Progesterone is one of the major female hormones produces by the ovaries. The other hormone is estrogen and the two hormones work together to control a woman's menstrual cycle. Doctors often prescribe progesterone as hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. Progesterone is available in pill form, as a topical gel, as a vaginal insert or as an oil. Due to the way the body uses and produces hormones, it may be difficult to have a one-time overdose of progesterone. Prolonged use can cause several side effects.
Nervous System and Muscular Effects
Approximately 31 percent of patients on progesterone experience headache and 15 percent experience dizziness as a side-effect of progesterone use. Patients may also experience increased sweating, nervousness tremors and speech disorders. Twenty percent of patients experience joint pain, 12 percent experience musculoskeletal pain and 8 percent experience back pain.
Genitourinary and Gastrointestinal Side Effects
The genitourinary system includes the breasts and vagina. The gastrointestinal system includes the stomach and intestines. Twenty-seven percent of patients experience breast tenderness, 11 percent experience urinary problems and 10 percent experience vaginal discharge. Patients may also experience vaginal dryness, breast pain and breast enlargement. Progesterone use may also trigger breast cancer. Twenty percent of women will experience abdominal pain and 8 percent will experience bloating, diarrhea and nausea.
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Side Effects
Seven percent of patients will experience chest pain. Other cardiovascular risks include hypertension and heart palpitations. Progesterone also thickens the blood, making you more prone to blood clotting issues, including thrombosis and embolisms. Eight percent of patients experience a cough. Other respiratory effects include nasal congestions, bronchitis and sinusitis.
Progesterone may affect the skin and some patients may experience increased acne. Patients may aldo experience a rash at the site of the injection. Progesterone can also cause skin discoloration and seborrhea. Progesterone may affect your vision, causing blurred vision and other vision changes. Progesterone can affect your mental state and 19 percent of patients experience depression. Patients may also experience anxiety, insomnia and impaired concentration.