Women, unlike men, rely on progesterone to function properly. When a woman’s progesterone levels are low, this can lead to menstrual cycle imbalances as well as infertility issues. Progesterone cream can be helped to boost a woman’s progesterone levels to sufficient levels, and they can be purchased without a prescription.
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What Is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a progestogenic steroid hormone. This hormone is secreted by the female reproductive system naturally.
What Does Progesterone Do?
This hormone has a few functions, including:
- Regulating a female’s menstrual cycle.
- Allowing for fertilization and pregnancy.
A woman’s ovaries and placenta (when pregnant) will start to produce progesterone. This allows the woman’s body to regulate the condition of the inner lining of the uterus to ensure that it’s ready for pregnancy.
Your adrenal glands will also secrete this hormone.
Internally, progesterone has several functions that often go overlooked. When levels are proper inside of the body, this hormone will have the following effects on the female organs:
- Assisting with the release of the egg during ovulation.
- Preparing the uterus’s tissue for implantation.
- Prevention of more than one egg release at one time.
- Halts muscular contractions in the fallopian tubes.
- Plays a vital role in fetal development when pregnant.
- Stimulates the tissue in the breasts to stop lactation and early milk production.
- Helps strengthen the pelvic muscles in preparation for going into labor.
Without progesterone, the female body would not be able to perform all of these duties properly. This leads to birthing issues as well as pregnancy issues. In the event that progesterone levels are low in the body, a woman’s doctor will advise her to take either medication or use creams to help correct the problem.
Creams are a great course of treatment because they help with progesterone development while not having the same harsh side effects that oral alternatives have.
Even if a woman has conceived successfully, these creams may be recommended so that the woman will be able to proceed with pregnancy without risk of complications.
When found in medical form, this hormone is often synthetic and is called progestin. This medically-enhanced hormone comes in a variety of different vehicles, including:
- Intrauterine devices
- Vaginal gels
All of these methods have a very high chance of success in boosting progesterone levels and will act just like their natural counterparts. Some side effects (we’ll discuss these shortly) are linked to these synthetic hormones.
How to Use Progesterone Cream
Creams are highly recommended and have several benefits over their oral counterparts.
These creams are very fat-soluble. What does this mean? When something is fat-soluble, it will absorb into the skin more easily. As a result, the cream takes action faster with little potency lost in the process.
Once absorbed into the subcutaneous fat, the progesterone will make its way into the capillary blood where it’s absorbed. A non-technical explanation is that creams will absorb into the blood stream more efficiently than other methods.
When applying cream, you’ll want to apply to the following areas:
- Inner arms
These are the areas where absorption is at its highest rate.
Your doctor will advise you as to the best dosage recommendations for your body. However, if you want to follow general guidelines, the following will apply:
- Use creams 14 days before your menstrual cycle.
- Apply 15 – 24 mg/day.
- Women that are postmenopausal will apply 15mg/day for 25 days each month.
Again, these creams have different amounts of progesterone in them, so you’ll want to follow your doctor’s advice where applicable. If you’re trying to be on the safe side and taking precautionary measures, it’s recommended that you purchase a cream that has 450 – 500 mg of progesterone in each ounce.
Why not just take a pill?
Your liver will process the progesterone found in pills, causing 80 – 90% loss within the liver. Ultimately, this is less effective and more taxing on the body than applying a cream.
Benefits of Progesterone Cream
Cream is the preferred method of boosting your progesterone levels. When you apply progesterone cream, you’ll benefit in the following ways:
- More progesterone will remain in the body as a result of the progesterone being absorbed into the blood stream.
- FDA-approved for a hormone replacement therapy.
- Women that have difficulty getting pregnant or that have been deemed infertile can regain fertility with progesterone treatments.
- Thickens the uterine wall and lining to allow for successful implantation to occur.
- Assists the body in preparation of pregnancy and delivery.
- Stops the breasts from lactating milk too early so that a fresh, adequate supply is ready at birth.
- Breast pain and tenderness is lessened when creams are directly applied to these sensitive areas.
- Premature labor can be avoided with added progesterone. This is still under study by several research institutes.
Progesterone creams help rebalance the body’s hormone levels when needed. This is essential for a safe and long-term pregnancy.
Progesterone Side Effects
Progesterone treatments of any kind will have similar side effects listed. Remember that creams are more effective and have fewer side effects than their oral counterparts or injections for that matter.
The most common side effects seen with progesterone creams are:
- Mild headaches
- Joint pain
- Hair growth
- Hot flashes
- Mild nausea
- Tenderness of the breasts
- Redness of the breasts
- Problems with urination
These are the most common side effects. Other side effects that have been noted include: inverted nipples, bloody discharge of the nipple, blurred vision, confusion, yellow eyes or skin, depression and several other symptoms.
It’s important to visit a doctor if you’re currently pregnant and have tightness of chest or vaginal bleeding following progesterone usage.
Progesterone creams are highly effective and come with few side effects. While the cream does absorb into the skin faster than other methods, you will want to practice caution when using any progesterone treatments. Not fatal, these hormonal therapies allow a woman’s body to prepare for birth, and even assists through pregnancy, implantation and preparing the cervix for giving birth.
Treatments with progesterone can be prescribed by a medical professional, or you can buy these creams over-the-counter.