If you weren't too busy lusting over your high school biology teacher (biology teachers almost invariably being female and hot… why is that?), you may recall that progesterone is an important hormone in women.
It's mainly known for its role in pregnancy.
But that probably has you wondering – if progesterone is a pregnancy hormone, what in the world does it have to do with men?
Well you could say progesterone makes men manly enough to get women pregnant.
See, most of the studies out there suggest that progesterone has a similar effect on men as the male hormone testosterone.
Like testosterone, progesterone enhances your libido, improves your mood, helps keep your weight down, increases muscle mass, gives you more energy, stronger bones, stronger erections and a whole host of other health benefits.
Progesterone also increases levels of testosterone in your body and enhances the effects of testosterone.
At the same time, progesterone reduces estrogen and antagonizes the effects of estrogen.
It's no wonder then that progesterone can play a big role in helping you lose those man boobs.
How Does Progesterone Help Get Rid Of Man Boobs?
The role of progesterone has been severely underestimated in men.
Depending on the stage of a woman's menstrual cycle, men can have just as much progesterone in their bodies as women.
Most scientific studies have focused on the effects of progesterone on women, and its role in men has been neglected.
It's only recently that scientists have started to realize how important this hormone is in men.
When it comes to determining a man's masculinity – body fat, muscle mass, libido, sperm count, erections, etc – the latest studies suggest progesterone is just as important as estrogen and testosterone are in men.
In fact, progesterone is a precursor to both of these hormones (meaning both estrogen and testosterone are produced from progesterone), so it plays a big role in deciding the levels of these hormones in our bodies.
Where guys with man boobs generally have high estrogen and/or low testosterone, progesterone works, in part, by lowering estrogen, and raising levels of testosterone.
Progesterone Acts With Testosterone
Progesterone has many of its own effects on the body. In men, the studies suggest that progesterone works a lot like testosterone, so much that it can even be considered a second male sex hormone.
In a study, published in the book, The Hidden Structure of Interaction, researchers found that progesterone and testosterone levels rise and fall together in weekly and monthly cycles. Both testosterone and progesterone levels rise together in response to increased sexual activity in men.
Progesterone is also the most potent known inhibitor of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a known cause of male pattern balding, prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer. By blocking 5-alpha-reductase, progesterone promotes higher levels of testosterone in your body.
Progesterone Antagonizes Estrogen
Not only does progesterone raise levels of testosterone and have similar actions to testosterone, it also acts against estrogen, much like testosterone does.
Progesterone antagonizes the estrogenic effect on your body via multiple different mechanisms. One such mechanism is via regulation of cell metabolism to promote the oxidative pathway. This prevents conversion of the much weaker form of estrogen, estrone, to a more potent form, known as estradiol.
As men age, both their levels of testosterone and progesterone decrease, while estrogen levels increase. When high estrogen levels are unopposed by testosterone and progesterone, it leads to a condition called estrogen dominance. Amid the myriad of different problems, symptoms and conditions caused by estrogen dominance, it is also the single most important cause of gynecomastia (man boobs).
Here Are Some Known Problems Caused By Estrogen Dominance In Men
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
- Excess, stubborn and hard to lose body fat, especially abdominal and chest fat
- Hair loss
- Male breast tenderness
- Cellular changes leading to cancer, including breast cancer in men
- Enlargement of the prostate
- Inflammation of the prostate
- Increased frequency of urination (waking up multiple times at night to go for a pee)
- Heart disease (makes you more prone to chest pains and heart attacks)
- Depression and fatigue
- Reduced sex-drive
- Erectile dysfunction
And Here Are Some Known Benefits of Natural Progesterone Therapy For Men
- Helps use fat for energy, making it easier to lose weight
- Increases muscle mass
- Protects against prostate and breast cancer (both are increasing in men, because of increasing levels of estrogens in the modern environment)
- Increases sexual drive
- Corrects erectile dysfunction in much the way viagra does, by increasing production of nitric oxide
- Helps normalize blood sugar levels
- Normalizes thyroid hormone function
- Stimulates new bone formation
- Improves brain function, has antidepressant properties
- Improves skin problems including acne, seborrhea, rosacea, psoriasis
- Diminishes muscular aches and pains, has anti-inflammatory properties
- Improves sleep pattern
So do you see how progesterone can be a big player in man boob reduction?
It's important of course, for us to focus on the estrogen to testosterone ratio (E:T ratio), but perhaps we'd get better results if we focused on the E:T&P ratio (estrogen to testosterone & progesterone ratio).
If Natural Progesterone Has So Many Benefits, Why Don't Doctors Routinely Prescribe It For Their Patients?
