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Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands, and it functions to balance the effects of estrogen. Natural progesterone enhances the action of estrogen, as these hormones work together to maintain a normal hormone balance. A lack of progesterone causes disease processes similar to those caused by a deficiency of estrogen. They include osteoporosis, heart disease, decrease in libido, and a significantly diminished quality of life. The combination of natural progesterone and estrogen can prevent this downward spiral by keeping women vital, strong, and healthy.

The ovaries begin producing progesterone around puberty, and the monthly ebb and flow of this hormone, in harmony with estrogen and other hormones, continues until menopause. Progesterone’s primary role during this moment is to help make the uterus ready for implantation of a new embryo, the first major event – after fertilization of the egg – in the nine months of human gestation. If the egg is not fertilized, progesterone production temporarily ceases, and the uterus sheds its endometrial lining.

Benefits of Progesterone Replacement

  • Precursor to the sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone)1
  • Maintains uterine lining2
  • Promotes the survival of the embryo and fetus throughout gestation3-5
  • Supports hormonal balance supporting breast tissue against fibrocystic breasts6
  • Natural diuretic7
  • Supports healthy moods by itself and when balanced with other hormones8-14
  • Aids thyroid hormone action15-18
  • Supports healthy blood clotting19-21
  • Supports a healthy brain and neuroplasticity22-28
  • Helps healthy blood sugar levels29-34
  • Protects against abnormal cell development in the endometrium and breast tissue35-40
  • Sustains strong bones41-43

Side Effects

There are no side effects associated with natural progesterone. However, women who are estrogen-dominant may experience premenstrual mood swings, depression, breast swelling, heavy or irregular periods, and sleep disturbances. If a dose of progesterone is missed, a woman may experience menstrual bleeding.


Natural progesterone comes in many forms, most commonly a topical cream, an oral capsule, and a sublingual tablet. Progesterone’s half-life is approximately eight hours, which results in the need to take natural progesterone twice a day. Progesterone levels should be measured by a physician to ensure levels are in a therapeutic range.


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    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1965 October; 54(4): 1069–1076.
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    clinical practice: part 1. Clin Geriatr Med. 2011 Nov;27(4):541-59.
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  17. Szelényi Z, Péczely P. Thyroxin induced moult in domestic hen. Acta Physiol Hung. 1988;72(2):143-9.
  18. Leers J, et al. A thyroid hormone receptor-dependent glucocorticoid induction. MolEndocrinol. 1994 Apr;8(4):440-7.
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  21. Henriquez S, et al. Progesterone utilizes distinct membrane pools of tissue factor to increase coagulation and invasion and these effects are inhibited by TFPI. J Cell Physiol. 2011 Dec;226(12):3278-85.
  22. Singh M, et al. Non-genomic mechanisms of progesterone action in the brain. Front Neurosci. 2013 Sep 19;7:159.
  23. Singh M, et al. Estrogens and progesterone as neuroprotectants: what animal models teach us. Front Biosci. 2008 Jan 1;13:1083-9.
  24. Balasubramanian B, et al. (2008). Nonclassical mechanisms of progesterone action in the brain: II. Role of calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in progesterone-mediated signaling in the hypothalamus of female rats. Endocrinology 149, 5518–5526.
  25. Liu B., Arbogast L. A. (2009). Gene expression profiles of intracellular and membrane progesterone receptor isoforms in the mediobasal hypothalamus during pro-oestrus. J.Neuroendocrinol. 21, 993–1000.
  26. Intlekofer KA, Petersen SL. Distribution of mRNAs encoding classical progestin receptor, progesterone membrane components 1 and 2, serpine mRNA binding protein 1, and progestin and ADIPOQ receptor family members 7 and 8 in rat forebrain. Neuroscience. 2011 Jan 13;172:55-65.
  27. Jodhka PK, et al. The differences in neuroprotective efficacy of progesterone and medroxyprogesterone acetate correlate with their effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression. Endocrinology. 2009 Jul;150(7):3162-8.
  28. Cai W, et al. Two different molecular mechanisms underlying progesterone neuroprotection against ischemic brain damage. Neuropharmacology. 2008 Aug;55(2):127-38.
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  30. Flock GB, et al. Activation of enteroendocrine membrane progesterone receptors promotes incretin secretion and improves glucose tolerance in mice. Diabetes. 2013 Jan;62(1):283-90.
  31. Ordóñez P, et al. 17beta-Estradiol and/or progesterone protect from insulin resistance in STZ-induced diabetic rats. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Sep;111(3-5):287-94.
  32. Ordóñez P, et al. Insulin sensitivity in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats treated with different doses of 17beta-oestradiol or progesterone. Exp Physiol. 2007 Jan;92(1):241-9.
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  34. Bagis T, et al. The effects of short-term medroxyprogesterone acetate and micronized progesterone on glucose metabolism and lipid profiles in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: a prospective randomized study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Oct;87(10):4536-40.
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  40. Moise M, et al. Immunohistochemical profile of the estrogen and progesterone receptors in mammary benign lesions. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2012 Jul-Sep;116(3):875-82.
  41. Singh M, et al. Non-genomic mechanisms of progesterone action in the brain. Front Neurosci. 2013 Sep 19;7:159.
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