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Maintaining hormone balance in women

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From the beginning of a female’s reproductive life and beyond that into menopause, the primary state of her health and fertility is highly dependent on the levels and interactions of two hormones. If, and unfortunately, that’s also when they get out of balance, she can lose her ability to conceive and give birth, and enjoy a long, healthy and happy life throughout the fertile period and through menopause.

However, there are some simple and non-intrusive remedies that can help to keep the hormone balance in optimal shape, and we will try to show in this short note how applying ProFeme® 10% bioidentical progesterone cream may be your path to a smoother monthly cycle and more stable menopause.

The two hormones are estrogen and progesterone. They work together to set the table for how a woman can prepare her body for pregnancy, carry a fertilized egg through to term (or dispose of unfertilized eggs), manage her menstrual cycles and once these needs have passed, to simply experience a normal life without menopause’s discomforts that unbalanced hormones can bring.

Progesterone is one of the most important hormones that controls a fertile female’s ovulation cycle. Women may need to supplement their progesterone levels to restore their menstrual cycle when periods have been irregular (amenorrhea), treat any severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or treat unexpected uterine bleeding. All of these conditions may be due to hormonal imbalance and they can be addressed by ProFeme® 10% bioidentical progesterone cream. 

Natural estrogen levels fall off when women enter menopause, so they may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy – HRT. Hormone replacement therapy (also known as menopausal hormone therapy, or estrogen replacement therapy) is used to restore estrogen supply. Progesterone is prescribed together with estrogen primarily to reduce the risk of uterine cancer, which is higher when estrogen is taken on its own. It can be administered either through oral medication, or, as we will tell you further down, via the simple application of  ProFeme® 10% bioidentical progesterone cream.

Restoring your hormone levels in menopause

Estrogen and progesterone are produced by glands in the body. The type and quantity of food intake are important for hormone production when the glands function correctly. For example, adequate estrogen levels can be maintained when foods rich in phytoestrogen are eaten. But if the glands are not functioning correctly, or as is the case with menopause when there simply is no longer any way that the body can continue producing estrogen, then food intake no longer makes any difference. The only way to retain hormone balance is through proper treatments like hormone replacement therapy.

Specifically in menopause, replacing the natural hormones through HRT can counteract the drop-off in estrogen levels via pills, skin patches, creams, vaginal rings, gels or sprays. Doctors prescribe the lowest possible dose of estrogen needed to relieve menopause symptoms, owing to its negative side effects.

But as we explain further on, it is not estrogen alone that is needed to keep you healthy. Along with its main benefits, it carries several adverse effects. In the fertile phase of a female’s life, progesterone is produced to counteract some of these unwanted effects and do its own good work. Once a woman has entered menopause and starts to undertake estrogen-based HRT, it could be necessary to increase progesterone availability so that estrogen doesn’t overwhelm your body due to its stimulatory nature.

How can you safely boost progesterone levels?

There are many ways of boosting progesterone levels, including the oral route with pills, or through progesterone-rich creams. Suppose you are worried that you may already be taking too much oral medication, or have concerns that it could introduce another complication into your cycle of medication. In that case, there is a very attractive alternative that takes advantage of the fact that progesterone is absorbed by the skin better than it is in the stomach. 

Taking in progesterone through the skin means that your body is able to avoid first-pass metabolism by the liver, which is what happens with oral medication, so you are getting the proper levels of the hormone without having to ingest unnecessarily high dosages..

It means that the application of progesterone-enriched creams can be just as effective in delivering the hormone into your body without any chance of it disrupting your existing medication program. ProFeme® 10% is a bioidentical progesterone cream that works to bring your body’s levels of progesterone to their normal levels by battling estrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency. You can easily apply it to areas of skin, such as the inner arms and the upper thigh or abdomen. 

ProFeme’s effects usually take effect after four to six weeks of continuous treatment. It will help if you read the sheets that come with the cream, which contain further information on what benefits you are getting and advice on how to get the best results.

The estrogen/progesterone dance

Ignoring just for now the effect of a third hormone – testosterone, which is essential in men but which plays a far less intrusive role in women, estrogen and progesterone have a very close relationship. Estrogen is a very stimulatory hormone that plays the part of the promoter of the fertility cycle. Its main effects are to build up the uterine lining to prepare for implantation of a fertilized egg, stimulate breast tissue to produce milk, and increase body fat to ensure proper nutrition for a fetus. It is also essential in bone building, and estrogen deficiency is a primary cause of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

However, not every effect of estrogen is positive. It increases blood clotting, decreases libido, and impairs blood sugar control. It also has immediate effects like promoting salt and fluid retention, causing depression, headaches or migraines, reducing vascular tone and interfering with thyroid hormones. In the longer term, it can increase the risk of endometrial and breast cancer. 

Progesterone works along with estrogen during the fertilization and pregnancy cycle and tempers estrogen’s stimulatory effects. It acts on the uterine lining to maintain its secretions and protects newly-formed breast tissue against fibrocysts. 

It directly counteracts many of the negative effects of estrogen, by working as a diuretic for counter fluid retention, and as an antidepressant. It facilitates thyroid hormone actions and normalizes blood clotting. It can restore libido, and regulate blood sugar levels. In the longer term, it protects from endometrial cancer and there’s evidence that it may also prevent breast cancer.

FAQ

How is progesterone produced and used in the body?

Progesterone plays a vital role in the menstrual cycle and sustaining the womb in the early stages of pregnancy. It is also essential in later life to balance the effects of estrogen replacement therapy.

There are several ways in which progesterone is made. In a normal menstrual cycle, the anterior pituitary gland in the brain releases a small amount of a trigger chemical known as luteinizing hormone, usually at around day 14 of the menstrual cycle. 

At ovulation during the menstrual cycle, when an egg is released from the ovary (approximately half-way through the normal cycle), the remnants of the ovarian follicle that enclosed the developing egg form the corpus luteum. This releases progesterone and another hormone called oestradiol. Progesterone prepares the body for implantation if the egg is fertilized. If there is no fertilization, the corpus luteum breaks down, progesterone production falls, and a new menstrual cycle starts.

Can I have too much progesterone?

Since a woman’s body naturally goes through many cycles of high and low levels of progesterone, it is safe to say that there are no known serious medical consequences from taking too much progesterone. However, there may be a small increased risk of developing breast cancer. It would be best if you discussed this with your doctor or pharmacist.

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