Natural Progesterone Cream Use: 10 Things You Should Know

Natural Progesterone Cream Use: 10 Things You Should Know

Every woman who is considering, or is already using natural progesterone cream should know these 10 important tidbits of information about this bio-identical hormone cream. We find many women use the cream incorrectly, or are worried about how they are using it. The more you know about natural progesterone cream, the better able you will be able to support your progesterone levels correctly.

1. Apply natural progesterone cream correctly. If you are not applying it correctly it may not be effective. The best areas for application are places in which capillaries are dense and close to the surface of the skin, such as:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Upper Chest
  • Breasts
  • Inner arms
  • Palms of hands and feet

Avoid putting NPC on the fattiest areas of the body, as this may inhibit proper absorption. Fat will store the progesterone, rather than allow it to move into the bloodstream, circulate and be utilized by the body. In addition, rotate where you apply the cream each time you use it to avoid saturation.

2. Estrogen dominance may become worse when first beginning natural progesterone cream. When first introducing progesterone back into the body after an extended period of progesterone deficiency, the estrogen receptor sites ‘wake up’ (are stimulated), enhancing the action of estrogen for a short period of time. This is a sign that the body is responding well to the progesterone, even though at the beginning it can exacerbate estrogen dominance symptoms such as breast tenderness and swelling, spotting, fluid retention, dizziness, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches and nausea. This can be very worrisome, but should level out and go away over the next couple of cycles, as progesterone levels increase.

3. Stress affects progesterone levels. How? Stress increases cortisol levels. Cortisol competes for progesterone receptors; the higher the stress the more cortisol the body produces. This means that those receptor sites may be occupied by cortisol rather than progesterone, which may require temporary increase in progesterone supplementation. If you are not managing your stress levels, the natural progesterone cream you are currently using may not be effective because of elevated cortisol levels. Make stress reduction part of your plan to balance hormone levels.

4. Severe progesterone deficiency requires more time to increase progesterone levels with progesterone cream supplementation. It takes anywhere from 4-12 months to bring progesterone levels back up in women with very low progesterone levels. Following a loading dose protocol may help to bring the levels up quicker, but consistency of use over an extended period of time is best. For women who are trying to conceive, a realistic plan is going to help achieve pregnancy and prevent miscarriage due to progesterone deficiency. Give yourself many months of progesterone cream supplementation before even trying for a baby, to help prevent the likelihood of miscarriage.

5. Is it okay to use natural progesterone cream if you don’t know if you have low progesterone levels? It would be best to know if you have low progesterone levels or not. You would not want to work to increase progesterone levels if you don’t need to. Over time, using progesterone cream when it isn’t needed may create a situation in which too much progesterone is in the body. That being said, there are many clear signs of progesterone deficiency and testing is relatively easy. There are at-home saliva hormone tests and your doctor can test your levels as well.

6. A one-time overdose of progesterone cream is virtually impossible. That being said, it does not mean you should use more than the suggested dosage. It does mean that the female body can withstand high levels of progesterone in the body relatively well, because during the last trimester of pregnancy, the placenta is producing 300-400mg of progesterone a day. If you accidentally use too much or apply the cream more than 2 times in a day, you should be fine. Even if you used a whole bottle in a day, it may just make you feel very sleepy. Be sure you always stay within the recommended dosage guidelines recommended by your healthcare practitioner, or on the label of the product you are using.

7. Split dosage up between morning and nighttime application. Apply the cream once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Using it before bedtime may help some people to sleep better. Splitting the dosage up ensures 8-12 hours of sustained delivery. If you apply it all at one time, only once a day, it will still only last 8-12 hours, leaving the other 12 hours where you are not receiving any. The split dosage ensures optimum progesterone levels are maintained.

8. Each cycle, stop using natural progesterone cream only when you have confirmed you are NOT pregnant. This means if you are trying to get pregnant while using NPC, be sure to continue it until you have definitely confirmed you are not pregnant. If you get a positive pregnancy test result, continue on with the progesterone cream. Be sure not to skip a day of use of NPC in pregnancy. Doing so may result in a sudden drop of progesterone levels, which may cause a miscarriage. Have two bottles on hand at all time to ensure you don’t run out.

