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