Articles by Dr. Arnold

Articles by Dr. Arnold

Small RhombusHealth articles by Dr. Fred Arnold focus on prolotherapy, pain rehabilitation and natural healing.

Articles by Dr. Fred Arnold



Progesterone is one of our sex hormones found in both men and women. Men and women actually produce the same hormones, only in different concentrations. Progesterone has been shown to have many benefits to improving health and even reducing the incidence of cancer. It is important that there be a proper balance of progesterone to estrogen, another hormone found in both men and women.

Progesterone Benefits
There are many benefits of progesterone for both women and men: helps balance estrogen, helps you sleep, natural diuretic, natural calming effect, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, increases scalp hair, decreases the rate of cancer, and many, many more benefits.4

Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a term coined by Dr. John Lee and refers to an excess of estrogen relative to the amount of progesterone in both men and women. This is a ratio of the amount of progesterone divided by the amount of estradiol (E2), one of the three estrogens found in both men and women.

In women, estrogen dominance has been linked to a wide range of conditions, including an increase in PMS symptoms, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fatigue, headaches, and irritability. In addition, numerous studies demonstrate excess estrogen can cause breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers (all of which are considered estrogen dependent cancers).1 In women, estradiol levels decline by approximately 40% during menopause, and at the same time progesterone levels fall by as much as 90%.

In men, Dr. John Lee, MD associates estrogen dominance as a cause of prostate cancer in men. The prostate gland has the same embryologic origin as the uterus tissue and therefore is just as sensitive to excess estradiol relative to progesterone.2 Estrogen dominance has been associated with prostate gland enlargement which causes reduced urine flow, urgency and frequency.5

The treatment consideration for estrogen dominance in both men and women is bio-identical progesterone to improve the progesterone/estradiol ratio and reduce the risk factors associated with estrogen dominance.

Progesterone and Hysterectomy
Since progesterone has many positive affects in the body other than just the uterus, women need progesterone, especially after a hysterectomy. Many doctors do not provide progesterone to women after a hysterectomy, when they could be benefiting from its numerous benefits. Men benefit from progesterone and they have never had a uterus.

Progesterone Dosing
Your levels of progesterone should always be measured before you start any program of hormone replacement and then on a regular basis to confirm that you are on an optimal dose.

With a prescription, progesterone can be provided by a compounded pharmacy in different forms. As a cream or gel, progesterone is applied to the skin before bed and the pill form may be provided to help with sleep. Both forms have a calming effect on the body and they may be prescribed together.

Other methods to improve estrogen dominance include adequate dietary fiber, reduce excess refined carbohydrates, specific supplements, aerobic exercise, and weight optimization.

Progesterone vs Progestin (synthetic progesterone)
Beware that progesterone is not the same as progestin, which is a synthetic progesterone. Progestin has many side effects that do not occur with natural progesterone: weight gain, fluid retention, irritability, depression, headache, bloating, and insomnia. Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a well-known cardiologist, states in his book, Heart Sense for Women, “I have found that synthetic progestins can lead to serious cardiac side effects in my patients, including shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and high blood pressure”.3

Progesterone has many beneficial benefits to both men and women. A deficiency of progesterone can cause an imbalance with estradiol (E2) called estrogen dominance and is related to a variety of negative health effects in both men and women, including cancer. Progesterone can be measured for deficiency to determine the correct dosage for supplementation. It is important that bio-identical progesterone be administered and not a synthetic progesterone, such as progestin that has negative side effects.

  2. Lee JR. Hormone Balance for Men: What your Doctor May Not Tell You About Prostate Health and Natural Hormone Supplementation. Temecula, CA: One to One Inc.; 2007.
  3. Sinatra, Stephen, MD, Heart Sense for Women, Your Plan for Natural Prevention and Treatment, Plume, New York, New York, 2001, pg 219
  4. Smith, Pamela Wartian M.D., MPH, HRT: The Answers, A Concise Guide for Solving the Hormone Replacement Therapy Puzzle, Healthy Living Books, Inc, Traverse City, Michigan, 2008
  5. Williams G., Aromatase up-regulation, insulin and raised intracellular estrogens in men, induce adiposity, metabolic syndrome and prostate disease, via aberrant ER-α and GPER signalling. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Jan