Progesterone is a hormone that is naturally produced within the female reproductive tract. It is released from the ovaries together with oestrogen as part of the normal menstrual cycle. Utrogestan is derived from plants and is identical in structure to the progesterone produced in our bodies, or bioidentical. Micronized refers to the way in which it Is produced. It is broken down into very small particles which are just a few micrometers in size. This makes it easier to absorb into the bloodstream, and therefore faster acting.
Because its more natural it is less likely to cause side effects compared with synthetic progesterones, or progestogens, which have been used widely to date as part of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) regimes.
Utrogestan is used together with oestrogen as HRT.
Every month the female ovaries release an egg, which produces the reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone. In the perimenopause the number of eggs released becomes fewer, the falling hormone levels themselves have dramatic effects on many systems in the body and they also contribute to a cascade reaction of a hormone from higher centres in the brain that is thought to cause one of the most troubling symptoms, hot flushes.
Other symptoms of menopause include poor concentration, irritability, low mood, reduced libido, vaginal dryness, urinary symptoms, joint pains and fatigue.
If these symptoms are debilitating and reducing your quality of life, it may be worth having an online consultation with one of our doctors to discuss HRT.
Use of Utrogestan together with oestrogen as a form of HRT could relieve menopausal symptoms such hot flushes and night sweats and may improve other symptoms such as mood disorders, poor concentration, fatigue, and reduced libido.
Utrogestan is in the form of soft white capsules. Each capsule contains 100 mg micronised progesterone. To see its list of ingredients please consult the product literature.
The recommended dose is 200 mg daily at bedtime, for twelve days in the last half of each treatment cycle (beginning on Day 15 of the cycle and ending on Day 26). Withdrawal bleeding, in the form of a period may occur in the following week.
This regime is appropriate for women who are still having regular periods and wish to continue to do so. It must be used for at least a year before switching to the second regime to reduce the risk of irregular bleeding which, if it occurs, would need to be investigated by your GP.
In the second regime, 100 mg can be given at bedtime from Day 1 to Day 25 of each therapeutic cycle, withdrawal bleeding being less with this treatment schedule. This regime is appropriate for women with infrequent periods or if it has been more than 12 months since their last period.
Possible side effects include fluid retention, headaches, breast tenderness, mood swings, PMS, depression, acne, abdominal pain, back pain, and dizziness. Dizziness and sleepiness tend to occur 1-3 hours after taking the drug; taking it at bedtime may counteract these effects.
Often side effects improve over 1-3 months, so perseverance for this time may reap benefits in the long term. However, if the side effects are troubling, it is advisable to consult with a doctor who may be able to offer a solution.
Utrogestan should only be used in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. It should be used together with oestrogen in the form of HRT in women with an intact uterus.
It is not a form of Contraception.
There are risks associated with HRT such as increased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, stroke, and venous thrombosis. Therefore, a detailed discussion with a doctor is needed prior to starting HRT, so that the risks can be weighed up for the individual in a case-by-case assessment.
Observational data is emerging that Utrogestan may have a better risk profile than other progestogens in terms of effects on the heart, blood pressure, venous thrombosis, stroke and even breast cancer risk. However, more studies are needed.
It is recommended that you have a follow up appointment with a doctor 3 months after commencing this medication to monitor the effectiveness, report any side effects, and continue to weigh up the risks.
To read the patient information leaflet for this product click here
In women receiving estrogen replacement therapy there is an increased risk of endometrial cancer which can be countered by progesterone administration.
The recommended dose is 200 mg (two capsules) daily at bedtime, for twelve days in the last half of each therapeutic cycle (beginning on Day 15 of the cycle and ending on Day 26). Withdrawal bleeding may occur in the following week.
Alternatively 100 mg can be given at bedtime from Day 1 to Day 25 of each therapeutic cycle, withdrawal bleeding being less with this treatment schedule.
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