Since finding out that my progesterone was low last month the thought as to how to “fix it” roamed my thoughts. After re-reading Dr. John Lee‘s Hormone Balance Made Simple my brain naturally tipped towards trying the organic bio-identical progesterone cream that’s been sitting in my cabinet since my miscarriage.
I heeded warnings from other women with endometriosis who have had bad experiences with natural progesterone cream. One woman said she had extreme anxiety and many others described feeling adrenaline rushes from it.
But in my “fix it” mode I decided to give it a shot anyways. I followed the dosage suggestion on the back of the bottle — 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon. I applied the cream in the morning for three days starting on the 15th day of my cycle — the day after what I believed to be ovulation.
But in listening to my body, I decided to stop after those three days. I just wasn’t feeling right.
Once I stopped the progesterone cream my waking body temperature dropped and remained low for the next four days. I don’t think my body knew what was going on 🙂
Within this “down” time I definitely haven’t felt right. I’ve experienced unusual emotional turmoil — anger, anxiety, frustration.
And then the pain returned in what I believe to be the worst spot possible — my bladder. I had three days of bladder flares that nearly brought me to tears. The physical pain definitely didn’t help my attitude 🙂
The Shame of Endo
My husband couldn’t help but notice my not so chipper persona and asked me what was wrong.
“I’m in pain,” I nearly whispered. My voice shook and my cheeks got hot.
I had such a hard time getting these words out of my mouth. I didn’t want to admit this weakness to him. The man who has seen me at my worst and at my healthiest.
With endometriosis awareness month under way I’ve read beautiful messages on Peace With Endo’s Facebook page along with different messages from women with endometriosis through the #awishnoted campaign on Twitter about their own experiences with endometriosis.
One trend that I noticed has been use of the word “shame”. The shame brought about by doctors who too often brush off the pain of endometriosis, the shame brought about by family and friends who don’t understand the depths of this condition, the shame brought about in relationships because of pain with intercourse, the shame with having to call into work.
The shame of having to admit that you are unable to do something, or be a certain way because of physical or emotional pain. As women, we do so much. And if you are like me, then you struggle to ask for help.
And the shame that’s had a huge spotlight on it for me in these days of emotional turmoil — the shame of infertility.
Photo by Danni Suplicki
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What is There to Fix?
I think a lot of my emotional roller coaster has been because of the progesterone cream. Just a little bit really threw my body and mind out of whack. This wasn’t the “fix” that I was seeking. And in retrospect, I think this desire to fix things goes much deeper than one found in a plastic bottle.
Why am I always trying to “fix” things? Why is so hard to accept things as they are? Coming from a place of pain and infertility, the answers to these questions are not cut and dry.
And perhaps the answer is there, it just takes longer to “fix” as it requires a holistic view that takes time and patience. Unfortunately during times of emotional turmoil it is difficult to find patience, Lol 🙂
I think my desire to always want to fix things comes from a strong desire to try and control things. Yet the worry and stress about controlling an outcome does no good. With acceptance comes peace.
(Though I admit after getting off the emotional roller coaster that acceptance is definitely easier with a more balanced hormonal environment, Lol.)
There are reasons as to why so many women with endometriosis have negative reactions with natural progesterone cream. Often times the cream actually causes an increase in estrogen. Also when the body sees a new source of hormones come in it will turn off its own production — hence the drop in my body temperature chart (see above) soon as I stopped applying the cream.
I believe there is also a link with adverse reactions and the MTHFR gene. I have set an intention to get this gene tested in myself to see if I have a deficiency. This will provide insightful information into my own health — Not a fix, but further guidance 🙂
In my continued quest to “fix” my infertility I have set an additional intention to try acupuncture. I have heard many success stories with this route and there is a woman nearby me who specializes in pain and infertility. Perhaps this will be my golden ticket? 🙂
On the Positive Side?
I write this as a reminder that there is no easy fix in the quest to heal endometriosis and infertility. Patience truly is a virtue.
And as a reminder that worry and stress involved in “fixing” everything just isn’t worth it.
In all of these overwhelming out of control circumstances I put my faith in a higher power. Breathe. And remember that the power of now is all there really is.
Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the ride 🙂
And the ten minutes each day for meditation is magical 🙂
And…. I found that castor oil packs eliminated my bladder flare. So I was able to fix something and make my present moment more bearable 🙂
I’d love to hear about your experiences with natural progesterone cream, acupuncture, or the desire to fix everything! Lol.
Thank you for this blog post Aubree! For me, shame is one of the hardest feelings around my endometriosis. Shame over being a woman and having my most feminine part of me failing, being a bad girlfriend, friend or doing a poor job because of the pain.
I realized a while back that I should be proud and loving about myself for trying so hard, not ashamed. But it is hard to change a mindset..
Btw, acupuncture, tried it and loved it. A lot of scientific research claim it to be a sham, but I think it has a wisdom beyond western medicine. It is not a quickie though, takes a lot of time and devotion 🙂
Hi Marta – Thank you for sharing. I feel like the shame comes from a lack of awareness. It is hard to convey to others the pain and sometimes I have a hard time saying, “I’m in pain.” I try to be strong all the time, put on a brave face.
Finding love for yourself is, in my opinion, the key to healing. And this requires being able to say “no” and not worry about it 🙂
I am excited to try acupuncture. Good to hear you had a good experience. I think finding the right practitioner is very important.
Much love to you.
I have endometriosis and progesterone cream is the only thing besides vitex that worked to alleviate my symptoms. I went off the progesterone cream, and the fatigue I have experienced is unreal, so I am going to go back on the progesterone cream. The pain is terrible, but not being able to function from being so tired is just as bad, especially when you have kids.
Thank you for sharing your positive experience with progesterone cream 🙂 I know other ladies with endo that it’s helped too. Our bodies are so complex and what works for one may not work for another. It was also pointed out to me recently that things can get worse when you first start on it as your body adjusts. I think my problem was I used the kind with wild yam, which apparently isn’t good for endo.