Frequently Asked Questions
DISCLAIMER: All information provided here is from public information. We have gathered some of the most commonly asked questions about hormones to help you in your search. Please do your own research!
Q: What is progesterone?
A: Progesterone is produced by both women AND men. In pre-menopausal women the majority of progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum of the ovaries and when pregnant, the placenta. The corpus luteum is a yellow mass of cells produced after the release of a mature egg. Post-menopausal women and men produce most of their progesterone from the adrenal glands. In men, some is produced in the testes. Both sexes synthesize a small amount in the nervous system. According to Dr. John Lee (international authority on natural progesterone), natural Progesterone USP has a molecular structure identical to the progesterone produced by the human body. Natural progesterone is produced through the fermentation (and other steps) of the Mexican Wild Yam. Reports seem to indicate that natural progesterone has no side effects, while the same cannot be said for the synthetic products (HRT, the pill). Unlike estrogen that generally falls to 40 to 60 percent at menopause, progesterone levels can fall to nearly zero.
Q: What is estrogen dominance?
A: Estrogen dominance is a term that describes what happens when the balance of estrogen to progesterone is changed by excess estrogen or inadequate progesterone. Estrogen is a potent and potentially dangerous hormone when not balanced by adequate progesterone. Estrogen dominance is known to cause and/or contribute to cancer of the prostate (men), and the breast, ovary and uterus (in women). Typical symptoms of estrogen dominance in women are: mood swings, tender breasts, headaches, depression, hypoglycemia, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts (lumpy breasts), bloating, weight gain, fatique, etc...
Q: Why would a premenopuasal woman need progesterone cream?
A: Stress is one reason. Stress increases cortisol production; cortisol blocks (or competes for) progesterone receptors. Additional progesterone is required to overcome this block. Another reason for premenopausal women to use progesterone cream is that in the 10, 15 or more years before menopause, many women regularly have anovulatory cycles in which they make enough estrogen to create menstruation, but they don't make any progesterone, thus setting the stage for estrogen dominance. Using progesterone cream also prevents the symptoms of PMS, something many premenopausal women suffer from.
Q: Why is natural progesterone cream better for me than synthetic progesins?
A: Progesterone cream is natural to the body and has no undesirable side effects when used as directed. Progestins (ie: Provera), cause many side effects, including partial loss of vision, breast cancer in test dogs, and increased risk of stroke, fluid retention, migraine headaches, asthma, cardiac irregularities and depression. Progestins do not convey the full spectrum of progesterone's benefits, and they have to pass through the liver to metabolize, which is taxing on the liver. The natural hormones are more quickly metabolized and excreted than the synthetic versions.
Q: Why is progesterone cream helpful during menopause?
A: Progesterone cream is extremely helpful in hormones replacement therapy for menopausal women for many reasons, but the most important one is to oppose the effects of estrogen. Unopposed estrogen creates a strong risk for breast cancer and reproductive cancers. Estrogen levels drop to only 40 - 60% at menopause, which is just enough to stop the menstrual cycle. But progesterone levels may drop to almost zero in some women. Because progesterone is the precursor to so many other steroid hormones, its use can greatly enhance overall hormone balance after menopause. Progesterone also stimulates bone-building and thus helps protect against osteoporosis.
Q: Will natural progesterone eliminate excess facial hair?
A: When progesterone is deficient, an alternative DHEA pathway is called upon to take up the slack. This leads to increased androgen production, which is the cause of the unwanted facial hair. Upon replacement of natural progesterone, facial hair will in time disappear or greatly decrease.
Q: Why do conventional doctors believe that women do not need progesterone if they do not have a uterus?
A: Many doctors do not study natural medicine and do not know the benefits of natural progesterone cream. They may also believe that the only purpose for using progesterone is to protect against endometrial cancer, and so would not be needed if the patient did not have a uterus. The doctor may be unaware of the multiple dangers of unopposed estrogen. Most mainstream doctors only understand prescription medicine, not the benefits of natural herbs, supplements and natural progesterone cream.
Q: Can a person using birth control pills benefit from using natural progesterone cream?
A: There is little benefit to using progesterone cream if you are on the pill, since birth control pills work by suppressing normal hormones functioning (read page 237 of "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause" by Dr. Lee.
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