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Progesterone is used as a part of hormone replacement therapy in women who have passed menopause (the change of life) and have not had a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus). Hormone replacement therapy usually includes estrogen, which is used to treat symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. However, estrogen can also cause abnormal thickening of the lining of the uterus and increase the risk of developing uterine cancer. Progesterone helps to prevent this thickening and decreases the risk of developing uterine cancer. Progesterone is also used to bring on menstruation (period) in women of childbearing age who have had normal periods and then stopped menstruating. Progesterone is in a class of medications called progestins (female hormones). It works as part of hormone replacement therapy by decreasing the amount of estrogen in the uterus. It works to bring on menstruation by replacing the natural progesterone that some women are missing.
Progesterone comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day in the evening or at bedtime. You will probably take progesterone on a rotating schedule that alternates 10–12 days when you take progesterone with 16–18 days when you do not take the medication. Your doctor will tell you exactly when to take progesterone. To help you remember to take progesterone, take it around the same time in the evening. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take progesterone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take progesterone as directed even if you feel well. Do not stop taking progesterone without talking to your doctor.Before taking progesterone,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to progesterone, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), hormone replacement therapy, any other medications, or peanuts.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); cimetidine (Tagamet); clarithromycin (Biaxin); cyclosporine (Neoral, Samdimmune); danazol (Danocrine); delaviridine (Rescriptor); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); erythromycin (E.E.S, E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); fluvoxamine (Luvox); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan), ritonavir (Norvir), and saquinavir (Fortovase); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); lansoprazole (Prevacid, Prevpac); metronidazole (Flagyl); nefazodone (Serzone); omeprazole (Prilosec); oral contraceptives (birth control pills); ticlopidine (Ticlid); troleandomycin (TAO); verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had unexplained vaginal bleeding between periods; a miscarriage in which some tissue was left in the uterus; cancer of the breasts or female organs; seizures; migraine headaches; asthma; diabetes; depression; blood clots in the legs, lungs, eyes, brain, or anywhere in the body; stroke or ministroke; vision problems; or liver, kidney, heart, or gallbladder disease .
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking progesterone, call your doctor.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking progesterone.
you should know that progesterone may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. If progesterone does make you dizzy or drowsy, take your daily dose at bedtime.
you should know that progesterone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking progesterone. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
Progesterone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
breast tenderness or pain
muscle, joint, or bone pain
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
severe dizziness or faintness
slow or difficult speech
weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
lack of coordination or loss of balance
shortness of breath
sharp chest pain
coughing up blood
leg swelling or pain
loss of vision or blurred vision
unexpected vaginal bleeding
shaking hands that you cannot control
stomach pain or swelling
difficulty breathing or swallowing
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Laboratory animals who were given progesterone developed tumors. It is not known if progesterone increases the risk of tumors in humans. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Medications like progesterone may cause abnormal blood clotting. This may cut off the blood supply to the brain, heart, lungs, or eyes and cause serious problems. Call your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed above as serious side effects. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Progesterone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
I'm taking progesterone shots now after IVF. I started it the day before my transfer. Its an oil base and stings a little when injected. I have to take it every morning at the same time everyday. I started taking 1cc a day for the 1st week, then was upped to 2ccs.
Its pretty annoying to draw the oil out with the syringe cause it takes forever to drip in ~ its not fun at 6:30am even on the weekends lol. I have to warm it up after I fill the syringe. I have to roll it back and forth between both hands quickly for about 20 seconds.
this takes longer but can make the process easier. I did my injections at night so time wasn't a problem - I could walk away and do stuff while the bottle/syringe was warming.
1. Wrap a hot water bottle around the progesterone bottle to warm it up before the draw. The draw goes quicker and with less air bubbles, especially if you are using something smaller than an 18 gauge needle for the draw. I ran out of 18's so I used 22's to draw. 2. Once it's in the syringe, change your needle tip to the desired gauge, I used 25 gauge and have read you can use a 27 gauge (I'm going to try that next time!), it will just take a little longer to inject. 3. also wrap the syringe in the hot water bottle until it is toasty warm, not hot, before injecting.
Some people like to ice the area before injecting. heat also works just as well for numbing the area. Rub the muscle and apply heat after injecting to help disperse the oil into the muscle. If you get the shot in the right area it is pretty painless unless you get a dull needle - those hurt!
There are also some great videos out on YouTube that demonstrate everything for IVF med shots.