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Understanding Bio-Identical Progesterone Cream

July 14, 2014

Understanding Bio-Identical Progesterone Cream

This information is based on the work of the internationally renowned Dr. John Lee, MD, an authority and pioneer in the use of progesterone cream to achieve natural hormone balance. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any health condition. You are strongly encouraged to discuss topics of concern with a licensed health care professional.

Q: Who was Dr. Lee?
A: Well over a decade ago, Dr. John Lee first published his research conclusions regarding the health risks associated with the synthetic hormones used in hormone replacement therapy. He is known as the medical doctor who pioneered the use of transdermal progesterone cream to achieve safe and effective hormonal balance.
The Organic Excellence progesterone creams are formulated to meet the strict criteria outlined in Dr. Lee's best-selling book, "What your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause." They are chemical, fragrance, gluten and GMO free with the added benefits of certified organic herbs. Made in small quantities to assure the highest quality possible, they contain approximately 500 mg. of bio-identical progesterone per ounce. Organic Excellence offers two creams to meet your specific needs, one with phytoestrogens and one without.
Q: What are hormones?
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: What is the difference between perimenopause and menopause?
A: Perimenopause refers to the years before menopause and often occurs earlier in life than you might expect. For many women, hormonal changes become obvious between the mid 30's to late 40's. Since the average age of menopause is 51, perimenopause can span 5 - 15 years of your life.
Although many women think of menopause as a long process, it is actually a point in time. You reach menopause when an entire 12 months have passed without a menstrual cycle. 
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: We 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: 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 progesterone cream help women conceive and carry a fetus full-term?
A: Infertility is often associated with low progesterone levels in the body. Progesterone therapy is used in fertility clinics and can be helpful in both conceiving and in achieving a full term birth. It's recommended to use progesterone cream through at least the first trimester. The placenta will begin producing it in the second trimester. Choose Feminine Balance Therapy, our bio-identical progesterone cream WITHOUT phytoestrogens.
Q: Can pregnant women or breast feeding women use your progesterone creams?
A: Yes, Feminine Balance Therapy is completely safe for pregnant and/or breast feeding women.
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: 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: 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, our 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. 
We are available to help you make the best choice. Contact us between 8:00 – 4:00, Monday – Friday, AZ time.
Q: How much progesterone is in your progesterone creams? 
A: We formulate our progesterone creams 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 your two sizes of progesterone cream? 
A: The 2 ounce jar has 48 ¼ teaspoon applications. Our 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. 
Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical doctor. Organic Excellence does not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect a mental or physical health condition, please see your healthcare provider.