Hormones can seem confusing and complicated at times.
Here are some frequently asked questions, perhaps they can help you!
Still Have Questions? Call us!
I want 2014 to be the year that you achieve your BEST health
& keep it into your 90’s & BEYOND!
Let me be your health cheerleader!
If you have any friends, neighbors, or loved ones YOU think would benefit for a hormone discussion, give them our number!
My mission is for EVERYONE to achieve hormone balance & optimal wellness.
P.S. I can help with skin care, too!
What is natural progesterone?
Natural progesterone comes from plant sterols. The most common source today is the Wild
Mexican yam.. It is processed to match the chemical composition of our body’s
own progesterone, in other words “bio-identical”. The natural progesterone is micronized and
therefore capable of passing through the skin into the blood stream. Synthetic
progesterone is called progestin and is manufactured by pharmaceutical
companies. Products that contain Wild
Yam extract alone without micronized progesterone are not natural progesterone.
Who may benefit from natural progesterone?
Those who may benefit from the
use of natural progesterone are women with:
- PMS symptoms
- Estrogen Dominance symptoms
- Menopausal symptoms
How does natural progesterone
During peri-menopausal or menopausal stages,
monthly cycles occur wherein women do not ovulate. Without ovulation, the ovaries do not produce
progesterone. Progesterone levels get
lower, while estrogen levels may stay the same.
This fluctuation in hormone levels may result in hot flashing, night
sweats, insomnia, changes in bleeding patterns and other menopausal
symptoms. Adding progesterone may help
restore the bodies balance and alleviate symptoms.
What do I look for in a natural progesterone?
Look for a crème that contains between 960-1000mg per 2oz jar.
This supplies 20 mg of USP Progesterone per 1/4 tsp. This meets the standards of Dr. John R. Lee,
a medical doctor, natural progesterone expert and research authority on natural
How do I use natural
According to Dr. John Lee, directions are as
follows: Massage 1/4 tsp. into your skin
twice daily. Apply to inner arms, wrist,
palms of hands, thighs, face, or neck.
These areas are most absorbable and the progesterone absorbs through the skin in one to two
The first day of bleeding or menses is Day 1. Start the crème on Day 12 and continue
through Day 26.
If you have just had a cycle, use the crème from
day 12-26 of your cycle. Then stop. If your period does not come within a week,
consider the last day you took the progesterone as day one of a new cycle. Then begin on day 12 again.
If periods stop for 3 consecutive months, begin to
use the crème for 25 days of each month.
Use the crème for 25 days per month. Take 2-5 days off to allow receptor sites to
How can I wean off synthetic
hormones onto natural progesterone?
According to physicians
who use natural progesterone in their practices, the instructions are as
Use crème as directed. Take
synthetic estrogen pill every other day or cut estrogen patch in half.
2nd Month: Use crème as directed. Take synthetic estrogen pill every third day
or cut estrogen patch in quarters
Use crème as directed. Take
synthetic estrogen pill every fourth day.
If using the patch, go totally off it.
4th Month: Use crème as directed. Off all synthetic hormones.
While weaning do not take breaks in using the
How soon can I see results?
Depending upon your individual body, your
experience may not be the same as the next person’s. Some notice immediate results, while others
take days for it to work into their system.
Still, it may take up to 3 months to notice maximum benefits. Don’t give up! Since it is a natural substance, it may take
longer for the body to respond than a powerful synthetic.
How are natural hormones different from synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones are made from substances that are not natural in the
human body. For example, Premarin is
made from a pregnant mare’s urine. It is
important to note that a study on synthetics by Women’s Health Initiative of
the National Institute of Health was prematurely halted due to deleterious
long-term effects on women’s health, specifically breast cancer, blood clots,
and stroke. Natural
hormones are bio-identical to the body’s own hormone molecules.
I have had breast cancer. Can I use natural progesterone?
Yes. According to Dr. John Lee, it
is a good choice, because excess estrogen is thought to be a major contributing
cause to increasing numbers of breast cancers in the U.S. Progesterone balances estrogen levels in the
body. Several studies have revealed
important mechanisms by which natural progesterone may play a role in
preventing breast cancer or its reoccurrence.
Why do I have so much insomnia?
Insomnia in women over 40 is usually associated with hormonal changes of
peri-menopause and menopause. Often
there is too much estrogen relative to progesterone in the body. Remember estrogen is a central nervous system
stimulant and progesterone has a calming effect on the brain. Some women experience excellent results when
they rub 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. on the back of their necks for their evening dose.
I am Post-menopausal, Will I
start menstruating again if I use natural progesterone?
Occasionally, some women will experience some break-through bleeding when
they begin to use natural progesterone.
This is rare itself, but it does happen.
The progesterone can cause the body to rid itself of excess estrogen
that is stored in the endometrium, which leads to uterine shedding. This is
temporary and should stop after 3 months. Any bleeding that persists should be
reported to your doctor
I have facial hair, especially in
the upper lip area.
Excessive growth of facial and body hair is called hirsutism and can be
indicative of hormonal imbalance between estrogen, testosterone and
progesterone. Natural progesterone may help this condition. Many women report facial hair decreases or
disappears after 4 to 6 months of progesterone use, often rubbing some directly
on the hair.
Can natural progesterone help
with “fuzzy thinking”?
This is a very common complaint.
Hormonal imbalance is a primary cause of short-term memory loss or
“fuzzy thinking”. Progesterone has been
found to be highly concentrated in the brain cells. The mechanism is not known, but it is
suggested that it serves an important purpose.
Many women report clearer thinking within 3-4 weeks
Can I use natural progesterone if
I have Osteoporosis?
Dr. John Lee who studied the effect of progesterone on osteoporosis
concluded that progesterone may help build new bone by stimulating osteoblastic
Can natural progesterone help
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Dr. John Lee recommends using natural progesterone to treat PCOS as it
suppresses the luteinizing hormone and therefore ovarian cysts are not
stimulated. He states that in many women, cysts may then shrink with the
passage of several menstrual cycles.
Can natural progesterone help with fibrocystic breasts?
One common factor in women with fibrocystic breasts has been found to be
higher circulating estrogen. In many women, fibrocystic breasts respond well to
progesterone therapy in about three to four months. Natural progesterone may be rubbed directly
on the breasts
Will natural progesterone help
Estrogen dominance can result in uterine fibroids. Fibroids are non cancerous lumps that grow in
the uterus. Estrogen stimulates their
growth & the lack of estrogen causes them to atrophy. Studies have shown that when sufficient
natural progesterone is replaced, fibroid tumors may no longer grow in size and
often decrease. Protocol for using
natural progesterone is from day 8 through day 26 of the menstrual cycle,
according to Dr. John Lee.
What is PMS?
PMS is a disorder characterized by a set of hormonal changes that trigger
disruptive symptoms in women for up to 2 weeks before menstruation. Symptoms may be both physical and
emotional. They may also vary month to
month. Symptoms include: headaches, migraine, weight gain, anxiety,
depression, tension, and low libido. Many
women have noticed significant improvement when they use natural progesterone
from day 12-26 of their cycle.
Can I use birth control pills
while using natural progesterone?
According to Dr. Contreras and Dr. Lee, natural progesterone may neutralize
the effect of birth control pills, therefore you may become more fertile.
Can natural progesterone help
with my hot flashes?
A study found that 83% of women had a decrease in
and/or severity of their hot flashes while using natural progesterone. This
was printed in Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book The Wisdom of Menopause. Studies have also indicated that progesterone
can eliminate up to 75% of all hot flashes in many women.
How else can I fight these hot
Try eliminating spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, sugar and caffeine. These can trigger hot flashes. Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. Exercise as little as 3.5 hours per
week. Vitamin E has a long history of
reported benefit in women experiencing hot flashes. When actually having a hot flash, many women
report that applying 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of creme every 15 minutes for 1 hour during
and following the episode is very helpful.
