Low Progesterone and Cortisol - Help

So, I’m having severe ED and lack of libido for six months. I did the exam below and notice low progesterone and cortisol.

Is there anyone who recovered fixing this? Please, help me. I can’t take this anymore.

TOTAL TESTOSTERONE, 670.6 (164,94 - 753,38)
Free testo, 136,67 (69 - 215)
LH, 7,9 (1,5 - 9,3)
FSH, 11,6 (1,4 - 18,1)
SHBG, 34,70 (14,55 - 94,64)
TSH, 0,852 (0,64 - 6,27)
Free T3, 3,16 (2,3 - 4,2)
Free T4, 1,30 (0,89 - 1,76)
Estradiol, 19,8 (ind - 39,8)
Progesterone 0,25 (0,28 - 1,22)
Cortisol (blood, 9am), 2,5 (4,33 - 22,40)
DHT, 475,89 (250 - 990)

P.S: I didn’t mention but my cholestorol is high ( both LDL e HDL).

I take pregenolone (I take 200mg per day) and either adaptogens or cortef.

Do you still have ED?


This is my take on your bloodwork:

  1. Your T:E2 ratio is ~34. The ideal ratio is 15-30. Your E2 is borderline low. Are you taking anything to lower your estrogen? Zinc, high dose Vitamins D, E, A, K? B vitamins? AIs, SERMs, or any other stuff maybe?

  2. There’s no DHEA result indicated. Cortisol & DHEA are linked.

  3. Are you taking anything that affects your cortisol?

I don’t think your problem is Progesterone. In fact, taking progesterone will bring your lowish E2 further down snd cause low E2 symptoms (anxiety, lethargy, achy joints, dead libido, night sweats, wrinkled dry skin, flat muscles, frequent urination, depression… etc).

PS: I’m not a doctor and it’s best to see one for true diagnosis.

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I took high doses of magnesium, zinc, B complex, plus some bottles of Whey this year (all with lots of vitamins and minerals).

In fact I did not measure DHEA on this exam, although I supplemented it after the crash. Then I realized that DHEA supplements lowers cortisol (am I right?) which may have made my situation even worse.

Also, progesterone can not be also convert to E2? I thought the effect was the reverse of what you said.

There you have it. High doses of Zinc & B vitamins are known to kill E2 and disrupt the delicate T:E2 balance
Potentially leading to symptoms you’re describing. Cut the Zinc dose to 5-10mg/d max. and don’t go overboard with the B vitamins. It’s absurd how numerous multivitamin brands provide up to 20,000% RDA of B vitamins justifying that they’re water soluble. F**k that!

B-Vitamins, on the other hand, also lower E2 especially in high doses. They do so (B1 & B2) by accelerating liver excretion of E2 and via promoting Progesterone (B6).

Yes, supplementing DHEA lowers Cortisol. It may also lower E2 if it converts to DHT. My advice is to drop DHEA altogether or try a very low dose (e.g. 2.5mg) and see how you respond. My understanding is that Estrogen & Progesterone share an inverse relationship. Not sure about the conversion thing but I’d say don’t worry too much about Progesterone.

High dose Magnesium makes me too relaxed and sleepy. I now take no more than 200mg. Just stick to an ordinary multivitamin that provides NO MORE than 80-100% RDA of different vitamins & minerals and assess how you feel in couple weeks or so.

So currently I stopped using any kind of supplement. Sometimes I use Tribulus, but I don’t use any multivitamins anymore.

So there’s a theory that I just changed the ratio of T / E2, instead of the theory that I silenced my androgen receptors, right?

I am considering working on this theory (ratio T/E2) for a while, but I literally don’t know what to do to get back to normal.

I am trying to do a ketogenic diet (and also plan to use exogenous Butyrate and BHB), but that would be to reverse the methylation in my DNA. However, if my problem is only the imbalance in my E2, the ketogenic diet would make no difference, right?

So what else should I do to improve besides stopping all supplements? I would really like to understand what is happening to me.

What do you find those supplements do for you?

Please, guys. What should I do to try to improve, considering:

testo normal-high
e2 normal-low
prog and cortisol low

Would Keto diet be any good?
What else to try? Small doses of clomid to slightly increase e2?

Sadly there’s a high chance Clomid isn’t gonna help. I tried 12.5mg EOD for the exact same reason (raise E2) back in August and it didn’t help me. I did a bloodwork before & after and while it did drive my Testosterone up from 500ish to 700ish and E2 from 17 to 22, it also shot up my SHBG from 40ish to 70ish.

