Progesterone cream is a natural hormone replacement therapy. Read the article to know the indications, contraindications, dosage, and complications of using it.
The ovary produces progesterone, approximately 20 to 30 mg daily. The adrenal gland also produces some amount of progesterone. It is mainly produced during the last phase of the menstrual cycle. During each year, the amount of progesterone production is falling, and by the fifth or sixth decade of life, it gets totally diminished. This mechanism is known as menopause. Menopause is due to the fall in the level of progesterone in 90% of women. This is the reason for the end of the menstrual cycle in women during their fifth or sixth decade.
Progesterone deficiency causes a lack of ovulation, and women become estrogen dominant when there is a reduction of progesterone stores in the body. These women are usually thin and have little fatty tissue in the body, and they are more prone to:
Progesterone cream helps to relieve symptoms of menopause, reduce signs of aging, and prevents osteoporosis. It makes the uterus healthy where the fertilized egg attaches and survives, makes the vagina and cervix more accessible for entering of sperm into the uterus, prevents rejection of fertilized egg, promotes the development of the fetus, increases sexual desire, etc., which ultimately enhances the chances of conception.
Progesterone belongs to the class of drugs called progestins (female hormones). It is mainly used for enhancing the process of fertility and works to replace the hormone by decreasing the amount of estrogen in the uterus.
Progesterone cream is an over-the-counter drug and is highly used as an alternative for women who need to avoid synthetic progesterone, progesterone pills, transdermal patches, and vaginal gels. Progesterone cream is derived from natural plant-based progesterone Dioscorea villosa found in,
When an ovum is released from any one of the ovaries, it comes inside the uterus to become fertilized with sperm. This phase is known as the luteal phase. At this time, the uterine lining becomes thick with lots of blood vessels to provide protection and nutrition to the fertilized egg. If fertilization does not occur, this uterine lining starts to shed off, and menstruation or the period may start. For conceiving a baby, ovulation is the necessary process that is well regulated by progesterone and estrogen hormone. There are many signs and symptoms associated with the ovulation process, such as a slight increase in the temperature of the body, white mucus secretion from the cervix or vagina, and also some pain in the lower abdominal region. Many women feel that they have a high peak of sexual desire during these days. Some research shows that women may become more conscious about their look and facial attractiveness during this time.
There are many methods available for calculating the time of ovulation. The most reliable and easy method is that ovulation starts on the 14th day from the menstruation date.
Progesterone is mainly used for enhancing the process of fertility. The most important function of this hormone is developing the uterus for pregnancy. In case you have problems conceiving, get a medical second opinion online.
This hormone increases the basal temperature of the body, and so, it is also referred to as a warm temperature hormone.
When pregnancy presents, secretion of the progesterone occurs for 8 weeks. When pregnancy does not occur, secretion will become low and cause menstruation.
The possibility of breast cancer is also minimized with the help of progesterone hormone because it helps to balance the larger quantity of the estrogen hormone. A high concentration of estrogen in the body is the main cause of breast cancer.
It also acts as a mediator in our body for producing other hormones such as adrenal, estrogen, and testosterone.
This hormone is mainly used for manufacturing creams to increase the fertility process. It is used in those patients who have low levels of progesterone.
There are many beneficial effects of progesterone for fertility. It is a cheap non-surgical method for conceiving.
It reduces and protects the risk of breast cancer and tumor – as mentioned above.
It prevents cramps during the premenstrual period.
It prevents the accumulation of fat tissue in the hip area.
It increases the formation of endometrial tissue within the uterus.
It enhances the action of the thyroid hormone.
Abnormal blood coagulation or blood clotting is best prevented with progesterone cream.
It helps to increase sexual desire.
It also helps to balance the level of sugar in the blood.
It also enhances the oxygenation of each and every tissue of the body and helps to provide energy.
It also works as a preventive hormone for the reduction of the risk of endometrial organ cancer.
Bone strength is also increased by progesterone cream.
In addition to using progesterone treatments, we can improve the body's natural progesterone by,
Maintaining a healthy body weight.
Reducing stress by following,
Listening to music.
Enjoying other activities.
