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Has anyone experienced success with using progesterone cream and found that it stopped working at some point? What did you do?

Posted by Paperpetal

About 18 months ago, I began experiencing menstral periods that lasted weeks, mixed with menstral periods that didn't come for months.  My sex drive was gone, I began having hot flashes both day and night, mood swings and "night terrors" or waking up with a feeling of foreboding and fear.

 I contacted Lynette and she cued me into the magic of progesterone cream.  Within 2 weeks, all of the above symptoms were gone or had become much easier to live with.  I continued using the cream, allowing for 7 day rest periods from use every 28 days, as the package recommended.

 A few weeks ago, during a rest period from the cream, my hot flashes returned. I thought that resuming use of the cream would put things back in balance, but it has not.  In fact, the symptoms have become worse.

I now have hot flashes day and night.  They grow much stronger, longer and more frequent as time passes.  The "night terrors" have returned along with the mood swings.  There is also a daily feeling of "ick"--almost like I have the flu, that I feel every day.  My partner has noticed this to the point that he has voiced concern.

Any ideas you might have on how to handle this would be helpful.  I have a gynocologist who really wants to put me on hormones, saying that the cream doesn't work (even though it has for me for a year), but that is not an option in my mind. 

Answers (5)
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Hi Paperpetal,

I had a similar experience with progesterone cream. It worked for about a year and a half and the hot flashes returned with a vengeance. And here is likely why.

The first hormonal disruption in perimenopause is lowered progesterone. And can usually be remedies with progesterone cream. Later in perimenopause, estrogen levels drop as well. And yes, the hot flashes, mood swings, night terrors, and the"flulike" feeling start. (This doesn't happen for every woman luckily - however you and I seem to have been "chosen".)

So the next step with this degree of symptoms and daily life disruption is to try supplementing with estrogen. (Without stopping the progesterone cream.) Plant estrogens such as soy can help although not without side effects for some women - see blog on soy "Oh Soy or Soy Vey" for more info. There are also non-soy preparations such as Emerita's Menopause Plus formulation. Black Cohosh, primrose oil, maca root, and cod liver oil are a few of the preparations that have worked for our greater Menopause Goddess Community.

If you should decide to try these, try only one at a time and give it at least two weeks to work.

My experience - soy worked but I have a food sensitivity to it, so had to stop. Black Cohosh made me feel "weird". The others didn't really work too well.

So I ended up finding a physician who was knowledgable in prescribing bioidentical hormones, had my hormones tested, and went on a bioidentical estrogen designed for me by a compounding pharmacy. And the hot flashes went away. And they've stayed away.

Until I tried to go off my bioidentical hormones this summer. No go. They came back with a vengeance.  I'll be trying again in a few weeks when I try the prototype for a special bedtime fan with sensor that cools without waking and turns off by itself.  It is supposed to stop the night flash before it gets going.

The latest research says three years of hormones before risk of reproductive and other cancer starts to go up (for those of us who are already low risk, that is.) I've just hit the magic three year mark, so am motivated to try. But honestly, if it comes back as bad as it was? I'll stay on them for awhile.

The good news is - after starting on the estrogen, I felt great! And continue to as of now! Hope this helps! Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Lynette Sheppard RN   Health Maven    Menopause Goddess Blog


Once again you come to my rescue with experience, eloquence and the well-rewritten detail.  My first impulse is to try the primrose, maca root and cod liver oil.  My partner reminded me that Black Cohosh made me extremely paranoid and anxiety-filled when I tried it two years ago, so I'm glad that there are other herbal things I can try instead. 

I will also begin reading up on Biodientical Estrogen, but I fear that may not be an option for me.  I lost my mom to breast cancer 7 years ago, and one sister has developed thyroid cancer since. I can learn to meditate through the flashes if need be.  

 A good friend at work took nothing for her hot flashes and tells me, "I got through it without risking cancer, and you can too."  They are not the worst things one can endure after watching my mom languish during chemo sessions.

 Keep you posted. 


Dear Petal,

I'm so glad you found this info helpful. Please do keep me informed. I think you are wise not to consider the bioidentical hormones, as they likely have significant risk given your family history.

 Also when you try the herbal preparations, remember to try one at a time and give it at least two weeks to be of benefit, before trying or adding another remedy. Good luck and stay cool!

All my best,


I just found this site doing a search for help to see if there could be a reason my hormone cream stopped working.  I used the progesterone cream alone then was tested and started the custom compounded cream with the progesterone, estrogen, and DHEA.  That only worked a few months and they doubled the dose and added testosterone cream.  This too only has worked for 3 months and I'm having all my symptoms come back.  I'm considering having another saliva test to see what's going on but it's pretty expensive, of course insurance doesn't pay for any of the tests or cream...anyone else having these issues?
Cathy Hill RN

Natural progesterone is not a patentable product. So the pharmaceutical companies have molecularly altered it to produce synthetic progestins, which are commonly used in contraceptives and HRT.

Synthetic progestins are not exact replicas of the body's natural progesterone. Therefore they disrupt many fundamental processes in the body. Progesterone is an essential hormone that plays a part in the development of healthy nerve cells and brain and thyroid function. Progestins tend to block the body's ability to produce and utilise natural progesterone to maintain these life-promoting functions.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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