Why Bio-Identical Progesterone Use is Important in the Decades PRIOR to Menopause!
Many of our female patients in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are prescribed natural, bio-identical progesterone for a variety of reasons. It is quite common to see a perplexed look on the patient’s face. Recently a patient asked me: “But, Marya, I’m only 36, my periods are regular…why would I need this?” In fact, the use of bio-identical progesterone is safe, effective, and an important strategy for women long before their periods cease.
Natural progesterone is one of the best and safest ways to reduce the variety of PMS symptoms women suffer with during the second half of the cycle. Most commonly, women find themselves feeling bloated, gripped with irritability and a hyper-emotional state of being, uncomfortable breast tenderness, and insomnia and anxiety that can be relentless. Clothes don’t fit as well, rings get tight, and the food cravings become difficult to ignore. Strong emotions, anxiety, and irritability can interfere both with relationships and job performance.
Natural progesterone given days 14-28 of a menstruating woman’s cycle is a very effective strategy for reducing the intensity of these symptoms. Most PMS symptoms reflect a state of estrogen dominance, and progesterone will be the great balancer. Progesterone is well known for reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and it functions as a diuretic, effectively reducing swelling and water retention.
Do not be dismayed or afraid of adding progesterone to your optimal health plan, even if menopause is decades away! Please call us at (415) 383-9903 to set up a consult with me, Marya Grosse NP, or Dr. Camp or click HERE.
Women in their 40’s-sometimes earlier– often start having heavier and longer periods which are not only annoying, but reflect an estrogen dominant state that can be an actual cancer risk. I have had many patients over my years as a Nurse Practitioner who have bled weeks on end for months and even years before they seek help. Please do not wait that long to talk to us!
As women age, their ability to ovulate becomes inconsistent. It is unpredictable when or if a woman will ovulate during any given cycle particularly after age 35. During cycles when a woman does not ovulate, almost no progesterone will be created. Progesterone serves the very important purpose of stabilizing the uterine lining, making the lining ripe for implantation should an egg be fertilized. This uterine lining stabilization is what keeps the lining from becoming too thick and prevents premature and heavy bleeding.
Women in this category will often complain of having 2 weeks or less between periods or have bleeding that lasts longer than 10 days. Many women come to us when they notice their cycles shortening to 21-26 days even if their bleeding remains normal. These are all good reasons to come see us and add progesterone into your optimal health plan.
Progesterone in these cases may be taken for longer intervals than days 14-28, and sometimes we will add progesterone vaginally so that it is absorbed locally, directly into the uterus to halt excessive bleeding.
If you are suffering from these types of abnormal bleeding scenarios, PLEASE come see us sooner than later, as increased bleeding leads to an increased risk of cancer.
Recently I was reading an article about breast cancer risk in a very non-medical fashion magazine while I was on a plane ride to visit relatives. However, this magazine had it right and it is not new information: being in a state of estrogen dominance prior to menopause is a primary risk factor for developing breast cancer. Other cancers such as colon are also thought to have estrogen dominance as a culprit.
Progesterone is usually the first hormone a woman becomes deficient in during perimenopause. This can start as early as age 30, sometimes earlier, depending on a complex algorithm dependent on genetics, diet, weight, stress level, and your exercise program to name a few. Women with long histories of birth control pill use often have a difficult time getting their ovaries to ovulate again, increasing their risk of incurring an estrogen dominant state. Remember, if the ovaries do not ovulate, no progesterone is created.
In the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 97 (2005) 441-450, Authors Campagnoli C et al. determine from their research that women with higher progesterone levels during their menstrual cycle premenopausally had a 78% REDUCTION in breast cancer risk.
Why risk it? It is a statistical fact, unfortunately, that most women in their late 30’s and 40’s and often sooner, are not ovulating monthly leading to a state of estrogen dominance.
Progesterone is a simple and effective way to reduce PMS symptoms, reduce future cancer risk, and an effective strategy in treating abnormal bleeding patterns. If you are interested in talking to either Dr. Camp or myself about your PMS or abnormal bleeding patterns or would like labs and a consult regarding your estrogen and progesterone levels, please call us at (415) 383-9903 or click HERE.
By Marya Grosse, NP