How to obtain Natural Progesterone



Do I need a prescription?

If you buy progesterone within the Uk, you do need a prescription (but please see Personal Imports below). Natural progesterone can only be legally supplied in the UK with a prescription from a doctor. No progesterone cream has yet been licensed as a medicine in the UK (or elsewhere) so at present these creams are only available as ‘unlicensed medicines’, which nevertheless require a prescription. Two creams are legally available for prescription at present: ProGest cream, which provides 840mg, and two Pro-Juven creams, providing either 950mg or 1800mg natural progesterone.

Because these creams are unlicensed medicines, they do not appear in your doctor’s drug reference guides. The doctor or pharmacist supplying you with a cream will need to contact the cream’s distributors for information on availability and product details. The NPIS Doctor’s Pack which we supply (see Bookshop) will give your doctor the information he or she needs for prescribing, as well as supplying background scientific information on the use of natural progesterone.

Can I get it on the NHS?

Some GPs will prescribe a progesterone cream, depending on whether they are fund-holding practices who will bear the cost themselves, or whether their Area Health Authority will pay.  Alternatively your GP may be willing to give you a private prescription for which he or she will make a charge (£5 - £8.50 is normal) and then you will need to pay for the cream yourself. However, your GP may be unwilling to give you a private prescription because he or she is not covered by insurance when prescribing an unlicensed medicine. In this case you can choose to consult a doctor privately.

Consulting a private doctor

If your GP is unwilling to give you a prescription you may choose to consult a doctor privately. Please click here for a list of doctors who prescribe progesterone in their practice (when appropriate), including some that give consultations by phone or post. When you get a private prescription always ask for one that covers several tubes of cream so that you save on the cost of going back to the doctor too frequently.

Personal Imports into the UK

If you choose not to consult a doctor at all you can legally import progesterone creams from outside the UK, provided they are solely for your own use. However it is illegal to supply any product containing progesterone to anyone else in the UK without a prescription. You will find a number of websites offering progesterone from America.

What if I live outside the UK?

In this case you are subject to the laws of wherever you live. Ask NPIS for further information.

What if the doctor suggests HRT?

Your doctor may suggest HRT or other forms of hormone treatment. Should you not wish to use HRT, remember that it is your responsibility to make this clear to the doctor concerned.

Yam is not Progesterone

To clear up a common misapprehension, although natural progesterone can be made from yam in a laboratory, the body is not itself able to convert yam into progesterone. Yam can be valuable in hormone balance as it does provide a natural form of plant oestrogen, but it is not a natural progesterone substitute.

How much do I need?

When buying any progesterone product, do check the exact amount of progesterone it contains. Most doctors recommend a dose of 20-40mg per day. A 60g tube providing 950mg natural progesterone will supply 6 weeks at 20mg a day, or 3 weeks at 40mg a day. A 60g tube providing 1800mg will supply 3 months at 20mg a day or 6 weeks at 40mg a day.

If you are using any other product, such as a combination cream containing herbs or phyto-oestrogens, or tablets or pessaries, you must discuss the dose with your doctor or distributor. All products should provide instructions for use and the amount will vary according to the strength of the product, and for what condition you are using it.

What about suppositories?

In addition to progesterone creams, you may also be offered progesterone in the form of suppositories. These deliver a very high dose and are usually prescribed as 200mg or 400mg to be given several times a day. Dr Lee believes that such doses are likely to cause considerable side effects and does not recommend them. Also there are some home-made creams being offered for sale. These are not recommended, as such creams have not been designed for skin absorption. Also the level of progesterone they contain is variable.