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Questions ?

Commonly Asked About Using Natural Progesterone

How do I know if I should use natural progesterone?

If you have PMS symptoms. PMS symptoms are those symptoms which occur consistently a week or 10 days before the period and stop with the onset of menstruation or shortly thereafter.

If you have Estrogen Dominance symptoms. These symptoms are water retention, breast swelling, fibrocystic breast, uterine fibroid, loss of libido, mood swings, depression, craving for sweets, and weight gain: fat deposited at hips and thighs.

If you have Menopausal symptoms. Estrogen continues to be produced from the fat in cells even after menopause; however, progesterone production virtually ends. Hot flashes are the most prominent symptoms of menopause.

Osteoporosis. Women over 50 years of age should use natural progesterone cream to prevent osteoporosis.

What is the application of natural progesterone cream?

Natural progesterone (derived from the Mexican wild yam root and soy) in a moisturizing cream that can be applied to the face, hands, chest, abdomen, inner arms, inner thighs and, in cases of osteoporosis, to the trabecual spine. The cream is readily absorbed and leaves no trace after a few minutes. During absorption, the cream bypasses the liver and goes to specific receptor sites where progesterone is needed. When the action is completed, residue is then excreted from the body by the liver so there are no toxic effects. Absorption rate varies from person to person, as does the relative need for progesterone.

When do I use natural progesterone cream?

Please refer to the instruction manual that comes with your natural progesterone cream.

Do I need a prescription for natural progesterone?

No. Natural hormones in a cream or oil base come from Mexican yams and/or soybeans, which is technically a food product. All of the other ingredients, aside from a trace of some cosmetic ingredients, are also natural.

What progesterone cream should I use?

Use a progesterone cream that contains at least 400 milligrams of progesterone per ounce. There is now a number of creams on the market that contain less than 10 milligrams an ounce and these are unlikely to be effective.

Are all wild yam products created equally?

No. Products that list yam extract may or may not include saponin rich portions of the yam root. Be careful what you buy.

Why do you prefer creams instead of pills or capsules for progesterone?

Mother Nature guides us in this: The ovary never puts its hormones into the stomach, and for good reason. Progesterone is fat-soluble and, when absorbed from the stomach or intestines, it is taken by the portal vein directly to the liver, where it is efficiently metabolized for excretion in bile.

Natural progesterone is well absorbed through the skin into the fat layer under the skin and then into the bloodstream. (Being fat-soluble, very little of the skin-absorbed progesterone is found in the watery blood serum.) The goal is to achieve equivalence with normal physiologic progesterone levels and transdermal progesterone does this easily.

How do I know how much progesterone to use?

The goal is to restore hormonal balance. An ovulating woman makes about 20 to 24 milligrams a day for about 12 days each month after ovulation or about 240 milligrams a month. Let's say a progesterone cream supplies 480 milligrams of progesterone per ounce (960 milligrams per two-ounce jar). Even at 50 percent absorption, one ounce of cream used over two to three weeks will supply 240 milligrams a month, the same amount as an ovulating woman.

If a woman has not been making progesterone for a number of years (often starting five to ten years before actual menopause), her body-fat progesterone is probably very low. Since progesterone is fat-soluble, it is likely that during the first month or so, much of the progesterone that is absorbed will be taken up by body fat, resulting in lower blood levels initially. For these women, it is recommended using two ounces (one jar) of the cream each month for the first two months. After that, one ounce (one half a jar) should be a sufficient monthly dose. Many post menopausal women do well on one-third of a jar each month.


I have facial hair. What causes this and can natural progesterone help?

This is a condition call "hirsutism" (defined as excessive growth of facial and body hair). It indicates that there is a hormonal imbalance between estrogen, testosterone (the dominant male hormone) and progesterone. Progesterone acts as a regulator for the entire endocrine system. A women who has the hirsute problem probably has PMS too. Both menopausal and menstruating women have reported that facial hair (and body hair) decreased or completely disappeared after three to six months of regular application of cream twice a day. Natural progesterone is needed to effect proper hormonal balance.

