The Truth About Progesterone

Progesterone**.  It is, according to Wikipedia, is a C-21 steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle, pregnancy (supports gestation) and embryogenesis (huh?  I guess I need to look that one up too) of humans and other species.  My doctors put me on it because of my previous loss as well as some suspected chemical pregnancies.  They also tend to do it because it is inexpensive (relatively) and doesn’t do harm.  At the end of my TWW, I’ll take a home pregnancy test (HPT) and see what the result is: if it is positive, I’ll keep taking the pills and if it is negative, I’ll stop and my period should start within 5 days and I repeat the whole process again.

Progesterone comes in two different forms: an oral pill and a vaginal suppository.  I’m taking the suppository (only on a blog read by other women who know what I’m experiencing could I say that out loud) and I’m happy about it because supposedly it has much fewer emotional side effects.  During the TWW, God only knows I need as few emotional triggers as possible!

I was told that progesterone can mimic pregnancy symptoms – which may get frustrating and mis-leading during the TWW, when I’m looking for signs.  But, I’ll manage through them.  Knock-on-wood the only symptoms that I have is some slight cramping and tugging in my belly area.  Usually at this point, my boobs are pretty sore and tender.  This time?  Nothing.  Nada.

What about you?  What side effects have you encountered while taking progesterone?

The official (not major) side effects that one can encounter, as indicated by PubMed, include:

  • headache
  • breast tenderness or pain
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • tiredness
  • muscle, joint, or bone pain
  • mood swings
  • irritability
  • excessive worrying
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • vaginal discharge
  • problems urinating

**Nothing on this page is medical advice or assistance.  Please contact your physician for medical questions or concerns relating to progesterone, TTC or infertility – I might play one on the Internet but I’m not qualified!!

6 thoughts on “The Truth About Progesterone

  1. Yes, progesterone is a nasty drug. I’m not sure what brand you’re taking, but Crinone suppositories and Progesterone In Oil injections are very expensive (at least for those of us without IF coverage). As far as side effects, headaches and constipation seem to be the worst, but I’m on a very high dose of two forms of progesterone, so that’s likely part of the problem too.

    Good luck with your cycle!

    ICLW #5

    • Yep, I’m on Prometrium (200mgs). For 20 pills, they’re $68 with partial coverage. Sounds like you’re on much stronger than me but I’m surprised that I haven’t yet gotten more side effects or symptoms. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ll get a BFP 😦 Fingers crossed!

  2. After IVF, I did the suppositories (which I hated) but then I was switched to the oil shots. And if you thought shooting yourself in the belly sucked, these shots were way worse. It is very thick and had to go in my thigh or hip (I chose hip) and caused huge knots. After I started these, I was begging to go back to the suppositories. I didn’t notice any side effects with the suppositories though. I was already feeling so gross and emotional at that point though. Just dropping in for ICLW (GOOD LUCK!)

  3. I’ve done the suppositories and while they were probably my least favorite IF supplement, I didn’t really have any side effects. The worst part was the leaking and having to cart them around in a cooler when traveling 😦 One thing the dr. forgot to tell me was that it may delay my period….yeah, it completely stopped mine from coming until I stopped using them. Talk about a cycle of false hope!

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