Updated: Jun 17
She was miserable. Only 40 years of age, she said that her husband was trying to be supportive but her moods before her time of the month were getting increasingly worse. I can’t help it she said. They said I had PMS. My periods are heavy, I lose lots of blood, and my cramps really hurt. Sometimes I have pretty severe headaches.
What can I do? My family doc just wants to put me on Birth Control Pills.
These symptoms are heard frequently. Usually, the lady has a history of difficult periods although they may not appear until later in life. They may have started as a teenager.
Question. Do women, at whatever age, have to suffer from difficult periods? Cramps? Headaches? PMS. Moodiness and poor sleep quality? No!
We have seen thousands of women over the past twenty years. Can the solution for many of these problems be the use of bioidentical progesterone? In many instances, yes. Other conditions that can be caused by low levels of this natural progesterone can include infertility, miscarriages, and post-partum depression.
The prescription of bioidentical progesterone may not be enough by itself to help all women. For some, it may take a combination of hormones. These may include thyroid and/or estradiol. It may also take addressing other potential causes. A holistic approach works best.
What about birth control pills? Yes, they can help with heavy bleeding. Does this address the underlying cause of the various symptoms? No. The use of bioidentical progesterone addresses the causes and not just the symptoms.
But wait, isn’t progesterone in my birth control pill? No. This is unfortunately a big misunderstanding with conventional medicine and with the public. Birth control pills contain progestin. This is a synthetic hormone that has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer in many women. See WHI blog. Progestin does help with excessive bleeding and can help with uterine cancer protection. The latter is why physicians often tell women without a uterus (due to a hysterectomy) that they do not need even progestin.
This is why, in spite of the Women’s Health Initiative Study, post-menopausal women who still have a uterus, are often prescribed Prempro, a combination of synthetic estrogen and a progestin.
Progesterone provides the necessary protections and much more but without the risks associated with progestins. Progesterone is the hormone naturally produced by the female body.
So, let’s look at progesterone so you can determine if maybe this is the answer to stopping the suffering experienced by you or a friend or a daughter.
Progesterone is only produced by the ovary at the time of ovulation. It lasts for 14 days, generally, until the menstrual cycle begins. However, in a young woman should she become pregnant, the progesterone is produced more by the placenta as the pregnancy progresses. Progesterone has many important affects besides supporting a pregnancy.
Symptoms of low progesterone in premenopausal women: These women will have what is called a “luteal phase defect”. This is caused by failure of the corpus luteum to produce adequate amounts of progesterone on days 14-28 of the menstrual cycle after ovulation occurs. Depending upon the amount of deficiency will dictate the degree of symptoms. For instance, we see women with PMS with various levels of symptoms.
Heavy menstrual flow
Estrogen dominance issues
Elevated LDL and decreased HDL
Symptoms of low progesterone in post-menopausal women:
In post-menopausal women the ovaries have obviously stopped producing any hormones. So, it becomes obvious that there is a need for replacement therapy to prevent the below symptoms:
Benefits of Progesterone:
Progesterone is many forms has been used for years to treat many conditions.
Lowers LDL, raises HDL.
Protects against uterine cancer.
Reverses bloating, weight gain, depression
Feeling of well being
Synergistic with estrogen
Decreases the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, colon/rectal cancer.
Prevents coronary artery constriction.
Greatly enhances the treatment of PMS and heavy menstrual flows.
Enhances protection of estrogen for osteoporosis.
Improves female sexual response.
Progesterone is anti-inflammatory as well.
Estrogen and progesterone can reduce cardiac mitochondrial swelling.
Estrogen modulates mitochondrial ATP synthesis in the heart.
Estrogen and progesterone decrease stress-induced mitochondrial ROS production.
Progesterone deficiency is common in teenagers with heavy menstrual periods.
Many mothers with heavy menses will have daughters with the same problem.
Chemical and biological distinctions exist between synthetic.
Progestin = androgenic vasoconstrictor, and endogenous
Progesterone = antiandrogenic vasodilator.
Progesterone is the only steroid hormone that has been shown.
to be free of carcinogenicity in controlled clinical studies.
Progestins are potent stimulators of angiogenesis.
Deficits of progesterone are associated with significantly.
Peer reviewed and published Articles:
increased medical risk in postmenopausal women.
Hormone Replacement Therapy, Family History, and Breast Cancer Risk Among Postmenopausal Women
Discussion: We assessed interaction between the additive effects of family history and estrogen plus progesterone replacement therapy on the risk of breast cancer. We find no important interaction.
The Presence of a Membrane-bound Progesterone Receptor Induces Growth of Breast Cancer with Norethisterone but not with Progesterone: A Xenograft Model
Results: E2 and sequential E2/NET combination increased tumor growth. Progesterone did not increase growth.
Breast Cancer Patients Could Benefit from Controversial Hormone:
Progesterone may have an important role to play in the safe and effective management of recurring breast cancer.
However, in a paper now published in the prestigious journal Nature Reviews Cancer, an international team highlights that progesterone when used in menopausal hormone therapy does not increase breast cancer risk.
Injectable Contraceptives Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk
An injectable form of progestin-only birth control has been found to double the risk of breast cancer in young women after just a year or more of use, a new study suggests.
Premenopausal: It is best to treat the person with cyclic progesterone usually 100 mg of sublingual twice a day from days 14-28 of the cycle.
For more severe cases, Katherine Dalton, a UK physician, wrote a book on PMS and would use up to 2400mg a day in the form of a 600mg vaginal suppository 4 times a day without any side effects.
Some premenopausal women with insomnia could benefit with an oral progesterone at night and a sublingual in the morning. The oral progesterone, as it passes through the liver, will produce metabolites that will enhance sleep.
Postmenopausal women do quite well with an oral progesterone every night. It will enhance sleep as well as be protective. 200mg orally has been the standard does but with stress and an increase in cortisol, many women will have breakthrough bleeding as the cortisol blocks the receptors in the uterus. Using 300mg a night will almost always prevent this from happening.
Side effects: There are very few side effects reported for the use of progesterone.
Taking the oral in the morning may cause drowsiness.
We have seen on maybe one or two occasions an intolerance to progesterone but was probably related to the dose.
The sublingual triturate made by some companies have had the problem of difficulty in being dissolved which could be somewhat annoying. Just biting the triturate in half will usually speed up absorption.
Questions about progesterone?
Call Seeking Perfect Health, 512-559-4350