9. Discontinue use of progesterone cream by weaning off of it over time. When you decide it is time to stop supplementing with natural progesterone cream, simply reduce the amount you use each time you apply it. Do this on the last cycle you plan on using it. If you are pregnant, do not do this until at least the 16th week of gestation, when the placenta takes over progesterone production.

10. There are certain health conditions in which natural progesterone cream supplementation should be avoided. If you have a history of gestational pemphigoid (dermatosis of pregnancy), jaundice of pregnancy, severe active liver disease, hepatitis, rotor syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, or unexplained/abnormal vaginal bleeding you should not use natural progesterone cream.

Want to know more? Be sure to read over our complete Progesterone Fertility Guide and our Progesterone & Fertility Q&A!

1. Rollins, Catherine P., 10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Natural Progesterone, A Making Plans Production, 2007,

Related Articles


Let your voice be heard... Leave a brief comment or question related to this article.

Current day month ye@r *

 characters available

  1. I am 65 and weigh 61kg. I have this small role of fat in my middle and cannot get rid of it. I do Walk for Life but no other exercise. I have been told that progesterone cream is the answer. Please can you let me know because I have tried reading your articles and don’t seem to have come across this one as a solution to my problem!!

    • Dear Carol,

      It would be best to reach out to a compounding pharmacist or healthcare practitioner who supports using natural progesterone cream. We do not use progesterone cream for weight loss, or work with women beyond their reproductive years.

      I hope you can find support!

  2. Hello,
    I am post menopausal and use progesterone because it helps stop leg cramps. I have started getting some bleeding. I am guessing that is too high a dosage?

    • Dear Lu,

      Only your healthcare provider can help you determine the best dose for your specific needs. I do not know if the dose is too high.

      It could also be that estrogen receptor sites have been “awakened” by using progesterone, which can cause break-through bleeding. Consider finding and referring to Dr. John Lee’s books Hormone Balance Made Simple and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. They are great references for the use of progesterone.

      Take care!

  3. My doctor is unwilling to help me because of my weight. Hubby and i have been TTC for 9+ months. I have an 18-20 day cycle with 7-10 days bleeding. Should I try progesterone cream?

  4. Question; when do you use the Protocol for Life Balance Natural Progesterone Cream? Do I use it before, after or during my menstrual cycle. I am trying to get pregnant and have problems with endometriosis, infertility dysmenorrhea turned into amenorrhea after taking wrong type of pills-Vitex.

    • Dear Andrea,

      It will be best to follow the suggested use of the makers of Life Balance Natural Progesterone Cream. General suggested use of natural progesterone cream is 40mg daily, divided into one 20mg application in the am and one 20mg application in the pm, during the two weeks before your period. Here is a link to Dr. John Lee’s guidance for the use of natural progesterone cream with endometriosis… Consider referring to our Progesterone Fertility Guide as well.

      I am sorry to hear you feel Vitex led to amenorrhea. This has not been my experience with Vitex. We understand dietary and lifestyle changes in addition to trying herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies the best way to approach any fertility health issue. If interested, the article 5 Steps to Reversing Endometriosis Infertility will share with you an overview of this fertility health issue and how to support the body in managing symptoms and relearning hormone balance.

      All my best!

  5. I have been on a progesterone cream from another brand for a while.
    According to Dr. John Lee, it will store after a while and you have to give it a brake for 2 years.
    What is your opinion? They also said not to put it on your breast. Also apply it to the vagina?
    What is your opinion and are there any chemicals in yours?

    • Dear Jeanne,

      It is best to be monitored by your healthcare provider periodically while using natural progesterone cream to determine the proper dose for your specific need and to adjust this dose as progesterone levels change. In general we don’t suggest using many herbs, or some nutritional supplements for longer than 6 months to a year before weaning off to determine if the body can maintain/sustain hormonal balance on its own. The goal of our programs is to support the body in relearning balance.

      We understand natural progesterone can be applied to the breast, but that application sites are rotated so as not to frequently reapply to the same location. We do not suggest using Fertilica Natural Progesterone Cream (which does not contain chemicals) vaginally. It can be applied to the face, neck, upper chest, breasts, inner arms and palms of hands and feet. Learn more via our Progesterone Fertility Guide.

