After a year of suffering from hot flashes, insomnia, and night sweats caused by perimenopause, Sarah Turino was at her wit’s end. But then she found over-the-counter progesterone cream that changed her life — overnight!
Sarah tossed off the covers as she looked at her alarm clock. Another sleepless night, she sighed, fanning herself to try to cool down.
When she turned 50, Sarah began experiencing extreme hot flashes that would occur randomly up to eight times throughout the day. Overtaken by heat, her skin would feel hot and prickly and she’d sweat all over — even at her knees.
Sarah was also waking up six times a night, with extreme night sweats that would disrupt her sleep. Sometimes they were so bad that she’d have to get up and change her soaked clothes. Then there was the insomnia: Some nights, she wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep at all, lying wide awake for hours at a time.
Sarah’s new routine left her tired and cranky during her workdays, during which she felt unfocused and scattered. And in the evening, it was hard to focus on her family as her fatigue took over.
Working in wellness herself, Sarah knew that while the hot flashes were embarrassing and disruptive, the sleep issues she was experiencing were bad for her overall health. There must be something that can help, she mused as she tossed and turned one sleepless night.
Relief at Last
Visiting her ob-gyn to see what her recommendation would be, Sarah was excited to learn that she had a few options to explore. “What you’re experiencing is perimenopause,” her doctor explained, and suggested that a progesterone cream might help Sarah regulate her estrogen and testosterone levels.
Doing some research of her own, Sarah learned that the symptoms she’d been experiencing are triggered when the progesterone levels in the body begin to drop — and topical over-the-counter progesterone is a gentle form of hormone replacement therapy designed to help alleviate menopausal symptoms.
What’s the worst that could happen if I try it? she wondered. Looking at it as an experiment, Sarah bought Smoky Mountain Nutrition Progesto-Life Cream (Buy at Walmart, $18.95) and began applying 1/4 tsp. of it daily to her wrists or abdomen for quick absorption.
The first day, Sarah didn’t feel much difference, but on her second night using it, she had a breakthrough. “I slept through the night!” she gasped, waking up refreshed for the first time in years. Since then, Sarah has been religious about using the cream for three weeks of the month, taking one week off to mimic her normal menstrual cycle.
“I feel amazing!” cheers the 52-year-old, who still uses the cream today. “The transformation has been magical! With more sleep, I feel more energetic and focused, less forgetful and sharper throughout the day. And that’s important to me: to live well and feel good so I can help others live well and feel good too!”
More Benefits of Topical Progesterone
Banishes brain fog: Canadian scientists have linked low progesterone to an inability to concentrate. But applying progesterone cream can reverse the deficiency to restore your focus, says Laura Corio, MD, author of The Change Before the Change (Buy on Amazon, $15.99).
Promotes deeper sleep: Progesterone has a calming effect on the brain, says Dr. Corio, so bolstering levels with a topical cream can help you sleep like a baby. Note: Always stop applying the cream during your period if you still have one.
Speeds weight loss: The cream can also correct hormonal imbalances that trigger weight gain, says Michael Lam, MD, author of Estrogen Dominance (Buy on Amazon, $14.95). He suggests postmenopausal women use it for 25 days, then take five days off before restarting.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.