(Mission Viejo, CA)
Can you take progesterone alone?
I've read suggestions that progesterone can be taken by itself but have also been told that you MUST take progesterone AND estrogen together!
What are the facts?
Thank you for your question regarding whether or not to use progesterone alone or in combination with estrogen.
It is often difficult to determine what is true when you get conflicting information. Doing some research and asking some questions is a good way to find out the most likely facts.
For many years doctors thought that estrogen was the primary hormone that affected a woman, particularly during the "change of life."
They believed that by giving women MORE estrogen it would help them with the annoying symptoms of menopause. In some cases, estrogen does seem to alleviate some of the symptoms, but actual hormone balance is not achieved, and further problems were the result. This was considered just a fact of life we women had to accept.
In fact, women suffer MORE symptoms from estrogen dominance (which is usually the cause of the annoying symptoms) than they do from a lack of estrogen. By "dominance" we are really referring to a lack of balance of hormones - too much estrogen and not enough progesterone.
Of course, the pharmaceutical companies (always looking for a way to make more money) developed artificial or synthetic hormones so that they could patent them and make a killing on this new theory.
They wouldn't dream of simply recommending the hormones found naturally occurring in nature because they are inexpensive and, of course, aren't allowed to be patented. ;-) About 30 years ago or so, many doctors started realizing two things...
1. Women were suffering from serious side effects from the synthetic hormone replacements, including breast cancer and other fatal illnesses.
2. Most women in modern countries were actually suffering from an excess of estrogen, not a deficiency.
Some of these good men and women in the medical field determined to investigate further and find out if maybe what they had previously been taught and believed about hormones was even correct.
I have learned the majority of what I know about proper hormone balance from the writings of Dr. John Lee, one of the more well-known doctors who went against the prevalent thought of the day and has had a huge impact on the quality of womens health.
He has written several books that you can probably find at your local library and also on Amazon (below) if you would like to do further reading and research yourself.
God made our body in such a way that we are supposed to have a balance in most areas, including a balance in our hormones. When the hormones get out of balance, it can affect our health in many negative ways. This isn't just physically, but emotionally and mentally, too.
Because of the age we are living in, we in the western world are exposed to a massive amount of "petrochemicals" in fuel, oils, plastics, medicine, and even perfume. These pollutants have a strong effect on us and act as added estrogens in our system.
I really could go on and on about this, but since I am NOT a doctor, I suggest that you read some of these recommended materials yourself since they provide an immense amount of documentation to show their accuracy.
Your main question, "Can you take progesterone alone?" could really be answered with a simple "YES." But I wanted to try to provide you with some of the 'facts' as you requested.
Natural progesterone (NOT synthetic progestins) has been used by women without any adverse side effects for more than 30 years.
A woman should 'naturally' produce about 20-24 mg. of progesterone per day, but as we age, and because of our environment, our progesterone levels drop significantly in comparison to our estrogen levels. This causes an imbalance and a whole range of low progesterone symptoms
You can safely use a good quality natural progesterone cream on a regular basis (I've been using it for years) to raise your progesterone levels without worrying about the side effects associated with synthetic HRT's.
That may be where the confusion is coming in. Perhaps the information you have received stating that progesterone alone won't work and that it has to be combined with estrogen was referring to some type of synthetic hormone replacement regime.
Progesterone alone DOES work, and it works well. I'm not just speaking of my own experiences, but of many friends and family members who use and benefit from natural progesterone as well as the numerous documented testimonials from people like Dr. John Lee and other well respected medical researchers.
There are some women who, on rare occasions, may need a small amount of estrogen supplementation for a SHORT term (particularly after menopause) along with their progesterone to help them get in balance again. This is the exception rather than the rule.
I use progesterone alone for about 14 days per month in a cream form that I rub into the fatty tissue, rotating between my upper arms, breasts, etc.
There are a number of different good quality brands available in the US at the moment (thankfully), but the brand I currently use is the most effective I've found so far.
It is listed in Dr. Lee's book on menopause as one of the top two highest quality creams available.
Lisa, I encourage you, and any other woman who is seriously concerned about her long term health, to give natural progesterone cream a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
What you may not even realize or notice are the added benefits your body receives from using a bio-identical hormone supplement. Progesterone has been shown to improve bone density and greatly reduce your chances of osteoporosis, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and more.
I consider that a 'side effect' that is an extra blessing. To your good health!