Menopause and Progesterone


Progesterone and estrogen levels during menopause

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 estrogens without side effects.

Progesterone and estrogen are the two main hormones made by women’s 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

Side effects of synthetic progestins

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.

Remedies recommended by doctors

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. (On a personal note, I use the Emerita cream and believe it single-handedly stopped my mood swings and sudden outbursts of crying.)

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.

Do I Need Progesterone? What About Estrogen? Fibrocystic Breasts & Endometriosis?

I am here to answer YOUR questions about natural progesterone! I get a lot of questions in my inbox concerning this subject, so I decided to make a series of FAQ's for you!

The questions featured on this episode of FAQ's are:

How do I know if i need natural progesterone?
How do I use natural progesterone?
How does natural progesterone differ from synthetic progesterone?
Can natural progesterone help endometriosis or fibrocystic breasts?
Should estrogen be used without natural progesterone?

Stay tuned for more answers to your questions!

Barbara Hoffman is president of Better Health Naturally. She is an educator, researcher, author, and women's health advocate. Barbara has been in the medical field for over 30 years and worked in the field of women's health since 1980. She loves to help empower women to make more educated and informed choices about their health. Her credo is "Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life".

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If you have personal questions, please email [email protected]

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