Quick Survey: Natural Progesterone
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Natural Progesterone

Natural progesterone (NP) is one of the two main female hormones made by the ovaries, and has many beneficial roles in the body.

Natural progesterone has few side effects and can be used as part of a treatment programme for endometriosis, fibroids, PMS, cystic breasts, infertility, and irregular bleeding. It can also be used alone or with estrogen to treat menopausal symptoms and to prevent bone loss.

Prolonged stress and chemicals that mimic the action of estrogen may combine to create a progesterone deficient state by the time women are in their mid-thirties.

What It Does

Synthetic Progesterones

Synthetic progesterones or progestins (often mistakenly called progesterones) do not resemble the body's own progesterone, and have very different side effects. These include mood swings, irritability, depression, weight gain, and bloating. After menopause, the progestin part of hormone therapy can cause bleeding or spotting. Women can easily switch from the synthetics (ex. provera) to natural progesterone.

How To Take Natural Progesterone

Since it is destroyed by stomach acid, natural progesterone has to taken in the form of a skin cream, vaginal suppository or specially made oral capsule. These preparations can be made up by any compounding pharmacy. Prometrium, a natural progesterone oral capsule used in Europe for many years, is now available by prescription in both Canada and the U.S.

Natural progesterone is usually taken for 12 to 14 days in the second half of the menstrual cycle. After menopause it can be taken for 21 to 25 days a month.

The main side effect of NP is drowsiness, which can be offset by taking the main dose at night.

Resources

International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists at 713-933-8400 or 1-800-927-4227; Transitions for Health 1-800-888-6814 or 503-226-1010 natural progesterone cream (available without a prescription, except in Canada).

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