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Prometrium: A Bioidentical FDA Approved Progesterone

Herbal supplements. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.comIt is no secret that I personally prefer bioidentical hormones for the treatment of symptoms of perimenopause as opposed to synthetic hormones and drugs. In fact, I sincerely believe that most women prefer natural, healthier, and less intrusive treatments as well. 

However, most bioidentical hormones are not FDA approved, and therefore, are not covered by most health insurance plans. Unfortunately, this puts many women between the proverbial rock and a hard place. If our health insurance will not pay for it, we either have to do our own research (which I’m not opposed to, by the way) and try to figure out for ourselves which product is good and which isn’t, or we simply take nothing. 

There are, however, several FDA approved bioidentical hormones.¹ While the majority of them are actually estrogens, there is a progesterone as well, called Prometrium. Prometrium is a proprietary product (a product which is owned and patented) which was developed in Europe from yams. It was approved in the United States in 1999 by the FDA for use with estrogen drugs for the prevention of endometrioses. However, Prometrium can be prescribed by itself as a treatment for the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. 

Because Prometrium is derived from yams, it is considered a natural and bioidentical hormone. Because it is also FDA approved, many insurance plans will cover it as well. It is prescribed in a pill form in 100 milligram and 200 milligram dosages. I have also heard, though I cannot document it, that it can also be prescribed in 300 milligram dosages.  

I recently asked my OB/GYN for a prescription for Prometrium. Given that it is FDA approved, I also assumed my insurance plan would pay for it – and they did. I wanted to try Prometrium primarily to help me sleep. While I have been fully menopausal for well over a year now, I still suffer from insomnia and hot flashes. Progesterone has been shown to help with both sleep and in the reduction of hot flashes for women in perimenopause and menopause.

Many of my readers have expressed an interest in my opinion on Prometrium.  So I thought I would also blog about it to share my observations and experience. I’ve been taking it for about a week now, and I can tell you with absolute certainty it has helped me sleep. I have taken 200 milligrams nightly and I have been sleeping soundly and restfully through the night with no discernible “hang-over” thus far. The jury is still out on whether it will help with my hot flashes and night sweats.

I am in no way endorsing Prometrium as a universal treatment for all women in perimenopause. As with most everything, healthcare decisions and treatments are highly personal. I will, however, share my experience with you, along with my personal observations.

If you are interested in trying Prometrium, do not rely entirely on my experience or observations. Please seek the advice and care of your personal physician. You can also find more information on Prometrium here.

¹ If you are not familiar with the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic hormones please see this post here for a thorough explanation. 

Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women’s health and a women’s freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog. 



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Tags: Hormones , Perimenopause

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About the Author

Magnolia is dedicated to empowering women to take responsibility for their own health.