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How Long Does Progesterone Take to Work?
04/04/2022

How Long is a Piece of String?

It’s the million dollar question… Unlike our best selling Silky Peach Cream, which is for a very specific area of health, progesterone is a hormone that is used throughout the body. In our post menopausal ladies, really common symptoms of progesterone insufficiency are:

  • Memory problems (remembering new things, word retrieval)
  • Decreased concentration
  • Brain fog
  • Irritability
  • Dulled mood and motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased libido
  • Increased Blood pressure
  • Food cravings
  • Headaches
  • Increased Triglycerides
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Generalized Anxiety

To complicate matters, none of these things spontaneously occur, they creep up on us slowly, drop by drop! Adding progesterone back into the daily or weekly routine will gradually start to reawaken the progesterone receptors distributed throughout the body. As that happens things begin to work better again.

So, let’s take a deeper look at how progesterone works on all these areas:

Sleep: progesterone acts on the GABA receptor in the brain which stimulates GABA production. GABA is a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect. GABA can help the brain be calmer, so falling asleep is easier. When used at bedtime, GABA can be produced throughout the night which also helps with staying asleep. Getting more sleep promotes overall health, as it is during those night time hours that much repair work goes on. But it’s not all about GABA, progesterone is the base from which melatonin is made, so enough progesterone can go a long way to make sure there is enough “raw material” to make melatonin.

Anxiety: more GABA helps reduce feelings of worry and anxiety. Worry and anxiety can be sudden, as in a panic attack, but for many people, it’s a gradual thing; we are worrying about things we never used to or finding it hard to make decisions because we worry about all the possible things that could go wrong! Let’s face it, the pandemic hasn’t exactly helped…

Memory and brain function: a good night’s sleep on a regular basis will help with memory – both forming new memories (like your plan for the day, the grocery list, and your to-do list) and in recall of known things, i.e., events, conversations, and words. Progesterone works to help maintain the network of connections within the brain that are involved with thinking; progesterone can help to dispel feelings of a brain fog.

Weight gain: Progesterone acts as a diuretic through reducing sodium levels. If sodium levels are high, the water is retained. It’s not just about eating a low sodium diet, it’s also about making sure that other hormones don’t increase sodium levels. Progesterone prevents the hormone aldosterone from increasing sodium levels. The diuretic properties of progesterone mean that it will pull excess water out of the cells and out of the spaces between the cells. Reducing water retention has very positive effects not just on weight, but on blood pressure and the overall stress on the heart. This doesn’t happen all at once; the regular supply of progesterone gradually works to send the right signaling to help this happen.

Mood and motivation: Serotonin is one of our happy chemicals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter - a messenger made in the brain. There is a fairly complex sequence of processes for the brain to make serotonin including having the right mix of B vitamins and other molecules, including progesterone. So, it’s not surprising that, as women go through perimenopause and menopause, progesterone drops and so can levels of serotonin. Women frequently report kind of “meh” moods and a decrease in motivation. While that could be due to a range of things – lack of progesterone can be a significant part.

These examples illustrate how adding progesterone can help your body. As you can see – they are rarely “visible” or dramatic; progesterone is an ‘invisible’ hormone that we don’t think about until it’s gone. When a well dries out during a long drought – it can take many months of rain to fill that well back up again; when the water is there, we don’t give it a thought, we just carry on being! Our supplies of progesterone are like that.

How long it will take to “work” depends a lot on how far you are from the menopausal transition and the overall health and wellness of your body. Have a look back at the symptom list above and see how many you have; then, after taking progesterone for a few months, review and see how many still persist. We hope that progesterone replenishment will help bring some zing and vitality to you!

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