Both Dr Dalton’s researches, which have been going on since 1953, and the more recent studies carried out at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, show that some women who suffer from premenstrual tension have low levels of progesterone in their bodies during the last half of their menstrual cycles. In other words, at the very time of the month when you would expect the level to be high. Dr Dalton treats her patients by giving them extra progesterone during the last half of the month. This treatment often has a marked effect on the whole range of symptoms. It may reduce the bloat, lift depression, remove those alarming mood swings and also have an effect on the sort of epilepsy, hay fever, cystitis, asthma and migraines that are linked to an approaching period. If you want to know more about this treatment, I suggest you read Dr Dalton’s book, Once a Month, and you’ll see if it could be for you.
Unfortunately there are only two established clinics that have followed Dr Dalton’s lead and will prescribe pure progesterone. So if you want treatment at either of them, you will have to go on a waiting list, I’m afraid. One is at University College Hospital, London, and the other is in the Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield. It will not be easy to find a GP who is willing and able to prescribe progesterone suppositories (trade name ‘Cyclogest’) either. There are some, but at the moment they are rather rare. The trouble is that unlike the contraceptive pills, which have been on the market for over twenty-five years, progesterone treatment is relatively new. An added difficulty is that pure progesterone can only be given as an injection or in the form of suppositories. Some women are so glad to receive some treatment that will stop their symptoms they don’t mind where the treatment has to be put. But others are put off by the idea of suppositories, and would much prefer a pill. Unfortunately there’s no way, at the moment, that progesterone can be made effective in pill form.