I have been Peri Menopausal for about the last 5 years - meaning that 5 years ago I was diagnosed as not ovulating and thus not producing progesterone.
Using a progesterone cream these last years has been a godsend. 28-day cycles, not too heavy, no more spotting, and best of all - I can SLEEP again!!!
Now, last month I used a tiny amount of my progesterone cream a couple of days before I was due. I ended up getting my period about 6 days late because of that. This time, unlike other similar lapses - my period wasn't any heavier, maybe lighter than usual.
This month I tried very hard not to make the same mistake - I certainly did not over-use progesterone or use it late.
Well, my last cycle started May 12th. It is now June 27th and no sign of a period at all. Pregnancy is quite ruled out - behavior, lack of symptoms...
My current aggravation is my ability to sleep has gotten a little rotten again. Not horrible, but every few days I seem less likely to fall back asleep - or for a shorter session - than before.
I hate to dip in the progesterone cream and just screw up my period.
But am I ever going to get one???
How late do I have to be to consider myself menopausal?
How much cream might I get away with using and still get a period if my body is at all inclined?
I really have no other symptoms than no period and sleeping getting worse.
A. Even though there are no behavior symptoms of pregnancy, it is always a good idea to get a pregnancy test in a sexually active woman to be sure. If that is negative, ask your doctor for an FSH test; it measures a hormone that continues to rise as menopause approaches. Also get a test for estradiol. Lower levels of estradiol with a high FSH suggest menopause is near.
In perimenopause, estrogen is actually high and progesterone is low, so progesterone works great. As menopause approaches, estrogen and progesterone levels are low and progesterone becomes less and less effective. It may be time to decide if you are willing to take estrogen. Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor. If you are not interested in taking estrogen, or estrogen is not a good choice for you, discuss alternatives such as soy, flaxseed and black cohosh. Sleep disturbances is one of the major symptoms of menopause and that might be why you are troubled. If you are willing to take estrogen, it will almost certainly help with your sleep.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
I'm posting this comment in case someone sees this in the future.
For my sleep disturbance, I REALLY needed to go back on my progesterone cream. I don't think estrogen would have ever got me there.
Until yesterday, I have been consuming a whole lot of soy and not using any progesterone cream. My sleep got worse by the day, down to 3-4 hours a night.
Yesterday I picked up John R. Lee's book "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause" - this was exactly what I needed.
Pages 309-310 told me exactly how to handle my progesterone cream usage (start using it two weeks before the next period is "supposed" to start - best guess. The advice on how to use it if no period is happening (page 309) and if it does (309-310) are very helpful.
I'm not saying the previous advice was bad, it simply wasn't an answer about how to handle my progesterone cream usage when my period stopped.
I used some yesterday and got my best sleep in the last two months!
I will continue eating soy, and it is helping with some urinary problems I've been having and for some weird reason IS making me feel better.
Obviously I'm dead set on going the natural way - no chemical estrogen or progesterone. That's my personal decision, I have a doctor who supports such theories and he was the only guy that could fix my supposed "irritable bowel syndrome".
If other "alternatives" helped SO much better in other situations, and chemicals for menopause are so controversial, I'm definitely sticking with natural.
For reference, here are my historical symptoms:
Sleep disturbance (particularly not being able to fall back to sleep as my mind would race upon wakening). This started first, and I could hardly tell you when. At least 6 months before the next symptom.
Irregular bleeding. Six years ago. Did all the doctor stuff, my doc had me see a gyno who tried his hardest to put me on the pill - I flat out refused. Was diagnosed as not ovulating (by a blood test, after a D&C and "just a heavy menstrual lining" that had looked funny in the ultrasound. The gyno only told me about progesterone cream when I said I'd find some natural alternative. Went back to my doc's office with the results and he sold me the cream and gave me guidelines for using it.
Six pretty good years - I could SLEEP again! My periods were very regular.
About six months ago - started having urinary problems - dribbling on the way to the toilet, extreme urgency.
Two months ago - no periods. Not exactly a bad symptom, just a change.
Well, the soy does help with the urinary, and the progesterone cream helps with the sleeping (and previously with the bleeding).
Hope this can be helpful to someone in the future (or now).
Good post my question is to you I am going through the same
thing with the irregular bleeding gyno wants to put me on
progesterone and the pill, I do not want to go on either.
Should I just ask for the cream instead. I would assume
it has less side effects. Thank you.
I was wondering what brand of progesterone cream you use. My doctor has suggested Prometrium instead of using natural progesterone cream, but like you, I prefer the natural route if at all possible. Thanks!
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