July 19th, 2010
It’s been two weeks since Chris Hitchcock and I returned from San Diego’s recent Endocrine Society meetings. We are feeling incredibly happy with the success of our protracted, intense commitments to a controlled trial of oral micronized progesterone (marketed in the USA and Canada as Prometrium®) for night sweats and hot flushes/flashes. At the Endocrine Society we presented the first-ever trial showing that the molecularly identical progesterone by mouth is effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms (VMS = hot flushes/flashes and night sweats)(1). We were also invited to present our data at an Endocrine Society-sponsored press conference.
Why did a scientific study require so much from us? First, this trial started in 2003 as the initial scientific venture of the newly founded Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research–thus CeMCOR’s reputation became tied to this trial. Second, despite concerted efforts, we were never able to obtain peer reviewed funding for this study—we successfully supported it with individual private donations. Finally, because of the “estrogen myth” and its corollary negatives about progesterone, I wanted to gain additional accurate information about how Prometrium® works in women’s cardiovascular system from this same study. For that reason we decided to enroll only very healthy women who were within 1-10 years since their final flow—they had to be non-smokers, without obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure, and further to have normal measured waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, and fasting blood sugar levels. Therefore many women were interested but few were eligible.