What Does Progesterone Cream Help ?

daphnelDecember 3, 2001

Anyone with experience losing vaginal and clitoral sensations tried using progesterone cream to help? I seem to remember reading something along this line somewhere. I am now taking tablets of estrogen and progesterone. I am wondering if this works for dryness problems and sensitivity if I should switch to a cream?


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The idea is that progesterone is the raw building material for a number of hormones, one of which is testosterone. In peri-menopause, our testosterone production drops dramatically. Testosterone is one of the key hormones influencing libido (but not the only thing involved in sexual response). Some of us can compensate for its decline; others cannot.

The situation is worsened by taking estrogen, in a way, in that estrogen increases levels of a protein that binds testosterone. When you have fully-functional ovaries, these things balance out: you make enough testosterone to still have enough left after the protein gloms its share. When your ovarian production goes down, as in menopause, and you take HRT that contains estrogen, you are in effect hitting the testosterone with a double whammy: lower output and the protein to skim off what you do have. By adding progesterone, some women find they are able to manufacture enough testosterone again to regain their libido. Others, in whom the libido loss is due to some other problem, may not find progesterone helpful in that regard (although it may or may not be in other ways).

Generally speaking, there's no way to tell whether it will help or not without trying it. But oral progesterone should work for this as well as the cream does. There are women for whom oral progesterone is ineffective--either because they do not absorb it or they too readily get rid of it--and for them, a trial of the cream form may be useful to see if it's route-related. The main difference between oral and cream seems to be that the oral route produces more sedating metabolites; otherwise, they should work the same way.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2001 at 9:36PM
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The body can produce sufficient amounts of testosterone without any progesterone at all. That's what happens in the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle and in all intact naturally post menopausal women.

In answer to the original question, most progesterone creams including ALL of the otc types help the bank accounts of the people selling them and producing them.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2001 at 9:10AM
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daphnel, if you are happy with the regimen you now have with oral estrogen and progesterone, and your only problem is vaginal dryness and loss of sensation, you could ask your doctor for a prescription for Estriol Vaginal cream. You can use this in addition to your oral hormones. It is applied vaginally a couple of times a week and may be helpful in your situation. I think it's worth a try. There are also a couple of other options for vaginally applied estrogen; the Estring and a tablet that is inserted vaginally ( can't recall it's brand name right now - it's on the forum someplace). These estrogen preparations are for the relief of localized vaginal/urinary symptoms and not for relief of systemic symptoms like hot flashes.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 12:44PM
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