Skip to content

Menopause Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

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

Recommended Related to Menopause

The Pros and Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy

Trying to keep up with the latest on hormone replacement therapy (or HRT) can be tough. "Women don't know what to believe anymore," says Shelley R. Salpeter, MD, director of medicine consultation services at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. Experts debate the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, but everyone, including the FDA, agrees that it definitely helps with two conditions: the symptoms of menopause and osteoporosis. Here are the pros and cons of using...

Read the The Pros and Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy article > >

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

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
 
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
senior couple
Video
mature woman shopping for produce
Article
 
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
Article
mature couple on boat
Article
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

mature woman tugging on her loose skin
Slideshow
senior woman wearing green hat
Article
 
mature woman
Article
supplements
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections