If you have been on any PCOS forum or Facebook page, you’re sure to come across a discussion on natural progesterone cream and PCOS. This is something that I’ve come across myself but never used. Well, I thought it might be time to have a closer look at why progesterone cream might be useful for PCOS and if it is, how we should be using it.
Before we get in to the nuts of bolts of Natural Progesterone cream for PCOS, we need to understand what progesterone is and why it is important for our bodies.
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a hormone that is naturally produced by our bodies (or should be). Progesterone levels rise and fall throughout our cycle, and is normally at its peak after ovulation. You see, once you have ovulated and the egg has been released, what is left of the follicle become a progesterone factory and raises progesterone levels to 200 to 300 times of that of estrogen (1).
The problem comes in when we don’t ovulate. That surge in progesterone causes the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for pregnancy and also tells the brain to stop producing hormones to stimulate your ovaries to produce follicles. So, if that surge of progesterone never happens, the ovaries are constantly stimulated to produce follicles which can lead to the development of multiple cysts forming.
As a result of this low progesterone level, many women with PCOS are thought to be estrogen dominant. According to Dr John Lee, some symptoms of estrogen dominance include (2):
- Polycystic ovaries
- Water retention and bloating
- Hair loss
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Breast and uterine cancer
Doesn’t sound good, does it!? Dr Lee recommends natural progesterone cream to counter balance the effects of estrogen in our bodies and it has been used successfully with many women with PCOS, it seems. (3)
Okay so now let’s have a look at how to use Natural Progesterone Cream.
How to Use Natural Progesterone Cream
The idea with using the cream is to mimic your natural cycle. So, you should take the cream after ovulation, in the last two weeks of your cycle, stopping two days before your period is due to start.
Now, my first thought here was, “What if you don’t have a cycle or your cycle is irregular?” Well, according to Natural Fertility Info (4) you need to work out what is normal for you. So, irrespective of the length of your cycle, work out when your next period is due and work two weeks back from that. That is when you should start using the cream.
If there is no rhythm to your cycle, you should mimic a cycle by following the same usage as normal, choosing a date and using the cream for 12 days before stopping for 16 days.
Both Dr Lee and Dr Mercola (3 and 5) recommend a dose of 15-24mg per day. The half life of the cream is relatively short so the dose should be split into two doses (morning and evening).
Where to Apply the Cream
You can apply the cream directly to the skin but it is preferable to use the cream vaginally. The reason for this is that progesterone is fat soluble. This means that it is easily absorbed by the fat cells under the skin where it is often stored. This causes a build up of progesterone in the body which is very unhelpful. Also, you may no longer feel the benefits of the cream as the progesterone is being stored instead of being used.
By applying the cream vaginally, you are bypassing the fat cells and allowing the cream to be absorbed directly into the blood stream that serves the ovaries. This again mimics the release of progesterone from the follicle.
Where can I get Natural Progesterone Cream?
No prescription is needed for natural progesterone cream and it is available from varuious retailers, including Amazon.
How long Should I use it For?
Dr Lee suggests that you use the cream for about 6 months to regulate your cycle and then wean yourself from the cream to see if your body is able to regulate itself. Start by using half of the dose and see how your body responds. Obviosuly if you need to keep using it, then do.
Are There any Side Effects?
I feel like it would be irresponsible of me to tell you all of the positives of using natural progesterone cream for PCOS, without letting you know about possible side effects.
Well, to be honest, I couldn’t find a whole lot of negative side effects of the cream. It seems fairly safe but, as with all things, you need to make sure that you are making informed decisions about your PCOS management. Please talk to your doctor before starting the cream or if you need further support.
A Final Word of Warning
Just before you rush off to Amazon to order your natural progesterone cream, there is one last word of warning. The cream will not necessarily solve your PCOS problem and address the route cause. Dr Lee suggests that it is vital to incorporate a healthy PCOS diet and exercise to manage your PCOS and natural progesterone cream is just one piece of the puzzle.
Have you tried natural progesterone cream? I would love to hear from you if you have! Please leave me a comment below and let me know if you felt any benefits from using the cream!