PROGESTERONE

 (With thanks to my late  colleague and good friend Mike Cushman from Pharmaceutical Compounding New Zealand)

Progesterone “for gestation” – is the hormone of pregnancy. Produced in the ovaries, progesterone prepares the uterus lining to enhance implantation of the fertilized ovum. If implantation does not occur then progesterone thickens the vaginal mucus, assists the fallopian tubes function and raises the body temperature to promote the right environment to promote pregnancy. Progesterone also assists in maintaining the pregnancy.


In 1934 natural progesterone was first isolated. It is a white crystalline powder that is odourless, stable in air and nearly insoluble in water. Today, natural progesterone is derived from wild yam or soy bean and altered in the laboratory to produce the chemically identical equivalent to that produced in our bodies.

It is really important to understand that the human body cannot convert the substances that are derived from wild yam and soy bean and that these substances must be converted in the laboratory – they are still natural human equivalent hormones

Lack or deficiency of progesterone can be significant in the following health issues

  Menopausal Changes   Irritability and mood swings   Vasomotor hot flushes   Loss of libido   Depression associated with deficiency   Insomnia associated with deficiency   Premenstrual syndrome   Vaginal dryness   Painful irregular menstruation   Undue worry – particularly at night   Cold hands and feet   Irregular menstrual cycles   Hormonal migraines   Endometriosis   Post natal depression   Polycystic ovarian syndrome   Fibrocystic breast disease   Uterine fibroids   Weight fluctuations   Recurrent miscarriages   Fatigue and panic attacks   Palpitations   Emotional liability – weepiness   Breast tenderness  

Benefits of natural or bio-identical progesterone

  1. Improved cholesterol levels & fat burning activity
  2. Improved sexual libido in some instances
  3. Improved sleep, moods, memory & concentration
  4. Loss of retained fluid
  5. Prevention of osteoporosis & restoration of lost bone (when used with essential nutrients)
  6. Protection against heart disease & stroke
  7. Reduced hot flushes, improved vaginal tissue & moisture, improved thyroid function
  8. Reduced risk of cancer of breast, uterus & ovaries

How is progesterone used?

The use of progesterone in a cream which is applied to the skin has gained popularity in New Zealand. In some instances, capsules, oil or oral lozenges may be prescribed. Progesterone creams and oil are best applied to non hairy clean surfaces such as palms and feet, insides of arms, neck, face, chest etc. Rotation of the areas of application is advised to avoid local receptor over-saturation. The hormone cream should not apply to breasts, buttocks or lower abdomen as existing fat deposits may reduce effectiveness.

Progesterone – what are the risks?

There is a slight chance that an adverse reaction which may produce drowsiness. Perhaps 1 in 500 may experience a mild depression which disappears when dosing is reduced or removed. Transitory breast tenderness may occur when oestrogen receptor sensitivity is increased and can be dealt with by reducing progesterone intake. Progesterone also has a number of very significant protective health effects.

Progesterone – how effective is it?

n the 1998 FDA approved study on progesterone cream, 83% of women had resolution of hot flushing symptoms. This and many other benefits are reported by New Zealand women. There is evidence that a small number of post menopausal women (10-15%) do well with both progesterone and some natural oestrogen replacement. Progesterone has also been shown to protect the endometrium lining within the uterus when oestrogen is also used. PMS is a natural consequence of low progesterone. Oestrogen dominance producing symptoms and risk is caused by low progesterone.

To obtain natural Progesterone Cream in New Zealand you will need a doctors prescription. If you are having any difficulty finding a suitable prescriber then you can find a list of practitioners close to you (insert link to Acnem find a practitioner site)

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