Many health food stores carry wild yam creams which contain diosgenin. Diosgenin is termed a phytohormone, which means plant hormone. Often these products are claimed to contain progesterone or progesterone building phytohormones. Diosgenin is not progesterone and cannot be converted by our bodies into progesterone or any other hormone. While some women may experience a partial improvement of their symptoms using wild yam creams, you should not be misled into thinking that this is the same as bio-identical hormone supplementation or replacement.
Many different brands of over the counter progesterone cream products are available. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) limits the maximum amount of progesterone that can be present per ounce of these creams. The FDA only allows these products to be sold as skin care products. In many of these products the amount of progesterone present is not even listed. The purity of the progesterone in these over the counter creams varies greatly from company to company. Contrary to what some authors have written, progesterone is poorly absorbed through the skin. This is why I recommend slow release BellaFem Progesterone which is released over a twelve hour period in the small intestine.