Does Progesterone Cream Work for Hirsutism?
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a hormone produced mainly by ovaries and also adrenal glands in females and is found naturally in our bodies. It is a steroid hormone. Progesterone is used for hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women to fight against symptoms during and after menopause like hot flushes and irritability and for protection of heart and bones. For women already on oral hormone replacement therapy or progesterone containing oral contraceptive pills, progesterone cream should not be used unless advised by your doctor.
What Is Progesterone Cream and How Is It Made?
A compound called Diosgenin is extracted from naturally occurring substances like wild yam. Progesterone is synthesized in laboratory from Diosgenin. By specialized laboratory processes “Bio identical” progesterone is made which has the identical chemical structure of progesterone which is produced in our body. Chemically formulated “Bio identical” progesterone is incorporated in to cream base in required concentration to produce Progesterone Cream. It is safe and effective and has fewer side effects than the oral form.
How Is Progesterone Cream Used?
Progesterone cream is applied to areas of body which has thin skin like face, neck, chest and inner arms to promote absorption. Once absorbed, the progesterone gives many benefits to females who are with low levels of progesterone hormone.
- Protects against cysts in breasts
- Acts as a natural anxiolytic and antidepressant to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Prevents from migraine headaches
- Heart healthy by balancing the blood clotting mechanisms and improving vascular tone
- Prevention of certain cancers like breast and endometrial carcinoma
- Promotes bone health
What Is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is defined as development of male pattern hair growth in a female. Increased amount of body hair which is dark and course is found in unwanted areas such as face, chest and back. The commonest cause of hirsutism in females is Poly cystic ovarian syndrome where the female does not make eggs (ovulate) due to imbalance of hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The other reasons leading to hirsutism are androgen producing tumors which can occur in ovaries and adrenal glands, Cushing syndrome where the cortisol hormone is in excess, using certain medications which mimics action of testosterone etc.
Hirsutism can be a very distressing problem for many females, as none of us want excessive growth of hair especially on our faces. Females with less body and facial hair are considered more feminine in many cultures and ethnicities. Therefore many women with hirsutism can develop depression if the issue is not addressed properly. This is a condition which can be treated, so no one should suffer as a result of hirsutism.
How does progesterone cream help women with hirsutism?
In females with Poly cystic ovarian syndrome, there is lack of progesterone hormone because the eggs or ova are not released from the ovaries. When Progesterone cream is used it helps to restore the progesterone level helping in PCOS. Once the oestrogen and progesterone levels are balanced in the body, the ovulation (release of ova from ovaries) is restored thus the symptoms of PCOS reduce.
The hormone progesterone has strong anti –androgen properties which means, it acts against effects of androgens. Androgen is the main reason behind hirsutism. Therefore using progesterone cream can gradually reduce excessive hair growth in females with poly cystic ovarian syndrome.
Using progesterone cream as instructed will not give you side effects; however you should not start it on your own unless prescribed by a qualified doctor or stop it abruptly without a doctor’s advice.
Does use of progesterone cream help in treating hirsutism caused by reasons other than PCOS?
The other reasons of hirsutism are not due to lack of progesterone. Therefore treatment with progesterone cream will not help. It will increase the level of progesterone in the body leading to side effects. Progesterone cream is used only in conditions where there is a lack of progesterone in our bodies.
Therefore just because you have hirsutism, do not use progesterone cream on your own, as it may not help in fact it may worsen some of your symptoms. Always let your doctor decide what is best for you for hirsutism. Treatment of hirsutism is always based on treating the underlying cause and once the cause is found and treated the hirsutism will also reduce.
Progesterone cream although not as strong as oral hormone replacement therapy, it should always be used under medical supervision.