Progesterone. For women, this hormone serves us well through many phases of life. We might not fully appreciate it until we start losing it, and then, things can go downhill in myriad ways.
If you are over 40 and have ever asked yourself, “what on earth is wrong with me?” (as I certainly have), you might be experiencing the effects of declining progesterone. The good news is, this is a problem that is easily remedied if you get get good advice from a physician experienced in this area and who knows how to guide you.
At age 46, I am definitely in the “declining hormone” phase of life, and I do supplement with progesterone. Often referred to as “the great balancer,” it not only plays a key role during pregnancy, but also during a woman’s pre- and peri- menopause years by keeping estrogen and other hormones in balance.
After age 40, hormones tend to fluctuate during the years leading up to menopause. This looks different for each woman, but for me, it included cyclical periods of irritability, mood swings, and forgetfulness. When I asked my ob/gyn how to handle my symptoms, he immediately suggested progesterone cream. Since I have no symptoms of depression, he felt that my “like clockwork” mood swings were most certainly hormonal and able to be addressed with bio-identical progesterone from a reputable compounding pharmacy.
After several months, I can emphatically say that progesterone has worked for me. It has restored a sense of balance, and I no longer dread the few days each month that used to be difficult. If you are having any monthly PMS type symptoms, I would urge you to ask your doctor if you might benefit from progesterone. Tests can be done to determine levels, but highly skilled doctors can advise you based on age, symptoms, and other factors.
According to my doctor, not all progesterone is equal in quality or effectiveness. He advised me to use a specific compounding pharmacy, one whose progesterone he knew passed the muster on absorption. Although quite a trek from my side of town, I buy where he told me to just to make certain I am spending money on a product that works.
In my experience, one of the biggest benefits of progesterone is its calming effect at bedtime. After putting it on at night, I fall asleep more easily and seem to sleep more soundly. I am careful to use only the prescribed amount (close to 25 mg), as too much can lead to depression or other undesirable effects.
For more information on the subject, the article How To Use Progesterone Cream Properly by Suzy Cohen (known as America’s Pharmacist) is full of helpful information.
Do you use progesterone cream, and does it work for you?