Progesterone and Its
Role in the Body
Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced in the female body from both the ovaries and adrenal glands. As women age, hormone levels tend to decrease, progesterone is one of those hormones. When women reach menopause and are post menopause they need to supplement with progesterone to help prevent those nasty hot flashes and restore the bodies hormone to a more normal level.
Progesterone production is high during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and low during the follicular phase as well as being low before puberty and after menopause. Women who suffer from PMS, peri-menopause, post-menopause, vaginal dryness, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors, and endometrial carcinoma may benefit from progesterone therapy.
How do I choose the right Natural progesterone supplement for me? Supplemental sources of progesterone are available in oral and cream forms as well as lozenges, suppositories, and injectable forms. “Natural” progesterone refers to the type that matches exactly the substance produced in a woman’s body, as opposed to related synthesized molecules. The natural forms are preferred to the synthetic forms of progesterone by some doctors. According to John R. Lee, M.D., the well-known proponent of supplemental progesterone, transdermal progesterone (progesterone creams) can help achieve a more normal hormonal balance in the body.
When a woman takes progesterone she may experience, improved cholesterol levels, improved sleep, mood, concentration and memory, reduced risk of depression, reduced risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer, reduced risk of senility and cognitive decline, and finally enhanced libido.
Menopause and Progesterone
Do women going through menopause have lowered levels of progesterone? Recent research tells us that women do suffer from decreased levels of progesterone and also experience other symptoms such as unexplained weight gain (particularly in the stomach area), depression, fatigue, hair loss, memory loss, mood swings, migraines and loss of libido. A natural cream can balance estrogen without side effects.
Progesterone and estrogen are the two main hormones made by womens ovaries when they are menstruating. Smaller amounts of these hormones are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It’s necessary for the survival of the fertilized ovum, its embryo as well as the fetus during gestation.
Progesterone’s primary functions include: acting as a precursor to estrogen and testosterone; it maintains uterine lining and aids in gestation; protects against fibrocystic breasts, endometrial and breast cancer; acts as a natural diuretic, helps use fat for energy; can be a natural antidepressant; aids thyroid hormone action; normalizes blood clotting; restores sex drive; normalizes blood sugar, zinc and copper levels; restores proper cell oxygen levels, has a thermogenic effect; builds bone and helps to protects against osteoporosis.
Some doctors feel that menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis and heart disease may not be due to a deficiency of estrogen, but to a relative estrogen excess due to progesterone deficiency.
Synthetic progestins, such as an HRT drug called Provera (a synthetic chemical), do not have the same biological effects as natural progesterone and have been known to cause side effects including: fluid retention, depression, breast tenderness, stroke, jaundice, blood clotting and cervical erosions.
On the other hand, natural progesterone has no known side effects and has been found to be helpful in alleviating symptoms such as PMS and hot flashes. It has also been credited with helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Many doctors now prescribe for women in menopause the use of a low-dose, natural progesterone cream during the last two weeks of the menstrual cycle. The cream is easily absorbed into thin-skin areas such as the breasts, inner arms, neck or belly by the subcutaneous fat and then released into the bloodstream. You should be careful of the dosage level in these products. Some may have none to very little and others provide 20-30 mg in an average application. It’s always best to first check with a doctor.