9 Progesterone Side Effects You Should Know About

Progesterone side effects

In this article, we’ll discuss Progesterone side effects in detail along with its usage.

What Is Progesterone?

Progesterone belongs to a category of steroid hormones known as progestogens. This sex hormone is generally involved during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy phase, and other embryogenesis of the human species. It is formed in the ovaries with the help of adrenal glands and the placenta.

Whenever progesterone levels are altered, there is an abnormal change in menstrual periods and symptoms of menopause. This hormone occurs naturally inside the body and can also be created in a scientific laboratory.

The synthetic form of this hormone known as Progestin has been designed to activate the progesterone receptors in the body so that its effects are put into motion. Progesterone commonly works in combination with an estrogen. When progesterone is injected and there is low estrogen in the body, the risk of uterine cancer increases.

Females use progesterone to revive menstrual periods that randomly come to a halt (amenorrhea), to treat painful internal uterine bleeding incidents that occur due to hormonal imbalances, and also in healing the issues that come with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Although the uses of progesterone are exceptional and do help handle several problems, it also comes with a number of side effects. Keep reading to have an idea about both ends of the spectrum.

Progesterone Uses

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Infertility – Cannot become pregnant even after a year of trying
  • Abnormal fattening of the uterus lining (Endometrial Hyperplasia)
  • Messed up menstrual cycle (Amenorrhea)
  • Preterm birth
  • Breast ache (Mastalgia)

Progesterone Side Effects

The side effects associated with progesterone are all treatable conditions but sadly the possibilities are high.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that when progesterone is administered via the mouth, application on the skin, as a shot or into the vagina, it is safe 99 percent of the time, as long as the instructions of the medical professional have been followed. However, there are always chances of weight gain, edema, fluid retention disability, depression, breast enlargement, symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), etc.

  • Progesterone is not an advisable medicine to be consumed when a female is breast-feeding. Even during pregnancy, it is not safe. It can lead to hormonal imbalances in the child and have adverse future effects on the health of the to-be-born.
  • The liver is known to metabolize most progesterone hormones. But keep in mind, that any additional progesterone, when given to the body, can cause contradictory reactions to people with impaired hepatic functionality or even liver disease.
  • When the ratio of progesterone to estrogen is high, irregular vaginal bleeding can take place and lead to undesired consequences. Also, side effects like these make a woman wonder what the real cause for vaginal bleeding must be. Rather than brainstorming, worrying, and jumping to a conclusion themselves, all women must immediately visit a doctor for a safe and correct diagnosis.
  • When there is an increased concentration of progesterone in the brain, an automatic imbalance of progesterone and estrogen takes place. This leads to altered serotonin levels that call for heavy premenstrual symptoms such as depression, crankiness, and extreme mood swings.
  • When progesterone is taken by the mouth, the taste buds immediately lead to the sending of a signal to the brain and a sensation of sedative effects kicks in along with extreme amounts of drowsiness. Worst of all, this manner of consuming progesterone has a high chance of inducing cognitive impairment in patients.
  • Often, the introduction of progesterone via the vagina can easily be linked to vaginal bleeding and vaginal irritation. An itchy sensation develops and there is a possibility for warts to form in and around the vaginal area. Women have also complained of reduced libido and even if they land up having sex, the pain that comes along is excessive and alternative medication is required to control the situation. The chance of vaginal discharge along with cramps is a frequent side effect too. In case there are no cramps, there will be a disturbing feeling of local warmth or coolness inside the vagina. Administration of intramuscular injections can lead to inflammation at the exact injection site and rashes can develop if the body does not react in a very friendly manner. Also, if these intra-muscular doses are higher than usual, then expect to have an increase in overall body treatment, which can mainly be treated by consuming Paracetamol.
  • Progesterone can also lead to negatively affecting the Central Nervous System (CNS) and bringing about an aura of depression. This side effect comes into play generally only with an oral form of infection. Due to this detrimental effect on the functionality of the Central Nervous System, several side effects related to the brain begin to come into the picture. These side effects include sluggishness, fatigue, lower vigor, lightheadedness, confusion, and motor impairment. Usually, the CNS is affected only when the doses are high, i.e – 300 to 1200 mg for oral progesterone, 100 to 200 mg for vaginal progesterone, and 100 to 200 mg for intramuscular progesterone.
  • Breast cancer has also been associated with natural and synthetic progesterone levels back in the day. There is an increased production of breast cells when a particular chemical structure of progesterone and oral estrogen is induced in the body. Research has indicated that if estrogen and progesterone are applied together then there is no increase in breast cells. If the only estrogen has been applied, then there is a significant proliferation of breast cells. Whereas, if only progesterone was applied, there is a lesser rate of increase in breast cells. This unregulated increase and decrease of breast cells can easily grow to form breast cancer.
  • Another possible side effect of progesterone is blood clots.

Progesterone Side Effects: Conclusion

Expect the following side effects in cases where you may get unlucky. Lumps on the breast, feelings of nervousness followed by sadness, dark patches over the skin and the face, abdominal pain, constant vomiting, swelling of the ankles or feet, etc.

Everything said and done, if you have any of the following problems – heart issues, lower kidney functionality, absurd liver functionality, migraines, depression, or asthma – please consult a medical professional before administering yourself with progesterone.

For reasons such as amenorrhea, take 5 to 10 mg pills for a week, consecutively. In the event that abnormal menstrual flow begins during the prescription period, discontinue the medication. Also, beware as injections that contain progesterone can easily interact with azole antifungals, rifamycins, St. John’s wort, and also several anti-seizure medicines


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