Dr. John Lee, M.D.
Answers Your Questions about Natural Progesterone

How do I know if I should use natural progesterone?

  • If you have PMS Symptoms.

  • Symptoms occur consistently a week to 10 days before the period and stop with or shortly thereafter.

  • If you have Estrogen Dominance symptoms. These are water retention, breast swelling, fibrocystic breast, uterine fibroid, loss of libido, mood swings, depression, craving for sweets, and weight gain with fat deposited at hips and thighs.

  • If you have Menopausal symptoms. Estrogen continues to be produced from the fat in cells even after menopause; however, progesterone production virtually ends. Hot flashes are the most prominent symptoms of menopause.

  • If you are over 50. Women older than 50 should use natural progesterone cream to prevent osteoporosis.

Where should I apply natural progesterone cream?

    Natural progesterone (derived from the Mexican wild yam root and/or soy) in a moisturizing cream is applied to the face, hands, chest, abdomen, inner arms, inner thighs, or soles of feet. The cream is readily absorbed and leaves no trace after a few minutes. During absorption, the cream bypasses the liver and goes to specific receptor sites where progesterone is needed. When action is completed, residue is excreted from the body by the liver with no toxic effects. Relative need for progesterone and the absorption rate vary by individual.

When do I use natural progesterone cream?

  • If you are still menstruating, use teaspoon of cream twice a day after ovulation (generally 12-14 days from the first day of menstrual flow) until day 26. You do not use natural progesterone while you are menstruating; however, if you experience menstrual cramps, try rubbing cream on lower abdomen.

  • If you have menopausal symptoms and are still menstruating, use teaspoon cream twice per day beginning with the 10-12th day from day 1 of menstruation until day 26. (After 3 months, start using cream 12-14 days from day 1 of menstruation until day 26.)

  • If you have menopausal symptoms and are not menstruating, have osteoporosis or want to prevent osteoporosis, use cream based on calendar month. Start using teaspoon twice per day on 8th of each month and continue to end of the month.

It is important to stop using the cream at least five days each month; preferably seven.

Please note: Everyone is different. Some women require more progesterone cream to help alleviate symptoms; others can use less. For the first 3 months, use one 2-oz. tube per month. Then try cutting back on the amount of natural progesterone to 1/8 tsp. twice per day. If symptoms return, resume previous usage.

If I'm already taking hormones from my doctor, why should I switch to natural hormones?

    Natural hormones are simply an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Synthetic progesterone (progestins) has many side effects, and synthetic estrogen can endanger your health-especially if taken without any progesterone. If someone is taking both synthetic estrogen and progestins, a gradual step may be to substitute natural progesterone cream, gradually backing off synthetic estrogen. Reduce estrogen use by one-half and continue to reduce over 90 days until discontinued completely.

Can natural progesterone be used during pregnancy?

  • In his book, Premenstrual Syndrome & You, Neils H. Lauersen, M.D., from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, states that natural progesterone may be helpful to maintain pregnancy. The cream is not only safe for use during pregnancy but is recommended.

  • From conception to delivery, apply primarily to abdomen, breast, low back, and upper thighs (where it will tend to help prevent the skin from stretching). For the first six months of pregnancy, use and average of to teaspoon 2 to 3 times per day. During the last trimester, apply one teaspoon 2 or 3 times per day. Discontinue at delivery and resume again at a level of twice per day stating one month after delivery.
    The cream is also useful for post-partum depression, which many women experience after childbirth.

Can young girls use natural progesterone cream?

  • Yes. Low estrogen levels can adversely affect the general health of girls between the ages of 9 and 13. For a year or more before the onset of menstruation, blood calcium are so low that young girls often develop symptoms associated with menarche, which are usually accepted as normal behavior: "emotional outbursts", "irritable and temperamental behavior", and "compulsive consumption of sweets".

  • During puberty, the maturing ovaries require calcium to produce estrogen, thus diverting calcium from metabolic requirements. Introducing natural progesterone at this time will alleviate most of the symptoms mentioned above. Continued use of natural progesterone will maintain a high level of wellness with few or no PMS complaints.

How does natural differ from synthetic progesterone?

