Many Women are attempting to use over-the counter Natural Progesterone creams to relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause, but there isn’t a lot of information available about how to do this. I have used natural progesterone creams myself to good effect, and I’ve talked with other women who are doing this , so I thought I’d write something up about it. Natural progesterone is a hormone, not an herbal remedy, although it is manufactured from a wild yam molecule called diosgenin. I have respect for the powerful effects of hormones, and I do not think anyone should take natural progesterone on general principles, like you would take Vitamin C, but I do think it can be helpful when indicated by your symptoms.
by Patricia Rackowski
Natural progesterone can be taken in three ways:
- in an over-the-counter product, a low-dose cream such as ProGest cream by Transitions for Health, available in health food stores;
- by prescription in higher doses in a cream made up at a compounding pharmacy;
- or by prescription in a capsule of micronized progesterone suspended in peanut oil, in a product called Prometrium made by Solvay Pharmaceuticals.
I recommend ProGest (see below) cream or the equivalent for women suffering from PMS or perimenopause with mood swings, food cravings, irritability and hypoglycemic-type symptoms, and women experiencing irregular periods, or for women with only one ovary who experience symptoms during anovulatory cycles. I also recommend it for women who have had hysterectomies and are taking estrogen only, if they suffer such symptoms as fluid retention and swollen, tender breasts, or “crying for no reason”. Naturally postmenopausal women who are not taking estrogen may also benefit from ProGest cream if they are still experiencing symptoms of estrogen dominance, which many women who are over-weight, and have a lot of estrone, experience well into their fifties: fatigue, breast swelling and tenderness, fluid retention, and headaches.
There is some evidence that progesterone is involved in bone-building1 and a little evidence that progesterone can protect breast tissue from some of the effects of estrogen stimulation.2 The fact that so little study has been done in these areas is more a reflection of the business aspects of medicine (i.e. no one company can profit from a product such as natural progesterone, which, as a naturally occuring substance, cannot be patented) than it is of the lack of promise in the studies that have been done. How much progesterone is necessary to achieve these two possible benefits is also unknown. However, it seems to me that the tangible benefits of ameliorating the above-mentioned symptoms of PMS and menopause are sufficient reason for many women to consider using natural progesterone.