Progesterone Alone?

by Lisa
(Mission Viejo, CA)

Can you take progesterone alone?

I've read suggestions that progesterone can be taken by itself but have also been told that you MUST take progesterone AND estrogen together!

What are the facts?

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your question regarding whether or not to use progesterone alone or in combination with estrogen.

It is often difficult to determine what is true when you get conflicting information. Doing some research and asking some questions is a good way to find out the most likely facts.

For many years doctors thought that estrogen was the primary hormone that affected a woman, particularly during the "change of life."

They believed that by giving women MORE estrogen it would help them with the annoying symptoms of menopause. In some cases, estrogen does seem to alleviate some of the symptoms, but actual hormone balance is not achieved, and further problems were the result. This was considered just a fact of life we women had to accept.

In fact, women suffer MORE symptoms from estrogen dominance (which is usually the cause of the annoying symptoms) than they do from a lack of estrogen. By "dominance" we are really referring to a lack of balance of hormones - too much estrogen and not enough progesterone.

Of course, the pharmaceutical companies (always looking for a way to make more money) developed artificial or synthetic hormones so that they could patent them and make a killing on this new theory.

They wouldn't dream of simply recommending the hormones found naturally occurring in nature because they are inexpensive and, of course, aren't allowed to be patented. ;-)

About 30 years ago or so, many doctors started realizing two things...

1. Women were suffering from serious side effects from the synthetic hormone replacements, including breast cancer and other fatal illnesses.

2. Most women in modern countries were actually suffering from an excess of estrogen, not a deficiency.

Some of these good men and women in the medical field determined to investigate further and find out if maybe what they had previously been taught and believed about hormones was even correct.

I have learned the majority of what I know about proper hormone balance from the writings of Dr. John Lee, one of the more well-known doctors who went against the prevalent thought of the day and has had a huge impact on the quality of womens health.

He has written several books that you can probably find at your local library and also on Amazon (below) if you would like to do further reading and research yourself.

God made our body in such a way that we are supposed to have a balance in most areas, including a balance in our hormones. When the hormones get out of balance, it can affect our health in many negative ways. This isn't just physically, but emotionally and mentally, too.

Because of the age we are living in, we in the western world are exposed to a
massive amount of "petrochemicals" in fuel, oils, plastics, medicine, and even perfume. These pollutants have a strong effect on us and act as added estrogens in our system.

I really could go on and on about this, but since I am NOT a doctor, I suggest that you read some of these recommended materials yourself since they provide an immense amount of documentation to show their accuracy.

Your main question, "Can you take progesterone alone?" could really be answered with a simple "YES." But I wanted to try to provide you with some of the 'facts' as you requested.

Natural progesterone (NOT synthetic progestins) has been used by women without any adverse side effects for more than 30 years.

A woman should 'naturally' produce about 20-24 mg. of progesterone per day, but as we age, and because of our environment, our progesterone levels drop significantly in comparison to our estrogen levels. This causes an imbalance and a whole range of low progesterone symptoms.

You can safely use a good quality natural progesterone cream on a regular basis (I've been using it for years) to raise your progesterone levels without worrying about the side effects associated with synthetic HRT's.

That may be where the confusion is coming in. Perhaps the information you have received stating that progesterone alone won't work and that it has to be combined with estrogen was referring to some type of synthetic hormone replacement regime.

Progesterone alone DOES work, and it works well. I'm not just speaking of my own experiences, but of many friends and family members who use and benefit from natural progesterone as well as the numerous documented testimonials from people like Dr. John Lee and other well respected medical researchers.

There are some women who, on rare occasions, may need a small amount of estrogen supplementation for a SHORT term (particularly after menopause) along with their progesterone to help them get in balance again. This is the exception rather than the rule.

I use progesterone alone for about 14 days per month in a cream form that I rub into the fatty tissue, rotating between my upper arms, breasts, etc.

There are a number of different good quality brands available in the US at the moment (thankfully), but the brand I currently use is the most effective I've found so far.

It is listed in Dr. Lee's book on menopause as one of the top two highest quality creams available.

Lisa, I encourage you, and any other woman who is seriously concerned about her long term health, to give natural progesterone cream a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

What you may not even realize or notice are the added benefits your body receives from using a bio-identical hormone supplement. Progesterone has been shown to improve bone density and greatly reduce your chances of osteoporosis, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and more.

I consider that a 'side effect' that is an extra blessing.

To your good health!

Comments for Progesterone Alone?

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not using progesterone 1 wk each month
by: Anonymous

Why are you supposed to use it only 3 weeks per month. My symptoms return when I do this.

