Progesterone helps to build bone, promote sleep, prevent bloating, and more. Progesterone affects the vaginal secretions, making it more thick and mucoid. With estrogen replacement only, secretions are thin and scanty.
Perimenopause, when the hormone levels begin to decrease, may begin a downward spiral of fatigue, weight gain, and insomnia. Progesterone aids sleep, acts as a diuretic to decrease bloating, and also regulates mood. Progesterone must be prescribed as a capsule at bedtime since the hormone does not cross the skin barrier effectively as a cream. Some women take a small dose of 25 – 50mg in the AM as well, to help relieve anxiety.
Finally, don’t be fooled by the pharmaceutical industry—progestin is NOT progesterone. Progestin actually causes bloating, weight gain, and depression. Pregnant women in certain cases of threatened miscarriage might be prescribed progesterone but never, ever progestin! They are not even nearly the same.