Some women respond to even very low doses of progesterone with symptoms of excess. This is not so much an excess susceptibility as an indication that these women’s endogenous production is adequate to provide for their needs. In practice, the range of progesterone tolerance can be quite narrow, and a tiny dose is all that is needed to complete the balance between the estrogens and progesterone.
Approximately 30-40% of menopausal women who take progesterone experience unpleasant PMS-like symptoms such as moodiness, irritably, breast tenderness and muscle aches. Individuals who had significant premenstrual symptoms while they were premenopausal are more likely to be affected. Progestins produce moodiness and irritability by effecting specific sites in the brain. Changing the type of progesterone, the dose, the route of administration and the length of treatment can lessen this effect.
Caution is advised when using saliva for progesterone testing. If you have been using progesterone cream, levels of saliva progesterone may be falsely elevated.
It is also possible to experience allergic reactions to HRT preparations. Women who are allergic to peanuts need to be aware that some hormone replacement preparations including Prometrium contain peanut oil and are capable of producing serious allergic reactions in those who are susceptible.
Signs, symptoms & indicators of Progesterone Excess
High progesterone level
Reduced/normal/low progesterone level
Depression with fatigue
Breast soreness during cycle
Conditions that suggest Progesterone Excess
One mysterious effect in the progesterone intolerant women is bladder problems. Some women have either a great increase in urinary tract infections or a feeling like they are having an infection as soon as they try taking a “normal” progesterone dose. If bladder symptoms start and stop with starting and stopping progesterone, they may be related.
General fungal/yeast infections
Risk factors for Progesterone Excess
Taking high dose progesterone
Taking excesssive/on normal dose oral progesterone
Progesterone in high doses can cause side effects. In one study, oral micronized progesterone at a dose of 400mg per day was associated with dizziness, abdominal cramping, headache, breast pain, muscle pain, irritability, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, and viral infections.[Medical Economics; 1999:125]
High sublingual progesterone use
On moderate/on high dose progesterone
Past general fungal/yeast infections
Being in early pregnancy
Progesterone Excess can lead to
Recommendations for Progesterone Excess
|Weak or unproven link|
|Strong or generally accepted link|
|Proven definite or direct link|
|Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative|
|Reasonably likely to cause problems|
The cessation of menstruation (usually not official until 12 months have passed without periods), occurring at the average age of 52. As commonly used, the word denotes the time of a woman's life, usually between the ages of 45 and 54, when periods cease and any symptoms of low estrogen levels persist, including hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, loss of libido and vaginal dryness. When these early menopausal symptoms subside, a woman becomes postmenopausal.
The period when women of childbearing age experience relatively normal reproductive function (including regular periods).
Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.
Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.