Progesterone, a natural human hormone made by the ovaries, has multiple roles in balancing the effects of estrogen upon the human body. Additionally, progesterone ensures the survival of the embryo and fetus in the uterus, maintains insulin in the body, supports sex drive, prevents breast tissue overgrowth and protects against cystic diseases to mention just a few of its many functions.
As a bonus, women can also benefit from progesterone, with its ability to work as a natural antidepressant. It can help create a calming effect on ones mind as well as improve sleep patterns. When it’s properly balanced, progesterone has many benefits for the human body.
Only found in two ways, progesterone is either made in the ovaries, or created with a bioidentical process. Created from yam oils by the pharmaceutical industries, labs extract the diosgenin from the yams or soy plants and convert the diosgenin molecules into progesterone. It’s then further broken down to represent other hormones such as estrone, estradiol, testosterone etc.
The human body recognizes the bioidentical formulation as normal and thus has no adverse reaction to the bioidentical formulation providing it’s administered appropriately and in the correct balance for the woman’s body.
So why then isn’t progesterone the leading form of hormone supplement? Progesterone can’t be patented. Pharmaceutical companies tend to avoid medications that are unable to be patented. A patent means more money for drug companies and since progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone it’s not able to be patented.
This is where progestin comes into play. Progestin is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. Although progestin has nothing whatsoever to do with progesterone, it mimics the benefits of progesterone in the human body thus satisfying the drug manufacturers desire to have a patented product. A patented product will make the drug companies more money so they prefer to use only patented products.
Synthetic progestin was developed with the advent of the birth control pill. Also called the mini pill, progestin is a safe birth control method for nursing mothers as it doesn’t interfere with nursing by decreasing the mother’s milk supply.
Progestin is also used to counteract other side effects of other medications that may cause bleeding or even cancers. Although progestin shrinks the uterine lining it is not without side effects itself and may also cause bleeding, blood clots and occasionally cancer.
It’s important to discuss the pros and cons about your medications with your doctor and make an informed decision about your health.