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.
Women over 50 years of age should use natural progesterone cream to
What is the application
of natural progesterone cream?
(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
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
Are all wild yam products
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
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
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.
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
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
My periods are sometimes
scant, sometimes heavy, and sometimes come early or late. What should I
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
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
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
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
Do natural hormones help
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?
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?
"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 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.
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
How long should I stay on
Since progesterone has so
many positive benefits and no known side effects, there is no reason to
What do I say to my
physician who thinks this is silly?
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
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.
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
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.