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Archive for March 18th, 2009

The link between progesterone and the menopause is highlighted by the fact that women in industrialised countries have a hard time with menopausal symptoms compared to women in rural societies. Dr. P. Ellison of Harvard University studied oestrogen levels in various ecological and cultural populations and found that oestrogen levels in western women are abnormally high. This can be due to a number of factors:

  • the food consumed (particularly animals fed oestrogen to fatten them)
  • the crops sprayed with pesticides (most of which are oestrogenic)
  • the Pill and HRT
  • drinking recycled water which has not had the oestrogen removed
  • using cosmetics which are made with liquid paraffin and oestrogenic antioxidants.

An understanding of the effects of a lack of progesterone is vital to understanding that progesterone can play an enormously beneficial role in helping to go through menopause without too many adverse affects. By naturally opposing the action of oestrogen, the symptoms of oestrogen dominance are lessened and in some cases eliminated. The easiest method to apply progesterone is in a cream form.

New research conducted by Wallace and Kelsey published in “Human Reproduction”, indicates that it might be possible to show the approach of menopause by a scan of the ovaries. Currently blood hormone levels are used to try to determine this, but these are notoriously inaccurate as it is common practice to only check oestrogen levels, not progesterone. The patient generally needs to specifically request this despite the fact that progesterone and menopause are inextricably connected. As the symptoms of menopause are caused by a lack of progesterone and too much oestrogen, the standard ‘oestrogen only’ test is of little help.

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