What is progesterone?

Progesterone is the ‘other female hormone’ produced in the ovaries.  It is often overshadowed or forgotten due to the superstar status of estrogen, but it is equally as important!  Progesterone is made primarily during the second half of a pre-menopausal woman’s cycle, and is necessary for ovulation.  Its name also conveys another function, which is helping to stabilize and maintain pregnancy, to be pro-gestation.  It has many beneficial effects outside of ovulation and pregnancy though, and is a must have in the menopausal season of life.  It is unfortunate when I hear from friends and patients that their endocrinologist or gynecologist told them that they don’t need progesterone if they don’t have a uterus anymore due to a hysterectomy.  As I list progesterone’s benefits below, I think you will agree that it is a hormone to keep optimal at any point in our lives.

Benefits of progesterone:

The benefits of progesterone are many, and include:

Side effects of progesterone:

With all these wonderful benefits, you may be wondering what’s the catch?  What are the side effects?  Most common side effects include drowsiness (which is why you take it at bedtime, and how it helps to improve sleep), and nipple tenderness (which typically fades after a couple weeks, if it is experienced at all).


How is it prescribed?

Progesterone can be prescribed in many forms, but one major distinction to make is that the best form is bio-identical progesterone.  Progestins, which are often found in birth control, do not confer the same benefits as bio-identical progesterone as listed above.  In fact, progestins can increase your risk of blood clots, and certain cancers!  It is essential to always be as natural as possible with hormones, and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is the way to go.  Progesterone BHRT can be prescribed as a pill, cream, or lozenge.  The best absorption is gained from the pill or lozenge, and not the cream.   


Next steps:

Curious about learning more, or are you ready to sign up and start reaping the benefits of progesterone?  I would love to talk more with you and get you on the perfect individualized program.  Contact me for information and scheduling at Ageless Beauty Rx 360-597-2688 or book online at!

Dr. Elysia Harrsch Dr. Harrsch became a board-certified primary care Naturopathic Physician after completing a four-year medical degree program at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. During this time, she developed a passion for physical medicine, thyroid disorders, nutrition, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for men and women, complimentary cancer care, and preventative medicine.

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