Progesta™ Bioidentical Progesterone Cream contains one of the highest concentration of 10% Natural Progesterone sold in the over-the-counter market.
This is a Vitamin E based 10% Progesterone Cream and a 1/4 teaspoon of cream contains 125mg of USP Progesterone. Most other creams on the market only deliver 20mg per dosage, which for serious deficiencies may be insufficient.
Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by a woman’s ovaries when she ovulates and in smaller amounts by the adrenal gland.
A menstruating woman will typically produce about 20 to 30 mg of progesterone a day during the luteal or last phase of her menstrual cycle.
While menopause doesn’t typically occur until age 50 or later, many women can start going out of balance in their 30’s or even earlier.
This decline in progesterone is not trivial for as women age into their fourth, fifth, and sixth decade, their progesterone levels continue to fall. By the time they reach perimenopause as much as 75% or more of their youthful progesterone secretion may already be missing.
Natural progesterone is very useful to balance excess estrogen which can be a major risk for breast cancer. Natural progesterone is also different from estrogen in that your body can use it as a precursor or starting material to make other hormones such as adrenal hormones. It can even convert it into estrogen or testosterone if your body needs it. The safety limit for taking bioidentical progesterone is extremely high.
PROGESTERONE supplementation route – the oral route is unsatisfactory, since only 10% of the PROGESTERONE reaches the bloodstream and metabolism by the GI tract and liver produces several undesireable metabolites.
PROGESTERONE is well absorbed by the skin, but it has been found that long-term use can build-up in fatty tissues causing high PROGESTERONE levels. Absorption through the mucous membranes, including mouth, vagina and rectum, is more efficient. After examining the different facets of each route (on this page), the conclusion is made that:
The vaginal route is best for women, but the inner wrists may also be suitable.
The scrotal or rectal routes are best for men.
All methods should use bioidentical PROGESTERONE – i.e. the same molecule that your body produces: U.S.P. PROGESTERONE
Many if not most women in our culture are estrogen dominant, so using the progesterone goes a long way towards balancing hormones which usually:
- Decreases a woman’s risk for breast cancer,
- Improves her PMS and breast tenderness and
The table below lists the properties of estrogen relative to progesterone. Some of the reasons that estrogen is frequently in excess in many women are:
- Overproduction of estrogen. Ovarian cysts or tumors can lead to excess estrogen production. Stress also increases production, but probably the most common cause is obesity. All body fat has an enzyme which converts adrenal steroids to estrogen, so the more fat you have, the more estrogen is present.
- Inability to breakdown estrogen. Excess estrogen is generally removed by the liver. Diseases of the liver like cirrhosis or decreased enzyme activity can lead to increased estrogen levels. Vitamin B6 and magnesium are necessary for the liver to neutralize estrogen. Increased sugar intake will also excrete magnesium and interfere with its ability to breakdown estrogen.
- Exposure to pesticides in foods. Most of us eat foods that have pesticides on them. These and many other unnatural chemicals share a common structure with estrogen and serve as “false” estrogens which further stimulates the body’s estrogen receptors.
- Estrogen supplementation. Clearly any additional estrogen given by prescription will increase the level unless it is properly balanced with natural progesterone.
- Decreased production of progesterone. Progesterone is necessary to counterbalance estrogen. If women do not ovulate during their cycle they will not produce any progesterone that cycle. This happens commonly and worsens the already disturbed progesterone/estrogen balance. Decreased progesterone levels are one of the most common reasons for miscarriages.
To minimise your risk of cancer it is very important to understand that you should never take any supplemental estrogen without taking natural progesterone. Note that I use the term “natural’ progesterone, or the real hormone. Taking synthetic versions like Provera (containing Progestin) could actually increase your risk of cancers and heart disease. [source]
The Key to Safely and Effectively Using Progesterone Cream
If you want to copy nature and reproduce a hormonal environment that most closely resembles a normal premenopausal woman the first logical step would be to get the hormones directly into your blood stream, just the way your ovary does.
Hormones carefully measured and formulated in an appropriate cream or gel need only be rubbed once or twice a day into your mucous (epithelial) membranes. Since there are no destructive detours through your GI tract when administered this way, your tissues are exposed to the appropriate concentrations of the hormone without the side effects of 30 different liver metabolites.
Progesterone creams have been in use since the early 1990s but people gradually disenchanted with them after discovering that they typically worked wonderfully initially but then invariably stopped working. This is now known as “dermal fatigue”.
What happens, not only for progesterone cream, but for ANY hormone preparation you use by applying as a cream to your skin is that within a few weeks to a few months you will saturate the fat tissue with the hormones and they will actually stop working or can even make your symptoms worse.
The problem relates to the fact that progesterone is highly fat soluble and once applied to your general body skin will store itself in your fat tissue. When one initially uses the cream, there aren’t any problems as the fat stores are very low. But as time goes on, the cream accumulates and contributes to disruptions in your adrenal hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, and testosterone. Progesterone cream is an enormously useful tool, however, it needs to be used more cautiously with women who are relatively well .
Many of the women who were on the cream have terribly elevated levels of this hormone due to the skin’s retention of it over time. Progesterone is normally a cyclical hormone and the body really needs to see a change in the concentration to affect a proper physiological response. If the level is constantly above the concentration that it recognises as “off” or low, this is not possible.
Fortunately, this is repairable. But it may involve going off the cream for as long as two years to wash the progesterone out of your system.
Best Way to Use Progesterone Cream
The key mistake that many well intentioned knowledgeable doctors made is to advise to use the cream on your skin. While this certainly provides better results than swallowing the hormones, it can still be improved.
There is a relatively minor tweak you can make with the creams which avoids nearly all of the side effects of applying the cream on your skin.
