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A couple months ago, I was put on progesterone for low

progesterone levels. To give you...
A couple months ago, I was put on progesterone for low progesterone levels. To give you a bit of info, I'm 39 and was diagnosed with hypothyroid about 1.5 years ago. For the past few years, the symptoms I've experienced have been textbook Peri-menopause, but until now, my blood work has never confirmed this. So a couple months ago my doctor prescribed me 100 mg of progesterone, taken at night before bed for 25 days each month. I have had no changes in my symptoms since starting the progesterone. I did have another doctor appointment a couple days ago, and my progesterone levels did increase. But because I really haven't had a change in my symptoms, my doctor increased my progesterone to 200 mg, taken at night before bed, for 27 days a month. She decreased the days off each month because the 5 days I was off of the progesterone were hard...I felt tired, almost narcoleptic, and had terrible headaches. I've steadily gained weight for almost a year, to which dieting does not help. And my sleep has been getting worse for the past 3-4 months. I have taken Lunesta for almost a year and that has been a lifesaver. But where I was once getting 7-8 hours of sleep, for the past few months I get about 5 hours of sleep. Since I've started taking the 200 mg of progesterone, I AM getting about 6-7 hours of sleep a night now. And for that I'm thankful! But that is the only symptom that has gotten better. I'm still gaining weight...I've actually gained 2-3 lbs in the past few days! I know that if I take too much progesterone, that the affects can be just as bad as not having enough. My question is, how long should I expect to see if the progesterone is working? Have I not given it enough time? I know dealing with hormones is complex and can end up being a battle finding the right treatment. But how will I know if I'm taking too much progesterone? If low progesterone is the reason for my weight gain, should I be losing weight once I get the proper dosage?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
12/17/2017
Dr. J
Dr. J, Board Certified OB/GYN
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Experience: Gynecologist
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So it sounds like the progesterone 200mg helps you sleep but you are noticing weight gain.

Unfortunately weight gain is a side effect of taking progesterone your own body did not make. I notice the weight gain started before you began taking progesterone - it does sound like there are a few reasons for weight gain. You have hypothyroidism which can certainly affect your metabolism and cause weight gain. Also, as we age (particularly in our late 30s/early 40s) our metabolism really starts to slow down, which in turn accelerates weight gain.

If you feel the weight gain from the progesterone is not worth the weight gain you're noticing, you could talk to your doc about going off the progesterone just to see if it straightens out. As far as following your progesterone levels, this is of limited utility because our hormone levels vary so much throughout the month. We could check it 8 times in a month and get completely different results each time.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
my doctor mentioned that hormones can fluctuate so much, making blood work results not entirely accurate. Since my next appointment is a few months out, would going off of the progesterone for maybe a week be enough time to see a difference?

The bulk of the hormone will be out of your system in a few days, but it could take 4-6 weeks for the hormone to completely be out of your system.

Dr. J
Dr. J, Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 826
Experience: Gynecologist
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok thank you! I will definitely talk to my doctor but think I’m going to go off of the medication and see how it goes.
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