Progesterone is a hormone naturally secreted by the body. Progestins or progestogens are also used in hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, or to regulate or induce your menstrual period. The ovaries produce this hormone, or synthetic versions can be introduced into the body via medications. Progesterone shots are one way to introduce synthetic progesterone into the body, and once this synthetic hormone is in the body, it mimics the activity of natural progesterone once it binds to progesterone receptors.
Why Are Progesterone Shots Used?
These shots are given to supplement a progesterone deficiency during pregnancy or your menstrual cycle. This hormone helps to control menstrual bleeding through stabilizing the uterine lining. Heavy bleeding may occur if there is not enough progesterone in your body. These shots are also administered intramuscularly, or into a muscle, the day following IUD or IVF egg retrieval. The dose lasts for about ten to twelve weeks of pregnancy. They help to sustain IVF and pregnancy. A baby's survival depends on adequate levels of progesterone. Inadequate levels of progesterone may cause the wall of the uterus shedding, which may result in miscarriage and preterm labor. Infertility may also be treated with progesterone shots.
Administering Progesterone Shots
Doctors administer progesterone shots. Here we will explore the administration process. Your doctor will begin by washing her hands. She will then grab the vial of progesterone and use an alcohol swab to clean the top of the vial. Taking a needle with an attached syringe, she will pull a predetermined amount of progesterone into the syringe from the vial. Your doctor will then choose the injection site. Progesterone is typically injected into a muscle in your upper thighs or buttocks. If your doctor is injecting the progesterone into your thigh, you will be able to stand or sit. If she is injecting the progesterone into your buttocks, you will be able to lie on your side. Your doctor will squeeze the area being injected, and using a dart-like motion, she will put the needle into your muscle. Your doctor will ensure no blood drains in the needle and then she will push on the plunger to inject the full dose of progesterone. The needle is then quickly removed and properly disposed of. The entire process will only take a few minutes and the injection itself takes less than a minute.
Possible Side Effects of Progesterone Shots
During the first few days after you receive a progesterone shot, you may experience depression, nausea, and vomiting. If you are menstruating, you may experience breast pain and tenderness, increased vaginal secretions, irritation, and fluid retention. If you are receiving progesterone shots during IVF, you may experience vaginal area cramping and abdominal pain. