ask: Do progesterone creams ever make your hot flashes worse?

By SpeedyDD February 10, 2010 - 9:03am
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I recently started having hot flashes (maybe 6 months ago), and am taking black cohosh, "Change O' Life" pills, and added progesterone cream to my regimen a couple months ago. My hot flashes were getting worse, so I added some soy products to my diet, but magically stopped when I took a break from my progesterone cream. Is that normal?

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Thanks for your comments. Well, it's been over a week now, and my hot flashes have diminished to almost nothing, and no other side effects noted! I started back using the progesterone cream a few days ago (just a dab, morning & evening) and no problems. I started the soy maybe a few days to a week before the progesterone break. Also wondering if it might just take the other meds awhile to work??? I don't believe I changed anything else substantially. I have been gaining weight, but that's been more of a long term thing (10 pounds over the last year). So, most likely the decrease in symptoms was just a result of the soy products (or some combination), but thought I'd ask.

February 12, 2010 - 12:27pm
Diane Porter

Hi, SpeedyDD,

Welcome! So glad you found us, and thank you for your question. I'm so glad that you have found some relief from your hot flashes, however you did it!

Your experience is different from that of many women, but we're all individuals, and there's nothing more individual than the onset of perimenopause or menopause. It's like almost everything else hormonal -- the balance is a delicate one. Too much or too little estrogen, progesterone or testosterone can affect us in ways we didn't anticipate.

Here's what I'm wondering: Did you add the soy products around the same time you stopped the progesterone? In other words, could it be possible that the soy products took over and did a better job than the progesterone did?

Many women actually get relief from hot flashes from using natural progesterone cream. Were you using just a very small amount?

And you didn't change anything else along the way? Add more exercise, or drink less alcohol, lose/gain weight, etc?

This page has a good discussion of phytoestrogens, estrogen, progesterone and hot flashes that may help you figure out what's going on:

February 11, 2010 - 9:02am
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