How to Use Natural Progesterone Cream
To understand how to use natural progesterone cream we need to first understand what it is and how it works once applied and absorbed into the body of the user.
What is Progesterone?
Here’s myth busting facts about what progesterone is and is not.
Progesterone belongs to one of the five known groups of steroid hormone. The name stands for progestational steroidal ketone due to its role in gestation, which often is why it has been considered as hormone of pregnancy when in fact it is produced even when pregnancy is not present.
It is not truly correct to say progesterone is a sex hormone nor a female hormone because it does not actually play role in development of sex characteristics and the hormone is also present in males. Rather after progesterone is synthesized within the body it is further converted into other hormones like androstenedione which is precursor of testosterone, estrone and estradiol, the real sex hormones responsible for sexual characteristics in both men and women.
What is Natural Progesterone and How is it Produced?
In humans progesterone is produced in the ovaries, the adrenal glands, and the placenta produces a great amount of it during pregnancy. It is also stored in adipose (fat) tissue. So what is natural progesterone and what is it made from? Progesterone can be converted from steroids found in a number of plant species. Laboratory synthesis of progesterone from plants is possible and this is the natural progesterone you see for sale. The natural progesterone that is obtained from the plant material is bioidentical to the progesterone molecule that is produced by the human body. The molecular structure is exactly the same and when applied the body uses it exactly as it would use progesterone produced by itself. There are no traces of the original plant material remaing just the bioidentical progeterone molecule. When buying any make of natural progesterone ensure that it is USP (United States Pharmacoepia) grade as this ensures quality and means you are getting the best natural progesterone.
Since it is bioidentical the synthesised natural progesterone causes no reactions within the body that could result in side effects. Also by using it in cream form it is absorbed through the skin into the blood and is then transported around the body for use. This is the best way to get progesterone as tablets for example are filtered out by the liver before they have chance to do anything.
How to Use Natural Progesterone Cream
A woman’s cycles can vary from as little as twenty one days to as long as thirty six. The average being twenty eight days. This is the reason that manufacturers of The Pill and HRT pack their product in twenty eight day batches.
The following guide on how to use natural progesterone cream is also based on 28 days, but please bear in mind that if your cycle is longer or shorter, follow that, rather than the average.
Using progesterone is very easy for a man as he has no cycle. Therefore it can be applied daily. It’s best to apply it twice a day, more frequently if symptoms are severe.
Use between 10-100mg/day progesterone, more if severe symptoms are experienced.
Levels over 1200mg/day are given to men who have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury.
Men secrete <3.18 nmol/L (<1 ng/ml) progesterone daily.
The number of instructions given, the apparent complications of using it, and the misinformation, has caused many hundreds of women to abandon using it.
The main consideration above all else is use enough to reverse any adverse symptoms.Too little and it merely exacerbates them.
The amount to use is not dependant on a given ‘dose’ or on size, weight, height or sex, but on symptoms.
The typical 20-40mg/day that is recommended does not raise levels to that found in the luteal phase. One study found that using 40mg/day…
“…only low plasma progesterone levels were found (median 2.5 nmol/l)”
The ranges for the luteal phase are 15.9 – 63.6 nmol/L (5 to 20 ng/ml). Men secrete <3.18 nmol/L (<1 ng/ml).
For general use and to reverse mild symptoms 100-200mg/day progesterone is needed. If severe problems are experienced 400-500mg/day are needed.
Once symptoms have passed the amount should be reduced very slowly, until the optimum is found.
to prevent adverse symptoms returning.
It should be used a minimum of twice a day as levels begin dropping after about 13 hours. But in severe cases, application can be hourly.
When first starting progesterone it can disrupt the cycle. Periods can be either earlier or later than normal. This is nothing to be concerned about, the normal cycle length will assert itself within a few cycles.
If spotting only occurs, continue using the progesterone until bleeding starts.
If a full period occurs stop using the progesterone, and begin it again 12-14 days before the next period. For further explanation on this see under Normal Cycle Lengths below.
Bleeding can be heavier in the first few cycles, also nothing to be concerned about. This is old lining which has not been shed previously.
The four phases of a woman’s life
Progesterone is safe to use in all four phases.
It’s given to pre-term male and female infants with respiratory distress syndrome. It’s effective for calming, and for any sleep issues in babies and children. Babies have been bathed in it for 9 months of their lives prior to birth.
Progesterone is the only hormone that does not adversely affect a male or female baby or child. So if some should rub off an adult using it, no harm will come. Unlike testosterone or oestrogen, which cause serious side effects in a male or female baby or child.
If progesterone is used on an infant or child, this is the only case when size does matter.
It helps with adverse symptoms experienced prior to puberty, and any found while going through puberty. Menstruation starts about two years after puberty begins and is known as menarche.
These two years can bring mood swings, temper tantrums, defiant behaviour, skin outbreaks and more. Oestrogen and testosterone levels are rising, but it’s not until menarche occurs and with it ovulation, does progesterone production begin.
This lasts from menarche to peri-menopause when fertility starts to drop. A normal cycle length varies from 21 days to 35 days, 28 days being the average. This is the reason that manufacturers of Contraceptives and HRT pack their product in twenty eight day batches.
Cycles outside this range are generally regarded as abnormal. For more information on this see the pages on Menstruation and PCOS.
Progesterone should be used during the luteal phase, ie from ovulation to bleeding, to supplement any deficiency.
The deficiency can be caused by a defective luteal phase or anovulatory cycles. These begin round about age 35, which is when many women find their PMS symptoms become worse.
100-200mg/day progesterone should be used, more if symptoms are severe.
Normal Cycle Lengths
Everyone, including the medical profession, assumes a normal cycle length is always 28 days in all women. This is simply not the case.
There is a fundamental error in advising women to start using progesterone on day 14. This is only appropriate for women with a 28 day cycle.
If a woman has a 21 day cycle, starting on day 14 would mean she starts using progesterone a week after ovulation. She would then only use progesterone for 7 days before bleeding began.
Likewise a woman with a 35 day cycle would begin progesterone a week before ovulation, which would effectively stop it. She would then use progesterone for 21 days.
for the last 12-14 days of the cycle.
Or if wishing to fall pregnant, it can be started during the 50 hour surge which occurs prior to ovulation.
Progesterone can be used while on drug based Contraceptives. It should be used when taking the second half of the packet.
Progesterone is safe to use with any drug, there are no contraindications.
This normally begins 5 to 10 years before menopause. As a rough guide, women tend to go into menopause round about the same age as their mothers. There’s no significant change when entering peri-menopause, such as the start of bleeding in puberty. Or the stopping of bleeding in menopause.
Many women have no symptoms at all, but many do, some quite severe. Progesterone levels are now dropping, and continue dropping at an ever faster rate. This is due to the increased frequency of anovulatory cycles.
Roughly one to two years prior to menopause cycles can become very erratic. Every two weeks, or at three month intervals, there is no telling when bleeding will occur. This can vary from spotting, to a normal period, to flooding.
100-200mg/day progesterone should be used, more if symptoms are severe.
Once cycles become erratic, and impossible to follow, it’s best to stop following the cycle and use progesterone daily, through any bleeding. It is safe to do so. Ironically no caution is given to women who take contraceptives continually, some of which are progestin only.
This begins on average at age 51. It’s normal to wait a year before judging menopause has begun. Many women think their problems will be over once in menopause, but this is often not the case.
Ovulation has now ceased, ovarian production of progesterone and estrogen has stopped. But fat cells continue secreting oestrone, the menopause estrogen, until death. Unfortunately there is no compensatory secretion of progesterone.
Many women have their oestrogen levels tested and are told it is low. But it’s oestradiol which is tested for, the pre-menopause oestrogen, never oestrone. Oestradiol should be low, it varies from 0-30pg/ml (0 – 110.13 pmol/L), see the page on Hormone Testing for more information.
100-200mg/day progesterone should be used, more if symptoms are severe.
As there is no cycle to follow use progesterone daily. Many women are advised to take a break, but it’s not necessary. Ironically no caution is given to women who take HRT continually.
Women who begin using progesterone for the first time once in menopause can experience one period, rarely two. This is nothing to be alarmed about. Over the course of the proceeding months or years the small amount of oestrogen being secreted by fat cells is enough to build or thicken the lining. The progesterone is effectively cleaning out the uterus.
The bleeding more often than not occurs within the first year of menopause, but it has been known for women 12 years into menopause to have a period when first using progesterone.
More Information on how to use progesterone cream
Pregnancy… How to use progesterone before conception and during pregnancy is explained on this page. There’s is an explanation of a defective luteal phase and how to extend it. Plus information on the surge of progesterone that comes from the brain prior to ovulation, and how to use progesterone to enhance ovulation and implantation.
Contraception… Progesterone can be used as a contraceptive. It has none of the adverse side effects the drug based contraceptives can have.
It should be started 3 to 8 days or more before ovulation depending on the cycle length. This will stop the oestrogen surge which occurs 2-5 days before ovulation. This surge of oestrogen is necessary to complete the final step before ovulation. There’s more information about the mid-cycle surge of hormones on the pregnancy page.
A study of progesterone contraception found a failure rate of 2.66 pregnancies per 100 women, which compares well with other methods. Please be aware that stress drops progesterone levels, so protection drops. Increase the amount used to cover the stressful time, or use a temporary alternate method.
Amounts of 100-200mg/day should be used.
It should be continued until bleeding occurs when it should be stopped. Resume using it again as outlined above.
Adverse symptoms… If symptoms are severe, it’s advisable to use progesterone daily for the entire month, using it through any bleeding. Follow this procedure for 2-3 months or until stable. This ensures progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. Each time a break is taken for the follicular phase, ie from bleeding to ovulation, oestrogen rises again, and adverse symptoms return.
Once stable the cycle can be followed again. ie when the next period occurs, stop using the progesterone for the follicular phase, and resume again at ovulation. If this is not known, start again 12-14 days before bleeding.
For general use it’s not necessary to know when ovulation occurs, beginning 12-14 days before bleeding is sufficient. But if pregnancy is the aim, it is necessary to know when ovulation occurs.
Stress… drops progesterone levels sharply, so adverse symptoms can return. The reason for this is cortisol, the stress hormone, is made from progesterone. The stress response is a survival instinct, so the body will use any available progesterone to convert it into cortisol to overcome the stress, be it acute or chronic, good or bad. Progesterone should be increased over any stressful time.
Oestrogen Dominance… This is a term coined to describe adverse symptoms which occur when first using progesterone. It generally occurs if 20-40mg/day progesterone is used. Dr Dalton’s patients never experienced it as she gave them amounts varying between 400-800mg/day.
It also occurs in the early days of pregnancy with rising progesterone levels. If progesterone doesn’t rise fast enough nausea, headaches, tiredness, high blood pressure and more can occur. The same symptoms can occur in the last month or so of pregnancy, when progesterone should be at it’s peak. This can lead to pre-eclampsia.
It can also occur when first using progesterone, when increasing it, when decreasing it or stopping it. Or when changing brands of progesterone without taking into account the amount of progesterone in the product.
Many blame progesterone and reduce the amount they’re using, ironically this does help. It’s now no longer stimulating oestrogen, but defeats the purpose. Which is to suppress the excess oestrogen causing the adverse symptoms in the first place.
To prevent it happening progesterone should be increased. Ideally, high amounts should be used initially to prevent it occurring.
They can occur from the last few days prior to and during bleeding, and are due to dropping progesterone levels, generally referred to as progesterone withdrawal. The medical term catamenial is used to describe them, from the Greek word for menses or menstruation. A more common term is PMS.
They can also occur just prior to and during ovulation. And they can occur during the entire luteal phase. Plus of course they can occur in the early days of pregnancy, throughout it’s duration, or after birth.
In every case it’s caused by a shortage of progesterone in ratio to oestrogen.
The higher the oestrogen, the lower the progesterone, the worse the symptoms.
Some of the severer symptoms which can occur are…
- heart palpitations
- anxiety and panic attacks
- asthma attacks
- collapsed lung
- post natal depression and psychosis after birth
Oestrogen rises exponentially 2-5 days before ovulation. Progesterone should surge during these days too. This surge comes from the brain, and has nothing to do with the rise in progesterone after ovulation. If this surge does not take place, oestrogen will be dominant and severe symptoms can be experienced.
Oestrogen peaks mid-luteal phase. Progesterone should too. But if there’s a failure in the corpus luteum to secrete sufficient progesterone during the luteal phase, or if ovulation does not take place, severe symptoms can be experienced throughout the luteal phase.
If the luteal phase proceeds normally, ie there is the pre-ovulatory surge in progesterone, ovulation takes place and the corpus luteum secretes sufficient, no adverse symptoms will be experienced.
But the rapid drop in progesterone levels the few days before bleeding are enough to cause adverse symptoms in many women.
The following pages give more information on other adverse problems…
- Breast cysts
- Breast tenderness
- Hot Flushes
- Ovarian Cysts
From running Saliva Tests it’s been found the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen should be 600:1 and over to feel well.
How to Gauge Ovulation
To give you some idea, all women, irrespective of the length of their cycle, should start ovulating fourteen days before they start bleeding again. This means that you should start using the cream either at ovulation, if you know when it happens, or fourteen days before your next period is due. The cream should only be used from ovulation,for the last 14 days of the cycle i.e. from day 15. If you don’t ovulate or have a period, stick to the 28 day cycle, choosing any day to start.
