Q: What bio-identical progesterone cream do you recommend and why?
A: In 2004, I discovered what I still believe to this day is the best progesterone cream on the market. The Organic Excellence brand is available in many health food/vitamin stores across the country, online, and many healthcare practitioners offer it to their patients and clients through their practice. It is formulated to meet Dr. John Lee’s strict criteria, is chemical, fragrance, gluten and GMO free, and brings wonderful results.
Q: What makes the Organic Excellence bio-identical progesterone creams special?
A: Many progesterone creams on the market have a number of chemical ingredients, including some that disrupt the endocrine system. Feminine Balance Therapy and Balance Plus Therapy are chemical free. We do not use any soy ingredients, which are known to stimulate estrogen and compromise thyroid function.
Q: Who was Dr. Lee?
A: John R. Lee, M.D. was an international authority and pioneer in the use of natural progesterone cream and natural hormone balance. He was the author of the bestselling book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” and several others.
Q: What are hormones, anyway?
A: Hormones are essentially chemical messengers that transport signals from one cell to another. Cells respond to a hormone when they express a specific receptor for that hormone. The hormone binds to the receptor resulting in the activation of cell type-specific responses.
The glands of the endocrine system produce 39 different hormones. Each has a specific role, yet they work together to regulate metabolism and immune function, control the reproductive cycle, assure proper growth, and to prepare the body for a new phase of life, such as puberty, childbirth, and menopause.
Q: What is progesterone?
A: Progesterone plays a vital role in hormonal balance. It is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation. In women with a normal menstrual cycle, the body produces 20 to 30 mg of progesterone daily during the luteal phase (ovulation). Progesterone is also manufactured by the placenta starting in the second trimester. It keeps the placenta functioning properly and the uterine lining healthy and thick. Progesterone is also produced, to a smaller degree, by the adrenal glands.
Q: What is “estrogen dominance?”
A: During the years before actual menopause, women experience seemingly normal cycles, however ovulation has not actually occurred. Known as anovulatory cycles, without ovulation, the body does not produce progesterone. With increasingly more anovulatory cycles, progesterone levels continue to drop allowing estrogen levels to become “unopposed” or in excess.
Xenoestrogens are endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. Exposure over time adds to estrogen dominance. Stress plays a role too, since cortisol, the hormone released by the adrenal glands during times of stress, literally competes and depletes the progesterone in your body.
Q: What are the signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance?
A: In his bestselling book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause,” Dr. John R. Lee MD lists the following effects of estrogen:
• Creates proliferative endometrium
• Breast cell stimulation (fibrocystic breasts)
• Increased body fat and weight gain
• Salt and fluid retention
• Depression, anxiety, and headaches
• Cyclical migraines
• Poor sleep patterns
• Interferes with thyroid hormone function
• Impairs blood sugar control
• Increased risk of blood clots
• Little or no libido effect
• Loss of zinc and retention of copper
• Reduced oxygen levels in all cells
• Causes endometrial cancer
• Increased risk of breast cancer
• Increased risk of prostate cancer
• Restrains bone loss
• Reduces vascular tone (dilates blood vessels)
• Triggers autoimmune diseases
• Creates progesterone receptors
• Prevents vaginal dryness & mucosal atrophy
• Increases risk of gall bladder disease
Q: Why do I need progesterone cream?
A: While your body will continue to produce estrogen throughout your lifetime, progesterone production slows dramatically during perimenopause and eventually stops altogether. Supplementation of natural, USP progesterone helps maintain the proper function of other vital hormones and every organ in your body. Progesterone affects brain function, fat metabolism, thyroid function, water balance, bone health, energy production, immune function, thermogenesis, the survival and development of the embryo and fetus and much more.
Q: What is progesterone cream made from?
A: Our progesterone comes from a substance called diosgenin. A steroid sapogenin, diosgenin is extracted from the tubers of the Mexican Wild Yam. In the laboratory, diosgenin is synthesized to create progesterone identical to that produced by the human body.
Q: Wouldn’t it be easier to take a progesterone pill?
A: Based on his many years of research, Dr. Lee recommends transdermal cream over progesterone pills. Oral progesterone is filtered through the digestive system and liver where 80% to 90% of the dose is lost. On the other hand, when progesterone cream is applied to thin-skinned areas of the body, it absorbs directly into the blood stream making transdermal application optimal. Pills are very often synthetic progestin, which is very different than progesterone.
Q: Are Wild Yam products the same as progesterone?
A: While progesterone cream is derived from Mexican Wild Yam, a special lab process is necessary to create progesterone that is bio-identical, or, exactly like what is produced naturally in the body. Look for “USP Progesterone” on the label to assure this process has occurred for optimum quality, safety, and effectiveness.
Q: What about soy? Isn’t it supposed to relieve my symptoms?
A: I do NOT recommend soy products for women in perimenopause when estrogen levels are high. Soy stimulates estrogen production and is also known to compromise thyroid function, which is already often an issue during perimenopause due to hormonal changes and their impact on the endocrine system.
In menopause and post-menopause, soy isoflavones can be helpful, however we recommend only organic, NON-GMO, and fermented soy products.
Q: What is “bio-identical” progesterone cream?
A: The term “bio-identical” refers to progesterone that undergoes a special laboratory process, making it identical in chemical structure to the progesterone produced by the human body. Only USP progesterone cream is truly bio-identical.
Q: What does “USP” mean?
A: When you see “USP progesterone” on a label, the product has met the quality assurance standards and specifications outlined by The United States Pharmacopeia. The United States Pharmacopeia is a regulatory commission that sets and maintains standards for medicines, drug substances, and dietary supplements.
Q: What is progestin and how does it compare to bio-identical progesterone?
A: Progestin is a synthetically produced hormone that differs in structure from the progesterone produced by the human body. Typically combined with estrogen in hormone replacement therapy and contraceptive pills, synthetic progestin is laden with side effects and health risks. Synthetic hormones do not have the same effect on your body, mind, or emotions as natural hormones do. They shut down or reduce the normal function and production of natural hormones, ultimately creating a further imbalance.
Progesterone refers to the hormone naturally produced in the body, or from a plant source such as Mexican Wild Yam, which, after a laboratory process, renders progesterone chemically identical to that produced by the human body.
Q: Is progesterone cream safe to use?
A: Yes, completely. There are no contraindications with health conditions or any medications other than synthetic hormone replacement therapy drugs. There are not have any side effects or health risks associated with USP progesterone. The placenta produces an astounding 300-400 mg. of progesterone daily during the last few months of pregnancy, assuring the safety of bio-identical progesterone.
Q: Are there contraindications with any supplements or medications?
A: If you are currently using synthetic hormone replacement therapy, including contraceptives, please consult with your medical doctor before using bio-identical progesterone cream. If it is your desire to take a more natural approach to hormonal balance, your doctor will likely recommend that you first wean off of your prescribed HRT.
Q: Is bio-identical progesterone cream right for me?
A: Bio-identical progesterone is a safe and effective, natural approach to hormonal balance and relief from the symptoms associated with PMS, perimenopause and menopause. Since this “master hormone” has the ability to convert into other hormones, it naturally helps to create and maintain hormonal balance.
Q: Will my medical doctor recommend bio-identical progesterone cream?
A: Unfortunately, many allopathic doctors continue to prescribe synthetic hormone replacement therapy and “the pill” despite their well-known risks and side effects. Share this information with your doctor and request a natural approach to this natural life transition.
Q: Does bio-identical progesterone cream offer any health benefits?
