If you have PCOS and have looked around for natural treatments to take care of your symptoms, like the acne, hair overgrowth, hair loss, weight gain, and mood swings, then you’ve probably come across natural progesterone cream. The idea behind using natural progesterone cream to treat your PCOS is that you will increase your progesterone levels and rebalance your estrogen levels. You make progesterone after you ovulate, if you ovulate, in the second half of your cycle. If you don’t ovulate regularly, as is common with PCOS, progesterone deficiency can cause many unwanted symptoms. Progesterone cream is one of the ways to help your body deal with this lack of progesterone, but it’s not an ideal treatment and I have some caveats about progesterone cream that I’d like to share to help you choose when and how and if to use it as a natural treatment for your PCOS.
What is progesterone cream?
There are two kinds of progesterone cream – the kind you can purchase at Whole Foods (the most popular and respected brand is Emerita Pro-Gest) that is naturally derived from plant sources, and the pharmaceutical-grade progesterone cream (there are several brands including Progestelle and ProFeme). I never recommend using the pharmaceutical-grade progesterone cream, which is synthetic hormone-based and therefore has the ability to disrupt your body’s own hormone cycles in a way that will cause many adverse effects. Plant-source natural progesterone cream is the better option, or the only option I would recommend. Phyto (plant-based) progesterone is more easily processed and assimilated by the body, and as such it has less adverse effects. However, even natural, plant-sourced progesterone cream is a powerful supplement and should be used with an educated caution.
Can natural progesterone cream “cure” PCOS?
If you’re in a place currently where all of your symptoms of PCOS are so acute that you feel you need immediate relief, then natural progesterone cream can be a short term solution. If I meet a woman in a critical state with her PCOS-related health issues who just feels really, really bad right now, then I believe that natural progesterone cream can be a good choice for her, for one to three cycles.
However, using natural progesterone cream is just a way of adding plant-based phyto progesterone into your body to replace the progesterone your body is lacking. This can bring short term relief and give you some respite from difficult symptoms, but it’s not a real treatment that gets to the root cause of PCOS.
Not to mention that there’s a vicious cycle here when you are estrogen dominant, as that itself over time can suppress progesterone production. So merely increasing progesterone alone will not address why your body isn’t making the right amount in the first place. This is why Cycle-Syncing™ is so effective because it balances out estrogen and boosts progesterone throughout your cycle. Adding in too much hormone of any kind to your body will have a cumulative effect and cause side effects – in the case of progesterone – it can accumulate in your fat tissue and increase your tendency toward depression. Also, over the long term, the effectiveness of the natural progesterone cream will decrease.
Natural progesterone cream overrides the body’s hormone production, rather than supporting the body to produce its own progesterone. Supporting the body to balance its own hormone production with the right food choices and lifestyle choices is the best way forward for all women with PCOS.
How to use natural progesterone cream
You use natural progesterone cream only in the second half of your cycle, which is when your body would normally be producing its own progesterone. Start placing progesterone cream on the back of your elbow or knee on day 16 of your cycle (16 days after your period). Do this every day for 10 to 12 days and then stop.
If you have acute symptoms of PCOS currently you can start as soon as you need to. You likely will not know where you are in your cycle and may have not seen your period for some time, so counting the days will be difficult. Follow my guide to understanding your cycle to get back on track and then use progesterone cream for half your cycle for just one to three cycles maximum.
If you are in the second stage of perimenopause, this is another time when I do recommend progesterone cream as a natural supplement. If you’re already taking good care of yourself (ideally following the Flo Living protocol), but have found your period is more irregular post-45 as you head toward your very last period ever, then natural progesterone cream can act as a boost to your body, which is naturally and normally experiencing a decline in hormone production. Again, only use progesterone cream for one to three cycles to alleviate the symptoms of lowering hormones and irregular cycles. Even when you’re in perimenopause, this is not a long term solution and will not prevent perimenopause or prolong fertility.
How to increase progesterone naturally with food
As I’ve said here, progesterone cream does not support your body to make its own hormones and it’s not a long term solution for PCOS, perimenopause symptoms, irregular cycles or progesterone deficiency. The best way to support your body to produce its own progesterone (and therefore alleviate symptoms of low progesterone from mood swings to acne to weight gain) is through your diet and eating the right kinds of progesterone-boosting foods. The Flo Living protocol is designed to assist your body to produce healthy levels of progesterone and estrogen and to treat the root cause of hormonal health issues like PCOS. Giving your body the micronutrients it needs to produce its own hormones is the best choice.
There are also some foods that women with PCOS should completely avoid.
The best progesterone-boosting food sources
- B6-rich foods – including walnuts, poultry and chickpeas. A low level of B6 can make estrogen dominance more pronounced, when you have too much estrogen in your blood stream and not enough progesterone.
- Vitamin E-rich foods – including almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Several studies have shown that women who take vitamin E see a significant increase in overall progesterone levels.
- Vitamin C-rich foods – including bell peppers, leafy greens, berries and citrus fruits. Vitamin C boosts both progesterone and estrogen production in the body and helps with hormone processing and elimination of excess.
- L-arginine-rich foods – found in high protein food sources like pork, beef, poultry, as well as salmon, halibut and trout.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you have PCOS?
Second, have you tried progesterone cream?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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