A twenty one day cycle – Ovulation should occur on day seven
A twenty eight day cycle – Ovulation should occur on day fourteen
A thirty six day cycle – Ovulation should occur on day twenty two
This is the key to understanding how to use natural progesterone cream effectively. If used earlier than ovulation, it will prevent ovulation. In other words it will prevent a woman from making her own progesterone. The idea behind the cream is to supplement the low level of endogenous progesterone i.e. what your body makes during the luteal phase.
The first day of the cycle is the first day of bleeding. There are some women who have what is known as a defective luteal phase, which means that they start bleeding again before the fourteen days are up. A defective luteal phase is often the cause of a failed conception or miscarriage. If this is the case, using progesterone can help to lengthen it.
How to Apply Natural Progesterone Cream
A skin cream is the most user friendly of all the ways progesterone can be taken. Oral is wasteful and costly as 80-90% is destroyed as it passes through the gut and the liver and the dose has to be high which causes drowsiness. Injections are painful, buccal drops or pills are very bitter and suppositories are not much fun!
One of the key benefits of understanding how to use natural progesterone cream effectively is that the cream can be applied anywhere… in the vagina or nose for dryness, on piles, painful or achy areas, burns (its amazing on burns), wonderful on the face and so on. Please note: do not use the cream on only one small patch of skin. The continual rubbing on one spot can lead to irritation. The cream will not absorb well either. Although many people believe the thin skinned areas absorb best, a study has shown progesterone is absorbed well by the hair follicles, so it can be used anywhere. It’s best to rotate the area daily.
NB: Progesterone cream is best applied twice a day to keep levels up, so split whatever daily dose is chosen. Some women prefer to use more at night, less in the morning, but it’s up to the individual.
All the successful studies done on progesterone indicate between 100mg to 200mg should be used each day. This equates to 3ml to 6ml of a 3.33% concentration cream per day.
In answering the question how to use natural progesterone cream effectively it must be made clear that there is actually no right or wrong way as it depends on the problem or symptoms one is trying to resolve.
The correct dosage will invariably depend on your symptoms, the type of hormone imbalance you suffer from-whether it is a peri-or post-menopausal one for instance- as well as many other health factors. However, there is a standard recommended dosage per day, which in most cases will be sufficient to see some improvement within a few weeks. It is best to start with this and then after a couple of months, depending upon symptoms reduce or increase the dose.
Another great tip when using the natural progesterone cream is to rotate the different areas where you apply it. Choosing 2 to 3 three different spots on your body will prevent saturating a particular area of your skin. I rotate between each leg, each arm and torso which gives me 5 spots on the body to use.
Now you know the basics of how to use natural progesterone it is up to you to fine tune the details if you want to. Some women find that the recommended starting dosage is not the right amount for them. Feel free to experiment with the amount you use to tune it to your own needs.
Supplemental progesterone usually stops the food and alcohol cravings, depression, painful breasts, cramps, tiredness and anger that occur just prior to bleeding.
Please be aware that bleeding could be heavier for the first one to two months when first starting the cream. Don’t be alarmed, as its the progesterone cleaning out the lining that has built up in the uterus.
The cycle can also be disrupted. If spotting should occur continue using the cream. If a full period should occur early, discontinue the cream counting the first day of bleeding as day 1. Bleeding may also be delayed for a few days. When this occurs, count the first day of bleeding as day 1. Start using the cream again at ovulation or for the last fourteen days of the cycle.
Oestrogen dominance symptoms can also be experienced.
People have also find that dividing the dose into 2 and applying twice daily works best for them so feel free to try this and see if it is right for you.
Above all else remember there is no right or wrong way of how to use natural progesterone cream. Experiment until you are getting the best for your body and your needs.
Where Can I Buy Natural Progesterone Cream
Natural progesterone is only available in the UK by Mail Order. It is not available over the counter, Boots, in chemists or health food shops. There are several sites where you can buy natural progesterone such as Buy Natural Progesterone
Before you commit where to buy a natural progesterone cream you should check our comparison of the 4 most popular creams and then apply the same principles to any other creams you discover. This research will save you money, prevent disappointment with a poor product and take you only a few minutes.
It is well worth searching for reviews of each product before making your final choice. Always look to see what the delivery costs, delivery speed, guarantee and customer service is like too. If you do all of this I guarantee two things
1. You will be happy with your purchase
2. You will discover that Natpro is the best product for your needs