What Every Woman Should Know About Her Hormones and USP Progesterone

Published: 07th April 2009
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Millions of women are in search of menopausal relief while their younger counterparts struggle with PMS. Confusion about the safety of available treatments for their symptoms often keeps women from getting any help at all.

After the Women's Health Initiative Study released its findings about the dangers of synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in July 2002, doctors abandoned women's hormone health for misinformation, confusion, antidepressants and birth control pills. Due to special interest groups, mainstream medicine offers no alternatives to traditional HRT. Instead, they continue to ignore the needs of these women even after years of research and countless medical studies have shown USP Progesterone and other bio-identical hormones to be safe and effective.

Menopause and PMS relief does not have to come from potentially dangerous synthetic hormone replacement drugs anymore! The Truth About Hormone Therapy an article published in the Wall Street Journal, delivered a slap to the face of mainstream medicine by pointing out their archaic hormone replacement therapy practices. The article made reference to the dangers of synthetic HRT and the fact that natural USP progesterone (produced from yams or soy plants) and other bio-identical hormones are the safe alternative to traditional HRT.

Natural bio-identical hormones are now available over-the-counter at health food stores and online. In addition, compounding pharmacies across the country offer prescription required bio-identical hormone preparations. The days of ignorance and confusion are over. Physicians should be recommending safe and effective bio-identical alternatives instead of opting for the new look of an outdated therapy (lower dosages of the same old dangerous drugs).

Natural bio-identical hormones have a chemical structure that is identical to the hormones naturally produced by our bodies. Synthetic hormones such as Premarin (estrogen made from a pregnant horse's urine), Provera (progestin), or Prempro (estrogen plus progestin) have similar but not identical structures, often resulting in unpleasant and dangerous side effects. The Women's Health Initiative Study found Prempro posed unacceptable risks of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots. Several major studies have confirmed the WHI findings and more ongoing studies are vigorously being conducted every day.

Hormones are our bodies' chemical messengers. They travel through the bloodstream to trigger certain activities or changes in the body. Hormones work by binding to specialized areas of cells known as receptor sites. There they initiate a chain of events in specific cells, organs and systems. The body produces many hormones, but the most significant hormones related to the female cycle are estrogen, and progesterone.

Estrogen is a female sex hormone. Women produce greatest amounts in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat tissue. It is the dominant hormone during the first part of the cycle causing the uterine lining to thicken and at mid cycle causes ovulation. Estrogen contributes to bone and cardiac health, vaginal lubrication and many other physical and emotional aspects of health. At one time low estrogen was blamed for all of the discomfort associated with menopause, but current medical research has led to the discovery that it is a lack of progesterone that is not only responsible for many symptoms of menopause but PMS as well.

Like estrogen, progesterone is a female sex hormone. It is also produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, and during pregnancy in the placenta. During the reproductive years, progesterone prepares the uterine lining for pregnancy. Each month, progesterone levels rise following ovulation and then gradually fall to trigger a monthly menstrual period. Progesterone balances the effects of estrogen and when not enough progesterone is present can lead to PMS and/or menopausal symptoms.

USP (United States Pharmacopeia) grade progesterone is most often prescribed for peri-menopausal women to counteract the effects of "estrogen dominance." An article published on-line in Associated Content, ">Obstacles to Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight During PMS or Menopause
explains how estrogen dominance occurs when a woman's body produces smaller amounts of progesterone than normal (relative to estrogen levels) creating a hormonal "imbalance". However, USP progesterone studies have shown that symptoms of PMS and menopause respond quite favorably to progesterone therapy.

The benefits of natural bio-identical USP progesterone have been shown to include:

Protects the breast from cancer by counteracting the effects of estrogen
Reduces bloating and weight gain
Reduces carbohydrate and sugar cravings
Produces a calming, anti-anxiety effect
Reduces mood swings
Regulates menstrual flow
Decreases cramping and miscarriage
Reduces uterine fibroids and fibrocystic breast disease
Reduces bone loss
Decreases hot flashes
Promotes vaginal lubrication
Increases libido
Reduces dry skin
Lowers cholesterol
Improves memory
Reduces chronic fatigue
Reduces migraine headaches
Reduces insomnia
Reduces hair loss

In addition to the symptom relieving benefits of USP progesterone, post-menopausal women can take advantage of its protective benefits. They can feel confident knowing they are helping to protect themselves from breast cancer and many of the chronic diseases associated with the post-menopausal years such as osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke.

USP progesterone is currently available in a cream that is rubbed into the skin. The absorption rate of certain medications can be increased when delivered through the skin instead of the stomach. The cream is made up of tiny, fat-soluble molecules that easily cross the skin barrier and can quick be absorbed. This allows for up to 90 percent absorption and utilization by the body and is thought to be the delivery system of the future.

Over-the-counter USP progesterone cream can be purchased without a prescription or can be ordered by a physician and prepared as a cream or suppository by a compounding pharmacy.

Dr. Patricia Beckstead is the Founder of Freedom from Menopause and PMS - natural products for healthy living, menopause and PMS relief. The #1 doctor recommended resource for holistic alternatives to prescription drugs, her website offers information and the most powerful bio-identical hormones and nutritional supplements available without a prescription.

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