Natural Progesterone by Dr. Judith Paley

 
Guest Articles 

Natural Progesterone

              Natural progesterone is the new hormonal darling of the perimenopausal set, and well 
              deserving of its status. Women like to take it. It lightens heavy menstrual flow, 
              soothes and softens tender hard breasts, acts like a mild tranquilizer, makes you 
              sleep like a rock, and relieves water retention. The perfect antidote to PMS and 
              anovulatory periods, its main drawback until recently was how difficult it was to 
              administer.

              All hormones, taken orally, are delivered straight to the liver where they are rather 
              efficiently broken down. First given by painful injections for threatened miscarriages, 
              progesterone was then prescribed in a variety of ways for PMS, including by rectal 
              suspension and vaginal suppositories. No wonder that women did not rush to 
              embrace these preparations. More recently, progesterone has become widely 
              available as a skin cream, sold over the counter. Just like the estrogen skin patches, 
              progesterone absorbed through the skin is not first passed through the liver so it is 
              more readily available for use by the body. In the last year, a major pharmaceutical 
              company has suspended micronized progesterone in peanut oil in a new, 
              well-absorbed, oral preparation called Prometrium.

              There is sound justification for the use of natural progesterone in perimenopause for 
              heavy periods, tender breasts, bloating and irritability. There is evidence that it can 
              diminish hot flashes and prevent osteoporosis. There have been claims that it will 
              restore thinning hair and flagging sexual interest, as well as improve arthritis, 
              allergies, skin problems, and high blood pressure. It is not clear that natural 
              progesterone can deliver on these counts.

              Synthetic versions of progesterone, called progestogens, have been used along with 
              estrogen to protect the uterus in post-menopausal women on hormone replacement 
              therapy (HRT). Unfortunately, no one likes to take these drugs (brand names Provera 
              , Cycrin and Aygestin). Their side effects of bloating and depression are one of the 
              main reasons that women give up on HRT. The availability of Prometrium has greatly 
              improved the choices for combination hormone therapy.

              Natural progesterone cream comes in many different strengths but you should seek 
              a brand that provides about 1,000 mg. in 2 oz. cream. Small quantities, 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoonfuls, 
              are rubbed twice daily on the inner arms, thighs, abdomen, or chest, from mid-cycle 
              until menstruation. Do not buy wild yam cream; the body cannot utilize it to make 
              progesterone.

              The cream cannot be relied upon to protect your uterus from the effects of 
              supplemental estrogen. In this post-menopausal setting, you must use the oral 
              preparations to be safe. Progesterone levels in your body are higher on an oral dose 
              than with the skin cream. Some women notice an anti-anxiety effect, or even a 
              drunken, sleepy feeling from its direct, anesthetic effects on the brain. 
 

 This information is intended to be general in nature and should not be relied upon 
 for specific treatment. If you need medical attention, please contact your personal 
              physician's office for an appointment.

Read many more of Dr. Paley's articles at: http://menopausemoments.blogspot.com/



Previous Articles: 
PMDD by Dr. Madeline Behrendt 
Losing My Social Skills Along With My Hormones: by Janice A. Farringer 
The HERSTORY of Bones by Dr. Madeline Behrendt 
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES by Dottie LeMieux 
Humor Me, Please By Patricia Older 
Here's To Your Health by Caryl  Frawley 
Article by Judith Paley, MD 
Post from Cammie 
Read another good post from Joy

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