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The Side Effects of Progesterone Suppositories

author image J. Lucy Boyd
J. Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN has written several nonfiction books including "The Complete Guide to Healthy Cooking and Nutrition for College Students." She is frequently called upon to provide career guidance to medical professionals and advice to parents of children with challenges. She also loves teaching others to cook for their families.
The Side Effects of Progesterone Suppositories
Progesterone suppositories are used in infertility treatment. Photo Credit Newborn image by jhogan from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Progesterone suppositories contain the hormone progesterone and work by altering the lining of the uterus. They are available by prescription and are typically used as part of an assisted reproductive technology program, according to Drugs.com. The product may also be used to facilitate embryo implantation and early pregnancy in some women. The suppository is typically placed into the vagina with an applicator and is used two to three times a day for a prescribed period of time, up to 70 days. Like all drugs, progesterone suppositories carry the risk of adverse effects.


Vomiting is a common side effect of progesterone suppositories, along with nausea and stomach pain. It is also common to feel bloated and experience abdominal distention. Some women become constipated while using this product.

Excessive Tiredness

The use of progesterone inserts can lead to excessive tiredness or drowsiness. It is also possible to feel moody or irritable while using this hormone.

Vaginal Bleeding

Some patients experience mild vaginal bleeding and pelvic cramping. It is possible to experience vaginal burning or irritation while using progesterone suppositories. Breast tenderness and headache are common complaints.

Worsening of Depression

Patients with current depression are at risk of worsening of the condition and those with a history of depression may experience a new episode. Drugs.com recommends close monitoring for these adverse effects in at-risk patients.

Cerebrovascular Changes

Rarely, a patient experiences cerebrovascular changes such as weakness in an arm or leg, paralysis or dropping of one side of the face, difficulty speaking or difficulty understanding words. Fainting, severe headache, sudden vomiting or severe dizziness may also be indicative of a cerebrovascular event, such as a stroke. Medical care should be sought immediately for any of these changes.

Blood Clots

Rarely, progesterone use causes blood clots, which can prove fatal. Symptoms include chest pain, sudden difficulty breathing, a new onset of constant pain in the lower leg and coughing up blood. These adverse effects require emergency evaluation and treatment.

Other Adverse Effects

According to PDRhealth, yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes or an unusual amount of vaginal bleeding may also indicate a serious adverse effect that requires medical attention.

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