Estrogen Dominance: A True Balancing Act

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Hormones

The conventional view of what happens at perimenopause is that estrogen levels plummet. This is a gross oversimplification and too often leads to treatment that can make mildly uncomfortable symptoms worse. In natural menopause, the first hormonal change that occurs is a gradual decline in levels of progesterone, while estrogen levels remain within the normal range or even increase. Because progesterone and estrogen are meant to counterbalance each other throughout the menstrual cycle, with one falling while the other rises and vice versa, an overall decline in progesterone allows estrogen levels to go unopposed—that is, without the usual counterbalance. The result is a relative excess of estrogen, a condition that is often called estrogen dominance—which is precisely the opposite of the conventional view.

Symptoms of Decreased Progesterone And Estrogen Dominance

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Irregular or otherwise abnormal periods (most often, excessive vaginal bleeding)
  • Bloating (water retention)
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
  • Weight gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches, especially premenstrually

If a woman begins to experience uncomfortable symptoms at this stage, it’s because her body can sense—and attempts to adjust to—that relative estrogen excess. Estrogen excess is also exacerbated by high insulin and stress hormones. Unfortunately, however, there’s a great deal of overlap in the symptoms of various hormone imbalances, and it’s not uncommon for a woman experiencing symptoms of estrogen or stress hormone excess to be given a prescription for more estrogen or even antidepressants. Not surprisingly, her mild symptoms can worsen as a result.

As the transition goes on, progesterone continues to decline, and eventually estrogen levels may begin to swing widely. The estrogen highs occur because the ovaries have begun to allow entire groups of follicles to grow and mature during successive menstrual cycles, instead of only one at a time, as though attempting to hurriedly “spend” those remaining eggs. (This is the reason why the incidence of twin pregnancies increases with age.) The progesterone decline occurs because fewer and fewer of those maturing eggs actually complete the entire ovulation process.

The ovaries are the organs that we focus on most commonly at menopause, but the physical foundation of a woman’s menopausal experience actually rests on the health of all her endocrine (hormone-producing) organs. Thyroid problems are very common during the perimenopausal and postmenopausal years. While many women with these problems are completely asymptomatic, others may have a wide variety of symptoms. Among the most common symptoms are mood disturbances (most often seen in the form of depression and irritability), low energy level, weight gain, mental confusion, and sleep disturbances. (See chart above for similarities.)

Thyroid problems are intimately intertwined with menopause. According to the late John R. Lee, M.D., a noted clinician and author, there appears to be a cause-and-effect relationship between hypothyroidism, in which there are inadequate levels of thyroid hormone, and estrogen dominance. When estrogen is not properly counterbalanced with progesterone, it can block the action of the thyroid hormone, so even when the thyroid is producing normal levels of the hormone, the hormone is rendered ineffective and the symptoms of hypothyroidism appear. In this case, laboratory tests may show normal thyroid hormone levels in a woman’s system, because the thyroid gland itself is not malfunctioning.

It is no surprise, then, that this problem is compounded when a woman is prescribed supplemental estrogen, leading to an even greater imbalance. In that circumstance, a prescription for supplemental thyroid hormone will fail to correct the underlying problem: estrogen dominance.

To better understand this balancing act, and to learn the many options for addressing estrogen dominance, including hormone testing and more, check out Chapter 5 “Hormone Therapy: An Individual Choice” in The Wisdom of Menopause paperback or ebook edition.

© Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Excerpted with permission from The Wisdom of Menopause eBook, by Christiane Northrup, M.D. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Last Updated: July 22, 2013

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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  1. Karen Gordon
    2 months ago

    I am 68 yrs old and have never taken any HRT. Because I started having severe post menopausal bleeding in 2012 I had a total hysterectomy (endometrial/uterine cancer) in 2014. Regular CT/PET scans over the 4 years since were normal until this past April 2018 which revealed 2 new tumors in the pelvis which were removed robotically in July. My questions is despite total hysterectomy (no Ovaries) I still have very high estrogen levels (92 when last tested) and the cancer is estrogen driven (ER+3/3, PR+3/3). They want me to start chemo saying that the cancer is systemic, but I think the hormones are the cause of the cancer? Any thoughts?

  2. GillietheGolfer RN
    8 months ago

    My personal experience:
    35 years ago after the birth of my son
    a Gyn told me my hormones were
    out of whack…
    Incidentally started M @ 16 with severe
    Dysmenorrhea…cured with oral contraceptives.

