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Progesterone Supplements Side Effects

author image Elizabeth Wolfenden
Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.
Progesterone Supplements Side Effects
Progesterone Supplements Side Effects Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images


Progesterone supplements are prescribed for a variety of reasons, include hormonal replacement therapy for menopausal women, inducing menstruation, treating endometriosis, treating certain types of cancers and supporting an early pregnancy. Although the side effects can be similar, the specific effects can vary slightly depending upon which type of progesterone you are prescribed. However, no matter which type of progesterone supplement you take, there is a potential for serious side effects. All women considering taking progesterone supplements should discuss all potential side effects with a doctor.

Progesterone Pill Supplements

Progesterone pills are taken orally, typically in the evening, for a specific period of time as instructed by a doctor. Side effects of progesterone pill supplements may include breast pain or tenderness, back pain, chest pain, headaches, joint pain, muscles pain, abdominal cramping, vomiting, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, hot flashes, coughing, depression, emotional instability, irritability, worry, dizziness, night sweats, swelling of hands and feet, upper respiratory infection, urinary problems or vaginal discharge or vaginal dryness, according to Drugs.com. However, certain side effects may occur that could not be anticipated when taking progesterone pill supplements; any sudden changes should be reported to a doctor.

Progesterone Gel Supplements

Progesterone gel supplements are administered by squirting the progesterone gel into the vagina through a plastic applicator. Although there are some common side effects associated with progesterone gel, medical attention for these symptoms are not necessary unless they are bothersome or persist, according to Drugs.com. The common side effects of progesterone gel supplements include constipation, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, pain around the vaginal area, difficult or painful sexual intercourse, increased appetite, sleep problems, frequent urination at night, changes in sex drive, depression, nervousness, fluid retention or bloating, breast pain or tenderness and breast enlargement.

Progesterone Insert Supplements

Progesterone insert supplements are taken by placing a solid suppository into the vagina with an applicator. Common side effects of progesterone insert supplements include bloating, cramping, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, fluid retention, breast tenderness, headache, tiredness and vaginal burning or irritation, according to Drugs.com. As in the case of other progesterone supplements, it is not necessary to see a doctor for these symptoms unless they are bothersome.

Progesterone Oil Supplements

Progesterone oil supplements are usually given by injection and do not have as many side effects as other progesterone supplements, according to Drugs.com. The common side effects of progesterone oil supplements may include acne, drowsiness, nausea, pain, trouble sleeping and redness and swelling at injection site. However, as is the case with other types of progesterone supplements, see your doctor if these side effects are persistent or particularly bothersome.

Potentially Serious Side Effects

Some serious side effects may occur with the use of any progesterone supplement, according to Drugs.com. If you experience any of these side effects, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. These symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, changes in mood, emotions or behavior, vision changes, stomach discomfort or pain, severe headache with vomiting or dizziness, sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, unusual swelling anywhere on the body, unusual vaginal itching or odor, speech disturbances, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, jaundice, pain in the groin or one-sided weakness. In addition, MedlinePlus states that laboratory animals that were given progesterone developed tumors, although it is unclear if taking progesterone would have the same effect in humans.

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