Side Effects and Benefits of Bioidentical Progesterone

Side Effects May be Avoided by Avoiding Xenoestrogens and Phytoestrogens

Natural progesterone opposes the effect of too much estrogen. Too much estrogen (estrogen dominance) leads to pms symptoms and many other diseases. If you do not eliminate xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens, there will 30% failure rate in patients temporarily. To get rid of the failure rate, simply cut out xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens and wait 1-3 months for them to wash out of the body.

Here is a list of Estrogen Dominant symptoms that Progesterone corrects. Again, this works for 60-70% of patients that do NOT change their lifestyle. To get an above 90% success rate, the patient must change her lifestyle.

Estrogen and Progesterone Contrasted

Estrogen Effects

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

Relieves hot flashes***

Prevents vaginal dryness & mucosal atrophy***

Increases risk of gall bladder disease*

Improves memory***

Improves sleep disorders***

Improves health of urinary tract***

Relieves night sweats***

Progesterone Effects

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 cancer

Helps prevent breast cancer1

Decreased risk of prostate cancer

Stimulates new bone formation

Improves vascular tone

Prevents autoimmune diseases

Increases sensitivity of estrogen receptors

Necessary for survival of embryo

Precursor of corticosteroid biosynthesis

Prevents coronary artery spasm and

atherosclerotic plaque.

Sleepiness, depression**

Digestive problems**

* Caused by estrogen dominance, or too much estrogen relative to progesterone.

** Caused by too much progesterone.

*** Caused by not enough estrogen.

The above list is from John Lee's, MD book "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause".

Only 30% of patients will get bad side effects. Those 30% patients may be rid of their side effects by getting rid of xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens. Here is a list of bad side effects for progesterone cream that you will get temporarily. The bad side effects will stop 3-4 days after you stop the the natural hormone cream. The bad side effects look exactly like too much estrogen. These bad side effects can easily be avoided if the patient gets rid of the xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens and wait 1-3 month for them to wash out of the body. The bad side effects are present in 30% of the patients that do NOT get rid of the xeno estrogen and phytoestrogens in their life.

30% of patients that do NOT cut out xenoestrogens will experience these bad side effects:

Bad Side Effects (Will NOT happen if you cut out xenoestrogens):

  • Increased bloating
  • Increased breast tenderness
  • Increased migraine headache
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased pain
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Increased ovarian problems
  • Increased depression

Again, if the patient that uses the natural hormone cream gets rid of the xenoestrogens and phytoestrogen, then they will NOT get the bad side effects. Avoid bad side effects by avoiding xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens.

Only 30% of all patients will get bad side effects, but if these patients avoid xenoestrogens for 1-3 months, then the bad side effects will not be there.

Here is a website that sells bioidentical progesterone cream that gives out a good avoidance list of things to avoid. Again anything on the skin has 10 times the potency of what is put into the mouth. This is because anything on the skin goes directly into the body. However, anything eaten is 90% prefiltered by the liver. Thus, a 200 mg/day oral dose of micronized progesterone is equivalent to a 20 mg/day topical skin dose of the natural hormone.

Why are there bad side effects to natural progesterone cream? Why? The bad side effects as listed above are usually associated with Estrogen Dominance or too much estrogen. Why should the natural hormone trigger this seemingly estrogen dominance symptoms?

Here is why. Anyone that has constant xenoestrogen intake (chemical estrogens) tries to become less sensitive to estrogen. Then when you take the natural bioidentical hormone, your body regains its original sensitivity to estrogen, and it seems like you are getting even more estrogen. So paradoxically, you take the natural hormone and seem to get more estrogen dominant.

Here is an analogy. When you go to a Rock Concert, initially, the band seems quite loud. Then after half an hour, it doesn't seem so loud anymore. This is called down regulation. Your body tries to adapt to the loud music by becoming less sensitive to the noise. After taking the natural hormone cream, all of a sudden, the band seems loud again!

It is the same for estrogen and the Rock Music. You may be using a laundry detergent that has xenoestrogens in them. You body tries to become less sensitive to the estrogen. Then when you take the natural hormone, your body regains its original sensitivity to estrogen. It seems as if you are getting MORE ESTROGEN even when you are not.

This is why 30% of women taking natural progesterone will get the bad side effects as above.

Stopping Ovulation

If you take 60 mg/day (120lb woman) of the topical natural hormone cream before you ovulate, your ovaries will look at the progesterone levels in your body and think that your are pregnant. Then, the ovaries seeing the natural hormone level will not ovulate.