    Moved to another city…did research on
    HRT and decided to find a Dr willing to prescribe HRT at that time to prevent Osteoporosis and to stay youthful.

    This was before the WHI study which was a lot of bunk leaving Drs with a myriad of opinions which have never
    relented.

    I went on synthetic HRT and today at 76 I can honestly say I have never had an adverse effect. I look much younger
    ( cosmetic work helps) exercise and
    have a healthy diet and healthy outlook
    on life. I listen to my body not the
    Drs opinion and not the labs.

    Ironically, yesterday as I enjoy a relaxing vacation in Central America
    I noticed breakthrough vaginal fresh bleeding and this morning a few tiny
    dark brown clots…no other symptoms..

    Cancer is rampant in my family but
    I’ve been thinking…could it have been
    that huge piece of sweet corn I ate
    the other day causing estrogen dominance?
    I love sweets and am slim…but am not the cancer type…

    I return soon to -15 degrees and will go
    to the Gyn for an ultrasound and see
    what gives…my guess it’s fibroids.

    So Marilyn you were on HRT for 30 yrs
    with nothing but good side effects…
    you listened to a man tell you it was dangerous and you got scared.
    I read Christiane’s books and love the
    latest title.

    Here’s my advice:
    Listen to your own body…HRT is great
    Estrogen and Progesterone together
    daily…I have no intention of discontinuing HRT although my female
    GP has been after me for years to give it up. Who needs the pathetic symptoms?
    Wish me luck and the best luck to you! Stay positive and watch the
    diet!

  3. amy
    8 months ago

    Hi. I am 56 and have been in menopause 3 years. two years ago i started getting uterine cramping, just like menstrual cramps. They last for 2 days or so then disappear. they were coming cyclicly and now come and go randomly. I had vaginal ultrsound with saline and uterine biopsy, all totally normal. I experience hot flashes still as well. What is causing this?

  4. caroline young
    11 months ago

    Hi I am 50 soon, had a Total Hysterectomy on the 27/12/12 , started with HRT straight away, the consultant at the meno clinic said my estrogen was so low he put me on 2 x 100mcg patch, few years down the line I went down to a 100mcg patch only plus he added Testosterone, I am also using Amitrypline for headaches and neck pain, was given 10mg but last month upped them to 20mg as things were getting bad again, well this year the patches were starting to fall off, tried for months to keep them on but no use well now in June this year my new lady GP said try the pill version and see how you get on so I went on 2mg, been fine but noticed this last month god my weight has increased big time and so badly depressed and today I have phoned in sick cause I am so sad all I am doing is crying, could it be too much estrogen thats causing it as I am now older, can anyone please help me or advise .

  5. Shelly
    1 year ago

    a while back I tried seed Cycling for all my symptoms. It helped everything. It turned everything back in time and I felt great. There are many articles out there on this and I can tell you. Having estrogen dominance I can’t just take hormones. I have tried through out the years to be “Normal” and nothing worked. This did however.
    you do the seed cycling to regulate your hormones then stop. Then go back on in a few months.
    I’m at the point of going back on. I recommend everyone look into it. It’s natural, safe, easy and it does work.
    I recommend you get seeds that are not chemical treated. I get mine from Amazon.

    1. Jeannette
      8 months ago

      Hi there, would you be so kind on providing the Amazon links for the seeds you are taking?

      I would greatly appreciate it, 🙂

  6. lisa
    1 year ago

    I’m 49 years old and my perimenopause started with a vengeance with chronic insomnia, my hormones seem very hard to balance, I had my period last may that month my sleep was so much better, I take prometrium 100mg and some times I even add progesterone cream, I had taken oestrogel for a few months but had to stop because my oesterogen was too high, since my last period my hormones level have dropped drastically so Im on oestrogel again and still taking prometruim, is there a slight chance that prometrium is causing me to have insomnia, I basically never sleep!!!