  6. I recently began using Korkoro balance cream to prolong the time between my cycles (currently as low as 22-23 days). I’ve had both blood and saliva test, which showed I had low progesterone, not severe, but low enough that I was “recommended” to use progesterone cream. I also have severe PMS and excessive bleeding during my cycles, which seem to last 7-10 days now. I began using the cream 2x a day, on day 12 and around the time of my ovulation. I wasn’t expecting my cycle for another 10-11 days, but began bleeding 5 days later and had a full cycle again. Now on my 2nd month of use, my cycle began a week after it finished! What am I doing wrong?? This is making it worse than before.

    • Dear Holly,

      I am not familiar with Korkoro balance cream, so it may be best to reach out to the manufacturer. This being said, irregular bleeding or spotting other than during menstruation often indicates that either the progesterone cream dose is too high or that it is being used at the wrong time in the menstrual cycle. General suggested use of natural progesterone cream as per Dr. John Lee is for the two weeks prior to menstruation, or just after ovulation until menstruation begins. See our Progesterone Fertility Guide for even more information.

    • Hi, Holly again. Thanks for the reply (didn’t see it until now). I was on a single dose of progesterone cream, meaning I used the cream 1x/day; within 2 days, I’d start bleeding. I moved to 2x/day, and I began bleeding even sooner. This last time, every time I used progesterone cream (right after ovulation), I began menstruation within 2 days – when it wasn’t due for another 15! I went through another full cycle – that’s 2 full cycles within 3 days of each other. I’ve now changed creams, but am going to wait one cycle to see how my body does on its own. I was hoping to increase my luteal phase so I’m not bleeding every 3 weeks, but the cream made it worse? Does that mean I don’t need it?

    • Hello Holly!

      It sounds as though progesterone cream is being used at the correct time of the cycle, so given it has induced bleeding it may mean that either the dose is too high or your body is not in need of it. It would be best to consider testing to determine progesterone levels and the need for supplementation before starting it’s use again. Your doctor can run tests and there are FDA-approved home female hormone tests available.

  7. I am 52 and still menstruating regularly. My periods have been very heavy and I have unusual cramping for about 12 months now that eventually led me to a check up. It has been determined that I have some abnormal thickening of the uterus, but no signs of tumors or cancer. Would Progesterone cream be a possible remedy to the unusually difficult periods I’ve been experiencing?

    • Dear Michele,

      We find it best for women over 50 to work with a doctor, a reproductive endocrinologist, who can monitor hormonal balance and determine fertility health. He/she is also able to help you determine the best dose of natural progesterone progesterone cream for your specific need should it be determined it may help.

  8. Hi, I tried to use he progesterone cream for my PCOS and hirsutism. I started to use it at the 12th day of my cycle (however my cycles are very irregular…), but i started bleeding on the second day. Now I am not sure if this is because something is clearing up, is it estrogen dominance or was it too early? Does anyone know? I can’t find any information anywhere. :(

    • Dear Klaudia,

      Spotting or bleeding when using natural progesterone cream can mean many things, from the timing of use being off, to too high of a dose and yes, to symptoms of estrogen dominance temporarily worsening.

      Has it been determined through testing that your progesterone levels are low? It may help to learn this and also to have your healthcare provider guide you in the proper dose of natural progesterone cream for your specific need.

      There are also a variety of additional ways to learn about how to support the body in re-learning balance in our article How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs.

      I hope this is helpful!

  9. What is the price of natural progesterone cream and how do I get it?

    I have a patient whose menstruation just ceased. Please what do you advise?

    I also have another patient who always experiences delayed menstruation and false sign of pregnancy. Please advise.

  10. I began using the progesterone cream as instructed for my first cycle and I have not gone the full 2 weeks before I started getting my period. I am on Day 8 after ovulation.Do I continue through the full two weeks, or just stop and assume this is my period arriving early perhaps due to estrogen trying to take over? I have a short LP as it is, but this seems to have made it shorter. Does it just depend on how long my normal cycles already were as to how long I use it before I assume my period?

    • Dear GKR,

      I don’t yet have an answer for you. I need to know which natural progesterone cream you are using, at what dose and when each day. Can you share this information? Break-through-bleeding as a result of the use of natural progesterone cream can be because too high of a dose is being used, it is being used at the wrong time of the cycle, or as a result of an underlying health issue. It is most often that temporary worsening of estrogen dominance results in spotting versus what appears more as “normal” menstrual flow.

      I hope to hear back from you!

