Natural progesterone cream is a popular product designed to address a wide variety of hormone-related symptoms in women. What’s more, natural progesterone cream is inexpensive, easy to use, and accessible—many versions are even available over-the-counter. It may seem like the perfect solution for women who aren’t ready to seek professional help for their hormones.
But is natural progesterone cream safe? That depends on the specific product and on the person using it. Achieving success with any hormone product relies in part on your age, body weight, medical history, symptoms, allergies, and how often you use a particular dose. And, as with any hormone medication, natural progesterone cream comes with potential risks and side effects that should be openly discussed and understood before beginning treatment.
If you’re considering natural progesterone cream, don’t go it alone. An expert hormone health practitioner will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you understand how these products may impact you. More importantly, they can help you discover exactly what is causing your symptoms and find the best treatment for your individual situation, whether that includes natural progesterone cream or entails other strategies to enhance your physical and emotional health.
Who Might Want to Take Natural Progesterone Cream?
Progesterone is a powerful female hormone which can be taken via prescription or in over-the-counter preparations. In general, healthy progesterone levels promote female fertility, helps regulate the menstrual cycle, and can have a profound impact on psychological well-being.
In premenopausal women, progesterone products are sometimes used to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. Additionally, some women are prescribed progesterone during early pregnancy or when they’re trying to conceive, as low progesterone may contribute to infertility and miscarriage. During perimenopause or menopause, progesterone is commonly used to address a variety of symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, and is known to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer in women undergoing estrogen therapy.
Natural progesterone cream might be recommended by a practitioner to help with any of these conditions. It’s important to note, however, that progesterone in any form should never be taken without medical counsel. While these products can play a meaningful role in alleviating your symptoms, they aren’t right for all women in all cases. It’s critical that a trained health practitioner evaluates whether progesterone is an appropriate option—and ensure you are using an effective product.
Choosing the Right Natural Progesterone Cream
Although the potential for symptom relief makes hormonal therapies highly attractive in general, it’s the “natural” part of natural progesterone cream that attracts many women to these products. However, natural progesterone cream may not be as natural as you expect, and its ingredients can make or break your results.
Natural progesterone cream is made from wild yams. In fact, “natural progesterone cream” and “wild yam cream” are often used interchangeably by those who don’t understand the critical differences that can exist between them.
Wild yams do not contain progesterone, but they do contain an ingredient called diosgenin that can be used to synthesize progesterone in the lab. However, diosgenin does not convert to progesterone in the human body. As such, natural progesterone creams that contain lab-created, yam-derived progesterone have the potential to elevate hormone levels in the human body, but yam creams without added progesterone have no ability to affect hormone levels. In order to experience the benefits of natural progesterone cream, make sure that the product you use includes United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) progesterone, not “diascorea villosa extract” or “diosgenin”.
Creams with low progesterone doses may still be found over-the-counter, but others require a prescription. Here, too, it is critical to consult with a trained hormone specialist who can ensure that you are using the right product and the right dose.
Is Natural Progesterone Cream Safe?
At first glance, natural progesterone cream seems relatively harmless, particularly if available over-the-counter. And, in fact, that is the case for many women, particularly when used short-term and in low doses. But long-term use—particularly if not supervised by a trained practitioner—may be a different story.
Progesterone is a highly fat-soluble chemical. If you’re using too much progesterone cream or using the product for a long period of time, the hormone may accumulate in fat tissues throughout your body. This can cause high or even toxic levels of progesterone that require medical attention.
Furthermore, unless prescribed by a qualified hormone practitioner, natural progesterone cream may not be safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You may also need to avoid these products if you have liver or kidney problems, a history of hormone-related cancers, bleeding or clotting issues, seizures or migraine headaches, mental health disorders, or an allergy or sensitivity to progesterone.
How Can I Use Progesterone Cream Safely?
Natural progesterone cream is a tempting solution for symptoms that may be highly uncomfortable. However, you should exercise caution before using these products on your own. A better solution is to seek the guidance of a hormone health practitioner who will help you minimize these risks and tailor your treatment to optimize safety and efficacy.
An expert hormone health practitioner, like those in the BodyLogicMD network, will be able to accurately diagnose your symptoms based on comprehensive hormone testing. They’ll provide information about all the possible treatment options and create a comprehensive plan to move you toward better health. If your practitioner recommends natural progesterone cream as part of your treatment plan, they’ll be able to identify the best product, dosage, and length of treatment for your individual situation. If natural progesterone cream is not a good fit, your practitioner will find better alternatives that give you the symptom relief you are looking for.
Before taking over-the-counter hormone supplements, consider seeking help from the experts. Qualified hormone health practitioners can help you find the best treatment for your symptoms, so you can get back to living a balanced and healthy life.
BodyLogicMD is a network of expert health practitioners who specialize in hormonal health and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. These practitioners design integrative treatment plans that can help you balance your hormones through medication, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling. Contact a local practitioner who will work with you to find lasting relief from your symptoms safely and effectively. Or, take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz to learn more about how hormones like progesterone help your body function at an optimal level of wellness.
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.