Do you suffer from premenstrual tension? Are you having menstrual irregularities? Do you feel that your sex drive is declining? ——– If that is so you may be suffering from Progesterone deficiency—– Especially so if you are around 35 years of age!
Progesterone is a natural female hormone. It is produced by the egg shell (Corpus Luteum) after the egg has hatched out of it. The level of progesterone varies through the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is the dominant hormone in the first half and Progesterone is the major hormone in the second half of the cycle. A balance of these two hormones is essential for perfect feminine health.
Progesterone has multiple functions in our body:
- It is a precursor of other sex hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and cortisone.
- It maintains sex drive.
- It protects against Endometrial and Breast Cancer.
- It promotes bone building and protects against Osteoporosis.
- It maintains the uterine lining and therefore promotes the survival of the embryo and fetus throughout gestation.
- It protects against fibrocystic breasts.
- It is a natural diuretic and helps control fluid balance in the body.
- It promotes burning of fat for energy (Thermo genesis).
- It acts as a natural anti-depressant.
- It aids the action of the thyroid hormone.
- It normalizes blood clotting and blood sugar level.
What happens when the Progesterone level declines?
From the age of 35 years, more and more Menstrual Cycles become anovulatory (without an egg). This causes an imbalance between two major female hormones: Estrogen and Progesterone. Estrogen is not decreased to an extent as the progesterone is. This relative Estrogen Dominance can be responsible for a host of symptoms such as PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) , decreased sex drive, weight gain – especially around the abdomen, hips and thighs, edema, pre-menopausal bone loss which ultimately leads to osteoporosis, breast cancer, uterine cancer, craving for food, depression, menstrual irregularities and even infertility. It all happens long before the actual menopause sets in. If you wish to counteract these symptoms of Estrogen Dominance, you need to make up for the deficiency of progesterone by substituting it with Natural Progesterone!
A Hormone Imbalance Test may help you decide when to begin with Natural Progesterone Supplementation. If you are a female aged 35 years or older and you suffer from at least two of the following symptoms, you are the most likely candidate for substitution with natural progesterone.
- Early miscarriage
- Painful and/or lumpy breasts
- Cyclical or migraine headache
- Anxiety or depression / mood swings / weepiness
- Puffiness and bloating
- Cervical Dysplasia (Abnormal PAP Smear)
- Rapid weight gain
- Heavy bleeding
- Foggy thinking
- Gall bladder problems
Early supplementation is important to prevent bone loss and ultimately Osteoporosis. Bone loss occurs at a rate of 1% per year after 35 years of age, and a rapid acceleration occurs around menopause. Progesterone has the power to reverse Osteoporosis and strengthen the fragile bones. It also prevents symptoms of PMS such as hot flashes, weight gain and irregular periods.
Natural versus synthetic progesterone
Progesterone may be in natural or synthetic form. Both Natural and Synthetic Progesterone are produced in the laboratory. The one produced from yam and placentas is called natural since it resembles exactly the progesterone poured in to your circulation by the egg shell (corpus luteum). Being identical to natural progesterone it is readily accepted by the body as its own part it has no side effects. A word of caution however! Do not indulge yourself in eating lot of Yam. Your body is not equipped with enzymes necessary to make progesterone from Yam. It needs laboratory processing!
Synthetic progesterone is different from the progesterone produced in your body. It includes preparations like Provera. Your body does not feel at home with it. It may cause many side effects. If you read through the information leaflet which comes in a box of birth control pill, you will be surprised how long is the list of side effects and how frightening some of them are for example birth defects, loss of vision, thrombophelbitis, embolism, cerebral thrombosis, liver dysfunction, breast and genital cancer, fluid retention, migraine, asthma, epilepsy, heart and kidney dysfunction, menstrual irregularities, depression, nervousness, fatigue, decrease glucose tolerance, breast tenderness, acne, alopecia, hirsutism, edema, weight gain, cervical erosions, and the list goes on.
Which preparation of Natural Progesterone is better?
Progesterone is available as tablets and skin ointment. The skin ointment however remains the single most popular method of use. It is safer and non invasive. You can apply it anywhere on the skin and it gets in to the circulation readily. It does not involve your liver. Greater percentage of drug is available for action and the actions last much longer.
In USA, it is available in health store. In Canada, it is only available by prescription, and filled by compounding pharmacy.
Apply ¼th of a teaspoon of the 3% cream, twice a day, anywhere on the skin for the second half of a perpoid cycle. Or for post menopausal women, it is applied for 21 days and then give a break for seven days. This is according to the natural rhythm of the body, and it keeps receptors sharp and sensitive.
- Lee J.R., Natural Progesterone: The Multiple Roles of a Remarkable Hormone. BLL Publishing, Sebastopol, CA, 1993.
- Stevenson J.C., Ganger K.F. et al. Effects of transdermal versus oral hormone replacement therapy on bone density in spine and proximal femur in postmenopausal women. Lancet, 1990, 336:265-269.
- Lee J.R. Is natural progesterone the missing link in osteoporosis prevention and treatment? Medical Hypothesis. 1991. 36:316-318.
- The Writing Group for the PEPI Trial – Effects of estrogen or estrogen / progesterone regimens on heart disease risk factors in postmenopausal women, JAMA, 1995,273:199-208.
- Prior J.C., Progesterone as a Bone-Trophic Hormone. Endocrine Review. 1990, 11:386-398.
- Dollbaum C.M., Duwe G.F. Absorption of progesterone after topical applications: serum and saliva levels. Presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the American Menopause Society.
- Cowan L.D., Gordis L., Tonascia J.A., Jones G.S. Breast cancer incidence in women with a history of progesterone deficiency. American J. Epidemiology, 1981, 114:209-217.