    • Hi, me again! I just found this response, as I never seem to get notifications when you reply. Anyway, I’ve had both blood and saliva testing, and based on those alone, my progesterone is slightly lower the estrogen. On paper, I look really good, but I have all these symptoms that no one can explain. One doctor suggested progesterone cream, but as mentioned in my previous posts, I kept bleeding. Now that I’m off the cream, I’m losing CLUMPS of hair, and I’m not sure what to do…keep my hair, or bleed to death. Isn’t there some easier way?

      What about hormone pellet implants? Obviously, I’m afraid once implanted, it’s not going to be as easy to control as getting off progesterone cream.

    • Hello Holly!

      I am sorry you are not receiving my replies! Might they be going to a Spam or Junk Mail folder? Just a thought… as you should get emails when I reply here.

      I am sorry for all you are going and have gone through! My wish is for you to not lose hair or bleed to death. I am sorry this is so stressful!

      At this point, it is my honest opinion that it may be best to work one on one with a natural health practitioner who can sit with all you have been through, these symptoms you mention, how you responded to progesterone cream use, etc. and offer a holistic evaluation of what may be happening for you, as well as natural program for moving forward. We offer this through a Fertility Consultation, or there may be a naturopath near you.

      Through a Fertility Consultation, you will submit your comprehensive intake form, including information about your fertility history, your 3 detailed questions and overall goal for your fertility and within 5 business days one of our Master Herbalists will review, layout and explain each step of your program offering her insight into how to best support your fertility health.

      I hope you will consider a fertility consultation!

  11. Once stopping progesterone cream, how long does it take to completely clear your system and is there anything that can be done to speed up the process? Thank you

    • Dear Tami,

      Bio-identical natural progesterone cream, if applied correctly, should in general be out of the system 12 hours post last application. There is not a way to speed this process to my knowledge.

  12. Hi! I have all of the symptoms of low progesterone. Where do I purchase an at home saliva hormone test progesterone test? Is there a website that sells them or just at the pharmacy?

  13. Hello. I just want to be sure I understand. By using progesterone cream to conceive you use it everyday until your period starts, which confirms that you are not pregnant, then you start up again when your period is over? Just curious. Thanks:)

  14. I am concerned about my facial fuzz, I am 62 years old and was wondering if Progesterone Cream would help reduce this embracing condition?

    • Hello Sandra!

      I am sorry you are having to deal with this! Given we primarily work with women in their reproductive years whose hormonal needs are quite different than many 50 years of age and older, it would be best for you to ask this of your healthcare provider. Consider also learning more about Saw Palmetto and talking with your healthcare provider about this herb a well.

      Best wishes!

  15. Hello. I have been using Natural Progesterone Cream this cycle and am now pregnant 4 weeks and 4 days. I realized I have been using approximately 40 mg per application, so 80 per day, on certain days when the correct dosage is supposed to be 20 mg per application. I don’t know what to now because I am afraid if I go back to the 20 mg per application as required I might miscarry. What would you advise I do? Do i continue with two pumps per application of one pump per application for the 20 mg dosage? Thank you so much.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Waleska!

      Congratulations! What great news! I wish for you a happy and healthy pregnancy, birth and baby.

      First, reach out to your healthcare practitioner about continuing progesterone cream through the first trimester of pregnancy, at a dose that is appropriate for your personal needs. He/she can guide you best in adjusting your dose should you need to and monitor you while using progesterone cream.

      Using progesterone cream in pregnancy is one of the scariest aspects of its use; applying the correct dose at the right time. We get asked about using natural progesterone cream in pregnancy often. Consider also referring to our guide to Natural Progesterone Cream Use in Pregnancy (note this offers general guidance).

      Best wishes!

  16. I am wondering why I am gaining weight. I have been on HRT for 7 years but recently my weight is up a few pounds. I recently had my blood work done my estradiol was 5.0 my total estrogen 85.2 and my progesterone is 6.1 . I think my estrogen is low but could my progesterone be too high also. Thanks for you help and comments

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Nancy!

      I can not be certain of why this is happening for you. It would be best for you to speak with your healthcare provider about concerns that HRT or hormone imbalance is causing this for you.

      Craving and eating habits, low levels of exercise, and even high amounts of body fat can cause an irregular production of estrogen, potentially affecting ovulation and the menstrual cycle. Our article Losing Weight for Fertility may offer guidance for managing a healthy weight.

