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What is progesterone?


Uses for progesterone

Progesterone (Prometrium® and Crinone®) is a drug that can be used for infertility. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a baby within one year of trying. Progesterone is a hormone that causes menstrual periods in women who have not yet reached menopause but are not having periods due to a lack of natural progesterone in the body. Progesterone contains this hormone. These drugs can also be used to maintain a pregnancy in women unable to produce enough progesterone within their bodies to keep their pregnancy going.

Other uses of progesterone include prevention of endometrial hyperplasia (thickening of the uterus lining), treatment of endometriosis and associated pain, help in treatment of certain cancers, treatment of severe weight loss in people with AIDS, and prevention of pregnancy in very low doses. The dose of progesterone varies widely from person to person and is determined by the reason for treatment. Talk to your doctor about the best dose for you. Be sure to take it exactly as your doctor recommends.

Potential progesterone side effects

Side effects of progesterone can include sudden headache or confusion, vision problems, migraine headache, nausea, stomach pain, breast lumps, vaginal bleeding, mood swings, bowel changes, tiredness, runny nose, cough, and depression. Tell your doctor if these side effects become bothersome or do not get better with time. In rare cases, a person may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, faintness, shaking, seizures, leg swelling or pain, and sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body. Be sure to notify your doctor right away if you experience any of these serious side effects If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor about what the best treatment is for you.

Read more on endometriosis in our Health Encyclopedia.

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