Should I choose natural progesterone or synthetic progestin for endometrial problems?

When the results of my biopsy revealed that my womb is being fed oestrogen, my consultant recommended I was fitted with the Mirena coil which releases progestin locally, in the womb area.

As always, never do anything without proper research.

So I read up on the Mirena coil and found this leaflet about the Mirena Coil from the Mid Yorkshire hospitals, listing these side effects:

Common side effects of Mirena Coil include:

  • Weight gain (when I had Implanon, I piled on the weight then too, so think I would with Mirena Coil)
  • Headache
  • Abdominal, pelvic or back pain
  • Nausea Acne or other skin problems
  • Painful periods Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Tender breasts Inflammation of the neck of the womb

Uncommon side effects might includes

  • Genital infections
  • Vaginal itching
  • Increased hair growth
  • Hair loss

Rare side effects might include:

  • Reduced sex drive
  • Migraine Bloated abdomen
  • Rashes or eczema

So I did some more digging and found some info that is only sent to GPs and not to patients, extra side effects we are not warned about:

  • Other side effects include: peripheral or abdominal oedema
  • Depressive mood
  • Nervousness
  • Mood lability
  • Cervicitis
  • Risks during insertion of infection
  • Expulsion
  • Perforation
  • Bradycardia
  • This list is not exhaustive. Refer to current BNF and individual product SPC for complete list

This obviously worried me. I also found that there have been many lawsuits against Mirena Coil associated with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. (IIH) which is a neurological complication. IIH “Mimics the symtons of a brain tumor ….. and can cause brain damage” ( Becker say that it is caused by the hormone in Mirena which is called levonorgestrel. Apparently there have been nearly 70,000 injury reports. Warning signs of IIH including vision impairment, double vision, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness.

Mirena coil still contains levonorgestrel, as does Skyla, Norplant and jadelle. Seeing as I get headaches and tinnitus and sometimes double vision, I decided to research Natural Progesterone to see if this was any safer.

Natural Progesterone also carries risks

Further research for natural progesterone indicates that there are also associated risks including blood clots and headaches. So I ask the question, which is the lesser of two evils? If we don’t have enough progesterone, we are in oestrogen dominance and if we have too much, we risk blood clots. PEPI studies suggest that natural progesterone is as effective as synthetic progesterone with less harmful side effects. The National Women’s Health Network says at : “Natural progesterone is derived from either soybeans or Diascorea oillosa, the inedible Mexican wild yam”.

If you have followed my vlogs, you will know that I’m having a repeat endometrial biopsy in October, so for three months, I’ve been trialling natural progesterone cream.

Wild Yam Cream

Wild Yam is an inedible wild Mexican yam (Diascorea uillosa). Research reveals that wild yam doesn’t contain progesterone, instead it contains diosgenin which cannot be converted to progesterone by our bodies.

Any natural progesterone is not really that natural because it goes through a chemical process in order to extract the progesterone (Adrians Fugh-Berman).

Organic Excellence Balance Plus Therapy

I’ve been using Organic Excellence Balance Plus Therapy for two months. It has mainly excellent reviews, however, I can’t get the recent research out of my head that Wild Yam contain no progesterone. Wild Yam is the active ingredient in this cream. Ladies on the reviews have claimed everything from getting pregnant through to reducing hot flushes and balancing hormones.

Today I checked and there is a California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) on the website relating to USP Bio-Identical progesterone, which OEHHA considers to cause cancer (Proposition 65) Yikes!

Ingredients in Organic Excellence Balance Plus Therapy: Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel*, Persea Gratissma (Avocado) Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Viburnum Opulus (Cramp Bark) Extract*, USP Progesterone (derived from Wild Yam), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract*, Silymarin Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract*, Stearic Acid (Vegetable Oil), Chamomile Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Oil*, Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Vitus Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract*, Vitamin A Palmitate. [*Organic]

Soy Beans

  1. Research indicates that soy beans contain isoflavones that have an anti anti-oestrogen affect (Harvard).
  2. Others say that soy beans are bad for thyroid problems and could cause breast cancer.
  3. Soy comes in the form of soy milk, tofu, soybeans (best), soy cheese, soy burger.

I have an underactive thyroid and I was advised that eating soy products four hours after taking thyroid tablets makes it safe. I eat organic soybeans and sprinkle them on salads and in stir fries.

Crinone and Prometrium

I asked my GP for Crinone and he said he couldn’t find it. Then asked the pharmacist and she said it is available however, it is classified as a blue drug and and to be prescribed from the hospital. I decided to wait until my next biopsy and ask the consultant to prescribe it.


  1. I shall continue to use the Organic Excellence Balance Plus Therapy until my next biopsy (as I have enough to last me). The ingredients contain lots of phytoeastogens so can’t be a bad thing! I have written to the manufacturer to ask how they extract the progesterone and will report back!
  2. At the biopsy, I shall ask for Crinone or an alternative natural progesterone which is listed on this Harvard Health we website: What are Bioidentical hormones? If you can’t trust Harvard, who can you trust?
  3. I shall continue to cook with organic soybeans and will be going out to purchase some more tomorrow!
  4. I shall continue eating lots of limes and other foods high in phytoestrogens to counteract any bad oestrogen. 
  5. I will keep you all posted!