Natural progesterone is an important hormone throughout a woman’s life, during the pre-menopausal cycle, progesterone increases in quantity from day 14 of the menstrual cycle, and primes the endometrium to be shed.
Many young women have an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone, which can present as a deficiency of either of the above but sometimes also oestrogen dominance, this in turn can cause PMS. By prescribing natural progesterone these symptoms can be alleviated.
Natural progesterone is very low in the post menopause, and it is beneficial to replace both during the peri-menopause and also in post- menopausal women. Natural progesterone can be given alone or in combination with either phytoestrogen or plant based bio-identical oestrogen, formulated to fit the individual woman.
The functions of Natural Progesterone are many, for instance:
- Precursor of oestrogen and testosterone
- Maintains secretory endometrium
- Protects against breast fibro cysts
- Natural diuretic, weak binding to mineral cortical receptors
- Natural anti-depressant
- Mild sedative
- Increases GABA, a mood improving neuro-transmitter
- Helps maintain thyroid hormone action
- Precursor of cortisone synthesis by adrenal cortex.
Natural progesterone can be prescribed as a topical transdermal cream, which is a bio-available preparation getting absorbed through the skin by the carrier contained in the cream.
Other routes of delivering natural progesterone are sublingual and oral, but it is very important when taking progesterone to have the endometrial thickness measured, via a trans-vaginal ultrasound on an annual basis.
Natural progesterone alone is not as effective in relieving menopausal hot flushes and night sweats, as a combination of bio-identical oestrogen and natural progesterone.
However clinically it is an important mood calmer and a mild anti- depressant, as well as acting as a diuretic and relieving fluid retention. Patients on thyroid medication have to monitor their thyroid function as natural progesterone can sometimes affect the dose of thyroid replacement therapy needed.
Some women, at the time of the menopause, suffer from a mild thyroid hormone deficiency, which can be helped by natural progesterone and in some cases a low dose of thyroid replacement therapy.