Progesterone Cream for Postpartum Depression
We recently discussed how low levels of progesterone contribute to postpartum depression. Now let’s explore natural progesterone therapy.
To begin with, natural progesterone therapy is a safe alternative for breastfeeding mothers. It is noted for enhancing mood & sex drive. Additionally, studies have shown marked benefits for both mama & baby when used prenatally. The most common method of natural progesterone therapy is bioidentical progesterone cream. Two brands I recommend are Emerita Pro-gest Cream and Natural Progesto-Life Cream.
How to Apply Bioidentical Progesterone Cream
The key to effective treatment is to get the progesterone directly into your bloodstream. This mimics the natural process of what your ovaries would do.
Here’s how to use bioidentical progesterone cream:
- Apply to areas of the body where the skin is thinnest. This includes the inside of your arms, breasts, abdomen and neck area.
- Use twice a day since progesterone lasts for only four hours in the body.
- Dosage can vary from 15-20 up to 100-300 mg per day. Therefore, please discuss dosage with your healthcare provider.
- NOTE: Do NOT use this treatment for longer than 14 consecutive days.
It is important to note that skin application can lead to “dermal fatigue.” This means that the hormone preparation accumulates in your fatty tissues. As a result, the cream stops being effective or even makes your symptoms worse.
Accordingly, an alternative approach is to apply the cream to the mucous epithelial membranes that line your uterus and vagina. Dr. Mercola notes, “Not only is absorption through these membranes more complete than through your skin, but hormones absorbed through your vaginal membranes enter the very same pelvic plexus of veins that your ovaries normally empty into. From here the hormones are carried to your heart and lungs and distributed to your tissues just as if your ovary had actually produced them.”
Follow these guidelines to ensure the best results from skin application.
- Take a break from the cream for a minimum of 3-5 days every 2-3 weeks. This rests the receptor sites, minimizing the probability of dermal fatigue.
- Rotate application sites.
- Never exceed the recommended dose.
- Get your hormones and body parts screened regularly.
In conclusion, bioidentical progesterone cream can be a vital part of a treatment plan for postpartum depression. Additionally, be certain to include therapy/counseling, a loving support network, sound nutrition, nourishing herbs, exercise, relaxation, and connection with Mother Nature.
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Mariana is a licensed practitioner of Traditional Chinese medicine, a singer/songwriter and the creator of Mamashine. She is also a survivor of postpartum depression. Mariana lives with her energetic son, her husband and various animals in Austin, TX.