Soothing Menopause Naturally: The Power of Progesterone and Plant-Based Estrogen

As you start to reach menopause, progesterone levels generally drop before estrogen levels, leading to a range of symptoms such as irregular, heavy, or painful periods, breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability, insomnia, migraine headaches, and bloating. Progesterone supplementation, therefore, becomes very useful for many women even before menopause. In the body, progesterone is primarily manufactured in the adrenal glands and ovaries, though some are produced in the brain. It is crucial for regulating your menstrual cycle, preparing your uterus for gestation, and preventing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Reasons for Natural Progesterone

Progesterone supplementation during the years leading up to menopause acts much like estrogen in treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, irregular periods, and even urinary leakage or urgency. Progesterone has many long-term health benefits, such as protecting from uterine and breast cancers, improving heart health, and reducing osteoporosis. Research has shown that natural progesterone helps reduce the risk of breast cancer, with significant risk reductions seen in women with higher levels of progesterone.

Progesterone Improves Heart Health

Progesterone is beneficial to heart health as it has a vascular relaxation effect that helps reduce blood pressure and the strain on the heart. Studies have demonstrated that progesterone enhances the cardio-protective effects of estrogen and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Progesterone also helps improve lipid profiles and aids estrogen in improving these profiles.

Progesterone’s Effect on Bone Strength

Natural progesterone has been shown to stimulate osteoblast activity (new bone formation) and help prevent osteoporosis. Estrogen has the same effect, and when combined, progesterone and estrogen work together to effectively prevent bone loss.

Bio-Identical Transdermal Estrogen

Estrogen replacement with transdermal creams works better than synthetic estrogen pills in reducing menopausal symptoms. It also provides long-term health benefits, including prevention of memory loss, heart health improvement, and enhanced sexual desire and function. When combined with progesterone, bio-identical transdermal estrogen also reduces breast cancer risk and strengthens bones.

Estrogen for Better Memory

Studies show that transdermal estrogen replacement therapy, when started before menopause, decreases memory loss at an older age. Estrogen therapy has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in postmenopausal women.

Improving Heart Health

Transdermal estrogen is known to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL), thus contributing to improved heart health. It also lowers anti-thrombin III levels, reducing recurrent venous thrombosis (vein clotting).

Estrogen Dominance

Estrogen dominance occurs when progesterone levels drop sooner and more dramatically than estrogen levels, causing estrogen levels to be too high relative to progesterone. This phenomenon can be attributed to progesterone deficiency, a poor diet, a consistently stressful lifestyle, or exposure to hormone mimics such as xenoestrogens from food, personal hygiene products, medications, or plastics. The symptoms of estrogen dominance include anxiety, breast tenderness, headaches, allergies, fatigue, weight gain, and more.

The health effects of natural transdermal estrogen and progesterone (oral or transdermal) supplementation are notably different from the synthetic hormone versions, and choosing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can help effectively manage the symptoms and health risks associated with menopause.