Will natural progesterone help
In What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Pre-Menopause, by Dr.
John R. Lee, he states that he has treated many endometriosis patients with
natural progesterone and observed considerable success. He says that excess estrogen can cause
proliferation of the endometrial cells that grow outside the uterus, which is
an extremely painful condition. His
recommendation: use 1 oz of natural progesterone from day 6 of the cycle per
week for 3 weeks. Dr. Lee reported that
over 4 to 6 months the pain gradually subsides as healing of the inflammatory
How will I know if I’m using too
much natural progesterone?
If you are using too much, you may feel drowsy. As progesterone causes a calming effect, in
excessive amounts it may cause drowsiness.
Some women notice abdominal bloating.
Simply cut back on your dosage.
Natural progesterone usually increases energy, you should feel
energetic, not lethargic.
What is Phyto-Estrogen?
“Phyto” means plant. A source of
Phyto-Estrogen is Red Clover. Red Clover
may help elevate and balance moods, improve sleeping patterns, reduce
menopausal symptoms such as hot flashing, improve libido, support
cardiovascular health and promote maintenance of bone mass. Red clover contains four main
isoflavones: Genistein, diadzein,
biochanin and formononetin. Isoflavones
cause weak estrogenic activity and thus seem to help menopausal symptoms.
How much progesterone is in a 1/4
In a 2oz jar containing 1000 mg of USP progesterone, 1/4 tsp. will contain
20 mg. Using a 1/4 tsp. twice daily
results in a total dosage of 40mg. per day which is more than adequate for most
I have had a hysterectomy, but
still have my ovaries. Should I still
use natural progesterone?
According to Dr. Lee, Yes. Following
hysterectomy, the blood supply to the ovaries is significantly reduced and therefore
so is their ability to produce progesterone.
Within 2 years of the hysterectomy,
production usually falls to postmenopausal levels.
Is Progestin the same thing as
No. Progesterone refers to the hormone produced in the body or from a plant
source, but chemically identical to human progesterone. In contrast, Progestin is a synthetic
progesterone that differs in structure to the body’s own progesterone. Natural
progesterone is bio-identical
How safe is natural progesterone?
The safety of natural progesterone is well established. A pregnant woman
may make up to 300 mg of progesterone per day, so obviously it is not harmful
to a developing fetus. Excessive use may
cause drowsiness, but this would involve using large amounts.
Why is transdermal absorption so
good? Can’t I take a pill?
Natural hormones are small, fat soluble molecules which are easily absorbed
through the skin. They pass into the
subcutaneous fat layers, then into the blood stream in one to two minutes. Progesterone in a pill goes directly to the
liver and about 20% is absorbed. Thus it
is necessary to take 100 mg of progesterone in a pill form to get approximately
20 mg into your cells.
If I do not have the symptoms of
PMS or menopause, do I need natural progesterone?
If you do not have any symptoms, you still get benefits from using natural
progesterone. Three main benefits may
include: hormone balance, protection against breast cancer and new bone growth.
What exactly is menopause? If I
am still having periods, am I actually in menopause?
No, Menopause is the point at which you are have
gone twelve (12)
consecutive months without a menstrual
period. The average age of
menopause is 50-51 years of age.
What is peri-menopause?
Peri-menopause usually begins in your
early 40s. You will still have menstrual
periods, but you may notice changes.
These changes can be in the amount of bleeding during your cycle. You may also skip periods. Other symptoms can begin in some women, such
as anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, depression and
I have been told that I have very
low estrogen levels, yet I fit into the symptoms of estrogen dominance. How can this be?
Estrogen dominance, the phrase coined by Dr. John Lee after his extensive
research in women’s hormones, describes a condition in a woman’s body where she
has deficient, normal or excessive estrogen, but has little or no progesterone
to balance its effects in the body.
Therefore, even a woman with low estrogen levels can be estrogen
dominant. Natural progesterone creme can
help to restore hormonal balance.
Can I use natural progesterone if
I plan to become pregnant or if I am pregnant?