  17. Please help, I can not stop bleeding. This happened to me once before. I am in a peri-menopause state. I started using the Pro-gest cream & it worked, but it’s not working this time. Can I increase the dose of Pro-gest cream?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Tracey,

      Have you confirmed your need for progesterone supplementation through testing? It would be best to know this! What is the cause of your bleeding? Do you have a fertility issue contributing to this or could you be using the wrong dose of natural progesterone cream? Might you consider stopping the use of the cream to see if bleeding stops. It may be most helpful for you to seek the guidance of a healthcare provider to guide you in the proper dose of natural progesterone cream for your needs.

      I wish I could be more helpful, but I am not sure I know enough about what you are dealing with to guide you further. Please reply if you have more the share!

  18. I’m low on progesterone. I started using natural progesterone cream last October 8. I haven’t finished the duration of NPC application yet, which is days 12-26 of my cycle. It’s only been 10 days and I’ve already gotten my period. All I know is that I was 6 hours late to apply my NPC dose the other night because I was so tired. Then I started having my period a few hours later although I’ve applied the cream once I’ve realized I missed a few hours. Is this normal? Is 6-hour lapse a big deal that it caused my AF to start so soon? We’re TTC and I’m afraid that this could be an early miscarriage? How do I know it’s miscarriage or normal AF? Never been pregnant. Married for 3 years with no luck.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Liezel,

      I am sorry this is concerning you!

      Are you using Fertilica Natural Progesterone Cream? How many milligrams do you apply in each dose. So, to clarify, October 8th was the day after ovulation for you and your normal period should have started on cycle day 27?

      It has not been my experience that delaying a dose has brought on a full period, however if doses are too close, too much in terms of strength or number of milligrams, or applied on the wrong cycle days, there is potential for a period to start early.

      It can be hard to know a miscarriage is happening sometimes. Consider talking to your healthcare provider. Some signs and symptoms of miscarriage are heavy bleeding with clots or grayish tissue, strong pain, a drop in basal body temperature after it has been elevated for some time past when your normal period was supposed to start, but even spotting and dull lower-back ache, pressure, or pain (which are common PMS symptoms as well) can be a result of miscarriage.

      I hope to hear back from you!

  19. Hello Hethir!
    One of my friends who is ttc is extremely confused about deciding whether or not to use progesterone? Her progesterone level is pretty low for successful and healthy pregnancy. there are two options for her, first is natural bioidentical progesterone cream suggested by Naturopathic Doctor and second one is synthetic progesterone injection prescribed by allopathic Doctors (eg prolution Depot). In her country synthetic progesterone injection are commonly use.
    So please tell me which one is the best one and safe for her?
    Second she is sill skeptic about natural progesterone cream. Is it really safe and does it work? What are medical reviews about it? What do advanced studies say?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Pretty!

      Thank you for reaching out to us on behalf of your friend. How great that she has your support.

      Ultimately it will be best for your friend to educate herself on the pros and cons of natural progesterone cream and prescription progesterone to help her decide which is best for her. She may also want to find a healthcare practitioner to guide her in using whichever she chooses.

      We have seen Fertilica Natural Progesterone Cream work for many women and rather quickly. This being said, the suggested use in based on the research and practice of Dr. John Lee and is generalized. Your friend may need a higher or lower dose than is generally suggested. Working with a healthcare provider will help her know the proper dose for her.

      You may also what to share with her our Progesterone Fertility Guide for further guidance.

      I do not have advanced studies to link you to, but you certainly can do research to learn more. Google Scholar is a free search engine to search scholarly articles.

      I hope this is helpful!

  20. Two years ago I had both ovaries removed. I had. A estergon implant for the last two years can I go cold turkey without hormones I. Have no signs iam currently trying dhea and it’s making me unwell can u please advise regards Sue

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Sue,

      It may be time to speak with your healthcare provider, or work one on one with a natural healthcare practitioner or herbalist to help you support your body in finding balance. We are happy to support you in creating a natural therapy program based on your specific reproductive health needs (whether you are trying to conceive or not) and we offer this service through a Fertility Consultation. In a Fertility Consultation you will get to share with your fertility herbalist all things about you, from your diet and lifestyle, stress levels and exercise routines, and of course about your reproductive health needs (what you have tried, are trying, procedures you have been through, etc.) and in turn your herbalist will create a program specifically for you.

      I hope you will consider! Take Care!