Back in the mid-1960′s, Dr. Robert Wilson wrote a book titled “Feminine Forever” where he proclaimed that menopause was an estrogen deficiency. This “discovery” led to the synthetic drug Premarin becoming one of the most popular prescription drugs for decades. In 2002, it was revealed that the manufacturer of Premarin, Wyeth-Ayerst funded much of the research, marketing, and speaking events to support the book.
When scientists began studying the outcomes of this therapy, they learned that by 1975 uterine cancer rates increased 600%. One of the complications with giving too much estrogen is breakthrough bleeding, even in a menopausal woman. Because of the bleeding issues and the uterine cancer increase, physicians began using a synthetic progestin, Provera (medroxyprogesterone). In 1998, the uterine cancer rates had declined but breast cancer rates were increasing. In 2002, the Woman’s Health Initiative (WHI) was stopped due to unacceptable incidence of cancer, strokes, and heart disease. The reports of this study caused many women to stop hormone replacement therapy. By 2003, just one year later, breast cancer had decreased 7%.
So what is a woman to do who is suffering with hot flashes, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, low libido, low energy, osteoporosis, and many other symptoms of menopause? I suggest simple, over-the-counter progesterone cream.
In a study by The International Clinical Nutrition Review, 30mg of topical progesterone given twice a day increased bone density 10% in the first 6-12 months and continued to increase 3%-5% a year until they reached the level of a healthy 35-year old. The patients in this study also reported a heightened libido.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry – higher levels of progesterone “exhibited a strong antiproliferative effect on breast cancer cells and induced apoptosis” (In English, that means that topical progesterone stops breast cancer cells from reproducing and also makes sure the cancer cells die.)
Obstetrics and Gynecology – showed that topical progesterone reduced 83% of vasomotor (hot flashes) symptoms
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology – transdermal progesterone prevents coronary hyperactivity
Nature Medicine – topical progesterone prevents atherosclerosis and may explain why males are at greatest risk of heart disease
Journal of Vascular Surgery – topical progesterone has “a protective role against the artherosclerotic changes associated with type II diabetes.”
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism – topical “progesterone exerts its inhibitory activity upon the reduction of testosterone to DHT” (DHT is what causes prostate growth, hair loss, oily skin, and acne.)
I have plenty more studies but you get the idea…progesterone is important.
In women, the ovaries produce progesterone. After menopause, it is the job of the adrenal glands to supply the needed progesterone.
Unfortunately, our adrenal glands are so overworked and fatigued, progesterone levels are generally low. We must supplement with topical progesterone in order to balance our other hormones, especially the estrogens.
I teach my clients the analogy of a gas and brake pedal. The estrogen causes cell growth, progesterone regulates that growth and tells the cells when to die. If you were to drive your car without a brake pedal, you would certainly get into an accident.
Never take estrogen without progesterone…never.
Generally, when my clients first come to me with hormonal symptoms, I will advise them to use over-the-counter progesterone cream and see if their symptoms improve. Often times the symptoms will improve or go away altogether. If not, we will test her hormone levels and move on to supplying other hormones that her body is lacking.
You can buy progesterone cream at your local health food store. Make sure the ingredients listed on the bottle say “progesterone.” If you see wild yam extract or diosgenin or anything other than progesterone it WILL NOT WORK and do not buy it.
If you are still cycling, use 10mg of topical progesterone twice a day on days 14-28 of your cycle. This will help dramatically with PMS symptoms.
If you are no longer cycling, use 10mg of topical progesterone twice a day, stopping for two days a month.