Menstrual problems affect women of all ages. In fact, research on women’s health issues suggests that as many as 70% of women will experience menstrual symptoms at some stage in their lives.
In the past, menstrual difficulties were largely restricted to the menopausal years. However, with increasing exposure to an alarming array of chemical compounds in the form of pesticides, solvents, plastics and industrial contaminates—all of which mimic the action of estrogen in the body—women of all ages, both pre- and post-menopausal, are at risk of the debilitating symptoms of hormonal imbalance. The outcome is that most women in first-world countries exhibit symptoms of estrogen dominance and that ambient progesterone levels have been compromised due to environmental and lifestyle factors. This results in a situation where supplementation with natural progesterone is required to restore a healthy balance.
Progesterone, together with estrogen, is a steroid-based hormone produced predominantly by the ovaries in women of child-bearing age. Its primary role is to assist in the processes of fertility and pregnancy. Progesterone is also produced in limited amounts by the adrenal glands in both genders and in the testes in males.
Progesterone is a precursor of several other hormone classes including the estrogen group (estrone, estriol, and estradiol), testosterone, and most importantly, the adrenal cortical group of hormones. It is the imbalance between progesterone and estrogen that results in the distressing symptoms of PMS and menopause. Progesterone and estrogen levels naturally rise and fall at prescribed intervals during the course of the menstrual cycle. However, if progesterone is deficient and estrogen becomes the dominant circulating hormone, symptoms of estrogen dominance will arise, such as water retention, swollen breasts, excessive mood swings, fat deposition around the waist, hips, and thighs, fluctuating blood sugar levels, headaches, osteoporosis, gall bladder disease, depression, anxiety, fibroids, insomnia, and thyroid dysfunction, to name a few. Such is the importance of progesterone to the healthy operation of a variety of functions that the effects of progesterone deficiency are experienced in many areas of the body.
Supplementing with natural progesterone cream not only counteracts the effects of estrogen dominance but stimulates the body’s own cycle of progesterone production and assists in bringing the progesterone/estrogen ratio back into equilibrium, thus eliminating symptoms of hormone imbalance.
There is, however, much confusion surrounding progesterone. It is important to remember that only natural progesterone cream assists in the reduction of estrogen-dominant symptoms. Synthetic progesterone, or more correctly, progestin, is a chemically synthesized compound produced by drug companies under many proprietary names, and forms one of the important components of the contraceptive pill. Taking synthetic progestin will not reduce the symptoms of estrogen overload but will in fact add to the problem. Similarly, Wild Yam cream, which is also used for premenstrual symptoms, is not the same product as natural progesterone and consequently does not produce the same benefits. Only when progesterone is created by chemically converting the extracted phytoestrogen component from a natural source, such as the Wild Yam, will the desired effect of reducing estrogen overload be achieved. Natural progesterone, unlike progestin and Wild Yam cream, is taken up by progesterone receptors in the brain and performs the same role as progesterone formed by the body’s own processes.
Progesterone supplementation in women suffering from estrogen dominance results in an impressive list of health improvements. Some of these include: reductions in fluid retention and headache frequency (including hormonally-induced migraines); decreased incidences of fibrocystic breasts, p