Reasons to use progesterone cream
Low progesterone levels can cause issues during menstruation, conception, and pregnancy. Progesterone cream is a popular over-the-counter treatment that helps restore the body’s hormonal balance. But are these creams really effective? What are the benefits and side effects? Read on to find out.
Balanced progesterone levels are important for female reproductive health. Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy by triggering its inner lining (the endometrium) to thicken and helps a fertilized egg to implant. It also prevents the muscles of the uterus from contracting and rejecting an implanted egg.
When progesterone drops, there are a variety of ways to boost your levels — including using progesterone therapy.
Progesterone or progestin (synthetic progesterone) comes in several forms:
- Vaginal creams
- Vaginal suppositories
- Intrauterine devices or intrauterine systems
Progesterone therapy can help with multiple health concerns. These include:
- Treating infertility: Since progesterone plays a key role in preparing the uterus for pregnancy, low levels can prevent the uterine lining from becoming thick enough for implantation. Even after the fertilized egg attaches, muscular contractions can still lead to rejection. Progesterone therapy, including progesterone creams, may be considered as a treatment option.
- Maintaining pregnancy: Low progesterone levels during pregnancy can potentially lead to a miscarriage, and your doctor may recommend using progesterone therapy in this case. However, different progesterone creams vary significantly in the amount of progesterone they contain. Also, the safety of progesterone cream has not been established in pregnant or breastfeeding people. Only a health care provider can prescribe progesterone at the exact dose that will be absorbed.
- Alleviating menopausal symptoms: Progesterone creams are often marketed as a treatment for hot flashes, sleeplessness, sagging and wrinkled skin, and low bone density. But multiple studies have shown that progesterone is not effective at improving all of these symptoms. Progesterone cream can be used with estrogen in people who still have their uterus to lower their chances of endometrial cancer. Despite their popularity, it is too soon to recommend progesterone creams for treating symptoms of menopause. If you're considering using progesterone cream, consult a health care provider to evaluate the risks and limitations of treatment.