Since progesterone is a natural substance it can't be patented for sale at high profit margins. That makes pharmaceutical companies uninterested in marketing and promoting progesterone. If pharmaceutical representatives don't market a product to doctors, most doctors tend to be unaware of its benefits.
Doctors are simply not educated about the uses of natural progesterone to help reverse the clock in men. If you look online though, you'll find a few doctors who are self-educated on the topic, and have been successfully reversing many of the above conditions using natural progesterone therapy.
How Can You Use Progesterone To Get Rid Of Your Man Boobs?
Step 1: See Your Doctor
If you have man boobs, make sure you see your doctor to exclude any medical causes first.
Absent a medical cause, it's likely your man boobs are caused by an over-exposure to environmental estrogens, in which case your progesterone levels are likely to be low.
Step 2: Get Your Progesterone Levels TESTED
Before you start using the progesterone creams mentioned below, it's important to get your progesterone levels tested, so you KNOW they are low.
Thankfully, nowadays you don't have to go through the arduous process of seeing your doctor for a progesterone test. You can get yourself easy to use home testing kits, where you send samples off to a lab for accurate testing. I recommend saliva tests instead of blood tests, because saliva tests are more accurate.[Here's a good saliva testing kit that includes progesterone and other important man boob related hormones like estrogen and testosterone:
Update 2018-09-11: There used to be some really good salivary testing kits available on Amazon, but for whatever reason they've been taken down. I haven't been able to find a reliable alternative as of yet, so meanwhile, you can either see your physician for a test, or find a reputable hormone testing lab near to where you live. Remember to get saliva rather than blood tests.
Step 3: BOOST Your Progesterone Levels (If They Are Low)
Using Dietary Tactics To Boost Progesterone
The following nutrients in food are known to increase progesterone levels naturally:
Omega 3 fatty acids
A good source of omega 3 is flaxseed oil. Take between 15 to 75ml per day.
Good natural sources of zinc include sesame seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, green peas, and raw cremini mushrooms.
Zinc deficiency is very common, especially in those who do weight-training and exercise regularly. Zinc also inhibits the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen.
This both increases progesterone and decreases estrogen. Liver, kidney beans, soy beans, navy beans and chickpeas are a good source. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts are also a good source.
Using Natural Progesterone Creams
Natural progesterone creams are perfectly safe and have no known side-effects when used at a low, physiological dose.
Progesterone is very poorly absorbed orally and broken down into unwanted metabolites.
Fortunately, it's readily absorbed by the skin into the blood so transdermal creams are very practical and effective.
Do Progesterone Creams Cause Cancer?
This is a common objection a lot of people have against using progesterone creams.
Many progesterone creams come with a cancer statement, because the state of California requires this statement by law.
This is an outdated piece of legislation that does not differentiate between synthetic and natural progesterone. Where progestins in synthetic progesterone have been shown to cause cancer, there is no evidence that bio-identical progesterone derived from natural yam products, cause cancer.
In fact, studies show that natural progesterones reduce cancer risk.
What Type Of Progesterone Cream Should You Get?
Again, it's crucial that you get a natural progesterone cream.
Pharmaceutical companies made a lot of money at one time producing and selling a synthetic version called progestins. These were soon found to have quite a few undesirable side-effects.
The progesterone cream you buy should be natural and free of artificial additives like parabens. As a guy, you should be looking to use half the dose recommended for women, so 10 to 12 mg per application, one or two times a day (though this does depend on your hormone levels from any tests you have had done).
If you are in the US, look for “USP progesterone”, where USP stands for “United States Pharmacopia” which refers to the grade or purity of the product.
What Dose Should You Use, And How Should You Apply The Cream?
I recently spoke with a progesterone expert who worked closely with leading progesterone expert, Dr. John Lee. She advised me that men should start with using up to 12 mg of progesterone twice per day for the first 3 months, and then to reduce the dose to 6 mg of progesterone twice a day.
So with a cream that contains 300 mg of progesterone per ounce (like this one), use one quarter of a teaspoon twice per day for the first 3 months, then reduce to one eighth of a teaspoon twice per day.
Rub the cream on any one of the following body parts:
- Upper Chest & Neck
- Inner Arms & Inner Wrists
- Inner Thighs
- Behind Knees & Behind Calves
Why Men Must NOT Use Progesterone Creams That Are Made For Women!
Women require much higher levels of progesterone than do men. Most of the progesterone creams on the market are made for women, and they have a much higher dose of progesterone per ounce.
