Benefits of Progesterone Supplementation:
- Precursor to the sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone)
- Maintains lining of uterus
- Promotes the survival of the embryo and fetus throughout gestation
- Protects against fibrocystic breasts
- Natural diuretic
- Acts as a natural antidepressant
- Aids thyroid hormone action
- Normalizes blood clotting
- Helps keep blood sugar levels normal
- Protects against endometrial cancer
- Helps protect against breast cancer
- Promotes bone building and protects against osteoporosis
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Hormones – Progesterone
Progesterone is the female hormone produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. It functions to balance the effects of estrogen. Progesterone may be viewed as a lifelong partner of estrogen, in a balanced relationship of yin and yang.
Progesterone stimulates bone growth while estrogen halts bone loss. Natural progesterone enhances the action of estrogen as these two hormones were meant to work together to maintain a normal hormonal balance.
Female hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone drop dramatically after menopause. It comes as no surprise that after menopause heart disease in women skyrockets, surpassing even the male population. In fact, it is the leading cause of death in older women with over a half-million deaths per year in the United States, more than twice as many as all cancer deaths combined.
The lack of progesterone causes disease processes similar to those caused by the lack of estrogen which include osteoporosis, heart disease, decrease in libido and a significantly diminished quality of life.
The combination of natural progesterone and estrogen can prevent this downward spiral by keeping women vital, strong and healthy.
Possible Side Effects:
There are no side effects associated with natural progesterone. However, if there is estrogen dominance, women may experience premenstrual mood swings, depression, breast swelling, craving for sweets, heavy or irregular periods, sleep disturbances, weight gain, acne and or water retention.
Natural progesterone comes in many forms, most commonly topical creams, the oral capsule and the sublingual tablet. The recommended form is sublingual. Progesterone levels should be measured by a physician to ensure that the levels are within therapeutic range.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is progesterone taken continuously or is it better to cycle?
Estrogen and Progesterone can be administered either way. Discuss options with your physician.
Can I take estrogen only?
Progesterone counter balances the negative effects of estrogen. It is recommended that both be taken together.
I have had a hysterectomy and my doctor says progesterone is therefore no longer needed, is that true?
No, it is not. Progesterone has many benefits outside of the uterus and is necessary to counter balance the effects of estrogen replacement.
On its own, natural progesterone replacement has a mild tranquilizing effect and enhances an overall sense of well-being. Too many women who have had hysterectomies are not prescribed progesterone and therefore lack the general makeup that made them strong and complete in their more youthful years.
The ovaries begin producing progesterone in earnest around puberty, and the monthly ebb and flow of this hormone, in harmony with estrogen and other hormones continues until menopause. Progesterone’s primary role during this period is to help make the uterus ready for implantation of a new embryo, the first major event – after fertilization of the egg – in the 9 months of human gestation. If the egg is not fertilized, progesterone production temporarily ceases, and the uterus sheds its endometrial lining.
Testosterone deficiency has also been linked to hypertension, obesity, increased risk of heart disease and depression. Stress levels may also play a role in declining testosterone levels.
“The main reason women discontinue HRT is due to side effects. Synthetic progestin’s (Provera®) cause may side effects: breast swelling and tenderness, uterine bleeding, depression and mood disturbance, weight gain, bloating and edema. Natural progesterone has no side effects.” Female Patient 2001 Oct; 19-23.
“Progesterone should be administered to all women, hysterectomy or not.” Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Clinics of North America; 1995 Oct;Vol.6(4):653-673.
“Due to the side effects of synthetic progestin’s, natural progesterone is preferred. Progesterone has proven bio-availability and no side effects making it the preferred hormone for menopause.” American Family Physicians 2000;62: 1339-46.
“Estrogen and progesterone are neuro-protective against cerebral damage. These beneficial effects were blocked by MPA (medroxyprogesterone).” National Academy Science USA; 2003 Sept. 2;100(8):10506-11.
“Natural estrogen and natural progesterone offer substantial clinical benefit over the synthetic hormones and should be the agents of choice for menopause.” Obstetrics Gynecology 1989;73:606.
“The estrogen only arm of the WHI Trial demonstrated no increased risk of breast cancer with estrogen. This study therefore demonstrates that the breast cancer increase was due to medroxyprogesterone (Provera®) and not due to estrogen.” Family Practice News 2004 March 15;1-3.
“Progesterone reduces proliferation of breast cancer cells and induces cellular apoptosis (kills breast cancer cells)” Maturitas 2003 Dec;46(1):555-58
“Due to the side effects of synthetic progestin’s, natural progesterone is preferred. Progesterone has proven bioavailability and no side effects making it the preferred hormone for menopause.” American Family Physician 2000; 62:1939-46
“Progesterone raises good HDL cholesterol, whereas MPA (Provera®), lowers good cholesterol. Progesterone increases estrogen beneficial effects whereas MPA reverses estrogen’s benefits. Progesterone has no side effects, whereas MPA has many” Obstetrics Gynecology 1989;73:606-611.
“Progesterone decreases Breast stimulation 400%, and down regulates breast receptor sites, thereby protecting against breast stimulation.” Fertility Sterility 1998;69:963-69.
“Mammary tumor stimulation was reduced both by progesterone and Tamoxifen, more so by progesterone by Tamoxifen which is the drug of choice to treat cancer.” Japan Journal of Cancer Research 1985June;76:699-04.