Login - or - Learn
Contact Us     Maps & Directions     About Us
Find a Provider
Your Medical Home
Find a Facility
Plan Your Visit
Find a Provider
Giving
Mother Frances Hospital
Heart Hospital
Neuroscience Institute
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Search Health Information    Menopause: Wild Yam and Progesterone Creams

Menopause: Wild Yam and Progesterone Creams

Topic Overview

Wild yam and progesterone creams are available without a prescription and are marketed for relieving perimenopausal symptoms.

Wild yam. Although wild yam cream is marketed as a source of natural progesterone, it does not contain progesterone, and the body cannot convert it into progesterone. 1

Progesterone creams. Some women use "natural" progesterone creams to correct low progesterone levels. Research is mixed about whether the cream is absorbed into the body.

Concerns about progesterone cream use

You can't actually know how much progesterone you are getting without having a whole-blood progesterone test. Because of this and the following concerns, some experts are concerned about use of over-the-counter progesterone cream. 2

  • If it is absorbing well. Progesterone treatment has risks. It has been linked to headaches and dangerous blood clots in a small number of women. This is why progesterone is usually a prescription hormone and is not safe for women with certain health risks. 2
  • If it is not absorbing well. If you are taking estrogen (and have an intact uterus), you also need to have enough progesterone to prevent the estrogen from causing uterine (endometrial) cancer . Using a poorly absorbed progesterone cream while taking estrogen does not protect you from uterine cancer. 1

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2001, reaffirmed 2008). Use of botanicals for management of menopausal symptoms. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 28. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 97(6, Suppl): 1–11.
  2. Hermann AC, et al. (2005). Over-the-counter progesterone cream produces significant drug exposure compared to a Food and Drug Administration-approved oral progesterone product. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 45(6): 614–619.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last Revised April 26, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

 
Trinity Clinic

Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 350 physicians and mid-level providers representing 40 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving East Texas.

Find a Trinity Clinic ProviderMedical Providers Directory  About Trinity Clinic MyChart

TMFHC app on iTunes

TMFHC app on Android Market