I didn’t feel great mentally. The reason is that Clomid (i.e. SERM) tricks the brain into thinking there’s very little E2 floating around via blocking its binding to receptors and this negative loop feedback increases LH to produce more T to be converted to E2. But you need E2 effect in the brain to feel good!

That said, I came across some posters on bodybuilding forums and Reddit claiming that combining Clomid with a low dose Proviron gave them high sex drive. Proviron is supposed to attach to SHBG rendering more free more T and hence E2 via conversion.

I’m not recommending you to do that. What you really need to do is to find a way to raise Testosterone without lowering E2. Higher T will lead to more E2 conversion. Finding that sweet spot for T:E2 can prove very challenging even for people on trt.

I’ve tried DAA & Tongkat ali. They worked great but as always they lose their efficacy because of body tolerance effect.

I noticed an improvement when I started using only DHEA, but one day I used Niacinamide, Buttea Superba and DHEA all together and I had another crash.

Maybe I was getting better when I was only taking DHEA because it was turning into E2 most of the time, and then later it may have turned Testosterone and I worsened my ratio.

If this theory is true, I could use DHEA along with some medicine that at the same time raises cortisol (maybe cortef?) and also only after doing a lot of aerobic exercise, cold bath etc. And never use DHEA at night (because cortisol is smaller at night and DHEA is more likely to become testosterone, not estradiol).

What do you think of this plan?

There’re numerous theories on this forum and elsewhere that try to explain PFS predicament. I, for one, think that balancing T:E2 goes a long way in the right direction. I’ve used Finesteride at various doses throughout the years and suffered almost every PFS symptom in the book. You name it, low libido, depression, loss of sensitivity, watery semen, brain fog, emotional blunting. But I still recall how amazing I felt when I dialled in my T:E2 and by amazing I mean “sexually”.

How much DHEA were you taking? I wish I could find a way to make DHEA convert more to E2. That’s a godsend for someone with naturally low E2 level.

It’s touted that cortisol affects E2. My E2 was higher when I was using topical cortisone.

Google natural ways to increase cortisol before using Cortef because it may cause suppression to your natural production

I was using 50mg, but at random. Sometimes one capsule a day, the whole week. Sometimes 3 times a week. Tomorrow I’ll wake up at 5:30, take cold bath and use DHEA to see the result.

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Yep that may explain it. Higher dose DHEA tend to raise E2 in Men or so I’ve heard. I recall my DHEA turned out very low on bloodwork but never took more than 12.5mg a day and I’m really tempted to take 25-50mg to see how it affects me.

Speaking of which, there was a discussion on Ray Peat forum regarding transdermal/topical DHEA being superb to oral. I’ll place an Amazon order and see if it works better.

Let me know how it goes with you.

Was hoping to try Cortef, but, cortisol test came back normal so doubt my doctor will prescribe it. He suggested testosterone, my dht is barely in range… other testosterone tests in range… but, I’m scared to try.

@bluejaysfan I’ve been told that the creams covert better to DHT than the shots. This was when I was working with Dr. John along with a local doctor, but I didn’t notice any positive effects while on TRT.

Actually there some positive effects but it was really hard to manage, I would be really moody and would get better erections at times but it wasn’t consistent and made me really angry all the time and I was definitely more aggressive on it. It also made me considerably stronger, I was benching about 180 pounds while on TRT, but it was inconsistent in terms of improving my sexual functions.

@RR3 Thanks for the info. I’d probably have to be referred to an Endo first.


How have you been? I hope you’re feeling better. I’ve been on DHEA (25mg/d) for 3 weeks and while it did raise both my DHEA-s and E2 considerably (confirmed by tests), it crashed my Cortisol judging by symptoms.

Low Cortisol & Progesterone symptoms:
-Lowered blood pressure. I get head spinning when I stand up too quickly or when I use Sauna.
-Stomach ache
-Slight nausea
-Night awakenings
-Joints ache
-Mood swings
-Morning tiredness despite getting enough sleep
-Blood sugar changes
-Metalic taste in mouth
-Feeling of burn out post training
-Decreased appetite
-Frequent urination

Btw, my libido & erections were also negatively impacted. I did a small topical cortisone test the other night and I woke up feeling 100%.

In light of the above, try and get your Cortisol back to normal range and if you should take DHEA then aim for no more than 5mg/d.

Get well soon!

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