Avoid excessive exercise.
Foods do not contain progesterone, and some foods may stimulate the production of progesterone in the body. These include:
By following this, a woman can develop natural progesterone in the body, which,
Protects the lining wall of the uterus.
Prevents uterine cancer.
Maintains good cholesterol levels.
Reduces PMS symptoms.
There are many indications for using progesterone cream for pregnancy, such as,
Multiple and recurrent miscarriages.
Absence of menstruation.
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) - multiple cysts in the ovary.
Loss of sexual desire.
Obesity, which restricts fertility.
Vaginal and cervix dryness.
Severe deficiency of progesterone hormone.
If a person wants to get the maximum effect of this cream, then choose the route that directly delivers this hormone to the ovary.
The cream has an appropriate quantity of hormones with negligible side effects. Progesterone is available in the form of the base with gel or cream. Both are equally beneficial.
Transdermal application over the skin is very beneficial. In this way, the gastrointestinal complication is bypassed. It can be applied once or twice a day.
When applied over the skin, it gets absorbed by the fat tissues beneath the skin. It is a fat-soluble protein. Then the fat tissue will release the hormone into pelvic vessels. Through blood vessels, it will reach the heart and get supplied to different parts of the body.
A woman may apply this cream on the abdomen, face, inner thigh, upper neck, chest, breast, palms, and feet. For better function, the inner thigh or lower abdomen is the best location for the application of the cream. This is the area where fat tissues are more, and another advantage is that the uterus and ovary are near to it. It may also be applied over the surface of the vagina so that the hormone directly enters into pelvic vessels, and from there, it circulates in the body through the heart, same as above stated natural circulation.
For premenopausal women - 15 to 24 mg per day for 14 days before the expected period is beneficial and should be stopped the day before periods. It means that women should start the cream from the 12th day of the period and stop on the 26th day. Withdrawal of the cream will cause a decrease in the level of progesterone, and it will become a stimulus for menses. That time menstrual cramps on the lower abdominal area may reduce.
For menopausal women - 15 mg per day for the first 25 days of the month, then stop for 5 or 6 days and then restart on the first of the next month.
In case of an estrogen-dominant person, a higher dose will be recommended, approximately 40 mg twice a day for two months, to start ovulation. After that, the dose will decrease and will become normal.
Some research shows that if women divide the dosage and apply it two times a day, then it would be more beneficial rather than applying the entire dose once a day. When women start to apply hormone cream, its effect will last for 6 hours after application. Splitting of dosage may help a lot because splitting will allow 12 hours of efficacy.
Artificial progesterone, which is made in the laboratory, has many complications. Complications associated with synthetic progesterone are brain stroke, abnormal menstrual flow, cancer, nausea, retention of fluid in tissues of peripheral extremities, depression, and increased possibilities for heart attack. That is why the natural progesterone cream has become more popular nowadays.
Natural progesterone is best obtained from plants like wild yams and soybeans. The complications associated with synthetic progesterone can be minimized with the intake of natural progesterone. Instant relief is achieved by topical progesterone cream for painful abdominal cramps. It is also used for the prevention of threatened abortion or miscarriage.
The normal mechanism for this hormone is that it is synthesized and secreted by the ovary itself into the vessels of the pelvis, which in turn supply different parts of the body through the pumping action of the heart.
If a person takes this orally, it will cause severe acid formation in the stomach. As a result, the effect of progesterone will get damaged by more acid secretion. This hormone further enters into the liver, will get metabolized and damaged. These hormones are screened by the liver, and some of the damaged ones will get eliminated through urine. So, through oral preparation, only 15% to 20% of the total quantity will reach the target area. If a patient wants to take it orally, she has to take more than 500% of the actual amount, but this amount increases acid secretion in the stomach. Furthermore, the liver may produce different varieties of metabolites. Progesterone combines with these metabolites and causes allergic reactions. Many complications may appear due to this reaction. That is why progesterone cream is more widely used than oral intake.
The safety of progesterone cream is not known in pregnant or breastfeeding women. So, unless prescribed by your doctor, avoid using this product.
