During perimenopause and menopause, many women find that they gain weight despite careful attention to their diet. This weight gain may be due to the hormonal changes occurring in their bodies. Rebalancing hormones through the use of over-the-counter hormone creams may help women lose weight.
Changes in Progesterone Levels
One of the earliest hormone changes in perimenopause and menopause is a drop in the levels of progesterone present in the body. Progesterone is a hormone that helps to regulate a number of processes in the body, but its most important effect is to provide a balance for the estrogen a woman's body produces. If estrogen levels are too high, a woman may experience weight gain, particularly in the hip and thigh area.
Natural Progesterone Supplements
Natural progesterone supplements, available as creams from health food and natural medicine supplements, can help to replace progesterone in the body and counteract the effects of too much estrogen. These creams use progesterone produced from plant sources such as wild yam and soy. The progesterone is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Selecting a Cream
When selecting a natural progesterone supplement, it is important to choose a cream that provides full information about its contents and is clearly labeled as to the quantity of natural progesterone it contains. A cream that contains 450 to 500 mg per ounce will provide the proper dosage of 15 mg daily when applied in quarter teaspoon doses. You should also check ingredients for possible allergens, including fragrances.
To use progesterone cream to aid in weight loss, follow the instructions provided on the cream's container that are most appropriate for your age and other conditions. Women who suffer from PMS, for example, should apply the cream in its recommended amount--usually 1/4 teaspoon twice daily--on days 7 or through 28 of their cycles. This means that the cream should be applied from one week after the start of the menstrual period through the first day of the next period. Woman who have stopped having periods should apply the cream daily for 25 or 26 days and then rest from using it for five days.
The cream should be applied to the arms, chest and shoulders. It needs to be applied to the upper body, so that it can reach the bloodstream and be distributed throughout the body before it reaches the liver, which may filter the progesterone and lower its effectiveness.