Q: What is progesterone & natural progesterone cream?
Dr John R Lee MD explains progesterone best in his website which is quoted below. “Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. Progesterone is a precursor to most of the other steroid hormones, including cortisol, androstenedione, the estrogens and testosterone.”
In a normally cycling female, the corpus luteum produces 20 to 30 mg of progesterone daily during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Some women however produce less & less progesterone due to various conditions and thus requires progesterone supplements to help mitigating hormone imbalance symptoms.
Natural Progesterone cream, also often referred to as bioidentical progesterone cream or USP natural progesterone cream) is one option of progesterone supplements that is naturally derived from plant sources (Bountiful Bird bioidentical USP progesterone is derived from wild yam).
Natural progesterone in transdermal cream format is more easily absorbed and assimilated by the body than it’s orally administered counterpart which is intercepted by the liver and passed out of the body, unused. It also has less adverse effects than synthetic hormone based options. However, even natural, plant-sourced progesterone cream is a powerful supplement and proper usage is crucial to achieve balance.
Each woman is unique in how her body produces and responds to progesterone. Some women will require more while others will require less to help alleviate their symptoms. Start out by using the maximum recommended usage for about 3 months. Cut back the amount used each month until the symptoms of progesterone deficiency disappear
Q: How safe is progesterone cream?
There are no reports of any significant side effects or health problems associated with use of natural progesterone. Concern for possible side effects at times occurs due to confusion in the use of the term “progesterone” which is wrongly used to describe the synthetics version of progesterone or progestin.
Our body can produce as much as 300mg of progesterone daily (progesterone production peaks during 3rd trimester of pregnancy) so overdose of progesterone cream usage is highly unlikely. However, we recommend that you follow the recommended usage amount & apply correctly according to circumstances that is most relevant to you to achieve ultimate result.
Q: How do you tell if your progesterone level is low
Keeping track of certain changes in your menstrual cycle can help to indicate if you have low progesterone. Look out for:
• Low temperature during the luteal phase (roughly 11 – 14 days from ovulation mid-cycle, to menstruation).
• Spotting for several days before menstruation starts.
• The luteal phase of your cycle (from ovulation to period) is shorter than the follicular phase.
• Persistence in the clear, stretchy, fertile mucus of ovulation during those last few weeks of your cycle – this can be a sign of Estrogen Dominance. If progesterone levels are sufficient, your mucous should change to a tackier, drier consistency in the lead-up to your menstrual period.
• Of course, you can get lab tests. The most accurate is urine test. Saliva test is another option. Blood is utterly useless when it comes to steroid hormones such as progesterone.
Q: Should I use Natural progesterone cream if I am on birth control pills?
Most Birth control pills contain synthetic progestin. It is not recommended to take them together. Birth control pills have been known to cause many health problems when taken over a long period of time. Consider replacing it with natural progesterone cream instead.
(Consult your physician for your particular circumstances before making the switch)
Q: Do I need a prescription from a doctor to use natural progesterone cream?
Not in United States. Natural progesterone is derives from plant sources therefore is considered a food product.
Q: Who needs to use a natural progesterone cream?
Women who suffer from…
Estrogen Dominance – Common hormonal imbalance symptoms of estrogen dominance are:
• Breast swelling
• Craving for sweets
• Endometriosis or Fibrocystic breasts
• Loss of libido
• Mood swings
Menopausal Symptoms – This is caused from excess production of estrogen (see estrogen dominance) with added symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats & brain fog.
PMS – Commonly experienced by women with luteal phase shorter than 10 days. Hormonal imbalance symptoms of PMS may consist one or combination the following:
• Headaches / migraine
• Brain fog
Vaginal Dryness – This is caused from hormonal imbalances and more commonly experienced by women who are breastfeeding, who are pre-menopausal and/or post-menopausal.
Osteoporosis – Women over age 50 are most at risk for osteoporosis – use of natural progesterone cream can slow down process of osteoporosis.
Hirsutism – Excessive growth of facial & body hair is caused by hormonal imbalance. Progesterone will act as a regulator and balance all the hormones including the estrogen / testosterone imbalance that causes hirsutism. Normally women who suffer from this have severe PMS too.
Q: What is the recommended dosage?