Also, avoid it if you have an allergy or sensitivity to progesterone.
Do not take the drug when you have liver problems, so when consulting a doctor, make sure you tell all your medical history.
This medication should not be used in children.
When you have a history of cancer of the breast or genitals, avoid using the drug.
When you suffer from bleeding issues or clotting problems, kindly do not take this drug as it can lead to prolonged bleeding.
On vaginal bleeding, take the drug with caution.
Tell your doctor the medical history and all the pre-existing medical conditions.
Place the medication away from the reach of children.
Mention your doctor if you are allergic to previous use of progesterone or any medication or ingredient.
It has not been tested in pregnant and breastfeeding women, so kindly inform the status of pregnancy or lactation to the physician.
Inform your doctor if you have a history of any of the following as this product should be used with caution when they have,
The side effects of progesterone cream differ according to the product used, and they are,
Moderate weight gain.
When progesterone cream is used for several months, you may experience,
Constipation or diarrhea.
Increase in acne.
Excessive growth of body hair (hirsutism).
Abnormal blood clotting.
Skin irritation - When progesterone cream is repeatedly applied on the same area.
So before starting with progesterone cream, talk to your doctor and have a plan to use progesterone cream.
One should not apply too much over the target area as it will cause hormonal imbalance in the body. Effect of cream does start within a few seconds of application. When women start to apply hormone cream, its effect lasts for a few hours after application. Later on, problems may start. Splitting of dosage may decrease this problem. Two times estrogen-dominant day is a better option.
When a person is applying this cream over the skin, the skin will absorb the cream as well as a hormone in fat tissue. Fat tissue stores this hormone. Initially, the cream provides beneficial effects because the storage of hormones is very low, but as time goes on, peak saturation of fat tissue may be achieved. Progesterone is highly a fat-soluble hormone. After many applications, the fat tissue will become saturated with the hormone, and it does not provide any beneficial effects. Sometimes, over-saturation may produce harmful effects. This condition is referred to as dermal fatigue. After reaching the saturation point, progesterone may hamper the adrenal hormone, cortisol, and testosterone. So, progesterone cream has to be used with caution.
Natural progesterone cream disturbs the normal cycle of menstruation. A person should start this cream after the ovulation process. If by mistake, the patient does start to use the cream before the ovulation period, it will give the opposite effect. It restricts the fertility process rather than enhancing it. Because progesterone is a stimulator of menstruation, and it may lead to miscarriage. The high level of progesterone in the body is responsible for the initiation of menstruation. So, if it is early, it is used to induce menstruation rather than improving fertility.
Ask your doctor before using the drug when on any hormone medicines or are being treated for cancer.
Progesterone adds drowsiness by the herbs, which makes driving and handling heavy machinery unsafe.
Progesterone pills can interact with other medicines and supplements.
When on other medications, tell the doctor about the supplements so that he will check on any side effects or interactions with the medications.
The FDA does not review and has not regulated these supplements on safety or efficacy.
Progesterone cream is one of the treatments used in postmenopausal women. It is a form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The primary purpose of using progesterone creams is to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, skin aging signs, and it also prevents bone loss that would lead to osteoporosis.
There is not much research so far about the advantages and disadvantages of progesterone cream. Most studies suggest that progesterone cream does not work very well when applied topically over the skin. Progesterone, to be effective, needs to be administered into the bloodstream. The major disadvantage of progesterone cream is the least absorption into the bloodstream.
The side effects caused by using progesterone cream may vary widely based on the product you use. The most common side effects experienced by women is sensitivity to the active ingredient in the product. Other associated symptoms are a moderate increase in weight, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, and breast pain (mastalgia).
It would be best if you started taking your progesterone creams for a period between your date of ovulation (day 14 of the menstrual cycle) until two or three days before the onset of your menses. Progesterone cream is effective in inducing fertility only when it is used in this particular period.
The natural function of progesterone is to prepare the endometrium for pregnancy after ovulation has occurred. It triggers the endometrial lining of the uterus to thicken. This is to enable the implantation of a fertilized egg. Once the egg has been implanted, it prohibits the occurrence of muscle contractions in the uterus, which might expel the egg.