Women: If you apply the cream to your mucous epithelial membranes (labia minora, see above image) that line your vagina you obtain a virtually ideal administration system. Not only is absorption through these membranes more complete than through your skin, but hormones absorbed through your vaginal membranes enter the very same pelvic plexus of veins that your ovaries normally empty into.
From here the hormones are carried to your heart and lungs and distributed to your tissues just as if your ovary had actually produced them.
Men also require hormones. Obviously men don’t have a vagina to use but do have a rectum that has a similar mucosal epithelial surface and can be used to administer the hormones in a near ideal fashion without any of the complications previously described.
Timing and Dose of Progesterone Cream
For most premenopausal women the usual dose is 20 – 60 mg/day for 14 days before expected menses, stopping the day or so before menses. So you would use the cream for twelve days and then stop. Typically this would mean you would start on day 12 of your cycle and stop on day 26.
The abrupt lowering of your progesterone level is the primary stimulus for your period to start. Hopefully when it starts any PMS and painful periods will be dramatically reduced.
When a women is in menopause she may need 50 to 100 mg but taken for the first 25 days of the month, then take 5 or 6 days off and restart on the first of the month.
For most women a single daily application will work. However, because the half-life is relatively short, some women find that they get a more satisfactory response by splitting the daily dose in two, half in the morning and half in the evening. If you are only taking the hormones in the morning and begin to feel symptoms later in the day, splitting the dose in two should solve this problem.
Progesterone and Adrenal Gland Optimization
The adrenal gland has two components: the inner medulla modulates the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine that are responsible for the fight or flight response.
The outer adrenal cortex secretes three classes of hormones – glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids and androgens. The most important glucocorticoids are cortisol and hydrocortisone. Reduced output of these hormones often results from chronic stress of the adrenal glands or malnutrition. Symptoms include fatigue, low blood sugar, weight loss and menstrual dysfunction. Mineralcorticoids such as aldosterone modulate the delicate balance of minerals in the cell, especially sodium and potassium. Stress increases the release of aldosterone, causing sodium retention (leading to water retention and high blood pressure) and loss of potassium and magnesium. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Its deficiency is widespread and has been linked to a variety of pathological conditions, including cardiac arrhythmias, uterine fibroids and osteoporosis.
The adrenal cortex also produces all of the sex hormones, although in small amounts. One exception is DHEA, a weak androgenic hormone that is made in large amounts in both sexes. DHEA, together with testosterone and estrogen, are made from Progesterone, which in turn comes from cholesterol.
Progesterone is therefore at the top of an important hormonal metabolic pathway. Deficiency in Progesterone leads to reduction of both glucocorticosteroids and mineralcorticoids such as cortisol. Symptoms of cortisol deficiency include fatigue, immune dysfunction, hypoglycemia, allergies and arthritis. Symptoms of mineralcorticoid deficiency include high blood pressure and mineral imbalances. Progesterone supplements often effectively resolve these problems.
Chronic stress is commonly seen in the western society and career women often cause the adrenal glands into overdrive, with excessive secretion of cortisol. Excessive cortisol can block Progesterone receptors, making them less responsive to Progesterone. High cortisol levels also occur with trauma and inflammatory responses such as the flu. Inflammatory bowel disease, for example, has been shown to induce high levels of cortisol, leading to reduction of Progesterone efficacy and resulting in estrogen dominance. With chronic stress, eventually the adrenals are exhausted and production of these important hormones are drastically reduced.
Women frequently have exhausted adrenal glands by the time they reach the mid-thirties or early forties. Their adrenal glands have nothing left to give. Production of progesterone by the adrenals comes to a halt as the body focuses on producing cortisol and not Progesterone or other sex hormones. Insufficient Progesterone production leads to estrogen dominance.
The adrenal glands therefore deals with the daily stress of life. To have total body hormonal balance the first thing to do is to normalize the adrenal glands. In fact, replacement of deficient hormones alone without addressing the overall health of the adrenal gland is a band-aid approach and ineffective in the long run. The normalization process starts with stress reduction by increasing rest. A good nights sleep is a good start. Go to sleep before 10pm and make sure you sleep in a completely dark room to maximise melatonin production.
It is prudent to optimize the adrenal gland function prior to or concurrently with Progesterone supplementation. Multiple hormonal supplementations such as DHEA, pregnenolone, low dose natural cortisol or cortisol enhancing agent such as licorice root extract should also be considered.
An optimal and balanced intake of vitamins and minerals serves as a good foundation, including 500 mg to 3000 mg of vitamin C, 400 I.U. of vitamin E, 10,000 to 25,000 I.U. of beta-carotene and other important minerals such as selenium and magnesium as well as important amino acids such as lysine, proline and glutamine.
Testing of Your Natural Hormones
This is somewhat of a controversial area but basically involves three different types.
Blood testing is difficult to gauge as many of the hormones are secreted in a pulsatile fashion and it is difficult to get an accurate idea of the levels in this way.
Saliva testing is easier than urine but is not as accurate.
The 24 hour urine test is the preferred method. This is the one that Dr. Wright advocates in his own clinic. Dr. Wright has trained many hundreds of physicians in this system and if you are seeking further guidance in this area it would be wise to seek one of them to help you in this area.
Natural USP Progesterone (5%), Purified water, Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut oil), 5% D-Alpha Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Glycerine, Glyceryl Stearate (and) POE (100) Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Juice Extract), Phenoxyethanol(<1%). Contains 2840mg USP Progesterone and 710 IU Vitamin E
1/4 tsp contains 62 mg USP Progesterone and 15IU Vitamin E.
Due to progesterone build-up, it’s best only to use the cream on the mucous membrane such as the inside of the lips and labia, see the web page or leaflet for details. Use 1 to 3 times daily. It can be accompanied with Schizandra herb for additional adrenal support.
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