Effects of Excess Progesterone

Effects of Excess Progesterone

Excess progesterone is always a result of taking too much supplemental progesterone;  the body itself never over-produces progesterone.  Symptoms show up after a number of months of consistent usage.


When women consistently use progesterone without taking a break or when using higher dosages than those suggested by Dr. John R Lee ….symptoms can return.

The first signs could include bloating, painful breasts, depression and/sleepiness or lethargy.  These would coincide with an estrogen dominance crisis.  Women who are still menstruating may have anovulatory cycles, particularly if they are using their progesterone too soon in their cycle and suppressing their own body’s production of progesterone.

Initially, most women feel a calming effect when they use progesterone particularly if their saliva test shows that they are quite deficient.  However, after five to eight months of high progesterone usage levels of clinical depression may develop.  Often times the cause of this depression is not attributed to the use of the progesterone cream.


The bottom line is…. more is not better.  Use the correct dosage for you.

The second downside of high progesterone is its effect on active cortisol levels in the body.  Progesterone is utilized by the adrenals to produce cortisol.  Excessive progesterone usage could cause a significant increase in free active cortisol.  High cortisol over the long term can result in hunger and sugar or carbohydrate cravings, weight gain around the waist, reduced muscle mass, bone thinning, food sensitivities and allergies, reduced athletic endurance, yeast overgrowth, reduced thyroid function, insomnia, PMS, and if not corrected, eventual exhaustion and chronic fatigue.

salivatest_prodpageFortunately, most women (and men) can monitor their hormone levels by simply doing a saliva test if symptoms occur again.  If a woman begins to feel worse, it is important to not assume that more progesterone is needed.  For women using progesterone creams, taking a saliva hormone test will reveal excessively high progesterone levels if she is in fact not taking a break or using too much.

Helpful points!

1. When using progesterone creams, avoid applying it on areas where there is a layer of fatty tissue under the skin. It is the build-up of progesterone in the fatty tissue that seems to cause the problem.  Instead, use thin-skinned areas where veins are easily seen, so that the hormones will be absorbed directly into the blood stream.  These areas include the upper chest, insides of the arms, palms and backs of hands, and tops of the feet and the face when using an aloe vera based cream.

2. When possible, select products which are aloe based creams. These creams can also be used intra vaginally to help with vaginal dryness. www.MaxxAlive.com

3. Use a physiological dose. Dr. John Lee stated that he found 20 mg./day of progesterone to be enough to prevent hyperplasia in women using estrogen. Using 1/4 tsp. of a moderate strength product twice daily will give you approximately 40 mg/day.  Given that nothing absorbs 100%, still, this amount should be ample dosages for the majority of menstruating women and ½ that dosage for non-menstruating women is adequate.

4. Generally, excess progesterone resolves itself over a few months when the dose is changed and appropriate breaks are taken.  It is usually not necessary to stop the progesterone cream entirely in order to maintain balanced hormone levels.

Everyone is different… if your saliva test shows that you need progesterone then it will be up to you to determine the dose that is correct for you.


Lee John R “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause”