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Progesterone Cream Benefits and Side Effects

Progesterone is a steroidal hormone which is mainly produced from the corpus luteum of the ovaries or from the adrenal glands. Normally, about 20 – 30 mg of progesterone is produced daily from the female’s body, mostly during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. In cases when the female body does not produce the necessary amount of progesterone needed, progesterone can be prescribed.

It can be prescribed by your healthcare provider as progesterone pills or progesterone creams. Progesterone, together with estrogen, harmoniously works together, to regulate the normal function of the menstrual cycle. It also prepares the uterine lining for implantation, if fertilization occurred. Progesterone as a steroidal hormone is also the precursor to other steroidal hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, cortisol.

Other important functions of the progesterone are:

  • Improves the libido,
  • Stimulates the production of the new bones,
  • Works as a natural diuretic,
  • Inhibits overgrowth of the breast tissue,
  • Boosts up the metabolism,
  • Regulates and promotes the sleep pattern,
  • Improves the normal functioning of the thyroid gland,
  • Reduces depression and anxiety,
  • Balances the levels of sugar in the blood,
  • Normalizes the blood clotting, etc.

As you can see, progesterone is an important hormone for the female body, taking a serious role in the functioning of many body organs. As we age, the levels of progesterone and estrogen start to decline as a female body goes toward menopause. After menopause, the levels of progesterone can reach zero. Estrogen levels decline as well, but progesterone levels decline in greater numbers.

In such cases, progesterone creams can be beneficial to replace the progesterone needed in order to balance the hormones or protect the bones from osteoporosis. Progesterone creams are usually an alternative to progesterone pills when these pills can’t be taken for various reasons.

Why are progesterone creams recommended?

Progesterone creams are indicated in the following cases:

  • As a part of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
  • Treatment of secondary amenorrhea,
  • Treatment of female fertility related to progesterone deficiency,
  • Treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance,
  • As part of the treatment for postmenopausal women who receive estrogen replacement therapy in order to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial carcinoma,
  • As a contraceptive to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Before considering progesterone creams as a treatment option, you should learn about its benefits and possible side effects. Common side effects of progesterone creams include:

  • A headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Bloating,
  • Decreased libido,
  • Hot flashes,
  • Menstrual cramping,
  • Ovarian pain,
  • Tender and painful breasts,
  • Hair thinning,
  • Weight gain,
  • Mood swings,
  • Sleepiness, etc.

Also, it is very important not to use the progesterone cream without consulting your healthcare provider first. Checking the current hormonal levels is also necessary before starting a treatment with progesterone cream. You probably wonder about the safety of progesterone cream as well? In general, using progesterone cream as prescribed by your healthcare provider is considered as safe.

You should always look for the possibility of any side effects that you might experience. An overdose of progesterone is less possible. However, you should know that using more progesterone cream than prescribed will do no good to you. It does not necessarily mean that more is better when it comes to hormonal balance.

As the progesterone cream is a very fat – soluble cream, the skin easily absorbs it. From the fat located under the skin, progesterone cream is then absorbed into the capillary blood. The best places to apply progesterone cream include the inner arms, the palms of the hands, the neck, chest, or breasts. You can apply the progesterone cream on the face as well.

Some healthcare providers also better recommend using progesterone cream instead of progesterone oral pills. This is because when taken as pills, about 90 % of this progesterone gets lost through the liver. Can anyone use progesterone creams? You should not use progesterone creams in the following cases:

  • If you have abnormal vaginal bleeding,
  • If you have a history of breast cancer,
  • If you have problems with blood clotting,
  • If you recently had a heart attack,
  • If you recently had a stroke,
  • If you are pregnant,
  • If you have a peanut allergy,
  • If you have a liver disease, etc.

Progesterone creams should be used with precautions in the following cases:

  • If you have a seizure disorder,
  • If you have a migraine,
  • If you have asthma,
  • If you have a history of major depression,
  • If you have congestive heart failure,
  • If you have a renal disease,
  • If you have diabetes mellitus, etc.

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