NPC Shutdown – Progesterone Cream FAQ

Natural Progesterone Cream Shutdown FAQs.  How is natural progesterone cream used during the NPC shutdown?

Natural progesterone cream is at the heart of this program.  Why else would it be called the NPC Shutdown; natural progesterone cream of course.


Coming Up:


  1. The purpose of the NPC Shutdown is to cleanse your body enough to get on the right track.
  2. The NPC Shutdown provides tips for healthier eating to support the efforts for a healthier baby; before and after conception, pregnancy and birth.
  3. The purpose of the NPC Shutdown is to at least begin restorative process of healing the ovaries, endometriosis and luteal phase defects etc.
  4. The NPC Shutdown is designed to help you to lose weight if you need it.
  5. Lastly the NPC Shutdown mentors you in a healthier way of life; for every stage.

Shutdown FAQ about Progesterone Cream during and after the cleanse:

Q: How do I use the Progesterone Cream during shutdown?
A: Natural Progesterone Cream may be used as a safe way to overshadow estrogen and to shutoff ovulation during this time. If you have cysts and/or PCOS which are inhibiting ovulation, this method is highly recommended by Dr. Lee and others, noted in the field of hormonal health and women’s issues. If you have long cycles, with up and down spikes of estrogen such as cervical mucus which comes, goes, comes, goes before ovulation, the cream will be helpful to you.  If you just want to get healthier without getting pregnant too soon or while cleansing, the progesterone cream shutdown is the way to go.  If you do not have cysts, anovulation or long cycles and will not be using Cycle Balance or Balance Cream you may skip this section. We believe it is best to use the cream during this time.  You may also use condoms or NFP at this time and continue with the cleanse.  Consider the Fertility Tracker for NFP; not so messy or invasive.

Q: Is progesterone cream a contraceptive?
A: It is important to understand that progesterone cream is not normally a contraceptive when used from ovulation until mensus but when you use it much earlier in the cycle it will override estrogen. This is a healthy way to shut off ovulation without drugs. Timing in the cycle is the key.   Most of the cleansing and building products are not harmful should you become pregnant but we just believe it is best to give the body a rest and to rebuild before conception.

Q: Can pregnancy happen during this time? A: We have several testimonies of women who have begun shutdown with the progesterone cream and then became pregnant that cycle. The reason for this is that until then their bodies did not have a rest from a steady estrogen dominance and therefore there was not an LH surge to promote ovulation, in their previous cycles. When progesterone cream was used it was just enough to balance the estrogen and they conceived. You will see a common scenario explained in the article “Is progesterone just a bandaid?”.


Q: Will I always have to use progesterone cream?
You might consider using progesterone cream until hormonal balance is achieved during the luteal phase (after ovulation). though progesterone cream is safe to use even well into your senior years.  My mom cannot stand to be without it but it is not addictive like prescription steroidal drugs.  Don’t think of progesterone cream as a band-aid but rather to use to make up for what is, for most, impossible to attain in hormonal health in the industrial world. Definitely, use it while you are making your body healthy enough for a successful start; especially if you were to be low in progesterone at this time.  Definitely use it if you have a history of luteal phase defect or miscarriages.

Q: Will it help me if I were to become pregnant during the shutdown?
Progesterone cream provides a safeguard until your luteal phase is strengthened and lengthened and will also produce enough progesterone for gestation. The most common cause for miscarriage is hormonal imbalance due to low progesterone so should you become pregnant during the shutdown you would be providing that healthy assurance.   Should you become pregnant you would want to stay on it until week 38 of your pregnancy. 

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Q: It is really necessary to do a shutdown if I am infertile?
Many women will decide not to shutdown completely but do cleansing herbs. We discourage this. It is our opinion that these three months can often encourage fertility on and that the three months be seen as a positive, proactive move, not going backwards. It is surprising how many women drag their feet about doing it but then are happy they took the time to strengthen and help their body. The healthier feeling and then healthier pregnancy is then part of the joy.  Remember that this is a time for your husband to get healthier as well and for you to take your mind off the stress and fret of every day TTC life.  Just take the time to breathe and get healthy for baby.

Q: Are there other reasons for the NCP Shutdown?
As stated above, it is also a positive thing to take time from TTC to strengthen your marriage and get healthy at the same time. Both men and women have an opportunity to just enjoy each other and feel good about it all when the NPC Shutdown is over.

Q: How much progesterone cream is needed?
The amount to be used is between 15 and 20mg twice per day from day 5 to day 26 of cycle. Do this for the first month and then only once a day after that. Allow the period to come and then restart on day 5 again. Not to belabor this but to be sure. That means with Cycle Balance progesterone cream month 1 you would use 1/4 tsp twice per day. With Balance Cream you would use a 1″ strip twice a day. In months 2 and 3 just use the normal dose of 1/4 tsp of Cycle Balance Progesterone Cream and 1″ strip of Balance Cream per day.

