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Progesterone to help balance hormones

Jul 1, 2024 | Blog, Hormone Health

What is Progesterone? 


Progesterone is often associated with pregnancy.  Pro-gestation. It plays a crucial role in pregnancy but has many other important functions.  It is important for memory, bone strength, and sleep and is helpful to treat anxiety.


Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced in the female body from both the ovaries and adrenal glands. As women age, hormone levels tend to decrease, and progesterone is one of those hormones. Often, when women are in their 30s, progesterone levels start to decline. When women reach menopause and are postmenopausal, levels further decline. They may need to supplement with progesterone to help prevent those nasty hot flashes and restore their hormones to a more normal level.


Progesterone production is high during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and low during the follicular phase.  It is also low before puberty and after menopause. Women who suffer from PMS, peri-menopause, post-menopause, vaginal dryness, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, uterine fibroid tumors, and endometrial carcinoma may benefit from progesterone therapy.  The most common symptoms of progesterone deficiency are headaches, insomnia, weight gain, fluid retention, sugar cravings, and moodiness.


Men also make progesterone. It is produced in the adrenal glands and the testes. A normal progesterone level helps protect the bones, brain, heart, and prostate in men.  


Is Progesterone the same as Progestin?  


NO!  Many people, even doctors, get these confused.  Progesterone is the naturally occurring hormone that our body produces. It often just doesn’t produce enough.  Replacement of progesterone is good for you!  It helps you feel better and makes you healthier!  


Progestin is a synthetic hormone made by pharmaceutical companies that is similar in chemical structure to progesterone but different enough that it does not produce the same results. Progestins do not balance estrogen like progesterone does. Also, progesterone decreases breast cancer risk, while progestins increase it.  


How do you choose the right natural progesterone supplement? 


Supplemental progesterone sources are available in oral and topical creams, lozenges, suppositories, and injectable forms. “Bio-identical” progesterone has the exact chemical structure as the hormone naturally produced in the body. The synthetic form, progestin (which sounds like progesterone but is very different), exclusively regulates the menstrual cycle but worsens the effects of a progesterone imbalance.


John R. Lee, M.D., is a well-known proponent of supplemental progesterone and the author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Breast Cancer: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life. He advocates for progesterone supplementation and advises that transdermal progesterone (progesterone creams) can help achieve a more normal hormonal balance in the body.  


When a woman takes progesterone, she may experience improved cholesterol levels, sleep, mood, concentration, and memory, reduced risk of depression, reduced risk of senility and cognitive decline, and enhanced libido.  Progesterone balances estrogen levels to prevent breast cancer and endometrial cancer.


If you’re unsure about progesterone, other alternatives, such as soy (isoflavonoids), Black cohosh, Dong Quai, and Licorice, are always available to help bring your hormones back into balance.


Who can help me with this?


We believe strongly in the benefits of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.  Proper hormone balance can help you feel great and protect you from future diseases if done appropriately.  Progesterone is often the first hormone to decrease. The best way to test the progesterone levels is through saliva testing.  If you need help with this, reach out. This is our jam, and we’d love to help you achieve optimal hormone balance and health.  

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