What is Natural Progesterone
Progesterone is the hormone produced by the female ovary after ovulation. It supports and maintains pregnancy but has other important functions too. It is the precursor to other vital hormones. It is needed to 'oppose' oestrogen, that is to keep it in balance. Progesterone receptors are found in brain cells, in nerve sheaths and in bone cells indicating that progesterone is involved in their function. It also appears to be involved in a range of other biological functions.
It is important to understand that a woman's ovaries only make progesterone when she ovulates. There is growing evidence that many of today's women are failing to ovulate regularly, particularly after the age of thirty-five. A woman may bleed regularly every month but not be ovulating or producing progesterone.
After menopause the female body makes close to zero progesterone, in fact the male body makes more. On the other hand women continue to make oestrogen throughout their lives, even if they have had their ovaries removed. Oestrogen is made by the adrenal glands and in the body fat and the muscle cells. The fall in oestrogen production at menopause is only about 40%. Some obese women produce more oestrogen after menopause than thin women do in their pre-menopausal years!
The theoretical basis for HRT is the idea that if women suffer problems during the menopausal years then it must be because they have an oestrogen deficiency. The fact that they have a complete loss of progesterone at menopause has been forgotten. It is Dr. John Lee's belief, based on 20 years of clinical practice with progesterone, that it is progesterone that most women need, not oestrogen (although some women, he says, do also benefit from a very low dose of oestrogen in addition).
There are three different kinds of oestrogen naturally made by the body (oestradiol, oestrone and oestriol), but only one form of progesterone. In the last forty years progesterone has largely been forgotten and synthetic versions of it, called progestagens have been prescribed instead. Many researchers and doctors have used the name progesterone to mean both progesterone itself or one of the synthetic progestagens. This has led to a great deal of confusion. In all literature provided the name progesterone refers only, to the natural female hormone. This hormone can also be made in the laboratory from plant sources such as Mexican Yam. The result is identical in every way to the hormone produced by the body and is called natural progesterone because it is identical to the hormone the ovaries make.
Natural Progesterone is not difficult to make. The process has been known since the 1930s. It is true that the natural progesterone now available on prescription has been synthesized - the body also synthesizes the progesterone it makes - but it is not synthetic, that is it is not unnatural. It is the body-identical hormone, progesterone.
Because natural progesterone cannot be patented, for financial reasons it is almost impossible for a natural progesterone cream to be licensed as a medicine. Any Progesterone creams sold in this country must be sold as 'unlicensed medicines' and they are only available on prescription. Consult your own Doctor, or available as a personal import through Well Woman Worldwide.
Natural progesterone is prescribed for the many symptoms of progesterone deficiency, in particular for menopausal problems and osteoporosis. It can also be used in the treatment of PMS, low libido. fibrocystic breast disease, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, cervical hyperplasia and ovarian cysts and can be helpful in some cases of infertility. For further information see 'Natural Progesterone, the Multiple Roles of a Remarkable Hormone' by John R Lee MD.
In conclusion Natural progesterone, synthesized in humans from cholesterol, is also synthesized commercially from fats and oils of Mexican Wild Yam or Soybeans, using a process that results in progesterone identical to that made by humans. Progestagens are synthetic products that are not the same as progesterone but were designed for oral administration and can be patented for higher profit. They are not the same as real progesterone and (1) do not provide the full spectrum of benefits of real progesterone, and (2) cause undesirable side effects not found with use of real progesterone.