  7. Mary Beth
    2 years ago

    I am 42 years old. Over the past 3 1/2 years, I have experienced 6-8 amnesia episodes that last approx. 15-40 minutes. These always happen in the morning when I’m getting in the shower. They also seems to happen fairly close to the start of my period. I do have migraines, so my doctor first diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia b/c I had a terrible migraine after the amnesia spell. Once the 2nd amnesia episode occurred, doctors looked into the possibility of seizures, but my EEGs were always normal. MRIs and CT scans don’t show anything that would cause seizures. Two years ago, I started having severe anxiety and depression. At first, I thought I noticed a pattern of the anxiety hitting me about 1 1/2 weeks before I started my period. Unfortunately, it became more frequent and prolonged. Now I experience routine anxiety & depression, constant brain fog, aching arms/hips/back/neck, constant pressure (sometimes pain) around my eyes/temples/ears/occipital area of head, ear fullness, lots of headaches/migraines, fatigue, upset stomach, cold hands/feet, hair loss, irritability. My periods are still regular (every 27-31 days), but painful cramping, lower back pain, heavy bleeding mid-week, blood clots, low sex drive. My hormones were tested last year. My progesterone was slightly low, but progesterone cream did not seem to make a big difference. Thyroid in normal range. I’m seeing a naturopath who has me on a thyroid protocol. Nobody has been able to explain the amnesia spells and sudden health decline. Any ideas?

  8. Kris
    2 years ago

    Has anyone experienced tingling extremities (fingers, feet and calves) as well as a very uncomfortable feeling of “vibrating” in your core, most noticeable at rest? I am almost 52 and had my last period 3 months ago so I’m not in menopause yet. Have had extensive blood work done, all normal except for an initially high Vit B6 level which is normal now yet still have symptoms.

    1. Renae Brown
      2 years ago

      Yes Kris i am experiencing the tingling extremities in my feet and hands; they also feel puffy and get hot and cold. Very disturbing feeling. I am still in peri and am 48.

    2. Tracey
      2 years ago

      Hi Kris. Yesssss! Even though I haven’t experienced tingling extremities I DO feel an extremely uncomfortable vibrating and buzzing feeling in my core. Mainly in my chest and head area. Makes me feel dizzy. It can happen any old time….but I notice it the most when I’m just sitting down because it just seems so odd to be feeling like this when you’re at rest, ya know!? It’s just one of the many symptoms I’m having right now. Up until yesterday I really thought I was dying of a horrible neurological degenerative disease! I am 49. I have terrible headaches now, for no reason at all (not based on my diet or drinking alcohol), I feel dizzy, light-headed, disoriented and a little wobbly on my feet and, worst of all my memory has gotten reeeeeeally bad. I used to be really quick and smart and now I feel slow and, really, not myself at all. THAT’s the worst part: not feeling like myself. 🙁 I had blood tests which all came out fine and my doctor said that my symptoms sound perimenopausal and to go do some research online – which I did…seems like many women my age have these awful symptoms. It was quite a relief to find! Yet….the smallest thing can make me doubt that I am, indeed, just experiencing perimenopause and then I’m thrown into the most awful panic-anxiety feelings. I was NEVER like this before. I was fearless! Oh and the crying. Ugh. I was never a crier either. I feel like this whole thing was actually brought on last year by a VERY stressful situation that threw me into my first panic ever. Ever since then I’ve had all these awful symptoms. Oh and my periods went from being very regular my whole life – every 28 days – to every 24 days for the last year. I’m getting them more often! Hilarious! Except the last period, which came on day 30 (the full moon Sept 16th) and for the 3 weeks preceding it, all the above symptoms went into overdrive. I thought I was going crazy and didn’t recognize myself. Sigh. I am taking a lot of natural supplements now and am thinking about taking the progesterone cream but need to do more research. Here’s to hoping there is light at the end of this tunnel….

    3. Gail Kelley
      3 weeks ago

      You are the first person to describe the “internal vibrating” I occasionally experience! i have more of a “crawling sensation on my feet and lower legs than tingling. Like a bug crawling is on me. I am 68 and well past menopause, had a total hysterectomy and both ovaries removed. Without some sort of hormone replacements i have full blown menopause symptoms. i also have occasional tachycardia during the month.
      I am currently using an essential oil blend of Clary sage, fennel, sage lavender, peppermint form Young living and homeopathics for testosterone, progesterone, Leutin and Thyroid. I am improved from the difficulties I had with pharmaceutical HRT. I still have break through hot flashes when it is time for another dose of the oils for estrogen.

