Progesterone deficiency plays an integral part in a woman’s life and a deficiency in this hormone can affect your general health and wellbeing. Natural Progesterone is produced by a woman’s ovaries during her monthly cycle. This deficiency in a woman’s body is significant for many reasons.
For us to fully understand the significance of progesterone we firstly need to understand the balance between estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone balances and controls estrogen and its performance as a hormone. In simplified terms estrogen encourages cell growth and natural progesterone maintains that growth at a healthy level.
• It is not exclusively a female hormone
• It is the precursor to the two sex hormones estrogen and testosterone
- It is not a sex hormone and it has no role in the secondary sexual characteristics which develop at puberty
- It is secreted primarily by the ovaries in females and the testes in men
- Natural progesterone is also important for the survival and development of the embryo. It is the primary precursor for adrenal corticosteroids (estriol, estrone and estradiol) and testosterone produced by testes in males.
If you have a progesterone deficiency in your body your estrogen is not balanced and therefore is not being controlled. It is unbalanced estrogen which causes symptoms of hormone imbalance.
During your early 30s both men and women begin to produce less progesterone – this action speeds up in your 40s. It is this progesterone deficiency that causes several of the perimenopause and menopause symptoms and produces a number of health issues for both men and women.
What can Natural Progesterone be used for?
Natural progesterone can be used to support the following women’s health issues:-
- Bloating and water retention
- Facial Hair Growth
- Brain Fog
- Fibrocystic Breasts
- Hair Loss
- Hot flashes/flushes
- Natural diuretic
- Night sweats
- Normalizes blood clotting
- Normalizes blood sugar levels
- Restores sex drive
- Thyroid imbalance
- Uses fat for energy
- Vaginal dryness
Progesterone is a natural anti-depressant, therefore, when we hear of new mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression, this is due to the fact that during the third trimester of a pregnancy, the placenta produces 300-400mg of natural progesterone per day, which in effect causes a “shock to the system” a “progesterone deficiency” when the baby is born.
Recently natural progesterone has seen a rise in popularity. This is an alternative for women who want to involve themselves in restoring their hormone imbalances without the use of prescription synthetic hormones, HRT Hormone Therapy Treatment patented synthetic progesterone (progestin).
According to Dr John Lee, an internationally renowned expert in natural hormones and women’s health and author of the book entitled “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause”, women are having symptoms because of hormone imbalance caused by too much estrogen and a deficiency of progesterone and describes the easiest and most effective form to use is natural progesterone cream.
Note: Although some individuals believe that progesterone replacement rather than estrogen is needed at menopause, most experts believe that symptoms of menopause are due to a lack of estrogen and therefore the main hormone to replace should be estrogen, with forms of progesterone only being needed to protect the womb lining from estrogen stimulation.
There are claims that natural progesterone cream can offer bone protection but the National Osteoporosis Society funded a study into these claims and they have not been confirmed. Therefore any individual at risk of osteoporosis should not consider this as effective for offering bone protection.
Blood Test to Evaluate Hormonal Imbalance
By asking for a simple blood test at your local G.P. Practice you can gain results of your hormonal balance. This test will evaluate the hormonal balance in both peri and post menopausal women
The test looks at : –
Three estrogens – Checks the balance of the three estrogens. Estriol (made by the placenta during pregnancy). Estradiol (sex hormone). Estrone (secreted by the ovary).
Progesterone – This hormone fluctuates during the menstrual cycle, influencing fertility and PMS, and after menopause it adjusts the effects of estrogens (see list above for the uses of natural progesterone)
Two androgens – Both testosterone and DHEA affect sexual function, body composition and cognition.
Alternatively you could test with a Salivary Hormone Analysis which are available on line or through a Complimentary Health Practitioner.
Additionally, this test is used to assess certain women’s health conditions, including fibrocystic breast disease, sexual dysfunction, breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, PMS, perimenopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and dysmenorrhea (painful cramps).
If you decide to try a natural progesterone cream always ensure that you follow the usage instructions carefully. Unlike synthetic progesterone, natural progesterone cream is not suitable for providing protection to the womb lining.
Natural progesterone cream is only available on a private prescription in the UK. If you choose not to consult with a doctor, you can legally import progesterone creams from outside the UK, provided they are solely for your use. There are a number of US websites who ship to the UK.
In the US, progesterone creams are available via prescription, over the counter and online.
Dr John R Lee, author, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause.”
Norstrom, O. (2011) Progesterone Deficiency Symptoms. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/84741-progesterone-deficiency-symptoms/
Low Progesterone: Complications, Causes & More. Retrieved from http://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/low-progesterone#Overview1