There’s a reason they’re called periods.
For many women, menstruation is fairly regular, coming at defined intervals of time, a constant throughout the years after puberty. They might change in intensity, flow might be different, and cramps may be better or worse, but for the most part, it comes when it should. But sometimes, it doesn’t—a possibility that only increases as you age.
If you experience irregular periods, you know the lack of predictability can be frustrating, inconvenient, and even frightening. What’s more, you may think that irregularity is simply a fact of life, particularly if you are approaching perimenopause. But menstrual irregularity isn’t inevitable. There is a potential treatment for it: progesterone cream.
By supplementing your natural progesterone levels, progesterone cream can help to regulate the hormonal deficiency that can be a cause of irregular periods. If you are a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, progesterone cream may be a great way to get you back to your regular self.
Defining Irregular Periods
Some women’s periods start the exact day they are “supposed to.” Others are slightly less predictable, and you might see them moving by a few days either way throughout the year. While some variation is common and can be completely healthy, significant irregularities can be not only inconvenient, but cause for concern. However, the predictability of your cycle is not the only factor in defining what makes a period irregular.
Irregular periods can mean periods that:
- Occur more frequently than every 21 days
- Last longer than eight days
- Are consistently late or early
- Missed entirely
These phenomena can be distressing. Very frequent periods or wild fluctuations in cycle length can be profoundly disruptive and impact fertility. Repetitive missed periods could be a sign of a serious health problem, such as PCOS, and may also affect your ability to conceive. Seeking treatment for menstrual irregularities can therefore be essential to protect your health and your quality of life.
Lack of Progesterone as a Cause of Irregular Periods
There are many potential causes of irregular periods. Some of these include:
- Chronic stress
- Extreme dieting or exercise (including no exercise)
- Thyroid disorders
- Reactions to medicine
- Eating disorders
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
While these may require different treatment approaches, a common factor is often low progesterone.
Progesterone is a building block of other hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. It also plays a crucial role in a woman’s reproductive system and is key to the menstrual cycle. Among other things, progesterone triggers the uterine endometrial lining to release proteins that either nourish an implanted egg or, if there is no egg, cause the lining to break down. In other words, it gets your body ready to have your period. When there are low levels of progesterone in the second half of your cycle—after ovulation—it can throw things off balance. That’s when irregularity can occur.
If you do have an irregular period, it is important to seek guidance from a health care practitioner to determine the cause of your irregularity and get the right treatment. An irregular cycle could be a symptom of other health issues that need to be treated. When it comes to your health, you should never make assumptions. However, if you are experiencing low progesterone levels, the progesterone cream might be your best option.
How to Use Progesterone Cream for Irregular Periods
Most women know that progesterone cream can be used as a treatment for menopause symptoms, but it is also commonly used to correct menstrual irregularities in younger women and during perimenopause. However, be aware that over-the-counter “natural progesterone creams” may not contain a dose of progesterone that is appropriate for all women. As such, consulting a professional to determine if progesterone replacement therapy is appropriate, getting access to safe, effective products, and continuing to be monitored over time is essential.
Generally, using progesterone for irregular periods is a simple process:
- Assume “Day 1” is the first day of your cycle.
- Begin using the progesterone cream after ovulation (typically around day 14 of your cycle). The cream can be applied to your neck, forearm, lower abdomen, or inner thigh.
- Continue using the cream until around day 28, after which your period should start.
The amount of cream you use will depend on your individual needs. Your healthcare practitioner can adjust your dose as necessary to ensure optimal efficacy and minimize any side effects. Many women prefer custom bioidentical progesterone therapy to conventional HRT because it can be formulated according to your exact specifications rather than relying on standardized dosing, potentially improving results and tolerability.
Progesterone cream can do wonders for women suffering from low progesterone levels and irregular periods. There are also other administration methods that you may prefer if a cream isn’t the best option for you. Oral progesterone capsules are a particularly popular alternative, as it may produce better results and be easier to use for some women.
You might not look forward to your period, but you want your body to be regulated, to be in rhythm with itself, and to be in balance. With the right progesterone product, you can achieve just that.
If you are struggling with irregular periods, BodyLogicMD can help. The BodyLogicMD network is comprised of top professionals who specialize in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and integrative medicine. BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioners can help you determine the cause of your irregular periods and design a treatment plan customized to your needs using the most innovative therapies available today. Contact a local practitioner in your area to start your journey toward optimal health, or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz to learn more about how hormones may be impacting your everyday life.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.