Progesterone is usually the most rapidly declining hormone during menopause, with levels decreasing as much as 75%. It causes females to become ‘estrogen dominant’ which means that level of estrogen in the body is significantly higher than progesterone. Although there is more estrogen than progesterone, there is still less estrogen in the body compared to what you use to have when you were in your 20’s. Generally, as women reach their 50’s, their estrogen declines about 30%.
Progesterone and synthetic MPA (medroxyprgesterone acetate) are NOT equal. Progesterone is a bioidentical hormone. MPA contains extra methyl group compared to progesterone, and this tiny change in molecular structure makes a significant difference. Products such as oral contraceptive pills, and products used in hormone replacement therapy all contain MPA. MPA causes fluid retention, breast tenderness, weight gain, and headache. MPA does not promote cardiovascular protection. The only side effect of progesterone is drowsiness.
Studies have found that supplemental progesterone can help relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, headaches, water retention, mood swings and breast tenderness. When taken with bioidentical estrogens, progesterone has also shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer that is associated with taking estrogen. Progesterone and estrogen combined, may also prevent heart attacks and lower LDL’s (the “bad” cholesterol).