Progesterone is the hormone of pregnancy. Pro means "for". Gesterone means "gestation". So progesterone means "for pregnancy". If you don't have enough the natural hormone during your pregnancy, then you will have a miscarriage. 15% of all recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 80% of these miscarriages will occur during the first trimester. So this means that only 1-3% of recognized pregnancies will occur during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. 1st trimester miscarriage is that occurs during the 5-8 week time is very commonly caused by a progesterone deficiency. The 1st trimester miscarriage can easily be stopped by using topical progesterone 60 mg/day or more split into two doses per day. If you are using natural the natural hormone to stop a miscarriage make sure to be under the supervision of a health care provider. The one danger of taking the natural hormone during pregnancy is that you cannot forget to take the natural hormone for one day. If you do forget, dropping progesterone levels will signal the body to CREATE a miscarriage. You must take the natural hormone every day.

In pregancy, the first trimester, is dominated by progesterone produced by the corpus luteum on the ovary. During the second and third trimester, the placenta produces the natural hormone and dominates production. Progesterone production starts at 20 mg/day then constantly ramps up to produce 400 mg/day during 1 day of 3rd trimester preganancy.

So a miscarriage at 5-8 weeks gestation means that the corpus luteum is not producing enough the natural hormone, or there may be a chemical in the environment that is blocking the natural hormone. Not enough progesterone means a miscarriage.

When you are pregnant, the ovaries stop producing eggs and do not ovulate. The way the ovaries know is that the ovaries "look" at the natural hormone levels in the body.

So if you take sufficient levels of progesterone before ovulation, this will stop ovluation.

This may be used to your advantage. If you can stop ovulation then you lower estradiol levels. when you lower estradiol levels, endometriosis stops growing. This is why pregnancy retards endometriosis. So by taking the natural hormone you induce a "false" pregnancy.

Here is a second advantage. An ovarian cyst is simply a follicle on the ovary that keeps on growing and becomes a cyst. Normally, a follicle grows on the ovary, pops out an egg, and the used follicle becomes the corpus luteum. With an ovarian cyst, the follicle does not pop out an egg and keeps on growing bigger and bigger and becomes a cyst. So if you take sufficient levels of the natural hormone before ovulation then this will stop follicles from forming. If there are no follicles then there are no ovarian cysts.

Allergy to the cream base.

Most of the allergic reactions that I see probably less than 1% of all users are allergic to the cream base that the the natural hormone is in. So all they have to do is change the brand of the natural hormone cream and the problem will go away. The allergy is to something in the cream and not the natural hormone. An allergy could be anything. But usually the allergy is a red rash or that is itchy on the skin. However, there may be heart palpitations or agitation. Don't confuse an allergy with the xenoestrogen overload as described above.

An allergy to progesterone is rare, but possible. Out of 10,000 patients I think that I have only seen it twice.

Increased Sleepiness.

Topical progesterone cream makes you sleepy. Topical the natural hormone may make you sleepy. So many women take the topical natural hormone right before bedtime. This induces a very nice sleep. Be careful not to fall at night because of the increased sleepiness.

Oral progesterone makes women too sleepy. Again a 20 mg/day the topical natural hormone cream dose is the same as a 200 mg/day oral dose of progesterone. The live 90% metabolizes the 200 mg/day. Those 180 mg of the natural hormone becomes progesterone metabolites. I have not seen anyone explain them, but I know they make you VERY Sleepy. I had one women on oral progesterone. She took 400 mg of the natural hormone orally and drove to Wal-Mart. She had to call her husband to come to pick her up because she was too sleepy.

Topical progesterone makes you sleepy, but not near as sleepy as oral progesterone.

Overdose topical progesterone (Personally, I have never seen this at 20-60 mg/day in 10 years and 10,000 patients).

Topical progesterone may be taken at levels of 800 mg/day. Assuming a 50% absorption rate this is 400 mg/day or one day of third trimester pregnancy.

Anecodotally, a compounding pharmacist, told me that some women perhaps took 200 mg/day or more and developed mental confusion. The mental confusion stopped after they stopped taking the the natural hormone. However, they took 2 months to clear. The natural hormone is oil soluble and may be stored in the body fat.

However, I did not see these patients, personally. This is just hearsay on what the compounding pharmacist heard. He did not document it. It is just what he said.

Thinning skin

Long term use of bioidentical progesterone cream may result in skin thinning and a better complexion for some patients, but not all patients. This can easily fixed by take natural estriol cream 0.5 mg/every other day. Estriol goes up one hundred times during pregnancy. Estriol is considered to be a weak estrogen that blocks all the other garbage out of the estrogen receptor. A small study by Dr. Lemon showed decreased breast tumor size with 4 mg orally of estriol daily, Estriol increases the skin thickness in the birth canal for preparation of birth of the baby.

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