hypo once my bloods came back within range. Most thyroid ladies have some level of hormone imbalance so eating right, taking supps and sorting out your thyroid is all you can do. Good luck. 😊

  • Hello Can I ask what progesterone cream you used? Thanks!

  • Your story sounds strangely familiar in so many ways. What made you decide to try the progesterone cream? Did you ever experience any negative side effects? I'd like to try it but I'm afraid in case something terrible happens. I only ask because I tried bovine adrenal cortex called Adrenavive iii last month on Dr P's recommendation and it made me ill for weeks. I also lowered my Levo from 75mcg to 50mcg at the same time for a few days.

    Do you know whether having more progesterone in your body has perhaps reduced your oestrogen? Have you ever had any hormonal tests? I carry fat on my legs and I wonder if it can balance oestrogen because I can never seem to lose that fat no matter what I do.

    Also, what did you experience on NDT? I'm also considering taking T3 instead of NDT.

    Dr P also said I have Adrenal Fatigue but this wasn't based on any test results. I since did the Adrenal Stress Profile and my cortisol is raised and above range throughout the day.

    I recently went to see my GP and surprise surprise has also referred me to a rheumatologist for Chronic Fatigue. I've yet to receive any appointment details but based on what you've said I'm not hopeful that it will help.

    I've been gluten free, dairy free (kind of) for months. Mainly to reduce antibody levels.

    Which supplements have you been taking? Which ones have helped?

    Sorry for all the questions.

  • Hi, I decided to use it some years ago as I studied nutrition due to being on soooo many pharmaceutical drugs. I was allergic to lots of stuff, I was pre diabetic in my early 20's. I had chronic lower back pain & I had PCOS and so on.... Eventually I got sick of side effects and the fact nothing was improving. I researched natural alternatives such as anti inflammatory diet, whole food supplements, & eventually tried pro cream for my horrendous pms heavy bleeding and short cycle. It's a bio identical hormone so quite safe for most people. I went to see a very expensive hormone Dr who prescribed a cream for me but after a few visits I decided to treat myself. I successfully reversed PCOS with diet, supplements and pro cream the last scan showed no cysts at all. No ill effects on the cream as I used small amounts to start but then went high as I was still having some symptoms, I'm estrogen dominant so a long-term struggle but the pro cream defo helps. You should have taken small amounts of adrenal supps then built up slowly before adding thyroid supps. That's what I did. NDT didn't work out for me I tried 2 or 3 types with only mediocore results so I researched T3 & decided to try it and so far so good. It's not easy to get and my gp doesn't support my decision. I did have hormone tests but gave up on tests as I spent so much money! I go by symptoms now and will only have tests if all goes wrong. My supps are numerous but basically I take D3, K2, B12, B1 a B complex a multi vitamin, medicinal mushrooms, vitamin C, etc... I use the T3, high dose progesterone cream. I originally did an elimination diet & now eat an anti inflammatory diet, similar to paleo. But I can have goats dairy now. Hope this helps.

  • Just want to point out that there is a big difference between natural and synthetic progesterone, and taking the synthetic one for years, like many women do in contraceptive pills, will disrupt the body's ability to produce natural progesterone.

    Hormone knowledge should be a subject for teenage girls at school. I would have made different choices back then if I had known what I know now.

  • They can't do that doctors views are sacred.

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