Progesterone is one of the key ingredients in birth control pills, which are often prescribed to women with PCOS. While obviously the approach is different for a woman with PCOS who wants to try to conceive, progesterone therapy without the other components of the pill is sometimes used to help a woman get pregnant.
Yet, in addition to the pill keeping you from getting pregnant, it can have other effects such as increasing insulin resistance. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not, progesterone may be able to help with your PCOS symptoms, but the side effects are often too much to risk.
According to research at the University of British Columbia, it may be better to treat patients who have PCOS with natural progesterone rather than the pill.
The basic theory is that women with PCOS don’t produce enough progesterone at least two weeks out of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Progesterone is normally created by the ovaries after the release of the egg. Women who have PCOS have an imbalance in the ovaries, which can mean higher production of male hormones like testosterone, irregular periods, and problems trying to conceive.
Progesterone tells the hypothalamic and pituitary hormones in the brain that the ovaries shouldn’t be stimulated into making testosterone.
The progesterone included in the pill is a synthetic form of the hormone. Instead of the synthetic form, women may have better results taking a natural progesterone. This oral micronized progesterone is biologically identical to natural progesterone. It’s thought that taking it for two weeks each month will help stimulate the brain into creating a normal cyclic rhythm.
In addition to this medical-grade natural progesterone, there are also natural progesterone creams that some women with PCOS have tried. These products are available without a prescription, and may be able to help regulate your cycle, and even help if you’re trying to conceive.
So, what do you think? If you’ve suffered from PCOS, has your doctor prescribed the pill? How did it work at controlling your PCOS symptoms? Did you try any natural progesterone, and how did that help?