24 Y/o Taking 25mg Oral Progesterone - Period Is Even More Irregular Than Before

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Ashley Says:

I got my first period when I was 13 and have had very severe PMS since then including cramps, extreme irritability/anger and anxiety, headaches, backaches, sore and swollen breasts, insomnia, hot flashes, pretty much the worst of any symptom you can think of. Although all of these symptoms are difficult to deal with, I would take the physical symptoms over the emotional any day. The anxiety and irrational anger and temper and just overall intensity of my emotions around the week I begin PMSing is so severe.

Other than that, my period has always been fairly regular, usually between 30-40 days i'll get it, sometimes longer if I'm under unusually high stress or not eating correctly. Due to the intense PMS, I began taking natural progesterone cream a couple of years ago but have never been too consistent with it. The dose I aimed for was about a tablespoon of OTC progesterone cream during the first half of my cycle mornings and evenings (I'd rotate rubbing it on my thighs, arms, belly and chest/neck) Never noticed much of a difference since then just made my period a bit more regular and "on time"

About 2 months ago, I went to a doctor who prescribed me to 100mg of oral progesterone capsules to take every day at bedtime (not split like i did the cream), and 2% testosterone cream to apply every morning. The first month felt fine but when my period came, it only lasted like 4 days but was still really heavy and i did cramp some.

I thought i was out of the woods, when a week later, i started spotting and experiencing HORRIBLE anger and irritability. Just had an overall sense of being out of control. That was a couple of days ago and now I'm full blown back on my period, cramps and all, heavier flow than ever.

What is going on?

Can I stop taking the progesterone and be ok?

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Ashley! How are you doing?

The increase in anger and irritability may be due to the Testosterone, it's the hormone that make men male and in many studies, it's been shown that more aggressive men tend to have higher levels of it than their more calm counterparts. We women do have a small amount of it, but our levels are usually a little low and it's very rare that it's necessary to add any and when you're already having problems with irritability and anger, I'm not sure why the doctor would have told you to use it and I'd suggest talking to them about it, or perhaps getting a second opinion.

Now, as to the progesterone cream you were using, the fact that you weren't consistent likely contributed to its not helping much. Plus, many over the counter creams were found via sampling to not actually contain the amounts claimed on the labels. Thus, to get good results, you've really go to do some research, before making a purchase.

As to the period irregularities while taking the Progesterone tablets, it usually does shorten your cycle for the first few months and that is a completely normal side effect, which you should have been warned about.

In regards to its being so heavy, if you were low in Progesterone, which is evidenced by the severity of your PMS symptoms, then it's likely that your endometrial lining built up pretty thickly over time and was never consistently and completely shed when you had your period and Progesterone does tend to clean out the uterus, so to speak, by making you shed all of the old blood and tissue.

You should consult your doctor again to make sure that there is nothing else going on, but what I've mentioned is the most likely explanation.

Additionally, at your age and still having a cycle to follow, the doctor shouldn't have you using the progesterone throughout the entire month. Proper use is to take the tablets or to use the cream cyclically, so you should only be using it for the last 12 to 14 days of your cycle, stopping a day or so before your period is due to start.

If you used it straight through your period, then that explains why you started spotting after your period. Even women my age that are in perimenopause have to take a break of at least 7 days, each month, to allow the normal hormone changes to happen in your bodies, so we only use it for 3 weeks of the month. You are supposed to be estrogen dominant for the first half of your cycle, that is the way our biology works, so using progesterone throughout that time will throw things off.

Are there any other questions I can help with?

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Todd Says:

These are symptoms of estrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency:
cramps, extreme irritability/anger and anxiety, headaches, sore and swollen breasts, insomnia.
If you are taking too much progesterone, it will in time convert to estrogen which is probably why you went back to being estrogen dominant (anger, irritability, cramps, heavier flow).
The dosages for progesterone is (6.25, 12.5, 25 mg) twice a day, days 15-28, with day 1 being you period. You should be on the 25 mg. Most women do better on pill form than creams. The only way to get that low of a dose of bioidentical progesterone is through a compounding pharmacy. If your doctor doesn't use one, try calling a compounding pharmacy and ask them if they can recommend a doctor.
I'm not sure why you are on testosterone for the entire month. Testosterone is highest around day 23 of a normal cycle.
You may be low thyroid with your periods taking so long, sluggish system. Typical testing for thyroid is lousy. Refer to websites like stopthethyroidmadness.com and hypothyroidmom.com to see what I mean.

Two books I recommend: WomanCode by Alisa Vitti and Health, hormones and happiness (2007) by Steven Hotze. WomanCode explains what foods to eat to get you cycle working normally. Learn how your body works so you will know what you need. Doctors are not trained in med school on this stuff. They have to figure it out on their own. Very few doctors do it well.

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barbara Says:

just starting progesterone 25mg capsules, I am a little confused with how I take them, it says to take 1 capsule daily on days 2-19 is this before my period or 2nd day of my period or after my period? Help Confused.

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