  9. Theresa Gilliland
    2 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup, I am a very active 57 yo and Nurse Practitioner. I just connected some dots:):)…I had an hysterectomy in 1996, and I was allowed to keep one ovary sp endometriosis secondary to having a TL. Anyway, I never had any menopausal symptoms, life was great until 2014 when I started menopause. Last night I just removed my Minivelle patch .075 as I have concluded my wt gain to be from the patch and caused me to become estrogen dominant. I even went on levothyroxine 50 mcg even though my TSH is 1.34. I have gained about 15 pounds since Aug 2014 when I completed the John Muir Trail, 220 mi in 25 days. Like I said, I am a very active 57 yo, I rock climb, do yoga and even ride a unicycle. I watch my carbs, and fats very closely and this is the first time in my life that my diet and exercise program has not kept my wt down. I hope to see a wt loss in the next wk or so. I read that pro-gest cream is recommended for my situation even though I no longer have a uterus. What are you thoughts?

    1. Gina
      2 years ago

      Same here, Theresa. I am 56 and had a partial hyst. In 96. Started gaining just like you and am very active and carefully watch my carbs and calories. I have gained about 9lbs of what I call “strange weight” after I was pronounced post menopausal by lab work. My arms have taken on this sausage – like appearance and I’ve gained 2 inches in my waist in spite of regular weight training, dance and yoga. Even my trainer said he can’t believe it! I am taking armour thyroid and it does help the fatigue but the pounds are still there. I started progesterone cream and am on my 2nd cycle…we shall see.

  10. Joann
    2 years ago

    I have been taking purifica mirifica and birth control and curcuma comosa and stopped because I was just spotting the whole three weeks I just wonder how long will I recover to my normal cycle. I feel a little scared just want to know if I’ll be OK.

  11. Charlene
    3 years ago

    I started taking Pueraria Mirifica while reading your book “Goddesses Never Age” (thank you by the way) and after not having a period for 2 years I started bleeding like the periods I had before menopause. I realize now that I was taking too much (500 mg per day) and not taking any breaks from it. Have you heard of this happening to other goddesses? I have found a few online that have started a period again after menopause and taking PM. There are so many other benefits that I have noticed and I don’t want to go running to the Doctor to search for trouble. What is the recommended dosage for postmenopausal women?

    1. Lea Ann
      3 years ago

      I would love to see the answer to this question. Pueraria Mirifica makes me feel great, but after 119 days of no period (I was hoping they were over) I had 14 straight days of bleeding. I am also on 500mg of PM. It makes me feel GREAT!

      Progesterone has made me feel sick my whole life. I hate progesterone and how it makes me feel. When my period stopped for 119 days I lost “those stubborn last 7 lbs.”

      I will be seeing a doctor about bioidentical hormones soon, but in the meantime, would love to find out the best way to take PM.

    2. Sandy
      2 years ago

      Just wondering if you ever found out what the recommended dosage is for postmenopausal women for PM.
      I’m 65 almost 66 and have been taking 500mg a day of Pueraria Mirifica and having periods again and stopping while having my period but I also get impatient when it’s gone on too long and restart the pills. Is this incorrect? I want to make sure I’m doing this correctly. Thanks

  12. kathy
    3 years ago

    Been suffering for 15yrs.with pms like trouble with balance, headaches. Ect.25 days in Bed a month. Can’t function .can’t tolerate meds. Or hormones not living life…even went in mental hosp. No help. Can’t take meds. Fluid retention is basic trouble .throw me off balance .drs. tell me nothing wrong yet I am sick of this . Why is there no help?

    1. Laura
      2 years ago

      Hi Kathy, I am sorry to hear you have suffered with those symptoms for so long. I can relate to those exact symptoms but only this extreme for about 6months. I am perimeno with significant estrogen dominance. Recently took an injection to stop my own production of estrogen altogether to see how I felt adding it back at a healthy level. I use bioidentical hormones made at a compounding pharmacy, nothing synthetic. I have been adding the estrogen back for a week now and the results so far are very promising. I can get up and get something done. Reduced headache, dizziness, nausea and actually have some energy. I know exactly how difficult it is to advocate for yourself when you are that ill, but you must. Find a doctor near you that will really look at all of your hormone levels. I am in Canada and there aren’t many Functional Medical docs here, and our Naturopaths cannot prescribe, the doc I see is at a fertility clinic but has many patients like me who are beyond reproductive years and feeling like their life has become unbearable. I am extremely sensitive to synthetic meds, food, environmental stuff etc., and was typically been referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist until I found the right doc.

