Why isn't my progesterone working?! What doctors won't tell you about progesterone!

the breast doc


Stop popping pills, smooth on the cream to reduce risk for breast cancer and bonus - hormone balance. And finally say goodbye to PMS and symptoms of menopause. The complete guide to progesterone...Why. How to apply. Where to apply. When to apply. Where to purchase. Facts about dermal thinning, progesterone pills and sublingual. Progesterone vs Progestin.

We know that the two main hormones in a woman’s reproductive system are estrogen and progesterone – and when they’re playing together nicely, the two balance each other out. The problem is, most of the time they’re not getting along. As a result, the majority of women in the U.S. are progesterone deficient or estrogen dominant. If women were actually estrogen deficient* instead, then breast cancer would be incredibly low – 80 percent of breast cancers are fueled by estrogen. Go to end of blog to read symptoms of excess estrogen*** or progesterone deficiency. These symptoms will dissipate or resolve with use of progesterone cream. 

Before we get started I want to make sure your beautiful mind understands what I’m saying: Your estrogen is not harmful to you, your body made it especially for you. Don’t let doctors tell you your estrogen is bad - your body is not trying to hurt you, its job is to keep you alive for as long as possible. What we’re combating are environmental estrogens!** 

The easiest way to reduce risk for breast cancer and restore hormone balance is using progesterone, not progestin which is the synthetic version and causes cancer. I get a call everyday from a new patient telling me they’ve been using progesterone for years without results. Guess what? Yup, they were all using or applying incorrectly and once these women tweaked their progesterone they finally obtained the results they were expecting.

Ladies, don’t fall for clever advertising. Base your medical treatments on evidence, not medical rumor. Just because everyone else is doing it, don’t jump off the cliff with them; it’s obviously not working since breast cancer is still rampant.

First, only use progesterone cream. Dr. William Hobbins studied bio-identicals in France in the ’70s and ’80s – yup, they’ve been around for a while – so with years of research and thousands of thermograms, we know what the heck we are talking about. Creams are fat soluble, meaning they won’t dissipate and will accumulate, which is exactly what you want. The skin acts like a reservoir for the progesterone cream, allowing it to build up and eventually become even with the estrogen levels in your body as demonstrated in his study "Double Blind Study of Effectiveness Transcutaneous Progesterone in Fibrocystic Breast Conditions Monitored by Thermography," William Hobbins, MD (1986).

Most important tip: if you continue to use estrogen like lavender essential oil, turmeric, milk thistle you are raising you estrogen levels and the progesterone will not be effective. The key to hormone balanced is removing estrogen. 

Apply progesterone cream daily.

Many doctors only want you to apply during the last half of your cycle, to match your luteal phase or progesterone time of month. It sounds logical, but you have excess estrogen, as most women do, the cream needs to be applied daily.

After you have restored hormone balance, no PMS menopause symptoms, then you can lower the progesterone percentage or use as needed to maintain hormone balance. Tests are not effective at measuring your hormones and the reason the so many women are suffering with estrogen dominance/progesterone deficiency.  Remember to listen to your body.  

Apply progesterone cream directly to the breasts daily.

Progesterone receptors are found in the breasts. There are no progesterone receptors in the arms, thighs, wrists or abdomen. Why would you apply it there? Do not waste your time and money applying progesterone anywhere else, it dissipates in the circulatory system. There are certain receptors that correspond with certain tissues. Progesterone and estrogen are sex hormones and correspond to the sex organs/glands. There are no receptors in the skin for sex hormones as they are not needed.

Next question – “How much should I apply?”

Well, that’s kind of dependent on you. Women have different sized breasts, so to say, “apply X amount daily” could be too much for some and far too little for others. Every woman has a customized application amount due to her breast size: 

Take some progesterone cream on your fingertips, start on the upper aspect of your breast (above your nipple) and from the sternum (midline) to the lateral (outside) aspect rub in progesterone cream. One swipe is from your sternum to the lateral aspect back to sternum. The correct amount is 20 swipes. If cream goes dry before 20 swipes you need more, if there is excess after 20 you need less. Then apply to the other breast the same way. Keep in mind it’s not an exact science, please don’t email me and ask how to apply, read this paragraph again slowly, hang in there, you’ll get it. 

All progesterone creams are not created equal:

Do not use wild yam or “natural” progesterone, as they may contain estrogen.

Do not buy an over-the-counter progesterone, as they may contain estrogen

Do not buy progesterone from your doctor, as they may contain estrogen 

Why, you ask?

Progesterone is extracted from wild yam, same as estrogen, and when not extracted correctly you will just be applying more estrogen. Also, many of the progesterone creams out there contain other plant estrogens (phytoestrogens), lavender, almond oil, sesame oil, black cohosh, you get the picture.

Since all hormones are extracted from wild yam ensure you have the correct progesterone. Look for USP progesterone on label. This means it was extracted properly. However, some progesterone will have USP progesterone PLUS wild yam in their ingredients - avoid that one. Got it? Just USP progesterone.

I have not been able to find a clean progesterone that doesn't contain some form of estrogen, plant or synthetic. This should shock you! Why?

However, the progesterone creams I recommend are proven with thermography. Meaning the ratio of progesterone to estrogen is effective for most women. 

Another question: How long does it take to restore hormone balance?

Everyone is different! Naturally, just removing estrogen, takes 1-2 years, similar to removing birth control pills because everyone metabolizes estrogen differently. Adding the over-the-counter progesterone cream, below, can assist. Again it is gentle and depending on your estrogen dominance, may take up to a year as well. I also discuss a stronger compounding progesterone cream that usually decreases symptoms more quickly. Keep in mind for menopausal women there may be an issue with testosterone, too. Please see testosterone videos on IGTV IG@estogenfree for more information.

The only over-the-counter progesterone cream, which I have successfully tested and studied for years, is Pro-Gest by Emerita. Do not purchase Emerita’s progesterone cream that contains black cohsoh or lavender. Before you email or message me telling me Emerita’s creams contain this or that, it’s the only over-the-counter cream that works and because most doctors won’t give women a prescription for progesterone, this is the best possible substitute. 

I also recommend using a compounded progesterone cream from a compounded pharmacy. The higher the percentage, the faster it works. I usually recommended a 6 percent or 10 percent cream versus a 3. Recently these pharmacies have been implementing “natural base” creams that are paraben, mineral oil or chemical free. Sounds great, but my patients have been experiencing some difficulties as the “natural base” contains plant estrogens mentioned above. (Compounded pharmacy recommendations proven from thermographic research - Women's International Pharmacy. Do NOT order their natural base progesterone cream due to estrogenic ingredients. For California residents - LaVita RX in San Diego. Only order the premium base).   

Do not use sublingual, pill forms of progesterone, they are not local and will dissipate in the circulatory or digestive system.

Do not use gel progesterone, they are not fat soluble, therefore will not accumulate in the the skin in order to raise progesterone levels

These forms of progesterone will not reduce vascularity in the breasts or more importantly, risk. I have many women come in who have been using these forms of progesterone for years and still have severe vascular patterns.

Dermal thinning is a medical rumor that can’t be substantiated by evidence and is used by doctors and supplement companies to sell pills and sublingual. With that said, if you were to use progesterone pills and sublingual for several years, they may eventually accumulate to decrease some side effects, but we have never been able to prove they decrease vascularity or risk. Great idea for a study, though, through our non-profit The Pink Bow - thermography research. If a supplemental company wants to put their money where their mouth is, they could fund a study.

How do you know progesterone is working?

Decrease in symptoms of PMS and menopause. 

Your breasts will soften, less "lumpy," and if swollen or heavy will return to a true or natural sized breasts. Estrogen is the cause of dense breasts, read that blog for more information. 

Improved sleep.

Improved mood.

Weight loss. Hormonal weight loss is only 5-20 pounds dependent on the woman. 

How do you know the progesterone may contain estrogen?

Breasts swell, grow, become more painful. This happens usually within the first week. 

If you experience PMS or symptoms of menopause, anything strange, that does not feel normal to you – stop using immediately.

Try another brand or compounding pharmacy. 

Peri-menopausal women: If your period returns, it indicates that your body is restoring hormone balance. My patients who have experienced this usually find that it lasts a couple of months to a year. They then progress into menopause without any symptoms. Progesterone does not cause uterine cancer. However, if your period returns with estrogen, it is considered a potential risk because uterine cancer is stimulated by estrogen and is estrogen receptor positive.

Peri and post menopause women might be suffering from testosterone deficiency. Women are supplementing and looking for answers because they don't "feel" right when might be a testosterone deficiency. Think this might be you?

#1 sign of is low libido. If you have low libido you may want to try testosterone to see if you are testosterone deficient. There is no OTC  testosterone. You do need a prescription. 

Benefits of testosterone:

Increased passion.

Decrease and/or resolution of night sweats and hot flashes. Testosterone treats these symptoms more quickly than progesterone.

Increase in energy.

Increase in muscle mass. 

Thermography is an incredible tool for you to “see” your hormone balance between estrogen and progesterone. If you are hormonally balanced your breasts will be non-vascular (see image above blog). If you have excess estrogen you will “see” a bilateral (both breasts) vascular pattern from excess estrogen stimulation. 

Most of you don’t have a qualified thermography clinic around so you need to know how to determine whether progesterone is working, especially since blood tests may be unreliable. The answer is simple: Listen to your body! If you have PMS or symptoms of menopause, these should be decreasing. ***Check out symptoms of excess estrogen.

Sure fire signs progesterone is working. Number 1 and most exciting - weight loss without any changes to your diet or exercise program. Reduction of symptoms listed below which includes PMS, symptoms of menopause, better sleeping patterns, more energy and your breasts will become less dense or soften.

Keep in mind that when you are messing with your hormones you will affect your period. For example, the length of days may change, it may change your perfect schedule, you may bleed less or more, etc. Just be prepared if there is a change, this means it is working. Remember, if your breast hurt or you are still experiencing PMS after a couple months, change your progesterone cream.

Warning: You will become more fertile. Remember, estrogen is the main ingredient in The Pill, shots and rings. (This is why we specialize in fertility! The estrogen-free™ diet increases fertility.)

Stop popping pills, smooth on the cream to reduce risk for breast cancer and bonus - hormone balance. And say goodbye to PMS.

For more detailed information read Chapter 9 – Progesterone of Breast Cancer Boot Camp-Dr. Hobbins’s Thermography Revolution 

Wendy Sellens is a Chinese medical doctor, breast thermologist, thermography and hormone researcher and protégé to William B. Hobbins M.D., one of the original mammography researchers, leading researcher in thermography and renowned breast surgeon. She is following her mentor’s pioneering spirit and is president of the consumer advocacy group the Women’s Academy of Breast Thermography, president of The Pink Bow Breast Thermography Research and Education non-profit, author of “Breast Cancer Boot Camp – Dr. Hobbins’s Thermography Revolution” and creator of the Estrogen Free® lifestyle to dramatically reduce risk of breast cancer and hormonal disorders in the entire family.

Made with heaps of love, insurmountable work, oodles of research, the usual blood, sweat, tears, and of course sacrifice of my social life and a few minor melt downs. #thebreastdoc Wendy Sellens DAOM WABT-BTI ~ THE No BS Breast Thermologist

I’ve provided the TRUTH & I DARE you to…learn more…join the rebellion

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*Read this blog “The Breast Deception ~ Estrogen Deficiency is Rare Progesterone Deficiency is Abundant”

**Check out this blog Don’t be a fat cow. Is estrogen in popular foods causing weight gain?

***The symptoms, conditions and disease associated with excess estrogen are:

  • Acceleration of the aging process
  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythematosis and thyroiditis, and possibly Sjoegren's disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast tenderness
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Cold hands and feet as a symptom of thyroid dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression with anxiety or agitation
  • Early onset of menstruation
  • Endometrial (uterine) cancer
  • Fat gain, especially around the abdomen, hips and thighs
  • Fatigue
  • Fibrocystic breasts, fibroids/cysts/masses, uterine fibroids 
  • Foggy thinking
  • Hair Loss
  • Headaches
  • Increased blood clotting (increasing risk of stroke)
  • Infertility
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • PMS
  • Seizures related to menstruation  
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • Strokes
  • Thyroid dysfunction mimicking hypothyroidism
  • Uterine cancer
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Water retention and bloating

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    All information, data, and material contained, presented, or provided on is for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed or intended as providing direct and/ or personal medical or legal advice. Decisions you make about your family's healthcare are important and should be made in consultation with a competent medical professional.
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