Women who use over-the-counter progesterone creams could be
exposed to hormone levels comparable to prescription oral
progesterone, a small study suggests.
The study compared one brand of progesterone cream with a
prescription oral progesterone that, like the cream, is derived
from plant sources and provides a hormone that is structurally
identical to the natural progesterone in a woman’s body. The
prescription product, Prometrium, is used as part of hormone
replacement therapy after menopause, or for restoring
menstruation in younger women whose periods have stopped.
The study found that the over-the-counter cream, when taken as
the label directs, exposed study volunteers to as much hormone as
the prescription did. However, the cream delivered a steadier
dose because it is slowly absorbed through the skin.
We recommend that you not use over-the-counter progesterone
creams unless you know exactly how much progesterone is in the
product, and how much progesterone you actually need.
The dose of progesterone you get from the cream will depend on
how much you apply, how often you apply it, and where you apply
it. Some areas of the body absorb better than others.
Your wisest course of action is to consult with one of our
naturopathic physicians before you to try to “rebalance” your
hormones by yourself. You need expert advice to determine the
appropriate amount of progesterone (if any) and the best delivery
method for you.
Slathering progesterone cream on your body just because you think
it is a good idea is not a good idea. Progesterone is a very
powerful hormone. Treat it with respect.
Source: Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, June 2005