  13. Lisette
    3 years ago

    Vitex- Chasteberry

    Thanks Dr. Northrup! I have had a miraculous change with Vitex. I was experiencing peri-menopuase symptoms of unopposed estrogen, such as breast tenderness, fatigue and bloating. Immediately after starting Vitex (One, 400 mg. capsule per day) & have felt wonderful, and like my former self. No longer constant PMS! I don’t usually post comments, but, wanted to share as this herb has changed my life! Blessings.

    1. Ronnie
      2 years ago

      What brand or company did you purchase your Vitex from?

  14. corey
    3 years ago

    I was diagnosed with PCOS and fibroids at 28years of age. I also suffer from estrogen dominance,(due to anovulation). I have never taken oral BC pills because I can’t get pregnant. so what’s the point in adding further chemicals to a body that is already imbalanced. My question is My old obgyn would give me a short script of the provera tablet to induce a period to treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding. I would take the tablet therapy for just one month and I would feel wonderful for about a year, it reset my hormones and I started having periods on a normal fashion. The obgyn that prescribed the therapy retired after 30 years of good doctoring. Will continual progesterone done in a cyclic fashion help to cure the pcos/ estrogen dominance? I am still considering having a baby thru IVF at some point any advice? I just want to feel better I’m anxious and my cycles are light and I’m on thyoid replacement therapy and it is not helping the anxiety the non exzistant libido or the hair loss. any advice?

  15. Marilyn Stewart
    3 years ago

    I have been taking estrogen and progesterin since I was 20. I had cystic acne. The balancing of hormones corrected this problem. Since I have never been married or had children and still date I have taken them all this time.My OBGYN tried to take them away at 52. Well he lowered them so much. I have fallen and fractured my leg.Lost hair and was told my thyroid was low. Well the thyroid flexuated,so I never took the thyroid meds.I know my body is dependent on this because I have taken it so long.I will nor be destroyed beacause a male dr. does not get it. I told him . You would not take any other medicine away for someone who had taken it for 40 yrs. I am not stupid! It is not your Quality of life! It is mine! I have thought about trying Cenegenics. But I am afraid for the price they will just end up giving me things I have already tried.If in fact I had low estrogen at 20. What makes him think my body is going to meraculously start making it at 58.And why can men get testosterone in body building products over the counter,but a woman can’t make this decision and buy estrogen over the counter. It is like they can play God with our lives! What is wrong with this picture?? And even women drs. I have talked to drink the same kool-aid .

  16. Deborah Elliott
    3 years ago

    I was put on estrace estrogen as a vaginal cream. About 1 month later I started having anxiety. Is there a correlation. Can I be having too much estrogen in my body. I stopped it but nothing has changed yet.

    1. Anna Irby
      3 years ago

      Deborah,
      Curious if your anxiety eased after stopping Estrogen?

  17. Robin Tapio
    3 years ago

    I am a 57 year old stage 3 breast cancer survivor.i would like to stop my anti cancer drug my question is at my age am I still producing a dangerous amount of estrogen?

  18. Marianne
    3 years ago

    Hello Dr. Northrup,

    I have been suffering from unexplained gradual weight gain over the past three years. None of the dieting and exercise approaches I have used in the past work now. I am continuing to exercise for the psychological benefit. I am 36 years old. The doctors say they think it is estrogen dominance and perhaps PCOS. My question for you is, if I begin weight training, will I be able to build muscle despite my sluggish metabolism? I am debating going back to an old slow burn routine I have used (with success) in the past, but if the hormonal state I am in would prevent me from benefitting from it, I would rather wait until things are in balance. Thanks in advance for your advice, I really appreciate it!!

    Marianne

    1. Kell Brigan
      3 years ago

      Exercise, when not excessive, always has health benefits, regardless of whether or not it impacts weight levels. in fact, most people experience less than 5 lbs. of change in their weight when they take up an exercise program. (The idea that fatness has anything to do with lazyness is pure mythology.) Why are you equating losing weight and/or “building” muscle with “success.” Those are solely visual events; people can be grotesquely unheathy and still “lose” weight (although, 98% of people regain all weight lost within 2 years — most within 6 months, and usually gain more besides because weight “loss” attempts reset setpoint) or have unusually developed muscles. You might want to expand your reading outside the pseudo-fitness world, which includes plenty of bigotry against fat and average people, and which somehow preaches that dangerous, extreme behaviors are OK so long as you “look” right. You can’t tell whether or not someone is living healthfully by looking at them. Most heart disease occurs in people with no risk factors. The people with the longest life expectances are those currently called “overweight.” The myths just aren’t true.

