There is nothing like being a woman. We battle stereotypes and preconceived notions . We have worked hard to define ourselves, as we want and need. We are mothers, sisters, daughters and aunts. We are conservatives and liberals, introverted and extroverted. We are homemakers and professionals — often times both! At the end of the big, long day — without any superlatives — we are, basically, simply women. Regardless of our lifestyles and personal beliefs, we share universal inevitability.
One thing that is guaranteed, that most of us cannot deny, is the certainty of menopause. In our preteen or early teens, we are excited to begin menstruation and some of us are not. We spend the next few decades going through the monthly motions and, eventually, reach a point where our periods decrease and stop. Despite what you felt at the start of menstruation, most women can agree that menopause is, um, challenging. Most of us have heard the woeful tales of suffering through unpredictable periods, vaginal dryness and irritation, hot flashes, irregular bleeding and dreadful night sweats. However, there are also ways to combat the side effects of menopause. While a bevy of hormonal replacement therapies (HRTs) are available, one of the most popular hormonal supplements is over the counter progesterone cream.
What exactly is progesterone cream?
First, let us start with the basic premises of progesterone. Progesterone, known as the pregnancy hormone, is the main regulating hormone for the female reproductive system. Progesterone is a hormone the body’s adrenal system naturally produces. Progesterone serves specific, biological purposes. Every female is born with a preset amount of eggs that will be produced and released throughout our lifetimes. As our eggs actually produce progesterone, this hormone is a sort of soundtrack of our reproductive lives.
The beginnings of menstruation signal when our bodies start a monthly process of ovulation and disposing of the eggs that are not used (menstruation). When our eggs are fertilized (pregnancy), progesterone becomes a fueling hormone of conception and uterine protection. Progesterone serves as a guide to sperm that seeks to fertilize an egg.
After a woman becomes pregnant, the progesterone goes into full maternal mode, decreasing our immune system’s capacity for attacking the fetus as an invasive entity, as well as decreasing uterine contraction so the pregnancy may remain intact. Falling progesterone levels during pregnancy have been long thought to be an indication of inevitable labor. During menopause, falling progesterone levels head toward a major low, triggering the final end of the menstrual cycle.
At this point during our reproductive lives, HRTs become an aide toward insulating our bodies from the uncomfortable sensations that come along with menopause. Essentially, this is why progesterone cream is considered such an effective alternative supplement.
Progesterone cream is a synthesized hormone that many women claim provides major relief to menopausal symptoms. By replicating the earlier natural stores of progesterone we once possessed, progesterone cream ‘tricks’ our bodies into believing more progesterone exists than it naturally does. Therefore, menopause symptoms are less severe and the process becomes more bearable.
There are several things to consider when choosing an effective progesterone cream.
First, you need to consider who makes the progesterone cream. Manufacturers have different product calibers and, sometimes, reputation does mean everything. If a HRT manufacturer does not offer consumer-friendly assurances and remedies (i.e. complete refunds) for a product, then the product may not be reputable. Research the supplier and make sure the progesterone cream is worth purchasing.
Next, consider the proper amount of progesterone cream for you. Every woman’s body operates at its own speed and since no one is cut from the same mold, your necessary amount of progesterone is probably different from mine. The wisest advice should come from a medical professional that will give some basic guidelines, helping you decide the specific amount that is perfect for you.
Finally, pay attention to the progesterone cream’s ingredients. As I mentioned before, everyone’s physiology is different. Particularly, if you are allergic to certain products (eggs, shellfish, peanuts), you are going to need to pay special attention to herbal additives that may be included in some progesterone creams. Black Cohosh may be great for some, yet debilitating for others. The risk of additives that negatively counteract one another should also be on your mind. For example, many pharmacies today cross-reference medications to make sure there are no harmful consequences to the person taking the medicine. You should look at progesterone cream in the same way. You want a cream that is reputable, minimally abrasive and effective. Considering these three basics will help make sure you get the best progesterone cream that you can get.
Now, where exactly do you look for over the counter progesterone cream?
While there are many venues from which to buy progesterone cream, many women find searching sites such as Amazon.com helpful and simple. To date, the top three progesterone creams on Amazon.com are:
- Emerita Pro-Gest Natural Progesterone Cream, Paraben-Free (4 oz.)
- Source Naturals Natural Progesterone Cream (4 oz.)
- Mendapause Progesterone Cream with Phytoestrogens and Natural Bioidentical USP Progesterone (3.5 oz.)
Remember, doing your research and knowing what amount of over the counter progesterone cream you need should make for a rather uncomplicated way to find the progesterone cream that is right for you!