Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced from cholesterol in the ovaries by the corpus luteum (the tissue that is left behind after ovulation). It is also produced in the adrenal gland in smaller quantities. It is converted in the body to produce other steroid hormones like estrogen, testosterone, cortisol and androstenedione. The main aim of progesterone in women is to sustain any pregnancy that may arise from fertilization of the egg released from the ovary during ovulation.
Progesterone is manufactured from Diosgenin, a substance found in Mexican Wild Yam and also from soybeans. It is converted to bioidentical progesterone in the laboratory.
USP stands for United States Pharmaceutical grade. This means that the progesterone is extracted under the strictest conditions to ensure that it the same as the progesterone that is produced in your body by the corpus luteum and that it is of the highest quality. You may see wild yam creams or those with mexican yam extract. These are a total waste of money! They contain only diosgenin which is cheaper than bioidentical progesterone. It cannot be converted to progesterone in the body. It will not improve your symptoms.
- Natural hormone creams improve menopause symptoms
- More proof Natural hormone creams improve menopause symptoms
- Natural progesterone body cream can be used to manage a number of problems that are related to hormonal imbalance.
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General guidelines for using bioidentical progesterone cream
Spread the cream thinly over a large area of skin for maximum absorption. Make sure skin is clean and clear of cosmetics. Do not apply other skin creams in the same area on the same day. Apply to areas like the breasts, chest, inner thighs, buttocks and neck where skin is thinnest. Don’t be concerned about getting the exact amount of cream correct. The progesterone is absorbed continuously from the skin.
If you are using a large dose, split it. Use 1/3 of the dose in the morning and 2/3 at bedtime. The higher dose is especially useful if you have trouble sleeping at night.
Buy good quality bioidentical progesterone cream from a reputable vendor.
You have to be careful for the following reason
The cream will not be effective if it is not suspended in the right medium creams containing mineral oil will not be absorbed properly the progesterone in some creams is not properly stabilized so it breaks down fast, making the cream useless some products containing wild yam extract don’t contain any progesterone some creams contain other chemicals that may cause allergic reactions and rashes.
Whether your ovaries have been removed or not, choose a day of the month (the 1st day is easiest to remember) and count it as day 1. Start applying the cream on that day,1/4 teaspoon morning and night until day 25 when you stop. From day 25 to the end of the month do not apply any cream. Start again on the 1st day of the new month. If you have just had a hysterectomy, you may double the dose to 1/2 teaspoon twice a day for the first month if your symptoms are very severe.
If you experience severe hot flashes and vaginal dryness, you may wish to use a combined estrogen/progesterone cream.
Whether you are menstruating regularly or irregularly, use 1/4 teaspoon cream twice daily starting from day 12 (the 1st day of your period is day 1). Stop applying the cream on day 26. When you see your period start counting again until day 12 then start applying the cream again.
If you have irregular periods, it may take up to 3 months for them to become regular.
Fibrocystic breast disease
Use 1/4 teaspoon of cream twice daily from the middle of your cycle till you have your period, then stop, repeat again from midcycle. After 3 to 4 months, symptoms should have improved so the dose can be reduced.
Use 1/4 teaspoon daily starting from day 8 to the end of your cycle. Once symptoms are reduced you can start applying the cream from day 12 until your period starts.
Menstrual migraine headaches
Use the cream for the 10 days before you expect your period e.g. if you have a 30 day cycle, start on day 20, a 26 day cycle, start on day 16 etc. Use 1/4 teaspoon twice daily.
When you get the familiar feeling or aura that comes before your migraine, apply 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cream every 3-4 hours until symptoms have subsided. Applying the cream directly to the neck or temples may bring faster relief for hormonal headaches.
A word of warning though. Do not stop any form of hormone therapy suddenly – you will feel very uncomfortable.
So here’s a guide to weaning yourself off ‘synthetic’ hormones and on to bioidentical hormones. It is best to spread the weaning process over 3-4 months.
- Stop taking your synthetic progestin (e.g. Provera).
- Start taking your natural progesterone pills or using your natural progesterone cream.
- If you’re taking estrogen pills (e.g. Premarin), take them on alternate days i.e. if you take them today, don’t take them tomorrow, then take them the day after and so on.
- If you’re using the estrogen patch, cut into two and use half.
- Continue for one (1) month.
- Continue with natural progesterone pills or cream.
- Take your estrogen pills every third day, meaning you’ll miss 2 days in between pills instead of 1, or
- Use 1/4 of your estrogen patch.
- Continue for the rest of the month.
- Continue with natural progesterone pills or cream.
- Take estrogen pills every 4th day, missing 3 days in between pills or
- Stay off the estrogen patch altogether if that’s what you’re using.
- Continue using natural progesterone cream or pills.
- Some of your symptoms (especially hot flashes) may come back, but they tend to gradually get less. Alternatively, you may try a combined natural progesterone/natural estrogen cream if symptoms are persistent.