Is natural progesterone useful for hysterectomized, oophorectomized and menopausal women?

Yes. Many women experience hot flashes following premenopausal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy (complete removal of ovaries and uterus), and in the beginning of the natural onset of menopause. The cream which contains natural progesterone is reported to be effective for relieving symptoms of hot flashes. Most women have reported a complete cessation of flushing within 3 to 8 weeks.

Who should use estrogen supplements?

Estrogen works especially well for hot flashes and vaginal dryness. These symptoms can be taken as a sign of estrogen deficiency. However, because progesterone is a biochemical precursor to estrogen, it alone is often sufficient to restore estrogen levels to normal and eliminate these symptoms.

Should estrogen be used without natural progesterone?

Definitely not. It is very important that natural progesterone be used with any form of estrogen. Estrogen without progesterone can cause endometrial and vaginal carcinomas. Estrogen blocks thyroid and causes water retention; and it can cause fibrocystic breast disease and even fibroid tumors and cysts in the ovary area.

Can I use natural progesterone if there is family history of breast or uterine cancer?

Yes, it is recommended. Breast cancer and endometrial cancer are two cancers that are related in some way or other to gonadal hormones. They occur in tissues sensitive to these hormones. Unopposed estrogen is the only known cause of endometrial cancer though there may be other factors involved. Estrogen, or at least one or more of the various estrogen's, are thought to contribute to breast cancer.

What exactly is natural progesterone and how does it differ from a synthetic progesterone?

Natural progesterone, a cholesterol derivative, comes from Mexican yam or soybean. It matches exactly the chemical formulation of the body's own progesterone.

Manufacturers alter the chemical makeup of progesterone in order to create progestins. Progestins in their altered molecular structure may cause many side effects, such as birth defects or abortion, fluid retention, epilepsy, migraines, asthma, cardiac or kidney dysfunction and depression.

What about when a woman is on the synthetic progestin?

When a woman on progestins wishes to switch to natural progesterone, several considerations should be kept in mind. First, both compete for receptor sites. The benefits of natural progesterone will be reduced by the presence of the progestin. Second, plasma progesterone levels will not reach maximum levels until the second or third month of use. Therefore, it is recommended to gradually decrease the progestin dose, such as reducing to 1/2 of the previous dose when starting natural progesterone. During the second month of progesterone, the progestin dose can be reduced further (such as taking the reduced dose every other day). By the third month, the progestin can be safely discontinued.

Tell me about Hormone Replacement Therapy, could you please explain it?

The word "Estrogen" generally refers to the group of hormones produced by the ovary with similar actions. The three most important hormones of this estrogen class are Estrone E1, Estradiol E2, and Estriol E3. Each of these specific members of this class continue to be referred to as Estrogen Studies of 20 years ago show that Estradiol E2 and Estrone E1 increases a woman's risk of breast cancer. But Estriol E3 is protective.

Synthetic ETHINYLESTRADIOL is used in estrogen supplement and birth control pills. This is the chemical you want to stay away from. Natural hormones, such as what are supplied in the natural progesterone cream, appear to be the superior choice and the least harmful to take when choosing your Hormone Replacement Therapy.

But shouldn't I be taking estrogen for my heart?

Despite the advertising, the cardiovascular protection benefit of estrogen supplements is still questionable. It has been concluded that other factors, such as diet and antioxidants are probably more important in heart disease prevention.


I'm still having periods, but I have problems with hot flashes, water retention, poor sleep, and mood swings. What is wrong with me?