Early miscarriages are becoming more frequent. Adequate supply of progesterone to uterine
lining may help prevent miscarriages.
Dr. John Lee recommends using natural progesterone for the first three
months of pregnancy. After 3 months, the
placenta makes high amounts of progesterone, therefore after the third month,
the reduction of natural progesterone should be gradual to avoid any abrupt
drop in progesterone levels.
What Causes Estrogen Dominance?
According to Dr. John Lee the main reasons are:
- Nutritional imbalances
- Effects of stress on the body
- Use of birth control pills
- Environmental toxins &
synthetic chemicals such as pesticides and plastics.
These environmental toxins & chemicals affect the hormone balance of
all living creatures including humans.
They are called Xenohormones. Most of them have an estrogenic effect which can
cause hormonal imbalance. An excess or deficiency of estrogen has a strong
effect on a woman’s body. Too much
causes bloating, mood swings & insomnia.
Too little causes lethargy, fatigue, depression and low libido.
Xenoestrogens are found in:
- Paper products
- Plastic wraps (leach into food)
Scientists studying a high rate of breast cancer in Long
Island found that women with breast cancer had higher levels of
pesticides such as DDT in their breasts than women with normal breasts.
How Can I Protect Myself against Xenoestrogens?
Step One: Purchase foods not packaged in plastic wrap
Remove plastic wraps as soon as you get home, because the longer it is
in contact with food the more the xenoestrogens may leach into the food. Store food in butcher paper, cellophane, foil
or glass when possible.
Step Three: Do not microwave food in plastic
containers. Use a glass dish instead.
Step Four: Invest in a water
filter. In some areas, Xenoestrogens are
prevalent in drinking water due to massive amounts of detergents used by
industry that make their way to ground water.
Why do so many menopausal women
Excess estrogen in the form of estrogen dominance may do the following:
(Remember, you can be estrogen dominant even with LOW estrogen levels, if
you are not making progesterone.)
food calories into fat instead of energy
Thyroid function, changing metabolism
with insulin function to convert calories into energy
- Xenoestrogens are toxins stored in fat cells that can keep you fat!
Women who consume more calories
than needed increase their estrogen production.
The more fat a women has, the more estrogen she is producing.
The weight gain caused by both water retention and fat deposition on hips
and thighs may be reduced in many women by using natural progesterone
crème. After using progesterone, the
body utilizes fat for energy.
Many women have reported “losing their spare tire” with consistent natural
How and where is progesterone made?
When your menstrual cycles are regular and
functioning at optimum levels, your ovaries release an egg into your fallopian
tube every 18-28 days. This is called
ovulation. The egg has responded to
hormonal signals from the brain.. Next,
the tissue surrounding the egg enlarges and matures into a follicule. As the
follicle enlarges, it begins to make estrogen. Estrogen is the dominant hormone
for the first week or so after menstruation. Upon ovulation, the follicle
bursts, releasing the egg into the fallopian tube.The now empty follicle
becomes the “corpus luteum”, a small yellow body on the surface of the
ovary. The corpus luteum is now the site
of abundant progesterone production which dominates the second half of the
menstrual cycle. The increase of
progesterone at the time of ovulation causes a rise of body temperature of
about one degree Fahrenheit, which is often used to predict ovulation. If pregnancy does not occur within 10-12 days
following ovulation, estrogen and progesterone levels fall abruptly
which triggers menstruation. If
pregnancy occurs, progesterone production increases and the shedding of the
lining of your uterus is prevented.
In anovulatory cycles (no ovulation) no
progesterone is made and estrogen dominance can prevail. Due to stress, environmental influences,
diet, and past use of birth control pills, great numbers of women are not
ovulating and therefore not producing progesterone.
Can progesterone help with
Osteoporosis is a disease of bone loss.
A metabolic disorder characterized by bone resorption exceeding bone
deposition. The result is weakened bones
that are easily fractured. Osteoporosis
is most common in women and bone loss can begin prior to menopause
to the Health & Science Research Institute, U.S.A, Women using transdermal
progesterone creme experience an average 7-8% bone mass density increase the
first year, 4-5% the second year and
3-4% the third year..
