I want to help you use your creams!
Many women have tried using bio-identical hormone creams with no success. Are you one of them? Join the crowd!! Patients have been calling me for years with questions and frustrations. Many other doctors or other practitioners have not taken the time to show what you should do to have success!!
After 10 years of helping women “get it right”, I have seen just about every way that they can get confused!
REASONS WHY IT DOESN’T WORK:
a) You have the creams and you are NOT MEASURING THEM! You either properly measured them in the beginning and then stopped, or you just wanted to “make them last longer” or maybe just got lazy. If you cut down your hormones and you start getting symptoms, you may think the products are not working, which is not usually the case! Measure your hormones as directed! If you are just dunking your finger in and slappin’ on some creams, you may not notice you are not using enough.
b) You could be using the wrong kind of hormones (like oral, patch or sub-lingual), when in fact you need a different source. You could also be getting Estriol instead of Estradiol. Or you could be using Progesterone and you also need Estradiol. (Please read the post on Hormones to learn more).
Note: Many women are “backing off” from using Estradiol because of the media talking about the risk of developing cancer. I have not found ANY studies showing the use of bio-identical Estradiol used with bio-identical progesterone according to a natural cycle as causing cancer. The studies linking hormones with cancer have been with prescribed SYNTHETIC hormones. Most of the scare was created after the Womens Health Initiative study report came out in 2004. (please read my post on Hormones to read more).
c) Another reason for problems balancing your hormones is because you are taking herbs, hormones, medications, phyto estrogens (such as soy, ginseng, Black Cohosh, yam, etc.) supplements or other creams that may be interfering with the balance. Some of you will need to do my detox program first to “clean out” these other products before we can make progress.
HOW TO CYCLE YOUR CREAMS CORRECTLY
First of all, I want you to remember that women remain having a cycle, even when they are not menstruatiing. You may not know where your natural cycle is, but we want to use the creams in such a way that is as close to the way the body does it a possible. Cancer is a trouble we do not want and, when hormones are used improperly, it can develop (no matter if it is “natural” hormones, bio-identical, or not!)
My favorite way to show a women how to use HRT follows the graph that was devised to mimic a monthly cycle. This was devised by Sindi Holmund, Researcher, Author and Master Herbalist. You will be using your creams according to the natural cycle of the female reproductive system.
Below is a chart that we can use to mimic the monthly hormone cycle. It is 28 days long so we can break it down into 4 weeks. Here’s what you do in each week: Please print this chart or email us for a copy so you can use it to make notes on as you learn what your doses will be.
We sell a special, double-sided measuring spoon. One side is 1/8 teaspoon. This 1/8 level teaspoon is equal to .5 (1/2) gram. The other side is 1/4 teaspoon. One level 1/4 teaspoon is equal to 1 gram.
Week 1 (days 1-7)
During the first 7 days is when blood levels of hormones are very low because a woman is suppose to be having her period here. So, during week 1, you would apply the same amounts of each hormone you’re using in small amounts.
Start with 1/2 gram (1/8 teaspoon), if that doesn’t stop your symptoms, apply another 1/2 gram of each and keep adding 1/2 gram until you feel fine. The symptoms you are having could be anything from insomnia, anger, frustration, headache, anxiety, depression, cravings, brain fog, etc. You should make a notation of these symptoms in the blanks of the graph so that you know what amounts you needed to get rid of your symptoms. Once you find how many applications it takes to stop your symptoms, you add them all together and that’s your dose. Example: If it took 3 applications of 1/2 gram of each cream, then you would know that the first week of every month you should apply 1.5 gram all at once and not in .5 gram stages. I usually need to apply 1 gram of each per day the first week.
Week 2 (days 8-15)
The second week the Estradiol goes up very steeply. So you would apply whatever amount you figured out that you needed of any of the other hormones you’re using and start to raise the Estradiol. I usually need to apply 1 gram of Progesterone and 2 gram of Estradiol the second week. If I get any symptoms, I add an extra .5 gram of Estradiol.
Week 3 (days 15-21)
The third week you start raising the Progesterone. I usually need 1.5 gram of Progesterone and 2 gram of Estradiol. If I get any symptoms, I add an estra .5 of Progesterone. (Note: signs of too much Progesterone is sore/tender nipples, and too much Estradiol is sore/tender breasts and bleeding symptoms–but please remember that these symptoms can happen in the first month while you are trying to get your proper amounts figured out).
Week 4 (days 22-28)
Keep using the amounts from the 3rd week until about day 24, then cut everything in half until day 26 and cut it in half again for the last two days. If cutting your dose down causes you to experience any symptoms, just put the dose back up.
Note: Some people need to apply their HRT 2 times per day and some are fine with just once.
Some people who are very sensitive to supplements should start with small amounts and work their way to higher doses in .5 gram increments. It’s easier to go up until you find your correct amounts.
Are you having problems, still? OK, then try this: Look at what day of your cycle you are on–or at least what week you are in.
1. You will see that the chart shows that in the first week, your hormones can get very low. In Pre-menopause and Menopause these blood levels of hormones could be VERY LOW. This is a time that you may need to increase each hormone you are using.
2. This second week, it is best to start with adding an extra gram of progesterone. If your symptoms don’t go away, start adding Estradiol at .5 grams until symptoms subside.
3. In the third week, it is best to add 1 gram of progesterone first. If you have added 2 grams and still having symptoms, start adding .5 grams of estradiol until the symptoms are gone.
4. In the fourth week, you would add more of each hormone you are using in the same amount.
If you start spotting/bleeding, stop the estrogen and double your progesterone until it stops. If you’re having heavy periods or having more than one period a month, you’ve been using too much estradiol. Cut down the next cycle and use 1 gram of progesterone wherever the chart says to use .5 gram.
HEADACHES: If you get a headache in the back of your head, add 2 grams of progesterone. If it’s in the front and/or top of your head, add 2 grams of estradiol.
Be sure to keep track of what you’re doing on your chart. That way you can see what you did the month before and check your symptoms to see if you are having “clusters” of repeat symptoms and also so you can keep your doses appropriate for each day of the month.