  19. Mary
    3 years ago

    Thanks Dr Northrup for this information
    I am not sure if I understand “The conventional view of what happens at perimenopause is that estrogen levels plummet. This is a gross oversimplification ……” does it mean that if my test is showing very low estrogen that is not the cause of my symptoms? my blood test shows very low estrogen and my symptoms include difficulty sleeping, extreme water retention and wight gain. are these caused by change in progesterone?

  20. Linda Smith
    3 years ago

    So my doctor shoulnot prescribe extradite if I. Have osteoporosis and am in menopause, so shouldI just take progesteronand testosterone.

  21. Susan McCulloch
    5 years ago

    Dr Northrup’s email yesterday 10/10/13 had a link to such test. I’ve deleted email. Can anyone give me the link?

  22. terri Gibbs
    5 years ago

    You guys, it is also affordable to get your hormones evaluated with saliva tests. Then you can see them shift. I also researched that coffee reduces progesterone. FYI…Terri Gibbs DC, RN

  23. Cindy
    5 years ago

    It is surprising how little we know about progesterone and being estrogen dominant. I have every symptom there is for being estrogen dominant. I read Dr. John Lee’s book and now reading Dr. N’s book. I have started progesterone cream, 60 mg 2 times a day. I keep a journal so I could track results. Ladies do your research read the Dr.’s book, and then talk to your doctors. We have to be our own advocates.

    1. Anna Irby
      3 years ago

      How are you doing?

  24. Kate Feathers
    5 years ago

    I read “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” when I was 18. I’m turning 35 on 9/12. My present to myself will be “The Wisdom of Menopause.” My body is telling me what I need to work through emotionally. I rely on my own wisdom to self heal and am so happy that I have your expertise to turn to for the best answers. I also just bought your daughter’s book and am excited to read that! I can’t wait to balance everything!!!

  25. Janine Groman
    5 years ago

    I have been to multiple doctors at this point because I went through menopause at 39. I am 43 now and 2 years post menopausal and have Osteopenia. Bone doctor says stay away form Estrogen replacement and Endocrinologist says take it. Any suggestions? I am lost.

  26. Caroline
    5 years ago

    Hi Dr Northrup, thank you for the comment, I am 60 and experiencing symptoms of estrogen dominance. Can you suggest a supplement I can take until my hormones balance out
    Thank you
    Caroline

  27. Manohari
    5 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup : I am 50 yrs and just had a total abdominal hysterectomy and Oophorectomy on Jul 30 due to a very large fibroid and multiple ovarian cycts. What should I expect in the future? It is scary to read what women go through after this procedure. Should I start taking natural hormones immediately?

  28. Christiane Northrup
    5 years ago

    So many of you could be helped by the herb Pueraria mirifica. You need the right type however. Try Solgar’s PM Phytogen complex. Available through Amazon or Vitamin Shoppe. It helps with all of these symptoms!!!! And remember– estrogen and progesterone eventually fall to the levels that were in your body just before puberty– hardly a “deficiency” state!!! Thanks for weighing in!!

  29. Donna
    5 years ago

    Where do I go to buy progesterone cream. The pharmacy (CVS) never heard of over the counter progesterone cream.

    1. Tommi
      3 years ago

      You can get USP Progesterone over the counter in Whole Foods. The concentration is adequate for daily use as dose on the bottle. The company available is Source Natural’s and it is plant based, natural with liposomal delivery. Also online for the same company on Amazon and as well as another company that I use is Smoky Mountains progesterone. Says bioidentical on the bottle and also plant sources. You may try both company.

  30. Terry
    5 years ago

    Hi Dr. Northrup,

    I’m a 65 year old woman. Is it okay for me to use natural Progesterone? I have been (Emerita)
    Is it safe as I have been post menopausal for almost 15 years.

  31. Kath
    5 years ago

    At 53 I’m still regular with my cycle and experiencing very painful breast day 8 thru 28, almost like engorgement when breast feeding. I’ve been trying progesterone cream and eliminated sugar, dairy and caffeine from diet but doesn’t seem to help. Thankfully this is the only symptom I’m experiencing. Any suggestions what else might help?

