It is important to differentiate between natural progesterone and the artificial forms of progesterone, known as progestins or progestogens, that are used in conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT). While progestins perform in some ways like progesterone they are, in reality, alien to the body, a fact that is widely believed to explain the many reported side-effects associated with HRT.
Natural progesterone has been prescribed since the 1930s to treat symptoms of progesterone deficiency. When progesterone levels drop the effects of another key hormone, oestrogen, can take control, leading to a condition known as oestrogen dominance. This is a common condition amongst menopausal women that has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and a range of other conditions.
Natural progesterone is most commonly sourced from certain species of plants, such as wild yams. A substance called diosgenin is extracted from which progesterone can be derived.
When taken orally in tablet form natural progesterone performs poorly as it is metabolised and removed almost entirely by the liver. Fortunately it was identified that, when applied as a transdermal cream, progesterone is readily absorbed into the fat cells that sit below the skin where the body naturally stores its progesterone reserves. Since this was discovered in the early 1980s transdermal cream has become the most common method of natural progesterone application.
Without the financial might and lobbying power of the major pharmaceutical companies there have been few formal clinical trials of natural progesterone. However in over half a century of use there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence from doctors that have prescribed it and many thousands of women that have used it. Throughout this time no negative side effects have been reported and vast numbers of women have reported symptoms relieved and quality of life restored.
As well as relieving symptoms of menopause, the benefits of natural progesterone in treating osteoporosis have been well documented. Progesterone deficiency has been strongly linked to an accelerated reduction in bone density and evidence from specialists such as Dr John Lee MD have shown that natural progesterone supplementation can not only halt the decline of bone mass but reverse it, strengthening bones and protecting women against fractures in later life. Since bone mass depletion accelerates rapidly during menopause natural progesterone supplementation at this time can offer a double benefit.
So why isn’t natural progesterone used everywhere and why hasn’t my doctor prescribed it to me?
Since the 1960s when progestin based HRT treatments were launched, the vast resources of the major pharmaceutical companies have enabled them to establish their products as the standard prescription for hormone imbalance. General practitioners, the most frequent healthcare advisor for women with menopause symptoms, are by their nature not experts in every field and as such have been guided by the pharmaceutical companies towards their own progestin based products.
Meanwhile the original, natural progesterone, the simple hormone the body actually needs has been almost forgotten in the clamour for market share and profits.
Today though there is a renewed interest in natural progesterone due largely to reports on the health risks of artificial hormones. An increasing number of healthcare professionals are now recommending bioidentical, natural progesterone and thousands of women are turning to it as a healthy yet effective alternative to HRT.
Wellsprings Serenity is a natural progesterone cream that has been helping women overcome symptoms and conditions associated with hormone imbalance for over 10 years. During this time many thousands of women have reported symptoms relieved and quality of life restored.
At Wellsprings-Health.com you can read just some of their stories and in our Hormone Learning section you can find out more about natural progesterone, its properties and benefits.
'Natural Progesterone - The natural way to alleviate symptoms of menopause, PMS, endometriosis and other hormone-related problems'
By Dame Dr Shirley Bond & AnnA Rushton
'Natural Progesterone – The Multiple Roles of a Remarkable Hormone'
By Dr John R Lee MD
* This information is for general interest only. Every woman is unique. Your results may vary.
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All information given on this site is for general interest only. Every woman is unique. Your results may vary.