A: In his bestselling book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause,” Dr. John R. Lee, MD notes the benefits of supplementation with bio-identical progesterone cream as follows:
• Maintains secretory endometrium
• Protects against breast fibrocysts
• Helps use fat for energy
• Natural diuretic
• Natural anti-depressant & calms anxiety
• Prevents cyclical migraines
• Promotes normal sleep patterns
• Facilitates thyroid hormone function
• Helps normalize blood sugar levels
• Normalizes blood clotting
• Helps restores normal libido
• Normalizes zinc and copper levels
• Restores proper cell oxygen levels
• Prevents endometrial and breast cancer
• Decreased risk of prostate cancer in men
• Stimulates new bone formation
• Improves vascular tone
• Prevents autoimmune diseases
• Increases sensitivity of estrogen receptors
• Necessary for survival of embryo
• Prevents coronary artery spasm and atherosclerotic plaque.
Q: Does progesterone cream support bone health?
A: Research reveals very compelling evidence that bio-identical progesterone not only slows bone loss, it also supports new bone growth.
Q: What are phytoestrogens?
A: Phytoestrogens are plant based ingredients that stimulate the production of estrogen. Even if you no longer have your ovaries, there are estrogen receptors throughout your body. Phytoestrogens stimulate them for the most natural approach to increasing your estrogen levels. Therefore, Balance Plus Therapy, our progesterone cream with added phytoestrogens, is especially helpful following a hysterectomy and for post-menopausal women experiencing estrogen deficiency.
Q: How do I know which Organic Excellence Progesterone Cream to use?
A: Women experiencing PMS and/or perimenopause, and those with an excess of estrogen (estrogen dominance) will benefit from Feminine Balance Therapy.
For women in menopause and beyond experiencing 10 hot flashes per day or more, or other signs of estrogen deficiency, Balance Plus Therapy, the progesterone cream WITH phytoestrogens is an excellence choice. This cream is rich in estrogen-like plant based herbs that safely and effectively stimulate the estrogen receptors in your body to relieve the symptoms commonly associated with low estrogen levels.
Q: How much progesterone is in the progesterone creams?
A: It is formulated to meet Dr. John Lee’s criteria. They contain approximately 500 mg. per ounce.
Each 1/4 teaspoon provides 20 mg. of progesterone. In addition to the same amount of progesterone, Balance Plus Therapy also provides 60 mg. of phytoestrogens per ¼ teaspoon application.
Q: How many applications are in the two sizes of progesterone cream?
A: The 2 ounce jar has 48 ¼ teaspoon applications while the 3 oz. pump has 72 pre-measured ¼ teaspoon applications.
Q: How do I use progesterone cream?
A: According to Dr. Lee, MD: Gently massage 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cream into thin-skinned areas of the body such as the neck, face, chest, inner arms, and the palms of the hands.
Perimenopausal Women: Begin on the 12th day of your cycle. (Day 1 is the first day of your menstrual flow.) Continue through day 26.
Menopausal Women: Use 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon for 25 consecutive days, then take a 5-day break. Many women find it easiest to start using the cream on the first day of each month and discontinue use on the 25th day.
Q: What if my periods are irregular and I don’t know when or if my 12th day will come?
A: It’s ideal to begin using progesterone cream as close to ovulation as possible. However, in perimenopause, there will be an increasing number of months when ovulation doesn’t occur. You might experience prolonged bleeding one month, and skip your period the next, making it difficult to know when to begin using progesterone cream and when to stop.
If an irregular cycle makes it impossible to follow the directions above, begin using our progesterone cream as close to when you would normally ovulate as possible (based on your most recent period). If months have passed since your last cycle and you have no idea when your ovulation time might be, just choose a convenient date to begin. Continue use for 14 days, and begin again on the same day each month thereafter.
If spotting occurs, continue to use the cream. If a full period should occur, discontinue the cream, counting the first day of bleeding as day 1. Resume use on day 12 and repeat monthly.
Q: Do men benefit from progesterone cream?
A: Yes, it helps balance excess estrogen which is known to contribute to prostate health issues. Men should only use our progesterone cream WITHOUT phytoestrogens; Feminine Balance Therapy. Men should apply 8 – 12 mg directly to their scrotum twice daily, every day.