Progesterone cream does help to restore its levels in females. Nonetheless, certain side effects need to be kept in mind, before its usage.
Oral consumption of progesterone is not regarded as an ideal method because, as soon as it enters the body the liver breaks it down and disposes it off. This makes the progesterone unavailable for the purpose it is consumed i.e., progesterone buildup.
Progesterone, a female hormone, is naturally formed in the body, during the lateral phase of the menstrual cycle. One of its most important functions is to oppose or level out the effects of estrogen. If estrogen is produced in the body without any opposition, it creates high chances of breast and reproductive cancers. Apart from this, progesterone also helps in regulating various other hormonal functions in females and is also required during pregnancy. During menopause, there are chances that the progesterone levels in women can even get reduced to nil, while estrogen levels are reduced by 40 to 60%. As a very low level is bad for health, women need to use cream or consume pills to maintain optimum levels of progesterone in the body. Using progesterone cream surely helps in the hormonal balance, but there are certain downsides as well.
Common Side Effects of Natural Progesterone Cream
As compared to the synthetic progesterone, the side effects of natural progesterone cream are lesser and rare. The natural cream is made from a secretion from Mexican yam. This extract can be reformed into a molecule, with chemical properties similar to that of the progesterone molecule produced in the human body. It gets absorbed easily into the blood stream, which helps to balance the hormones in the body and also reduces menopause and premenopause symptoms. Although rare, following are possible side effects of a natural progesterone cream.
*Please note that if you are using natural progesterone cream with a doctor’s recommendation, there are absolutely no side effects observed.
Changes in Appearance
Using progesterone cream may cause certain appearance changes in women. Facial hair growth, loss of hair and increase in weight are some of the common changes noticed among women using the cream.
Muscle pain, breast pain and tenderness, headaches are certain common progesterone cream side effects observed in women.
Progesterone cream usage can also lead to stomach cramps, nausea and bloating.
Some vaginal abnormalities like vaginal itching, vaginal discharge and vaginal dryness can result due to progesterone cream usage.
Disrupting Adrenal Hormones
The cream is easily soluble in fat, due to which it gets stored in the fat tissues. After applying it over a period, the progesterone in fat tissues starts accumulating and disrupts the functioning and production of adrenal hormones in the body.
Progesterone at times causes sleepiness, because of certain sedative like qualities present in it. It is noticed that some women use the cream just to get sleep. This may not be good for working women who are constantly on the move.
Excessive Progesterone Buildup
When the progesterone levels are not monitored while using the cream, it (the cream) begins to build up in your system causing the same problems for which you had started using it. Hence, do not self medicate as the symptoms of low as well as high progesterone are almost similar and difficult to identify. In such extreme cases of undiagnosed progesterone levels you will have to contact your health care professional and go through the recommended hormonal tests. It is the only way to identify a low or high progesterone level.
Side Effects of Synthetic / Chemical Progesterone
In the production of synthetic progesterone, the manufacturers alter the chemical formation of progesterone in order to create progestins. These progestins can cause following side effects:
- Fluid retention
- Birth defects
- Cardiac dysfunction
- Kidney dysfunction
- Partial loss of vision
- Memory loss
Who Should not Use Progesterone Supplements?
Although possessing minimal side effects, use of natural progesterone is not recommended in any form if you are experiencing following conditions:
- Arterial disease
- Breast Cancer (consult a medical professional)
- Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- Liver disease
- Pregnancy (consult a medical professional)
Tips to Minimize Side Effects
- Stress has negative effects on the hormonal functions and this results in severe side effects of the cream. It is therefore necessary to identify the causes of stress and eradicate them.
- While using the cream, it is important that the person sleeps early and sleeps well. Sleeping at around 10 pm every night is important so that the biorhythms in the body are not disrupted.
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet ensures the supply of essential nutrients and vitamins to the body, which help control certain side effects. So, it is better to eat a good amount of vegetables and fresh fruits while using the cream.
In spite of these side effects, it is still very beneficial and effective for women. If used correctly, a lot of hormonal problems in women can be cured with natural progesterone cream. Consult a physician to get proper guidance regarding its usage.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.