Characteristics of Estrogen Dominance
- Weight gain
- Memory loss
- Irregular menstrual flow
- Panic attacks
- Cold hands and feet
- Breast tenderness
- Hair loss
- Thyroid imbalance
- Increased breast cancer risk
- Fluid retention (bloating)
- Blood clots
Progesterone Use Can Help:
- Utilize fat for energy
- Restore normal sleep pattern
- Restore proper cell oxygen levels
- Help with concentration
- Normalize blood sugar levels
- Protect against fibrocystic
- Help prevent breast cancer
- Act as a natural anti-depressant
- Act as a natural diuretic
- Assist thyroid hormone action
- Normalize blood-clotting
- Maintain the secretory
- Increase libido
- Normalize period
- Aid in skin disorders
- Stimulate bone mineral density
- Restore oxygen to cells
- Normalize Zinc and Copper levels
- Relieve cramping
My teenage daughter has heavy or irregular periods.
Can she use natural progesterone?
Yes. For teenagers
who are irregular, progesterone will help will help you to regulate on a 28-day
cycle. With continued use, periods should become regular and spotting will be
alleviated. This sometimes takes 3-4 cycles.
Can I mix synthetic estrogen with natural
If you are
unwilling or unable to discontinue your synthetic estrogen, try adding natural
progesterone to your daily regime. It can decrease your cancer risk.
Why doesn’t my doctor know more about Natural Hormone
Most of the
mainstream medical doctors read materials such as the Journal of America
Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other top-of-the-line
medical journals that do not cover naturopathic topics such as the use of
natural hormones. Their use isn’t taught in medical school or promoted by a
pharmaceutical company (the other major source of information for nearly all
“conventional” physicians). With no multinational drug industry to pay the
enormous cost, the large definitive studies that might demonstrate the efficacy
and safety of natural hormones will likely never be done. Almost all doctors
see only studies of the benefits and risks of Premarin®, Provera®, and other
patentable “hormone” studies which the pharmaceutical industry has conducted
itself or underwritten. An examination of the medical literature on HRT reveals
hundreds of articles about patentable HRT for every one about natural hormone
What if I have no symptoms? Do I still need natural
Kamen states in her book, Hormone Replacement Therapy: Yes or No?, that
even if you don’t have menopausal symptoms and have a good diet and exercise
regularly, the use of natural progesterone is still recommended. Studies show
that bioidentical progesterone lowers triglycerides, glucose levels, CRP, and
cortisol levels. Progesterone also decreases anxiety and depression which is
why we call it the “feel good” hormone!
Should estrogen be taken without progesterone?
No! It is
recommended that natural progesterone be used with any form of estrogen,
natural or synthetic. Estrogen without progesterone can cause endometrial and
vaginal carcinomas as well as breast cancer. Estrogen alone can block thyroid
and block water retention. It can also cause fibrocystic breast disease and
even fibroid tumors and cysts.
What if I don’t have a uterus and am taking estrogen?
My doctor says I do not need progesterone.
Although this is the conventional medical approach,
it is very misguided according to Dr. John Lee and other experts in the field
of hormones. With or without a uterus, you should always take progesterone
along with estrogen due to the increased risk of breast cancer associated with
estrogen dominance, along with a long list of other estrogen dominance
What about blood tests for hormones?
Many physicians measure progesterone
levels with serum (blood), but this measures only protein-bound progesterone.
When progesterone is absorbed transdermally, it is not protein-bound, and
travels in the blood on red blood cell membranes where it is loosely bound and
readily bio-available. Saliva hormone testing is the proper way to measure this
non-protein-bound progesterone. Because many physicians use only blood tests,
they are very apt to say that natural progesterone is “not working”. This is
not true. Salivary hormone tests are the most effective way to test your
Compiled by: Barbara Hoffman
Better Health Naturally
Progesterone Research Network
PO Box 1292 Corona del Mar, CA 92625