Estrogen Dominance and Natural Progesterone: A Personal Experiment

by Magnolia on May 12, 2010

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I recently turned 53.  By the time many women reach my age and in some cases, even before, they are already menopausal.¹  But, unfortunately, that is not the case for me.

This tiny little fact has the power to put me in one very foul mood about every 28 to 36 days. Because, that is when I get to experience extremely heavy, painful, cramping, flooding periods.

Uh huh.  And the best part?  Softball size blood clots.  Oh yeah, bay-bee!  We’re talking some serious fun!

I realize this may not be the most palatable conversation, dear readers and for that, I do apologize.  But, unfortunately, the is very ugly reality of perimenopause and estrogen dominance for many women. So, let’s just say Magnolia is keeping it real. Very real.

Estrogen Dominance is Not Your Friend

For those of you who may be new to my blog and do not know, it was Dr. John R. Lee who pioneered the research on estrogen dominance beginning in the 1970′s.

I recently wrote an article on the topic at Associated Content where I also write as a featured health & wellness contributor. You can find the article here if you would like to read it.

In that article I discussed some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance – which includes the heavy, cramping, clotting and flooding periods that I currently experience -  along with a few other symptoms.  Some of which are listed here:

  • Breast Tenderness
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain – particularly around the mid-section
  • Foggy thinking (short term memory loss)
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Bloating
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Hair loss

Dr. Lee concluded from his research that since estrogen dominance was the result of lower progesterone levels relative to estrogen levels during perimenopause, then the most logical and sensible approach to manage and eradicate the symptoms of estrogen dominance would be to introduce progesterone.

Unfortunately, the medical community has not been quite so sensible or logical and for decades determined that what women needed during perimenopause was more estrogen.  Particularly in the form of a synthetic product called Premarin.²  Good gawd-ah-mighty that just sets my hair on fire typing it out.

One would think that since it has been established for at least 30 years, not only by Dr. Lee’s research, but by those who have continued the work, that the primary cause of most perimenopausal symptoms is estrogen dominance, that the last thing women need is more estrogen in their bodies.  Yet that is exactly what so many physicians would have us to do. Hell-ooo?  Breast or uterine cancer anyone?

Experience is the Best Teacher

During my more symptomatic perimenopause days I tried everything.  HRT, antidepressants, diet changes, prescription sleep aids, hundreds of dollars of supplements every month and oh yes, natural progesterone.

What I did not do was use bio-identical hormones. At the time, I was already stressed beyond belief.  The thought of more months of tweaking this and tweaking that in order to find the right balance for my body did not appeal to me.

At this point, most of my symptoms are gone.  With the exception of those nasty, flooding periods, of course.  I’ve been of the mind that eventually all of this hormonal upheaval would stop and I would feel fine again.  But, I’ve come to the conclusion that my thinking on the matter may not be entirely accurate.

One of the concerns I’ve had about using bio-identical hormones this late in the stage, was that I would only prolong actual menopause. But, I’ve since learned that it is possible to use enough of the bio-identical hormones to achieve hormonal balance to the end that I feel better without promoting monthly cycles again.  Can I hear an amen?

Bearing all of this in mind and also taking into consideration that my current monthly issue is the result of estrogen dominance, I began my search for a good bio-identical progesterone cream.

There are, as one might expect, many good ones on the market. However, I ran across Oasis Serene which is put out by Oasis Advanced Wellness Center in Houston, Texas.  The thing that struck me about their brand was the ingredients list and the amount of progesterone per ounce in each jar.

In one jar you get 750 mg/ounce of USP progesterone and in Oasis Serene Plus, you get 1500 mg/ounce of USP progesterone.  The site also says that the Oasis Serene Plus is suggested for severe symptoms of hormonal imbalance and is recommended that you us it for three months and then switch to the regular formula.

I bought the plus formula and have been using it for about two weeks now.  I will tell you that I already feel better.  The real test will be when that blood clotting visitor makes its appearance in about two weeks.  If I see a difference then?  I will be heralding their praises from the mountain tops.

I also purchased one of Dr. Erika Schwartz’s books recently, The 30-Day Natural Hormone Plan: Look and Feel Young Again–Without Synthetic HRT.  I’m also toying with the idea of doing her program to see how I feel as well.

If I decide to try it, I’ll post about it and let you all know.  In the meantime though, I thought you might be interested checking out Oasis Serene progesterone cream for yourself to see what you think about it.

________________________________________

Footnotes:

¹ Menopause is said to have occurred when a woman does not have a menstrual cycle for twelve consecutive months.

² If you would like to read how the drug companies go about producing Premarin, you can find some information here at Wikipedia. Based on the animal abuse alone involved in the production of Premarin, we should boycott this death-inducing product.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail Edgell May 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Magnolia,

I agree with what you are saying. Looking at our teenagers today they are all estrogen dominant. Even males. I often tell people to start to become aware of how many foods they are eating that contain hormones. Dairy, meat, poultry, pork and farmed raised fish all contribute to the issues/problems you are listing above. Even pesticides and BPA in plastics can alter our estrogen levels. I store and cook in mostly glass which is not an easy task.

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Magnolia May 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Hello Gail,

I have a 16 year old daughter who shows symptoms of estrogen dominance. I have considered having her seen by a physician as well.

As you said, trying to cope with all of the things that affect our health and well being is not an easy task. I sometimes find myself feeling like I’m spitting in a windstorm.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

Magnolia

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ELLIOT May 21, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Magnolia,
nice to see you writing for the associated content, nice article I enjoyed it. Also, glad to see you are writing about bioidentical and natural progesterone. I’ m still knee deep in this and the days that I am on the natural progesterone are the bearable ones. One that I found (also recommended by Dr. Lee) is the “Balance Creme” by Kokoro’s , I think it is worth trying, it has helped me and I use it days 16 through 28 as suggested by the wonderful Mia Lundin. I thought I was beyond help, but I am actually having good days. I always remember you saying ” there’s some putting up that goes with this” or something like that and also “this too shall pass” . I try hard to see the lesson in this and on bad days the thought is ” what’s the point” but your optimism through your journey gives me hope.

Hope all is well

Elliot

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Magnolia May 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Elliot,

How nice to see you. I’ve thought about you often. :) I had to change my magnolia@themagnoliadiaries email address. I was getting so much spam.

So, if you need to chat, please feel free to get a hold of me at this email address.

You can reach me at the contact form and I can get back with you.

Thanks for saying hey!

Reply

ELLIOT June 10, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Cool beans! You have been instrumental at helping me through this and sometimes just reading something you have written, brings me calm and some perspective

Thanks! you’re a cool cat

Reply

Magnolia June 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Hey girl,

thanks for the kind words. I’m a bit scant these days in the blogging arena. but, I’ve not abandoned ship. I’ve just slowed down a bit.

Appreciate the comments. :)

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