  32. Mary Clare
    5 years ago

    After the birth of my second child 15 years ago, due to unfortunate circumstances, I had to have an Total Abdominal Hysterectomy – Bilateral Salpingo Oophorectomy. It has been a challenge, to say the least, to find medical care or support for the drastic assult that has effected my entire endocrine system – my quality of my life.
    Any thoughts? Thank you and I am going to buy your book.

  33. jillyflower
    5 years ago

    3 years into menopause sex is painful and brings on bladder infections,doctor gave me Ovestin cream,i worry as my mom died from cervical cancer,i have no energy and am fighting depression,i am in a twelve step programme so am open to looking at my problems on a deeper level,i feel like i am going round in circles with it all

  34. Tammy
    5 years ago

    After suffering and going to doctors at one one of the best hospitals in the world and getting half answers I decided to do my own research on estrogen, different natural supplements, and prescriptions and I would record changes in my body according to what I ate, the medicine I took, times of my period, or skipped periods, breast changes, family history of illness and death causes, family diet and habits, allergies, etc.

  35. Christine Matteson
    5 years ago

    I am peri-menopausal and have extreme bloating, almost every day.
    I have decreased my calorie intake by 200 per day to counter balance any decreased metabolism; I take nutritional supplements and try to eat balanced, plant based diet.
    How come, weight gain occurs if you have decreased your caloric intake?? If it’s just bloating, retaining water periodically, shouldn’t it go away at some point?
    Why does “water” weight cause sustained weight gain? instead of transitional weight gain?

  36. Susan
    5 years ago

    This is my problem too! What to do with so many supplements?

  37. Brenda Nickel
    5 years ago

    I’m experiencing hormone overload from taking hormone creams for 10 yrs. – could you address
    that subject along w/very low cortisol levels & thyroid issues? I’m working w/a nutritionist
    wiserootsnutrition.com and slowly making progress as I’m taking supplements to support
    my thyroid, etc. Thank you Dr. Northrup

  38. Lisa L
    5 years ago

    I have been using Vitex which works to counterbalance Estrogen. But this also results in join and muscle weakness. It’s really a hard act to have these H’s balanced and I have not found anything that worked in a way that does not produce another problem.

    Lisa

    1. Tommi
      3 years ago

      I am having Vitex too and only for about 15 days so far. I am having joint pain and muscle fatigue as well. I am 52 but went into meno at age 40. Have been off and on hormones, starting form the animal ones to bioidenticals but stopped as history of colon, breast, uterine and ovarian cancers in my family. Mom wtih Ovarian, and Dad colon. I am not taking anything altho had been over the counter progesterone creams for 3 mths than stopped for 3 mths and now on Vitex. I am also taking 5-7 mg of micronized DHEA in extra virgin coconut oil (my own concoction of opening up 10 mg of micronized oral dhea and mixing with 1 large tablespoon of coconut oil) and using Q tips to apply intravaginally and plan to use it for a month and then switch to twice a week for aiding my vaginal atrophy. It is a double edged sword as intravaginal estro can cause uterine cancer and Dhea over prolonged periods can cause ovarian ca. But I figured that if the body need it than minuscule amounts shouldn’t make a huge dent. Of course I will be testing salivary hormone levels again to see. Right now I am low on everything with the exception of cortisol.

  39. TL
    5 years ago

    What about for women subjected to hysterectomy before menopause, such as in late 30’s? I took estrogen for a few years then stopped for fear of breast cancer. I have other risk factors such as other aunts in my family having breast cancer (I tested negative for BRACA I and II), uncle with Colon cancer, sister with endometrial cancer, me with LMP ovarian cancer. I have also been morbidly obese for over 10 years, obese most of my life, with apparent metabolic syndrome. What should I do?

  40. Joy Lewis
    5 years ago

    Excellent. Your book, THE WISDOM OF MENOPAUSE directed me to progesterone and I have never looked back. I have treated your book as my ‘second’ Bible. You changed my life for which I am truly grateful. I am now extremely involved in my own progesterone website. Thank you.

  41. kim
    5 years ago

    I wonder why our bodies haven’t been able to adjust to this lower level of progesterone over time and be able to be more balanced and why we haven’t created in our bodies a way to decrease the estrogen? We are such fine machines it is hard to understand why women have to suffer so much?

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