Side Effects of Progesterone in Pregnancy

Progesterone is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body. According to the American Pregnancy Association, during the earlier stages of pregnancy, days 12 to 16 of the cycle, it is released by the part of the egg follicle known as the corpus luteum. After around week 10, progesterone is produced by the placenta. It allows for the lining of the uterus to thicken and increase, and prepare for implantation by the fertilized egg. An increased level of progesterone is required in order to maintain pregnancy and prevent miscarriage. This can cause side effects such as fatigue, headaches, mood swings and constipation.

Constipation and Headaches

According to the Mayo Clinic, increased levels of progesterone during pregnancy can lead to constipation. This occurs because progesterone relaxes smooth muscles such as that of the intestines and this slows down the passage of food through the intestines. There are decreased bowel contractions needed to allow the passage of food, fluids and wastes.

Progesterone also causes relaxation of blood vessels, which can lead to increased blood flow to the brain, and severe headaches and migraines.

Fatigue and Breast Tenderness

According to the Mayo Clinic, increased levels of progesterone can contribute to fatigue and excess sleepiness. It depresses the central nervous system, and can cause unusual tiredness during pregnancy.

According to Ohio State University, increased levels of progesterone also leads to breast changes such as increased breast tenderness and sensitivity.

Mood Swings and Stuffy Nostrils

According to the Mayo Clinic, an increase in progesterone during pregnancy can be associated with negative mood swings such as depression. The unstable levels of hormones such as progesterone can lead to mood swings in pregnant women. Because progesterone causes relaxation of smooth muscles, it also affects the smooth muscles of the nostrils, and leads to congestion seen with stuffy nostrils.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.