Q: What if I am overweight, will I need more?
If you are overweight you will need more. There are no exact guidelines about how much progesterone cream is used for those overweight but since estrogen is stored in fat cells our rule of thumb has always been to consider what your ideal weight should be and double the amount of cream for every 50-100 lbs overweight. You will feel the difference as you find your own level. Write to us for any clarification on this. It is not as simple as telling you how much cream per pound.

Q: How much progesterone cream will I need to purchase for the NPC Shutdown?
This shutdown is based on 1000 mg per 2 oz jar of progesterone cream. Cycle Balance Cream has 500mg per oz and so you will need about 3 bottles or jars for the 3 months. You can purchase this at discount by buying it together. For Balance Cream it is close to the same amount but you would use a little less per month but Balance Cream costs a little more. This means they will both cost about the same for the 3 months.  If you have a history of painful periods then consider Cycle Balance PLUS.  It contains herbs to help with easing discomfort during mensus.  All of these progesterone will help with pain over time but we are talking about a little more intense pain than normal.

Q: What happens if my cycle starts before day 26?
If your cycle should end before day 26 simply begin counting to day 5 and begin again. This may happen to many because of short luteal phases. That means that you have not been producing enough progesterone in your eggs for some time.  It generally means you have been operating on estrogen overshadowing the progesterone of your cycle, called estrogen dominance, and your cycle may have seemed longer.  The correct amount of progesterone will begin to level things out.  Often times one finds that with the supplementation the cycles are shorter because your body is getting progesterone to oppose the estrogen. This is just enough for those who are very estrogen dominant.  The cream opposes the estrogen and may cause break through bleeding.

Q: What happens if I don’t start my period and day 5 comes around again?
If you do NOT bleed right away, count 7 days off the cream and give your body a rest from progesterone; only with this scenario count 7 days and start again on the progesterone cream. This would give you 3 weeks on and one week off each of the 3 months; trying to stay with your body’s cycle as much as possible.   NOTE: This is 7 days off if you don’t bleed and only 5 days off if you do menstruate.  There is a good reason for this.

Q: What happens if I get pregnant during the shutdown?
If for any reason you find yourself pregnant during this time DO NOT go off the cream abruptly. Just continue on the cream until at least 12-16 weeks when you can wean SLOWLY off if you would like. It IS recommended however, by Dr. Lee (and we have used progesterone cream in our pregnancies as well as our infertile women for their pregnancies) that you stay on progesterone cream until the end of your gestation. You can continue until the end of your pregnancy, about week 38 or you may wean closer to 12-16 weeks.

When the body is low in progesterone and it sees a sudden dip it may interpret this as time to shed the lining. In mainline medicine doctors will often only prescribe progesterone or progestin suppositories for the first trimester but this is a sure way to cause miscarriage. Many have miscarried by going off suppositories too abruptly without knowing.   Notice I said suppositories. We hear constantly of doctors who recommended a woman stop her suppositories; thinking she should have enough progesterone at that point in her pregnancy. The body can see this as the “end of cycle drop” and “shed the lining” as I said above.

Instead take the safe route and continue until you are sure the placenta is fully operational and growing well. The placenta is meant to pick up on production of hormones by around week 8. When you are low in progesterone and imbalanced with estrogen your body will often not produce enough to balance the growing estrogen levels and this is one of the most common gestational points for miscarriages. Your body will not have the puffed up lining of blood to nourish the placenta and hold the baby in place if progesterone drops too sharply.

Q: How will this all help my cysts?
The purpose of the natural progesterone cream shutdown is to give you a break from the vicious cycle of trying to ovulate before it is ready. You will be doing two things. The first is to stop ovulation from happening.

Cysts on your ovaries are from immature follicles unable to burst forth from the ovaries. A lack of a proper LH surge keeps you from properly ovulating. The follicles become trapped under the lining of the ovary.  A cyst forms around the follicle trying to absorb it but it does not. Cysts would continue to form and a crust around the ovary if conditions remain the same. Ovulation becomes impossible. The idea is to shut this off so that your body can absorb the cysts. Part 2 of this is that you will be giving your body progesterone which will convert to allow you to produce better follicles. This should allow you to have better ovulations when the shutdown is complete. Your body will thank you for it.

Q: After the shutdown how will I know how much progesterone cream to use.
Follow your own body. You may find that you need more to offset your symptoms but the best way to tell if you have too much is if it makes you extremely tired in the day. Then you would cut back. According to Dr. Lee you will always need at least around 15-20 mg per day.   Try using half in the morning after your shower and half in the evening to keep your hormones more level.

Purchase Cycle Balance and Balance Cream in the Beyond Fertility Catalog.

Now is where you may feel the need to email us for more information. You may do so here.

Read our next article about how to do the rest of the cleanse.

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