Where a women's progesterone cream will have 450 to 600 mg of progesterone per ounce, a men's cream should have no more than 300 mg per ounce (unless a doctor experienced in bioidentical hormone therapy, deems you to require a higher dose).
You might think that you can get a women's cream that contains 600 mg of progesterone per ounce, and use half the dose recommended for women, but this would be a mistake. The stronger concentration cream would mean progesterone would be absorbed too quickly into your bloodstream.
This is why you must get a weaker progesterone cream that is made specifically for men.
Is It REALLY OK To Use Progesterone As A Guy?
Don't despair when you look for a progesterone cream and only find ones that are made for women.
Don't be put off when you go online to read about progesterone and keep coming across advice given by women for women.
Because of the early misconception that both estrogen and progesterone only play major roles in women, most information, materials, books and treatments for estrogen dominance are tailored around women.
Just because women are getting all the attention with their estrogen excess, doesn't mean YOU don't suffer from estrogen excess as well.
Your man boobs are testament to the fact that you do suffer from estrogen dominance and you should do everything in your power to correct it so you can fix your chest and live a normal life.
Thankfully, there is more awareness today than ever before on the importance of progesterone therapy for men. If you know where to look, you'll find there are a few progesterone creams out there that are made specifically for men. Here's a good one that I have personally used and benefited from:
How Long Should You Use Progesterone For?
This depends on your progesterone levels. If you do a saliva test and find that your progesterone levels are low, then continue to use progesterone for as long as your levels remain low. If this is the case then I'd advise you see your doctor just so they can keep an eye on your levels and the dosage of progesterone you use.
If however, you don't do a saliva test, then give progesterone a trial – see if it works for you. Many have reported benefits within a few days of using a good progesterone cream like this one, while for others it can take a little longer. If you feel progesterone isn't helping you after 3 months of use, then you can do one of two things:
- Stop using progesterone and focus your efforts on other methods of man boob reduction.
- See a doctor who specializes in using bioidentical hormones to treat conditions related to andropause (the male menopause). If the standard small dose for men isn't working for you, or it's making things worse, it could be that you need a much higher dose of progesterone. With higher doses, I would strongly recommend using progesterone under the guidance of a qualified professional.
If you find that progesterone creams are working for you, then I still want you to taper it down after 3 months. It's OK to use an over-the-counter cream to help you get rid of your man boobs, but you don't want to be using hormone modification therapy for the rest of your life just to maintain a flat chest. You should be relying on lifestyle modification as discussed in How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally.
Where Can You Get Natural Progesterone Creams From?
Natural progesterone creams are readily available over the counter in the US and Canada, so you should be able to find some at your local chemist or drug store. Take a look at the ingredients list and make sure the cream contains natural progesterone, doesn't have any artificial ingredients, and is made specifically for men, with a concentration of no more than 300 mg of progesterone per ounce.
Here's a good progesterone cream for men that meets all of the above criteria (USA only):
Click below if you want to get this cream from outside the U.S.A:
Where Can You Learn More About Progesterone?
Dr John R. Lee was a leading expert on progesterone and its benefits on the human body. Here is an interesting article on his website, entitled ‘Hormone Balance In Males':
Most of Dr Lee's work on progesterone in males focuses on the prostate rather than on gynecomastia and man boobs. But this is all still very relevant to you and me because the hormonal changes that cause prostatic enlargement are very similar to those that cause the development of man boobs.
Be Warned However…
Progesterone can be awesome, I've seen it work wonders for some guys, and yet do nothing for others.
The only way to find out what progesterone will do for YOU is to give it a try.
If you're not too convinced, do some more reading around the net. You'll find there are very few, if any, complaints about side-effects from people who use a quality natural progesterone (here, here and here).
If you do try it, make sure you give it around 3 months to have an effect. Though you can notice its effects much earlier, it takes longer to work on some people than it does on others.
Right, so the warning…
Progesterone does NOT replace a good diet, lifestyle and exercise regimen. If you are overweight for example, nothing will help you more than bringing your weight down. Progesterone can help of course, but you must also do the right type of exercise and eat well. If you have man boobs, you have to follow a system that covers all of your hormonal bases – not just progesterone, but also all of your causes and sources of high estrogen, low testosterone, and high insulin.
When Will Progesterone NOT Work?
When it comes to losing man boobs, progesterone is just one piece of the puzzle. To successfully reduce man boobs, you need to follow a full, comprehensive program on natural male breast reduction.
Progesterone can really help accelerate your results if, at the same time, you're following a good male breast reduction diet, exercise and lifestyle regimen. But you'll likely only be wasting your money if progesterone is the only thing you use.
To discover all the other things you need to do to lose your man boobs naturally, click the link below: