How Progesterone Plus Pregnenolone Benefits Your Hormones

You’re in perimenopause or menopause and the hot flashes, mood swings, and brain fog are out of control. Your intuition and your doctor tell you this is because your estrogen is dropping. So of course you need to add estrogen to your life, right? Before you go there, I’d encourage you to explore how pregnenolone benefits your menopause experience first.

In my private practice, I’ve seen pregnenolone, especially when combined with progesterone, accomplish some pretty spectacular things for menopausal women…

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of pregnenolone, and how it combines with progesterone to pack a hormone-balancing, menopause-busting punch. 

What Is Pregnenolone?  Pregnenolone is called the “mother of all hormones” for a good reason.

Your body synthesizes pregnenolone from cholesterol and from there — it gets turned into cortisol, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

Pregnenolone is primarily produced in your adrenal glands. But pregnenolone synthesis also takes place in other tissues, including glial cells and neurons in your brain. (1)

Typically, as you age, your body makes less pregnenolone. Which is why pregnenolone supplementation during menopause makes sense for a lot of women. 

Benefits Of Pregnenolone And Progesterone

Pregnenolone supplements have caught on recently, for both men and women. Pregnenolone is particularly popular because not only does it provide the foundation for creating other hormones, but it also has a reputation for helping a variety of mental health disorders, including depression. (2,3)

Pregnenolone for women in menopause helps restore hormone balance by giving your body more of what it needs to make a little extra of your sex hormones. But when you combine it with progesterone, it creates an even more comprehensive approach to managing hormone balance. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing a broad range of menopausal disturbances — let’s take a look at some of the ways this power couple can support you. 

1: Hormone Balance

Pregnenolone is a precursor to many other hormones, including progesterone. So supplementing with both pregnenolone and progesterone together can help get your hormones balanced more easily.

Remember, pregnenolone can be transformed by your body into a wide range of other hormones.

This means no matter which hormones your body is lacking at the moment, pregnenolone could help balance things out.

And we know progesterone directly opposes that erratically-falling estrogen…so when you combine the two — together, they could help address a wider range of challenges. Typically, I see this combination easing hot flashes and helping your sleep and mood as well. 

2. Mood and Cognition

Pregnenolone is thought to have mood-stabilizing and memory-enhancing effects. (4)

Plus, progesterone exerts a calming effect by interacting with GABA receptors in the brain. So, when you combine these two, they could more effectively support cognition and mood regulation. Plus, they help with those feelings of worry during menopause.

3. Sleep

Progesterone has relaxing, almost sedative-like properties. Which you bet, could help your sleep story change dramatically.

But, when you combine progesterone and pregnenolone, it’s the ultimate sleep support…because pregnenolone has its own calming effects, too. Pregnenolone is the precursor for progesterone, and it’s also the precursor for other neurosteroids like allopregnanolone that support sleep patterns. (5,6)

4. Strong Bones

Progesterone plays a role in bone formation and bone density. (7,8) Combining it with pregnenolone may offer additional support for bone health during menopause, a time when the risk of osteoporosis increases — because pregnenolone converts to progesterone and estrogen (another key hormonal player in bone density), and also because it likely has bone-supportive properties of its own, too. (9)

5. Glowing Skin

Both progesterone and pregnenolone play a role in skin health. Did you know progesterone helps to regulate skin elasticity? (10) That’s one of the reasons I love to use it as a face cream in my Balance formula nightly .

Pregnenolone may also support glowing skin through its conversion into other hormones that benefit the skin, notably estrogen. (11) Together, these two hormones could help maintain a more youthful skin appearance during menopause.

How To Increase Pregnenolone Naturally

Pregnenolone levels fall as you age, there’s just no getting around that. But there are certain things you can do to help encourage this crucial hormone to stick around.

For one thing, your body needs cholesterol to make pregnenolone. That means your diet should include healthy sources of healthy cholesterol, like:

Eggs, Cheese, Sardines, Pasture- Raised Beef

If you want to increase your pregnenolone levels, it’s important to encourage hormone balance with proper sleep hygiene, stress reduction, and an overall healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise. 

Best Pregnenolone Supplement

Does Pregnenolone Increase Estrogen?

Pregnenolone is a precursor hormone. It’s at the top of the steroid hormone pyramid. That’s why we call it the mother hormone.

Pregnenolone gets converted by your body into progesterone, cortisol, androgens, and estrogens. (12) So, yes, pregnenolone can help support your estrogen levels. We typically don’t see pregnenolone encourage estrogen dominance, though. It’s a much gentler and more balanced approach to increasing estrogen than estrogen therapy.

However, that also means if you have or are at risk of developing estrogen-dependent cancer, it’s imperative you speak with your oncologist before starting any sort of hormone therapy. 

How Much Pregnenolone Should A Woman Take?

Generally, pregnenolone dosage differs depending on where you are in your menopause journey and what your health goals are.

For women who take my Balance cream , which contains both progesterone and pregnenolone, here’s what I typically recommend:

For perimenopausal women:

Start counting from the first day you begin bleeding; that's day 1. Then, on day 14 of your cycle, begin applying the Balance cream and continue until day 28. Usually, you'll apply one pump of the cream daily from day 14 through day 28, which is the time from suspected ovulation until the beginning of your next period.

For postmenopausal or menopausal women:

Apply one pump of the cream for 25 days in a row, then take a 5-day break before starting the cycle again. Alternatively, you might use the cream 5 to 6 days a week, ensuring to take 1 to 2 rest days within the week or follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare professional.

My Balance cream contains about 20 mg of progesterone and 10 mg of pregnenolone in one pump. 

When To Take Pregnenolone

I always recommend taking pregnenolone and progesterone at night, so they can support you in drifting off to sleep.

If you take them too early in the day, you could find yourself wanting to take a nap!

How Long Does It Take For Pregnenolone To Work?

When you start taking a pregnenolone supplement, give it time.

So many of the women who use my Balance cream see results after a few applications.

But there are many who don’t notice the difference until they’ve used it for 4-8 weeks, so stick with it.

It’s crucial to be consistent when applying Balance . That’s one of the main troubles I see — women forget to use their progesterone and pregnenolone on a regular basis. Unless you use it regularly, you won’t see the benefits!

Pregnenolone: The Most Misspelled Hormone On The Internet

I have to point out here that pregnenolone is a commonly misspelled word! Here are some of the variations I’ve seen, even in scientific literature:

  • Pregenelone

  • Pregnalone

  • Pregenolone

  • Pregnelone

  • Pregnenalone

  • Pregnanalone

  • Pragnenalone

So if you’re looking for pregnenolone and having trouble finding it, it could be because you’re spelling it wrong ;) 

Final Thoughts: Progesterone + Pregnenolone Benefits

Pregnenolone is such a fascinating hormone. And it plays such a crucial role in your mood, memory, sleep, bones, sleep, skin, and overall hormone balance during menopause.

When combined with bioidentical progesterone, it’s an unstoppable force for menopausal women everywhere.

Be sure to check out my Balance cream , which contains bioidentical versions of both of these powerful hormones to start feeling like your old self again!

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Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

Learn more about my scientific advisory board.