We recommend use of 10-20mg natural progesterone USP daily. For more intense symptoms, you can double the dosage for first 3 months (20-40mg a day) and gradually reduce to the recommended amount thereafter.
The recommended dosage of the active ingredients equates to ½ pump or ¼ tea spoon (contains 10mg of bioidentical USP progesterone) & 1 pump or ½ tea spoon (contains 20mg bioidentical USP progesterone)
For premenopausal women, the recommended dose is 1 pump or ½ tea spoon daily (refer to next question for frequency & time of the month)
For postmenopausal women, the dose that often works well is ½ pump or ¼ tea spoon daily (refer to next question for frequency)
Split the recommended dosage mentioned earlier and apply the cream once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Using it before bedtime may help some people to sleep better. Splitting the dosage up ensures 8-12 hours of sustained delivery. If you apply it all at one time, only once a day, it will still only last 8-12 hours, leaving the other 12 hours where you are not receiving any. The split dosage ensures optimum progesterone levels are maintained.
Note: It’s crucial to stop progesterone cream usage for at least 5 days each month.
Q: What time of the month should I apply bio-identical natural progesterone Cream?
Menstruating women – Start using the cream after ovulation (or if you are not able to confirm ovulation, you can start on day 12-14). Use the cream up to Day 28 prior to the bleeding period. Stop the cream when your menstruation starts. If you experience bad abdominal cramps rub a small amount of cream into the lower belly. If you experience migraine headache, rub a bit of cream into your temples or back of neck.
Post Menopausal women – Start the cream anytime and use it for approx. 3 weeks – then go off a week.
Pre-Menopausal women – Start the cream on day 10 and stop the cream on day 26 for the first 3 months. After 3 months start the cream on day 12-14 and stop on day 26.
Post Pregnancy – Start using the cream about 4 weeks after delivery, the cream helps to prevent and cure postnatal depression. Follow menstruating women dosage & frequency
Q: Where to apply this USP progesterone cream?
Because progesterone is fat-soluble, it is easily absorbed through the skin and absorbed into our capillary blood. Best absorption is through thin skin surfaces where people blush such as face, neck, chest, breasts, inner arms and palms of the hands. Rotate the surfaces where you apply the cream at least every 3 days to avoid saturation and clogging.
Q: Why do I feel worse after start using the cream?
When using progesterone cream for the 1st time after a long period of progesterone deficiency, the estrogen receptor can become stimulated, for a short period of time. This might increase the estrogen dominance symptoms such as breast tenderness and swelling, spotting, fluid retention, dizziness, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches and nausea.
These symptoms will go away over the next 2-3 cycles, as progesterone levels increase.
Q: How to increase progesterone level naturally with food?
Natural progesterone cream can assist alleviating your hormone imbalance symptoms, however, it is also beneficial to concurrently support your body to produce its own hormones. This is best done through changing your diet and eating the right kinds of progesterone boosting foods that contains micronutrients to help your body produce its own hormones.
Q: What is the best progesterone-boosting food sources
Though no foods contain progesterone, the following micro-nutrients can provide the environment needed to support your body to boost progesterone levels:
B6-rich foods – A low level of B6 can make estrogen dominance more pronounced.
Good Sources: walnuts, poultry and chickpeas
Vitamin E-rich foods – Several studies have shown that women who take vitamin E see a significant increase in overall progesterone levels.
Good Sources: almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
Vitamin C-rich foods – Vitamin C boosts both progesterone and estrogen production in the body and helps with hormone processing and elimination of excess.
Good Sources: bell peppers, leafy greens, berries and citrus fruits
Good cholesterol– rich foods Cholesterol is needed in your body to make pregnenolone which helps with production of progesterone.
Good Sources: Coconut oil, coconut butter, turkey and red meat, eggs and yogurt, olives and olive oil.
Zinc – rich foods Zinc helps the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormones. These encourage ovulation and they also tell your ovaries to produce more progesterone
Good Sources: Oysters, shrimp (prawns), beef, lamb, liver, shellfish, red meat, pumpkin and cashew nuts.
Magnesium – rich foods Magnesium shown to assist the breakdown of the antagonistic estrogen metabolites, reducing estrogen dominance.
Good Sources: Cashews, leafy greens such as kale and Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, black beans, lentils and other legumes, cacao, mackerel fish and whole grain brown rice.