This section is about the benefits that women of all ages can derive from progesterone therapy. Before further illustration it will be of interest to describe briefly the monthly cycle.

A woman’s reproductive life spans about 40 years, from puberty with the onset of menstruation to menopause when it ceases. She is born with all the eggs she will ever need, about 300,000. Of the 100 to 300 that develop each month, only one or two become mature, whilst the remainder are re-absorbed by the body.

The cycle is dominated by the two main sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. For the first half of a woman’s menstrual cycle, that is from day 1 to day 13, oestrogen is the dominant hormone. Ovulation usually takes place on day 14, half way through the monthly cycle. About one day before, on day 13, the secretion of oestrogen begins to fall, while at the same time there is a marked increase in the secretion of progesterone. It continues to rise considerably until day 21 to 23 when it begins to fall, reaching its lowest level at the start of menstruation on about day 28.

Oestrogen, which is produced mainly by the ovaries, is concerned with the development of the breasts and uterus at puberty. After this its role is to build the uterine lining, or endometrium, each month prior to fertilisation as well as to help regulate the menstrual cycle and normalise blood cholesterol levels.

Progesterone is made in the body each month by the corpus luteum which is a yellow body which is formed in the ovary after ovulation. It is produced in such quantities by the body that it is measured in milligrams whereas oestrogen is measured in micrograms. Progesterone is not only a precursor to many other hormones in the body but ensures that the endometrium stays in place, at the same time making the uterus ready for implantation of a fertilised egg. Once this occurs the placenta takes over the production of progesterone, which rises from a mere 25 mg to over 400 mg a day.

If the balance between the two hormones gets disrupted in any way, and the stresses of our Western way of life- not least our diet – can cause this, then a great many adverse symptoms can occur. A phenomenon known as oestrogen dominance is occurring amongst many women, playing havoc not only with their emotions but creating very unpleasant physical side effects. The reason behind this is the increasing use of chemicals in the world and the widespread use of oestrogen in oral contraceptives and in hormone replacement therapy, (HRT).

Unfortunately oestrogen dominance is something few people know anything about. Women have been convinced that oestrogen is the answer to most female hormonal problems, whether in the form of the contraceptive pill for menstruating women or HRT for menopausal women. Fortunately it is easy to redress, by withdrawing oestrogen and replacing it with progesterone.

The following list gives some of the symptoms of oestrogen dominance:

  • Mastitis
  • Menstrual cycles can become irregular
  • Increases the risk of fibroids
  • Potentially addictive and abusive
  • Increases the risk of breast cancer
  • May initiate fibrocystic breast disease
  • Increases the risk of uterine cancer
  • Water retention and bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of energy
  • Decreases libido
  • Bad temper
  • Increases risk of stroke and heart disease
  • Causes chronic fatigue
  • Causes skin to become thinner
  • Incidental in the start of osteoporosis
  • Can induce hypertension & high blood pressure
  • Headaches

Confusion also exists between the words progesterone and progestogen or progestin. The former is a natural hormone made by the body and which is now being made from the plant extract diosgenin. When used by a woman it has no adverse side effects. Progestogen, on the other hand, is a synthetic hormone used by the drug companies in oral contraceptives and HRT in preference (for commercial reasons) to the natural hormone. The contra-indications, precautions, and adverse reactions, make horrifying reading. The majority of doctors have not heard of the benefits of progesterone. Fortunately for us a few enlightened medical doctors in Britain and the USA have been using progesterone to treat their patients for a number of years now.

Further positive effects of progesterone are that the immune system is boosted, one’s physical and mental energy is increased, and one becomes calmer. Progesterone also protects against toxic substances and acts as a natural diuretic.

Many of the above symptoms are those of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) and low blood sugar. Up to 60% of menstruating women in the western world suffer from PMS in one form or another. Much research has been done on it. Some has been found to be psychological, some related to food, some to stress and some to an imbalance of hormones. It has been found that women with PMS consume three times as much sugar as those without. This unfortunately leads to the excretion of magnesium, which is vital in preventing PMS and menopausal symptoms

To guide those women with PMS the following list gives some of the common symptoms.

  • Headaches
  • Migraine
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Weeping
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Attempted suicide
  • Fainting spells
  • Weight gain
  • Tender breasts
  • Period pains
  • Sinusitis
  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Asthma
  • Backache
  • Joint pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Cravings and food binges

(See Symptoms and Diseases)

Menopause, which literally means last period, usually occurs somewhere between the ages of 45 to 52 with the cessation of egg production. As mentioned earlier a woman is born with all the eggs she will ever need. In the few years prior to menopause ovulation becomes erratic and with it comes a decline in progesterone. At about the same time the ovaries decrease their secretion of oestrogen. Unfortunately with the increased use of petrochemicals and oestrogen based drugs, many women are entering their pre-menopausal years in their early thirties.

One final list of symptoms is necessary to help those women who are either pre-menopausal or menopausal.

  • Erratic periods
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Heavier bleeding
  • Night sweats
  • Lighter bleeding
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Mood swings
  • Aches in the joints
  • Weeping
  • Anxiety
  • Irrational fear
  • Chronic fatigue
  • PMS
  • Depression
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Sleeping problems

(See Symptoms and Diseases)

Progesterone cream is currently being used by thousands of women in the western world. The speed with which the cream relieves symptoms varies. Some women find relief within five days, in others it can take three months, while the improvement of bone density for osteoporosis can take a year or longer. Many menstruating women find that they can discontinue using the cream after a few months as their symptoms have cleared up.

Any medical condition should be referred to a medical practitioner, preferably one with specific knowlege of progesterone therapy.