How does Progesterone work?

Progesterone is a hormone released by the ovaries. Changing progesterone levels can contribute to many of the conditions for which progesterone is used, such as abnormal menstrual periods and menopause. Progesterone may also be beneficial in infertility because it is necessary for implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus and for maintaining pregnancy.

Are there safety concerns?

Progesterone is safe for most people when used with the advice and care of a healthcare professional. However, it can cause many side effects including stomach upset, changes in appetite, weight gain, fluid retention and swelling (edema), fatigue, acne, drowsiness or insomnia, allergic skin rashes, hives, fever, headache, depression, breast discomfort or enlargement, PMS-like syndrome, altered menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding, and other side effects.

Do not take progesterone without medical supervision if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have disease of the arteries.
  • You have breast cancer.
  • You are or have been depressed.
  • You have liver disease.
  • You have vaginal bleeding that is not associated with a menstrual period.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.