  • Natural progesterone, a cholesterol derivative, comes from Mexican yams or soybeans. It matches exactly the chemical formulation of the body's own progesterone and thus causes no side effects.

  • Manufacturers of synthetic progesterone alter the chemical makeup of progesterone in order to create progestins. Progestins in their altered molecular structure may cause many side effects, such as birth defects or abortion, fluid retention, epilepsy, migraine, asthma, cardiac or kidney dysfunction, and depression.

Can natural progesterone help with endometriosis or fibrocystic breast?

    One common factor in both of these conditions is a higher level of circulating estrogen. Progesterone-which helps to normalize all other endocrine and hormonal activity in the body-may help to clear these conditions by helping to lower the level of estrogen.

Do natural hormones alleviate vaginal dryness?

    Vaginal dryness, which can occur in women of all ages for various reasons, affects primarily post-menopausal women. Natural hormones in a cream base, used intravaginally, have been successful in treating vaginal dryness and vulvar atrophy associated with aging.

Should estrogen be used without progesterone?

    Definitely not. It is important that natural progesterone be used with any form of estrogen. Estrogen without progesterone can cause endometrial and vaginal carcinomas. Estrogen blocks thyroid activity and causes water retention; it can cause fibrocystic breast disease and even fibroid tumors and cysts in the ovary area.

Do I need a prescription for natural hormones?

    No. Natural hormones in a cream or oil base come from Mexican yams and/or soybeans-technically food products.

If I use natural hormones after menopause begins, will I start menstruating again?

    Occasionally, upon beginning use of natural hormone supplement, a post-menopausal woman could experience some breakthrough bleeding, or a "period". This perfectly normal response should not cause alarm. The progesterone is simply causing the body to rid itself of excess stored estrogen, which can sometimes stimulate a uterine shedding-thus breakthrough bleeding. If bleeding occurs for longer than several months, a woman should consult her physician.

How does natural progesterone affect excessive facial hair, especially above my upper lip?

    Excess facial hair, which may require occasional shaving, and body hair is a condition called "hirsutism". It indicates a hormonal imbalance among estrogen, testosterone (the dominant male hormone), and progesterone. Progesterone acts as a regulator for the entire endocrine system. A woman who has the hirsute problem probably has PMS too. Both menopausal and menstruating women have reported that facial hair (and body hair) decreased or completely disappeared after three to six months of regular application of cream twice a day. Natural progesterone is needed for proper hormonal balance.

Is natural progesterone useful after hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or menopause?

    Yes. Many women experience hot flashes following premenopausal hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or oophorectomy (complete removal of ovaries), as well as at the beginning of the natural onset of menopause. The cream, which contains natural progesterone, is reported to be effective for relieving symptoms of hot flashes. Most women have reported a complete cessation of flushing within 3 to 8 weeks.

Is natural progesterone indicated for osteoporosis?

  • Many medical "authorities" tell post-menopausal patients that osteoporosis is inevitable if they live long enough. A physician in Mill Valley California, John R. Lee, has proven that this often-repeated statement is simply untrue. The results of his ongoing clinical study with 100 women are noteworthy. Women who used natural progesterone cream from 6 to 48 months all experienced new bone density ranging from 5 to 40 percent.

  • His results also show that therapy is successful even several decades after menopause.
    One of his patients, age 82, who has been using natural progesterone cream for four years, has gained more than 40 percent new bone density, as proven by dualphoton absorptiometry. Dr. Lee has proven that osteoporosis is not only preventable, but in most cases also reversible.

Can I use natural progesterone if my family has a history of breast or uterine cancer?

    Yes. Breast cancer and endometrial cancer occur in tissues sensitive to gonadal hormones. Unopposed estrogen is the only known cause of endometrial cancer, though other factors may be involved. Estrogen, or at least one or more of the various estrogens, may contribute to breast cancer. Progesterone balances the estrogen level in the body, thus lessening the risk.

Can men use natural progesterone?

    Men over 45 can use natural progesterone. One benefit is an increase in the libido. Progesterone is the precursor of testosterone. Testosterone can stimulate new bone formation, increasing bone density; a lack of it can cause osteoporosis. Older men with rheumatoid arthritis have reported relief from pain and swelling after rubbing natural progesterone in a cream base on their joints.