Are you using natural progesterone cream?
by: Angie

By your comment, I am assuming that you are already using progesterone and that you have found that when you give yourself a week off that your symptoms return during that week? Am I correct?

The reason you take one week off is to mimic your body's natural rise and fall of hormone production. We don't naturally produce high progesterone levels every day of the month, so that is why there is the recommended 1 week off during and after menopause and 2 weeks off during pre-menopause years.

Are you using natural progesterone cream or some form of synthetic progestins? How long have you been using progesterone?

Have you had your hormone levels tested, by any chance? It may be that you are extremely progesterone deficient and that's why you are having difficulty getting your body back into a normal rhythm again.

Or, you may be deficient in another of the hormones. It's hard to determine without more information. Getting your hormone levels tested may be your best option.

Just let me caution you to be aware that they may try to talk you into using synthetic hormones. There are proven dangerous side effects of going that route, so be firm if you don't want to go down that path.

Something else you may want to consider to supplement your use of natural progesterone to help eliminate menopause symptoms is a natural herbal supplement that many women have found beneficial.

There are two different options that I would recommend for your consideration. The first is Revitafem which is available through the AIM order form.

The second is Daily Balance Harmony which is available through

Both of these are good quality products and one of them may be right for you so that you don't have to suffer your menopausal symptoms at all, even in your "off" week with the progesterone.

To your good health!

by: June Johnson

I am almost 63 years old and 9 years ago suffered a stress related stroke. As a result, I went into full blown menopause and thyroid issues. Recently, I started taking Natural Hormone Therapy and 5 months later started spotting I consulted with an OB/GYN Dr. and have since stopped taking these products, which for the first time in 9 years allowed me the most normal months since the stroke. after the 2nd ultra sound, the thickening of my uterine walls are back to normal. However, the brain fogs are back and I am back to where I was 5 months ago. My Dr. feels I should be back on HRT. I am totally confused. Should I not be taking estrogen due to my former history of the stroke? Can I just take the Progesterone? Please help. I am feeling pretty badly and just need an honest answer,


Can I just take the Progesterone?
by: Angie

Hi June,

There is a test that you can have done to determine your hormone levels, if you want to go to that expense to be sure what your ratio of progesterone to estrogen is.

I'm not 100% clear on what you were taking starting 5 months ago. Are you certain it was natural hormone supplements (bio-identical)? Was it estrogen or progesterone or both? Is it a cream, capsule?

Most women DON'T need added estrogen. It's the progesterone that is usually the problem and that is low or out of balance. If you get that back in balance, it generally will balance out the other hormones as well because it helps the body create them.

So the answer to your question is a definite YES. You CAN just use progesterone, but be certain that it IS a natural form, or you do yourself more harm than good. I use Renewed Balance cream and it is excellent.

If you also feel that you need that "something extra" it is a good idea to try RevitaFem capsules.

Another tip that you may find helpful in reducing your brain fog is something as simple as stirring a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg's) into a glass of water each day to drink. My mother-in-law puts hers in warm water and drinks it like a tea.

For a "pick-me-up" for energy levels of both body and mind, I find that the Leaf Greens capsules (or powder, but I prefer the capsules) works very well.

I hope this helps cut the confusion for you somewhat. The first is to be sure your hormone replacement IS natural, not synthetic, and the second is that you can definitely try progesterone alone and see if that is all you need.


Progesterone or Estrogen causing increased depression NEW
by: Carolyn

I was on bioidentical estrogen patch and promethium pills--promethium helped me sleep deeply which was wonderful for me because of frequent urination and hot flashes. After about 6 or 8 months I thought the progesterone was making me have depression but could it have been the estrogen. I no longer get the restful sleep so I feel tired and foggy a lot and lack of sleep makes me depressed. I have had low levels of serotonin for mant years-since childhood really

Progesterone and Depression NEW
by: Angie from

Hi Carolyn,
I don't really know much about Prometrium pills as I have always used a natural progesterone cream, currently Renewed Balance. From a quick look on the drug sites it seems that it is claiming to be bioidentical but lists a lot of possible negative side effects which seems really strange to me.

Having your hormones out of balance can certainly cause depression as one of the symptoms/side effects. Most people tend to be low in progesterone so I would think it is less likely that using progesterone (if it is not synthetic) would not be a cause of depression.

Have you had your hormone levels tested? Are you certain you need the estrogen patches still?

Here are a couple of suggestions you can consider...

1. Try a natural progesterone cream instead of the pills if you think that is the problem.
2. Try melatonin tablets to help you sleep.

Hope you can get yourself back in balance and feel better soon.

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