Postmenopausal- Take only progesterone?


Dec 28, 2012
San Diego
I've read a lot of the Ray Peat articles and posts on estrogen, and they scared me. I had been using bio-identical estrogen for many years, and then my good doctor (Endo- who has been great with all other things) told me to take a combo of Estrogen-Progesterone-Testosterone. After my reading, I stopped taking the cream, and have just been taking the Progest-E.
But she assures me that I'll have other symptoms without estrogen: loss of sex drive, drying out....
It's so hard to go against my doctor's recommendations, because she has been so good with everything else. I guess I'm looking for a bit of support here.
My menopausal symptoms of heat surges at night (in bed) have gotten a LOT better. But what about all the other things? I read that estrogen won't help with bone loss (I had osteopenia dx'd 10 years ago).
I'm not a scientist, and my reading of all the contradictory information makes me wonder: WHO should I trust?



Nov 1, 2012
It is difficult and disturbing to not be able to trust advice of physicians. My sister and sister in law both use a vaginal estrogen cream. I don't recall the name of it but when I looked it up, it had a long list of side effects. I sent the side effects list it to my sister and she quit using it.
Just a few quotes that might be of some help.

"The stabilizing action of progesterone is especially visible in muscle tissue, such as the uterus, blood vessel walls, the heart, the intestines and the bladder. Less visibly, progesterone stabilizes and normalizes nervous, secretory and growth processes. Biochemically, it provides the material out of which all the other steroid hormones (such as cortisone, testosterone, estrogen and salt-regulating aldosterone) can be made as needed. Progesterone's simple molecular structure allows it to balance either an excess or deficiency of those other hormones, even when there is a defect in their synthesis."

"A logical course of events, building on these and subsequent discoveries, would have been to observe that the glucocorticoids cause a negative calcium balance, leading to osteoporosis, and that thyroid and progesterone oppose those hormones, protecting against osteoporosis. But the drug industry had discovered the profits in estrogen ("the female hormone") and the cortisone-class of drugs. Estrogen was promoted to prevent miscarriages, to stop girls (and boys) from growing too tall, to cure prostate and breast cancer, to remedy baldness, and 200 other absurdities. As all of those frauds gradually became untenable, even in the commercial medical culture, the estrogen industry began to concentrate on osteoporosis and femininity. Heart disease and Alzheimer's disease back those up."

"If estrogen causes arthritis, prescribe prednisone for the inflammation. If prednisone causes osteoporosis, increase the dose of estrogen to retard the bone-loss. People are tough, and physiological therapies aren't very profitable."


What I would so is, take progesterone alone anyway, come some time later and tell her your sex drive was ok.


Aug 11, 2013

Up until the last year or so, I was taking progesterone only. Unfortunately, it wasn't helping a calcified fibroid I had and I was bleeding non-stop. I also wasn't eating a Peat diet at the time and was low carbish. The gynecologist had me stop the progesterone and within a couple of weeks the bleeding stopped. At that time, I was anemic and miserable with many symptoms so it is hard to piece what all was going on at the time. I do know that within a month or so of going off the progesterone I moved into full blown non-stop hot flashes. Six months later I was desperate and went to my primary, he prescribed bioidentical Bi-est with Progesterone. Energy went up, dryness went away, hot flashes went down. However, even when I had maxed out the Bi-est cream, I still had hot flashes and middle of the night waking. In addition, my weight was starting to go up without any change in diet. Three months ago I started eating more Peatish and lo and behold once I upped my sugar intake the middle of the night waking and hot flashes went away. That gave me the confidence to start weaning off the Biest cream. Over the past couple of months, I have reduced the amount I take by about 50% and the amount of progesterone I take has increased proportionately. My weight seems to have stabilized and I'm not gaining just by looking at food anymore. I do get occasional hot flashes but I also have reduced the amount of estrogen cream fairly rapidly. Every time I get comfortable, I reduce again. I'm hopeful to get off the estrogen completely but I also keep in mind something that I read around here that I believe Ray Peat said that it's not always the amount of estrogen but the ratio of progesterone to estrogen. If you feel good on progesterone only, I wouldn't worry about what the doctor said.


I asked whether bag breathing was better than holding one's breath.

With a bag you can judge how much CO2 you are getting. I makes your lips and nail beds noticeably pinker when you have enough.
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