If you have recently undergone a full hysterectomy, it is most likely your physician has told you to avoid taking Progesterone, that it is a ‘uterine’ hormone and could cause breast cancer.
Here is the thing, all progesterone’s are not alike.
When doctors speak of progesterone they are often referring to the synthetically designed form called Provera. Provera is not progesterone and is even biologically different than progesterone. Provera has a history of being harmful to women and should not be confused with the very important addition of progesterone to your body.
First, let’s take a look at the obvious. Progesterone is important as a pregnancy hormone. It is necessary for the initiation and maintenance of pregnancy while Provera is a teratogen and causes birth defects and of course is contraindicated in pregnancy. With this alone we can see the two are VERY different.
Now back to why women who are menopausal or have had hysterectomies should be taking progesterone. Progesterone naturally balances your body’s estrogen. Progesterone also helps protect your body against cancer and prevents osteoporosis.
When the Women’s Health Initiative released a study showing progesterone and estrogen caused breast cancer, what they overlooked until much later was that it wasn’t either hormone that causing breast cancer but Provera alone. Because Provera’s generic name is ‘medroxyprogesterone” many doctors interpreted that mean it was a progesterone. In truth, Provera is a progestin. Progestin’s and progesterone have completely different molecular structures. Progesterone is beneficial without harmful effects while progestin is full of problems.
Natural progesterone and estrogen are meant to work together to create balance in our bodies.
Whether you are pre-menopausal or post-menopausal, the need to keep your progesterone and estrogen levels balanced is critical. Why don’t women know about this? The biggest problem is that natural progesterone is not something that can be patented and produced by pharmaceutical companies. Scientific studies and proof exist, one just has to dig a little harder to find them.