If you’re dealing with hormonal imbalances, your doctor may recommend using a quality progesterone cream to restore your body’s natural balance. While synthetic oral medications are available, bioidentical creams are the preferred choice because they’re easily absorbed by the body.
Where to Buy Progesterone Cream?
Over the counter creams can be purchased in drug stores, health food stores or online. How can you know which cream is the best choice? First, let’s take a look at what this hormone is and what it does.
How to Find the Best Progesterone Cream
There are numerous progesterone creams on the market today. How can you be sure that the product does, in fact, contain progesterone?
1. Avoid Products that Contain Wild Yam
A big issue with over the counter progesterone creams is that they don’t contain any active ingredients. Products with “wild yam extract” or “Mexican yam” will not actually provide progesterone. They may have similar effects on the body, but they will not cause the body to produce more progesterone.
2. Look for USP Progesterone
Products labeled as USP progesterone are often a smart choice. USP stands for United States Phamacopeia, which is an independent organization that’s recognized in more than 130 countries. The USP has standards for quality, purity, consistency and strength.
If a product is labeled as USP, you can rest assured that it will meet the USP’s rigorous. It’s important to note, however, that the USP is not regulated by the FDA, and products labeled as USP grade are not necessarily approved by the FDA.
USP progesterone is created in a lab with plat fats and oils, either from soybeans or a specific type of yam from Mexico. The primary difference between USP creams and those that contain wild yam is that the USP progesterone is synthesized into real human progesterone. The body cannot convert wild yam into progesterone.
Look for creams that contain 400 mg of progesterone per ounce.
If you’re unsure of whether or not a particular cream is a good choice, consult with your doctor. It’s also important to keep in mind that a high quality cream will cost more, so it may not be a good idea to place price above other considerations.
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is considered a steroid hormone that’s produced by the corpus luteum at ovulation. The adrenal glands also produce this hormone in smaller amounts.
This important hormone is the precursor to most other steroid hormones, including androstenedione, cortisol, testosterone and estrogens.
During a normal menstrual cycle, the corpus luteum will produce 20-30mg of progesterone each day during the luteal phase of the cycle.
What Does Progesterone Do?
Progesterone plays an important role in the female body. One of its most important functions is to stimulate the endometrium to secrete certain proteins during the second half of your cycle. These proteins will prepare the uterus to receive and properly nourish a fertilized egg.
In the early stages of pregnancy, progesterone that is produced by the body plays an important role in supporting a healthy pregnancy. If progesterone levels are too low, miscarriage is a very real possibility.
Eventually, the placenta will take over and produce the progesterone needed to support healthy growth. Progesterone and estrogen levels remain elevated all throughout the pregnancy. High levels of these hormones suppresses ovulation until after the pregnancy has ended.
Progesterone is also responsible for stimulating the growth of milk-producing glands in the breasts.
It’s not uncommon for women to have low progesterone levels. Xenoestrogens in the environment, the products you use and the food you eat can lead to an excessive amount of estrogen in the body.
Progesterone creams can help restore the body’s natural balance.
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, are at high risk for a miscarriage or going through menopause, your doctor may suggest using a progesterone cream to counteract these issues.
The Benefits of Progesterone Cream
Progesterone creams can help restore normal levels of progesterone in the body and may offer the following benefits:
- Reduce or eliminate PMS
- Regulate the menstrual cycle
- Improve mood
- Aid in thyroid function
- Improve sleep
- Increase sex drive
- Maintain the lining of the uterus
Note: If you’re in the early stages of a pregnancy and your progesterone levels are low, your doctor may prescribe a progesterone cream or pill to help prevent a miscarriage. If you’re at risk for a miscarriage, it’s highly recommended that you avoid over the counter products and heed your doctor’s recommendations.
How to Use Progesterone Cream
If you’re using a doctor-prescribed cream, please follow your physician’s dosage and usage directions carefully.
If you are using an over the counter cream, you will need to experiment with dosages. It’s recommended that you start with a low dose of 1/8 tsp (or 10mg), and increase as needed. A 1/2 tsp will contain about 42 mg of progesterone.
The cream should be applied daily for 14 days prior to your expected period, and you should stop application two days before your period starts.
It’s important to rotate application sites to prevent build-up of the hormone in the skin. Wrists, back of the knees and ankles are ideal locations for applying the cream.
There are no known progesterone side effects for bioidentical products. Using too much may cause you to feel sleepy, at most.