During the years before actual menopause, estrogen may be decreasing slightly and more often. Ovulation has ceased or is rare. Without ovulation, progesterone production is essentially zero, and estrogen receptors become less sensitive to the estrogen still being made. You are actually estrogen dominant. Your doctor however, will probably prescribe estrogen, but the results are only partially effective and many of the problems, such as fluid retention, become worse. When a synthetic progestin is added, the results are usually not good because progestins are not the same as natural progesterone and also cause undesirable side effects. The best treatment is a plant-based diet, vitamin E magnesium, and vitamin B6 supplements plus natural progesterone. In these cases, progesterone can be added from day 12 (ovulation time) to day 26 (48 hours before expected period).

My periods are sometimes scant, sometimes heavy, and sometimes come early or late. What should I do?

Irregular periods in the years before menopause are another sign that menopause is approaching, and you are most probably deficient in progesterone due to not ovulating every month. Remember, shedding of the bloody endometrial lining is triggered primarily by the fall of progesterone levels 12 days or so after ovulation. If you are not ovulating, you are not making much progesterone, and therefore there will be no fall of progesterone to trigger a proper shedding.

I'm 43 years old and still having periods, but I've lost interest in sex. What's wrong?

Libido (the desire for sex) is mistakenly thought by most doctors to come from low estrogen. The fact that you are still having periods means you are making plenty of estrogen. But you are most probably low in progesterone. Progesterone is an important factor in libido. Testosterone also improves libido. Since most doctors are unaware of this role of progesterone, some are tempted to give women testosterone for their flagging libido. However, this choice is less desirable because of the masculinizing effects of testosterone. The more desirable choice is natural progesterone.

Help! My hair is falling out by the handful! Why?

When progesterone levels fall as a result of ovarian follicle failure (lack of ovulation), the body responds by increasing its production of the adrenal cortical steroid, androstenedione, an alternative precursor for the production of other adrenal cortical hormones. When progesterone levels are raised by progesterone supplement, the androstenedione level will gradually fall, and your normal hair growth will eventually resume. Since hair growth is a slow process, it may take four to six months for the effects to become apparent.

Should natural progesterone be used during pregnancy?

In his book, "Premenstrual Syndrome & You," Neils H. Lauersen, M.D., from the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, states that natural progesterone may be helpful to maintain pregnancy. The cream is not only safe for use during pregnancy, but recommended. It is suggested to be used from conception to delivery, applied primarily to abdomen, breast, low back, and upper thighs (where it will tend to prevent the skin from stretching). For the first six months of pregnancy use an average of one-half teaspoon two or three times a day. Discontinue at delivery and resume again at a level of twice per day beginning one month after delivery. The cream is also useful for post-partum depression which many women experience after childbirth.

Can young girls use natural progesterone cream?

The general health of girls between the ages of 9 and 13 can be adversely affected by low estrogen levels. The parents of daughters in this age group should be aware of the symptoms associated with the onset of menarche, such as emotional outbursts, irritability, temperamental behavior and compulsive consumption of sweets. For a year or more before the onset of menstruation, blood calcium levels are so low that young girls often develop the described symptoms which are usually accepted as normal behavior. During puberty, the maturing ovaries require calcium for estrogen metabolic requirements. By introducing natural progesterone at this time, most of the symptoms mentioned above will be alleviated. Use of natural progesterone from the beginning of menarche through teenage years will maintain a high level of wellness with few or no PMS complaints.

Can natural progesterone help with endometriosis or fibrocystic breasts?

There are many factors that affect both of these conditions, one common factor being a higher level of circulating estrogen, indicating a hormonal imbalance. Progesterone is the precursor hormone and it helps to normalize all other endocrine and hormonal activity in the body.It will make or block estrogen as necessary; in this case, assisting to lower the level of estrogen in the body and thus, possibly helping to clear these conditions.

Do natural hormones help vaginal dryness?

Vaginal dryness can occur in women of all ages for various reasons, but it is primarily present in post menopausal women. Natural hormones in a cream base can be used intravaginally and has been very successful in treating vaginal dryness and vulvar atrophy associated with aging.

I am post menopausal, will I start menstruating again if I use natural hormones?

