I believe discovering progesterone and learning how to safely use this hormone saved my life.
Women like me put their lives in the hands of healthcare practitioners to help us maintain optimal health — and in that process, keep us safe!
But sometimes doctors don’t know what they don’t know!
Which can ultimately come back to hurt their patients.
Below is the story behind why Women’s Hormonal Health has been my passion for almost three decades.
Babies and hormones
Complications during my third pregnancy were such that I was advised not to have any more children.
At age 30, two months after my third child was born, I was admitted for a tubal ligation — a surgery performed to block my Fallopian tubes to prevent my eggs from moving from the ovary through the tubes and to the uterus.
I didn’t know then that this procedure could lead to ovarian dysfunction and alter my ovaries’ production of estrogen and progesterone.
It probably was in the fine print I signed off on, but I didn’t have a clue what it meant. Not back then. The fact is, I never took much interest in my hormonal health. I put that responsibility back on my doctor.
Hormone imbalance ripped my life apart
By the time my daughter celebrated her first birthday, I was grappling with the onset of chronic fibromyalgia and severe hormone imbalance.
I had no explanation for the hot flashes, missed periods, panic attacks, hair loss, debilitating fatigue, the constant puddle of tears, or the alienation I felt.
As weird as this may sound, I had absolutely no understanding of my hormones — even after three pregnancies. It just wasn’t talked about. And Facebook/YouTube/Social Media was still a pipe dream.
So I booked into my local Women’s Clinic, believing the lead female specialist would help me get my health — and life — back on track.
She got me started on The Contraceptive Pill, and when that approach failed to relieve my symptoms, I was prescribed estrogen patches coupled with Provera tablets (an oral synthetic progestin).
When symptoms worsened, my doctor ramped up the dosage by implanting estrogen and testosterone pellets into my backside. To protect my uterus, oral Provera was again prescribed.
I did not know then (as I do now!) that the chemical structure of Natural Progesterone (P4) is quite different from chemically altered, synthetic chemicals called Progestins, which results in different actions at the cell level.
It’s also worth noting that during the eighteen months I agreed to tolerate synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), I was screened for cancer of the cervix and uterus. My doctor also ordered a mammogram to investigate a suspicious lump in my breast.
By October 1996, while hospitalised for a D&C to resolve thickening of the endometrium and correct cervical erosion (both known side effects of HRT), a work colleague dropped a book in my lap titled Passage to Power by Leslie Kenton. Leslie’s book constantly referred to Dr John Lee and a “wonder cream” called Natural Progesterone.
That’s when I began to panic! I sensed I was in trouble. I intuitively knew HRT was slowly poisoning my body.
The confronting information contained in publications like Passage to Power gave me reason to be truly frightened.
By chance, I learned that the esteemed Dr John Lee was in Australia lecturing on Natural Progesterone and women’s hormonal health. I made it a point to be in the audience.
As I sat in the conference, fidgeting nervously and digesting Dr Lee’s message, I knew intuitively I was sitting on a time bomb, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. The implants stitched into my backside could not be easily removed.
All the while, my body was telling me these hormones were causing my body to break down, and all I could do was wait and see how things panned out.
In my desperate state, sitting there in the audience, I sent up a silent, emotional prayer asking Source to guide me out of this mess. In return, I promised to dedicate myself to helping other women avoid a similar plight.
In answer to my prayer to get better, a local source of natural progesterone cream opened up to me. I began applying it directly to my breasts, changed my diet, began exercising, and got the courage to line up for that dreaded mammogram. The results came back all clear. The lump had disappeared!
That was my miracle!
My end of the bargain was to spread the word. And that’s what I did.
I jumped on the internet to research ‘real’ Natural Progesterone cream, found a local distributor, and helped to make Natural Progesterone cream available to other women in Australia. I learned, in the process, that there was a sea of MISinformation out there that I had to get savvy with — and fast!!
It wasn’t long into my progesterone journey that I received a “cease and desist” letter from the Therapeutics Goods Administration (Australia’s equivalent of the FDA) threatening $100,000 fines if I did not stop making health claims associated with the sale of progesterone cream.
Distributors could sell progesterone cream — we just weren’t permitted to educate female consumers that their “cosmetic” cream contained a “hormone” that would have an impact on their health. My article Freedom to Choose was published in Conscious Living Magazine.
This proved to be a turning point for me. That moment of personal truth and fearlessness. I called myself back to my original vow. Why was I doing what I was doing?
Was it to sell cream or get the word out? And would I submit to intimidation?
I walked away from my MLM business to focus on bridging the gap in education, providing a safe haven for women, and developing a substantial and importantly impartial knowledgebase women and healthcare professionals could trust.
When there was a willing audience, we gathered in women’s lounge rooms. I was invited to speak at local support groups. I funded a seminar featuring Dr Sherrill Sellman, author of “Hormone Heresy”. I put together an info pack and posted these out to women absorbing the cost.
Dr Lee’s seminal book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” was, and still is today, required reading for women serious about taking control of their hormonal health. I made these available to women.
Then, once again, fate stepped in. I made contact by phone with Dr Lee in the USA. I used our long-distance conversations to discuss questions that other women in my support circles presented to me.
Dr Lee’s body of work took off internationally, and is still, to this day, widely referenced. After his untimely death in 2003, other experts in the field of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy very generously contributed to my blog and monthly newsletter.
Bridging the gap in education
When I discovered that ‘hormone hell’ stories such as mine were horribly common, I made a commitment:
- That no one should suffer as I did in ignorance and isolation.
- To make all the information and research freely available in a format that would make sense to everyone.
- To offer support to anyone who needs it.
- To connect people globally with health care professionals who would respect their condition and their choices.
To that end, I subsequently founded and privately funded the Natural-Progesterone-Advisory-Network.com website.
Between 2001 and 2017, I published over 1,000 articles on my website. These posts were filled with unbiased, uncensored, up-to-date information regarding Natural Progesterone’s safety and efficacy.
The website content took on a FAQ format, capturing women’s stories and learnings, not just book knowledge. I adopted a learn-teach approach. These real-life experiences using human-identical hormones gave women a sense of ease and validation they were on the right track.
Website posts included detailed information about what progesterone is, it’s vital role in a woman’s body, the difference between artificial HRT and ‘bioidentical’ HRT (also called human-identical), and offered suggested dosage and usage scenarios to help ensure women get the best results possible from their Natural Progesterone cream.
Ethically supporting women
Not having a medical background put me in the firing line. But at no stage did I profess to be an ‘expert’. I was a woman with health issues looking for answers and making that information available to others.
I referred to myself as a Women’s Health Advocate. Importantly, I brought to the table solutions! That is to say, I gave women a voice through my website.
Back then, there was no prescribing information available to women when they purchased an over-the-counter jar of Natural Progesterone cream. To that end, I self-published six eBooks that distilled the website knowledgebase into easy-to-follow consumer guides, and stepped women through tried and tested dosage and usage protocols.
I pulled together Medical Citations in a printable PDF so women could drop it on their GPs desk when their doctor made a claim ‘Bioidentical Progesterone causes cancer”.
In ethically advocating women’s right to access what was largely hidden information their doctors (and drug companies) weren’t sharing with us, I stood independent of and did not sway to the influence of sponsors, censors, drug companies, and distributors.
I made recommendations, shared women’s stories, pointed out concerns, and provided unbiased information that helped women around the globe for well over two decades.
Profits from my ebooks and subscription newsletter were injected back into educating and supporting women. And into expanding my website that had morphed into a free portal where practitioners could find medical references, links, commentary, and the latest research on Bioidentical Hormone Therapy in one place.
Praise for my body of work
I include a few website testimonials from so many received over the years :
Catherine, you may be one of the Mother Theresa’s for women’s health. I can feel your passion. I admire your courage and respect you as a colleague as you are doing great work. ~ DR GEORGE YU, M.D., CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF UROLOGY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Catherine is a leader and pioneer on the forefront of educating women about the immense benefits of natural progesterone and its safe use. Through her website and eBooks, she has created an open door for patients and practitioners alike to gain easy access to accurate and reliable information. Her warmth, enthusiasm and integrity are a gift to us all! ~DR JAY H. MEAD, PRESIDENT & CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF LABRIX CLINICAL SERVICES, INC., BHRT EXPERT AND CO-AUTHOR OF ‘SLIM, SANE AND SEXY’
Catherine has made educating women (and men) on the safe and effective use of natural progesterone her passionate cause. She shares her knowledge in a delightful, down-to-earth manner. Bookmark this website. You will refer to this information over and over for guidance and support. ~ DR DAVID ZAVA, PH.D., HORMONE EXPERT AND CO-AUTHOR, ‘WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT BREAST CANCER’
Dear Catherine, I’m a couple of months on now from my last email. I have since found some great help and have been using progesterone cream as well as other supplements. I feel like a new person and my health is slowly balancing out again. I just wanted to send you a quick thank you — your words really encouraged me to find help when I felt so despondent. Thank you for taking the time to advise me. ~ INGRID, UNITED KINGDOM
When my marriage floundered in 2017, I took down the Natural-Progesterone-Advisory-Network.com website. I was hurting. And in that fragile state of mind, I felt I’d given all I could to the cause. I felt I’d kept my promise to be of service all those years ago.
And besides, times had changed. It isn’t too difficult for women (and men) to find a local practitioner specialising in Bioidentical Hormone Therapy to support their choices.
To this day, research continues to show that progesterone does not cause breast cancer. Indeed, progesterone is protective of and preventative against breast cancer. That the use of progesterone has been linked to lower rates of uterine and colon cancers and may also be useful in treating other cancers such as ovarian, melanoma, mesothelioma, and prostate.
If this information was helpful to you, perhaps you’d consider buying me a cup of coffee.
Love, light & laughter