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WHY ISN'T MY PROGESTERONE WORKING FOR ME?
Submitted by Debbie Wells 2008


This question is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I hear in my line of work. It never fails to come up at the Hormone Balancing Seminars I speak at and seems to be a constant topic of confusion for the women I speak with on a daily basis. In fact.... before I discovered the answer to this question myself, I had tried two different progesterone creams that didn't work for me, and sadly, I walked away from my initial progesterone therapy experience with an incorrect belief that "I must not be a good candidate for supplemental progesterone" This erroneous belief was devastating to my own health and quest for hormone balancing!


While researching progesterone therapy as a safe alternative to my own hormone imbalance, I discovered through the studies and reports of countless authorities on the subject, that there are several different delivery methods for supplementing with natural, bio-identical progesterone. The two most common methods are oral delivery, such as pill form and transdermal delivery through topical creams.


Oral Micronized Progesterone:
This method of delivering progesterone back into our bodies uses pills to get the job done. According to the late Dr. John Lee, the leading authority on the use of progesterone, this method is inferior to the transdermal method for several reasons.
a) It is far more costly than the transdermal delivery methods.
b) It is far less effective because anything taken orally will be subject to the filtering organs, resulting in less bio-availability than the transdermal delivery methods. Reports state that over 80% of the hormone used in oral methods are filtered by the liver, hence overloading the liver with an added unnecessary work load.


Transdermal Delivery of Bio-Identical Progesterone:
This is the preferred method for supplementing with the use of natural progesterone. The skin is the largest vital organ in the human body. Once applied on the skin, the progesterone molecules immediately pass through the skin and enter the blood stream making this powerful missing hormone immediately available to use by the body that is crying out for it.

Not All Topical Progesterone’s Are the Same

A word of warning: not all trans-dermal delivery preparations of progesterone are capable of carrying the hormone through the skin. Adding progesterone to a typical cosmetic moisturizer (which is what many companies do) often results in a product that does not effectively penetrate the skin.

An ideal delivery vehicle is an oil-water emulsion that contains components of the fatty tissue of the skin, as well as permeation enhancers and stabilizers in a synergistic balance. The permeation enhancers enable the progesterone to pass the skin barrier.  A transdermal progesterone cream should contain at least 400 mg. of natural progesterone per ounce. Each one-half teaspoon application would thereby supply a minimum of 26 mg. of progesterone. Independent studies reveal that many commercial progesterone cream products contain less than 15 mg. of progesterone per ounce. In fact, some of these creams containing as little as 2 mg. of progesterone per ounce!  It should be emphasized that creams containing only wild yam extract (diosgenin) but no U.S.P. progesterone have absolutely no effect on the level of progesterone in the body.


Once progesterone reaches a saturation level in the underlying skin tissue, it diffuses into the capillaries, then passes into the general blood circulation for use by the body. Some women feel effects in less than a week of usage. For those who are especially deficient in progesterone, it may take two to three months to restore optimum levels.
Progesterone cream provides significant relief, with no reported adverse findings from usage by women for over 20 years. It is also known that trans dermal application allows for easier absorption because with any oral medication or supplement only a small percentage of it is not neutralized by the stomach acid and liver enzymes. Natural progesterone  provides a safe, pleasant and efficient way to help your body help itself, the way nature designed the body to work.


Buyer Beware!  Finding the correct Progesterone Cream

Many women have thought Wild Yam extract cream and progesterone cream are the same thing. The fact is they are not. Many companies are marketing a cream made from wild yam extract and telling customers that their body is going to convert wild yam extract into progesterone. This is not true.

There are Progesterone creams on the market, which are being used to help women with overcoming estrogen dominance. The only successful results however, are from those creams that contain natural progesterone. This means that the progesterone has been converted to bio-identical progesterone to the human hormone progesterone at a molecular level.

Some companies who make Wild Yam cream have even stated "This plant makes a substance identical to the progesterone produced by the human body", which is not true.
So all this misleading and deceptive information is confusing women, and they are paying a lot of money for a product that does not live up to its claims.

Scientific studies have shown time and time again that for any natural progesterone cream to really be effective and increase the progesterone levels in your blood stream, there are two important factors.
Firstly, a truly effective cream must contain USP grade natural progesterone, not wild yam extract. Secondly, a truly effective cream must contain a minimum of 400mg of natural progesterone per ounce.

This confusion seems to have easily arisen because the natural progesterone is actually made from the Wild Mexican Yam plant extract. Ah ha! I hear you say. So that is why it is so easy to be confused. It is the people who manufacture these creams who are at fault, obviously; not the hundreds of individuals who are selling it for them on the myriad of internet health websites.

To make the USP grade natural progesterone requires a laboratory procedure to extract the active ingredients in the Wild Yam extract, which is then converted with the aid of an enzyme, thus turning it into a hormone. Unlike synthetic estrogen and progestin, natural progesterone is not a drug and it does not have any side effects associated with it. You can use this product knowing that it is safe.

So beware of all the hype surrounding the sale of Wild Yam creams. Do not pay attention to claims that the ingredients of these creams can covert in the body to progesterone. It has been tested and proven not to be the case.
The bottom line is that you need to purchase a good quality, natural progesterone to achieve any benefits.

Also be aware of any added ingredients in Natural Progesterone Cream. Some makes of cream have been found to include various clogging agents, and phyto-estrogens.

So shop around, do your research, and purchase the best quality Natural Progesterone Cream. The impostor creams can be expensive and you cannot afford to be wasting your money and raising your hopes, only to find you are not getting the desired results.


Phyto-Estrogens and Clogging Agents~
As I shared at the beginning of this article, I had used two different brands of progesterone cream that didn't work for me. This left me with the false idea that I was not a good candidate for progesterone supplementation. I will be forever grateful for the studies and published work of Dr. John Lee, Dr. Ray Peat and several other Dr.s who have provided solid information about what to look for in a good supplemental progesterone cream. In my research, I learned that some manufacturers added ingredients to their product that actually interfered with the progesterones ability to enter my blood stream through my skin. After learning that the two progesterone products I had previously used both had these clogging agents in them, I decided to give transdermal progesterone supplementation another try. MUCH to my delight, I found a progesterone cream that delivered the hormone for me and continues to deliver 3 years later!
CLOGGING AGENTS:
Be sure to check the ingredients on your tube of progesterone cream and make sure it is free of, waxes, heavy oils, paraffin by-products and glycerins. Not all gycerins are dangerous, however, if they are too far toward the top of the list of ingredients on the progesterone cream you are using, they can inhibit the progesterone from penetrating the skin and make it's way into the blood stream effectively.
PHYTOESTROGENS:
Dr. John Lee revealed in his book, *What Your Dr. May Not Tell You About Menopause*, That 97% of the women in America fall into a category of estrogen dominance. Meaning it is progesterone their precious bodies need so desperately. If you have already been able to determine that you yourself are estrogen dominant, as evidenced by the list of 50 Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance or Progesterone deficiency. (If you have never seen this list of 50 Symptoms, please email me and I will provide you with it) Please take GREAT care, when shopping for natural progesterone, that you avoid all products that have phytoestrogens in them. Phyto means plant and it is indeed natural and a much safe choice for the woman who actually NEEDS some estrogen support, but most women have plenty of estrogen in their bodies as well as their environment and are in need of enough balancing progesterone to help level out her hormones. Some phyto-estrogens to look out for are, Dong Quai, Red Clover Leaf, Soy and Soy bi-products, Black Cohosh. If your progesterone creams contain these ingredients, you are actually ADDING estrogen back into your body creating a counterproductive atmosphere for the progesterone to work it's balancing magic in you.


Let's not forget that very small percentage of women who actually may be helped out by the use of a little bit of phyto-estrogen support. How do you know if you might be one of that 3%? It's very simple!


If you are:
1) Postmenopausal and your ovaries are no longer producing estrogen or progesterone.
2) If you have had a hysterectomy (ovaries included) therefore not producing estrogen.
3) If you are at or BELOW your ideal body weight. (Our fat cells, HOST estrogen and estrogen causes cells to grow, multiply and divide.... hence producing more estrogen, creating the need for more progesterone to balance it out.) The woman who is carrying 10 or more pounds of extra weight has all the estrogen she needs, but the underweight woman does not have the extra estrogen to oppose and may be a good candidate for a progesterone cream that has both progesterone and small amounts of phyto-estrogen as well.
It is such an honor to represent a company that provides for the needs of women in BOTH categories. The Endau Harmonizing Cream comes in the CLASSIC version, without any phyto-estrogens as well as a new version, formulated for the small percentage of women who finds themselves in need of a little bit of phyto-estrogenic support. Be sure, when you are ordering your Endau Harmonizing Cream, that you request the proper formula for YOU! If you have questions about this, please don't hesitate to email me and I will help answer them for you!

Product  with No Estrogen Endau Harmonizing Cream Classic or with Soy Phyto Estrogen. 

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