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DECEMBER 19, 2023

Progesterone: Navigating Women’s Health

What is progesterone?

Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation. Progesterone is produced in high amounts in females by the ovaries. It is also produced in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands both males and females.

Progesterone is used to cause menstrual periods in women who have not yet reached menopause but are not having periods due to a lack of progesterone in the body. It is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy.

Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

Warnings

Do not use progesterone without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

You should not use progesterone if you have: abnormal vaginal bleeding, a history of breast cancer, liver disease, or if you have recently had a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.

Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer.

Some forms of this medication may contain peanut oil. Do not use this medicine without telling your doctor if you have a peanut allergy.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use progesterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked;
  • a history of breast cancer;
  • liver disease;
  • a peanut allergy;
  • if you are pregnant;
  • if you have had a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot within the past year; or
  • if you have recently had an incomplete miscarriage or “missed” abortion.

Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, circulation problems;
  • migraines;
  • asthma;
  • kidney disease;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a history of depression; or
  • risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, high cholesterol, family history of coronary artery disease, smoking, being overweight).

How should I use progesterone?

Use progesterone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take the capsule with a full glass of water. It is best to take the medicine at night because this medicine can make you dizzy or drowsy.

Apply progesterone cream to the skin as directed by your doctor.

Progesterone is sometimes used for only a short time, such as 10 to 12 days during each menstrual cycle. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using progesterone.

If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Do not use progesterone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Progesterone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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