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Mood Side Effects of Progesterone

author image Karla Casco
Karla Casco began writing in 2010, focusing her work on diseases and treatments and their side effects. She has also created patient handouts, PowerPoint presentations and journal clubs. Karla has a doctorate in pharmacy from St. John's University and holds a pharmacy license for the state of New York.
Mood Side Effects of Progesterone
A woman having a discussion with a practitioner. Photo Credit: Highwaystarz-Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Progesterone is a female hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg. The oral version of this medication is used for the prevention of endometrial hyperplasia in postmenopausal women receiving estrogen therapy. Endometrial hyperplasia is a benign condition in which the lining of uterus grows too much and may eventually lead to cancer. Progesterone may also be used in women who have amenorrhea, or have stopped menstruating suddenly for six month of more and are not pregnant or in menopause. The intramuscular injection may be used for amenorrhea and abnormal uterine bleeding due to a hormonal imbalance. The gel, the vaginal insert and the suppository are prescribed in women who infertile due to a progesterone deficiency. Progesterone may produce several side effects on the mood; you may discuss any concerns with your physician.

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Depression may occur in about 19 percent of patients on the progesterone capsules and 11 percent of patients on the vaginal gel, according to the “Drug Information Handbook.” Patients who use the intramuscular progesterone injection may also experience depression. If you feel symptoms of depression, such as extreme sadness, loss of interest in activities that were enjoyable, weight changes and changes in sleeping patterns, speak with your physician. Suicidal ideation may occur in less than 5 percent of individuals; however, if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, you or someone in your home should seek medical help immediately. Your physician may decide to stop the medication or switch to a different one.


Irritability or extreme sensitivity is another common side effect with progesterone. During the clinical trials of Prometrium, which is the brand name product of progesterone capsules, about 8 percent of women experienced irritability. explains that these patients were postmenopausal women receiving 400 mg of Prometrium per day. This side effect is also expected with the use of Endometrium, which is the vaginal insert. If you experience this adverse effect and it affects your daily activities, call your physician.

Mood Swings

According to, Endometrium did not produce mood swings in patients during clinical trials, but progesterone is expected to produce mood swings. The other forms of progesterone may also produce this adverse reaction. If you develop severe mood swings or a major change in personality, called depersonalization, you or someone in your household should contact you health care provider right away. You may need to discontinue the medication right away.

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