Occasionally, upon beginning use of a natural hormone supplement, a post menopausal woman could experience some breakthrough bleeding, or a "period". This is a perfectly normal response and is nothing to cause alarm. The progesterone is simply causing the body to rid itself of excess stored estrogen which can sometimes stimulate a uterine shedding, thus causing breakthrough bleeding. If this continues for longer than several months, one should consult a physician.

Is natural progesterone indicated for osteoporosis?

Many medical "authorities" tell female patients who are post-menopausal that osteoporosis is inevitable if they live long enough. A physician in Mill Valley, CA., John R. Lee, has proven that this often repeated statement is simply untrue. The results of his ongoing clinical study with 68 women is noteworthy. All have experienced new bone density ranging from 5 to 40 percent for women who have used natural progesterone cream from six to 48 months. His results also indicated this therapy is successful even several decades after menopause. One of his patients, who is 82 years of age, has been using natural progesterone cream for four years and has a greater than 40 percent new bone density as proven by dualphoton absorptiometry. Dr. Lee has proven that osteoporosis is not only preventable, but is also reversible in most cases.

What exactly is progesterone?

Progesterone is one of two main hormones, the other being estrogen, made by the ovaries of menstruating women. In the ovaries, progesterone is the precursor of estrogen. Progesterone is also made in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands in both sexes and by the testes in males. It is a precursor of testosterone and of all the important adrenal cortical hormones. Progesterone is made from the sterol pregnenolone, which is in turn made from cholesterol, which is made from acetate, a product of the breakdown of sugar and fat in the body.

Restoring proper progesterone levels is what is known as restoring hormone balance. What if the body is deficient of progesterone? The body will then go to the alternative DHEA pathways which will be called upon to take up the slack. The body can increase DHEA which leads to adrostendione and on to estrogen and corticosteroid synthesis. BUT, when this happens the adrogenic ("male like") steroids along this way will become more dominant. It's not the best pathway. Also, estrogen levels fall with menopause and you can develop facial and body hair and male patterned baldness.

How long should I stay on natural progesterone?

Since progesterone has so many positive benefits and no known side effects, there is no reason to discontinue it.

What do I say to my physician who thinks this is silly?

There is nothing new under the sun. This formula is the same base as 400 FDA drugs just without chemicals.

Help For Men ?

Can men use natural progesterone?

Men, 45 and over, can use natural progesterone daily, and it increases the libido. Older men with rheumatoid arthritis have gotten relief from the pain and swelling after rubbing natural progesterone in a cream base on their joints. Although a very small number of older men have actually been diagnosed with osteoporosis, use of natural progesterone and a specific nutritional regimen is recommended as well.

Is there any help for men with casteration-induced osteoporosis?

Among men with prostate cancer, it is common practice to castrate them either surgically or chemically to reduce their testosterone level as low as possible in the belief that this suppresses prostate cancer growth. The abrupt, almost total absence of testosterone creates a sort of male menopause, often complete with hot flashes. Disturbing as this is, it is perhaps more important that the lack of testosterone will bring on an acceleration of osteoporosis within just a year or so. Like progesterone, testosterone can stimulate new bone formation, increasing bone density, and a lack of it can cause osteoporosis.

Progesterone and testosterone are equivalent hormones in regard to new bone formation. If one wishes to prevent or treat the castration-induced osteoporosis, it is possible to safely supplement progesterone to replace testosterone in these men. While my experience in using progesterone under these circumstances is limited, the results have been encouraging.

What is the source of all these answers?

John R. Lee, M.D., who is probably the most knowledgeable researcher in this field today. He is the author of "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause", "Natural Progesterone", and "Natural Progesterone, The Multiple Roles of a Remarkable Hormone". Dr. Lee recently retired from private practice after thirty years and is now teaching medical professionals and lay audiences about hormone balance and health. His most recent book can be purchased at bookstores for $12.99 or call 1-800-579-2521.