When a woman has low progesterone levels, she might experience symptoms such as.
- Menstrual cycle abnormality.
- Headaches that include migraine.
- Mood swings.
- Hot Flashes.
- Weight Gain.
The most common use of progesterone is to treat irregular menstrual periods. It is also used in the treatment of uterine bleeding and the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
When a woman is affected by postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and bone deformities, it is usually safe to use 20 mg of progesterone cream daily. It can be used in sites like the breasts, thighs, and upper arms.
One of the most common side effects experienced by progesterone cream was weight gain in recent studies among women. Progesterone stimulates the thyroid gland to increase the basal body temperature and metabolism of the patient.
Progesterone cream plays a vital part in the process of hormone replacement in postmenopausal women. It relieves symptoms such as the hot flushes. It can also be used to increase the sexual drive in women after menopause. It also increases bone density in women.
The progesterone helps the skin to grow thicker and become more elastic. This reduces the incidence of creases or wrinkles in women in their perimenopausal and postmenopausal periods. The cream can be applied twice a day in areas like the forehead, perioral area, and areas around the eye.
High levels of estrogen and low levels of blood progesterone levels can lead to painful periods. So, balancing these hormones on equal levels will help in treating period cramps. This can be achieved by adding flax seeds and sesame to the diet. Avoiding unnecessary stress by practicing yoga and meditation will be helpful.
Progesterone has been used as a primary mode of treatment in women who suffer from postpartum depression. The reason behind this is that it elevates mood and acts as a natural antidepressant. Also, by relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, it works as a happy pill.
Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine. Women who intake high dietary content of vitamin B6 such as fish, peanuts, bananas, oats, and wheat grams have more progesterone than other women. Women who have high vitamin B6 content are noted to have lesser miscarriages. For women who are infertile, adding vitamin B6 can improve their rate of fertility.
It is indicated that women who suffer from perimenopausal symptoms use a one-quarter teaspoon of cream twice a day. The cream should be started exactly two weeks before the onset of the menses. The usage of progesterone cream should be stopped two or three days before the beginning of the period.
Oral progesterone is more effective when compared to topical progesterone creams. This is because it takes two to three months to start working. At the same time, progesterone cream takes half an hour to one hour to start its work. Progesterone cream should always be used to avoid sudden hormonal imbalance.
Progesterone creams have been used to increase fertility in a woman. This cream should be used only when an obstetrician prescribes it. It should be started on the day of ovulation until the day where the periods begin. The date of ovulation in a menstrual cycle is day 14. The progesterone cream should be applied on the neck, forearm, and inner thigh regions to be very effective.
Many studies have found that a diet that is rich in synthetic folate supplements is very frequently associated with increased progesterone levels in females. This increased progesterone levels lowered the risk of infrequent anovulation by several times. Research evidence also strongly suggests administering dietary folate and folic acid supplement when a woman is planning to have a baby.
Many doctors opposed hormonal replacement therapy in menopausal women. It is mainly due to its severe side effects. Progesterone replacement therapy through any route increases the risk of ovarian cancer. In addition to ovarian cancer, it can also cause cardiac problems, coagulation problems, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.
Natural progesterone has tremendous effects on weight loss. But on the other hand, progesterone cream is found to cause weight gain. Natural progesterone causes weight loss by enhancing thyroid metabolism, lowering insulin levels, etc.
Yes, when a woman properly uses progesterone cream from her day of ovulation until her onset of periods, chances of getting pregnant increase. Administering progesterone as oral contraceptive pills also regularise the menstrual cycle. This is chiefly because of the effect of progesterone on sleep, mood, and natural fertility.
It is usually not advisable to choose home remedies when you use excess progesterone creams. It could cause serious side effects. You need to consult the doctor. Based on the amount of excess cream you have used, the doctor will choose his or her management plan and treat you accordingly. Never, self medicate yourself with any medicines.
During the luteal phase, the woman's breast naturally gets a little dense and modular. This is quite common for three to four days before the onset of menses. You need not worry about it because the pain naturally resolves.
Last reviewed at:
05 Jun 2021 - 10 min read
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