Psychiatry and Endocrinology: Progesterone Cream for Anxiety and Sleep

June 15, 2024

Psychiatry and Endocrinology: Progesterone Cream for Anxiety and Sleep

Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD

Holistic Psychiatry & Hormones

Is Your Brain Starved of Progesterone?

Progesterone plays a very important role in the brain and for anxiety and mental health. Women with anxiety and depression should be tested for progesterone deficiency as it can create an adverse impact on mental health when not properly addressed.

A simple progesterone cream or pill can help replace the depleted progesterone levels. We need to monitor our mental health patients properly because too much progesterone can cause anger, agitation, moodiness, and depression. Although I rarely hear that reported as a side effect of taking progesterone cream. Progesterone pills and lozenges are more likely to cause this side effect.

I like the Metabolic Maintenance progesterone cream available via my Vitamin savings page. This cream is in a nice base, is by a trusted reputable company, and does not contain any other herbal medicine ingredients which some of my patients do love having in their progesterone cream, while others with a lot of food and herb allergies such as myself prefer to keep their ingredients simple.

The limitations to OTC progesterone cream is generally dose. Most of the OTC brands I have evaluated provide around 25mg per pump of progesterone that a woman then applies to her wrists, bikini line, backs of knees and non fatty areas. Applying 4 pumps of this body lotion can become annoying and this is when my patients ask for a prescription at the compounding pharmacy so they have a more concentrated cream. However, for my patients over 55 that I am phasing hormones down on these OTC doses are often the perfect amount for keeping hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, and rapidly aging skin away!

Progesterone cream should always be applied at bed time as it aids with sleep. Some of my anxiety patients do apply some in the morning to also aid with anxiety and hot flashes.

I commonly receive new patients with progesterone deficiency that are on several mental health drugs to compensate for a simple hormone deficiency that begins to occur around age 35. Back in the 90's when I worked for a Hormone Doctor, we gave everyone synthetic estrogen and believed that progesterone cream or pills were not necessary for women that do not have a uterus. Boy were we ever wrong!

This is antiquated hormone thinking, and about as old-fashioned as prescribing Premarin for menopause patients. I no longer work in an office that prescribes synthetic "horsey hormones" and I have since witnessed the dramatic importance of progesterone on mental health.

Women's eyes, and vaginal mucosa also need progesterone cream. Nightsweats and insomnia also can occur from progesterone leaving women in state of chronic fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and ADHD.

Hormone imbalance can strike more than just the female organs. As a Women's Health doctor, I actually see it impacting women’s mental health even worse than how low progesterone causes heavy bleeding, fibroids, and endometriosis.

While women commonly think of pregnancy when they think of progesterone, I hope this blog will serve as an important mental health PSA about the importance of progesterone for mental health!

When progesterone deficiency is occurring women report to me they are having physical symptoms like insomnia, autoimmunity, night sweats, weight gain, and vaginal dryness.

10 Mental Health Warning Signs of Progesterone Deficiency:

  1. Angry hormonal rage
  2. Lack of ability to feel calm
  3. Anxiety disorder
  4. Constant Worry, Fear and Self Doubt
  5. Feeling Unsettled
  6. Anxiety, Depression and Psychosis
  7. Drastic Mood Swings that occur monthly with PMS
  8. Agitation. Fuse is becoming shorter and shorter each year
  9. Feeling like Someone Stole Your Peace, Joy and Happiness
  10. Brain Fog, Memory Problems, ADHD and Cloudy Thinking

Did you know progesterone cream aids with neuroregneration and works as a neuro-steroid? Those with concussions, and damage to the nervous system such as in Neuropathy, MS, and ALS generally report feeling better on progesterone!

It is time to stop the hormone insanity from the 1990's and JUST GIVE WOMEN PROGESTERONE.

There is absolutely no reason not to give women progesterone cream unless they have a family history of cancer, then I do not prescribe any hormones. I also do not prescribe any female hormones to women that won't get cancer checks such as pap smear and mammograms as that is simply dangerous.

But for mental health reasons, women need more than just estrogen to feel mentally healthy and balanced. They need progesterone, and they also need testosterone. Low testosterone is related to low self esteem and "Imposter Syndrome" in women. I commonly see women with high testosterone behaving more confidently and assertive than their testosterone deficient counterparts.

As I discussed in my article on "Natural Treatments for Night Sweats," synthetic hormones should be put out to pasture with the horses they collect urine from to make them. Prescribing ONLY estrogen to women should ALSO be put out to pasture. Women everywhere should be educated that they need all three female hormones in proper balance to feel mentally healthy.

Let's stop wrongly labeling and stigmatizing women with anxiety and depression, when they should instead be labeled with hormone imbalance or hormone deficiency.

For most women, a simple balanced combination of bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, in a cream or lozenge aka "troche" is really all most need in order to feel optimal mentally and physically. A lot of my female patients don't even require herbs or supplements then to correct their mood because the hormones are doing their job. While I am happy to prescribe herbs for anxiety, I also prefer to use the least amount of things possible along with a very healthy diet to keep my patients healthy.

The best thing you can do for your future hormone doctor to have your hormones tested in the first half of your cycle when they are low and you feel happy so that your doctor can mimic those same levels with bioidentical hormones such as estrogen and progesterone cream if need be for your mental health someday.

If you need my help with your hormones now, simply pop over to my SCHEDULE page to treat yourself to a Naturopathic visit!

Dr. Nicole Sundene

(480) 837-0900

Dr. Sundene is a Naturopathic Doctor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is a Female Hormone Expert in Women's Health and Bioidentical Hormones. She specializes in Holistic Women's Health for Menopause,  Thyroid,  Hashimotos,  PMS, PerimenopauseAutoimmunePostpartumChronic Fatigue, DepressionAnxiety, Food Allergies,  DigestionDermatology, AcnePsoriasis Eczema, and Adrenal Hormonal Conditions. In 1999 she began working for a Hormone Doctor prior to starting Naturopathic Medical School. With over 23 years of experience in both Prescription and Natural women's health and hormones, she presents to women the best-integrated health solutions for their Chronic Disease. 

She has been an Herbalist for over 28 years and enjoys teaching women how to use herbs to balance their hormones, nutrition and optimize their health. Dr. Sundene relies on blood testing for her hormone metrics. The hormone testing is covered per the patient's insurance plan (not Medicaid) and conducted at certain points in the woman's menstrual cycle. To learn more about Hormone Testing for Women Visit: Bioidentical Hormones. Follow Dr. Sundene on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook for more tips on Women's Health, Female Hormones, and Naturopathy!

Location: 14300 N Northsight 
Blvd Ste 124
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Ph: 480-837-0900
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