Progesterone has been around a long time. It is the all in one hormone that is present in most species of vertebrates of both sexes across all age groups. It has myriad of functions such as regulating blood sugar and building bone mass. It plays a major role in the human body. Many people think it is specifically a female hormone or that it is mainly important only during pregnancy and childbirth. Actually there is no major difference in progesterone production between men and women except during the luteal phase for women. Also, progesterone is a unique hormone upon which other hormones like estrogen and testosterone are built. Apart from from functioning as a counterbalance to estrogen it has many other functions and properties that make it important for maintaining good overall health and wellness.
During perimenopause a woman's body begins to slow down production of progesterone. This is when it becomes important to supplement the body's own progesterone production because it often dips down to zero which leaves a woman on the the dangerous path to estrogen dominance. The first most common method of supplementing progesterone levels for a woman is with progesterone cream or more specifically bio-identical progesterone cream. It is convenient and economical because some creams do not need a prescription and for many women a topical solution is preferable to a progesterone pill like Prometrium which is orally administered and needs a prescription. The second method is via a pill like Prometrium which most of the time is taken orally although it can be inserted into the vagina.
Natural progesterone cream is absorbed differently from progesterone pills. The cream is fat soluble and so is easily absorbed by the skin into the subcutaneous fat from where it gets absorbed into the blood through capillaries. In perimenopausal women the recommended dose is generally around 15-25 mg per day before the menses which translates to about 1/3 of a teaspoon of cream assuming that the progesterone content of the cream is approximately 3% by volume. Some creams even go up to 10% so it just depends.
There are many online sources detailing how to use progesterone cream in a topical way as well as showcasing some of the more popular brands such as renewed balance progesterone cream, oasis serene progesterone cream, progest progesterone cream, emerita progesterone cream, organic excellence natural progesterone cream and many others. Stay clear or labels that tout the benefits of diosgenin. This is the raw extract that has no benefit till its converted into natural, bio identical progesterone in a lab. Any wild yam progesterone cream such as wild yam 1 or natural woman progesterone cream will have a list of ingredients. Make sure that progesterone is the active ingredient.
Progesterone cream benefits are of course convenience and the fact that absorption through the skin is reasonably efficient. The con is the fact there are progesterone cream side effects. Progesterone being fat soluble will dissolve and some of it stays in the fat which creates problems for the balance of certain hormones like cortisol and testosterone in the body. Although this is not initially a problem, over time as the body's fat tissue accumulates progesterone from the use of progesterone creams this can cause substantial disruptions to the adrenal hormones.
Progesterone pills are also considered just as convenient in terms of administering progesterone. Usually not more than 2 pills are required on a daily basis. Some women prefer to take a pill rather than rub on a cream. The problem with the pill is that much of the progesterone is lost through the liver so you're really left with no more than 10% or so of the original pill dose. So if you want to have an effective dose of 20mg per day you will have to take a dosage of around 200 to 400mg and that's a lot of progesterone to send through your liver. Your liver will eventually get overloaded trying to process that much progesterone on a day to day basis. If creams and pills are not your thing then progesterone through intramuscular injection would be the best way. You don't have the problems of overdosing the liver and there is no problem of retention in fat tissue since the progesterone goes directly into the muscle and then from the muscle into the blood via capillaries. Not terribly convenient nor pain free but by far the most effective delivery system for progesterone without any side effects unless of course you're using synthetic progesterone.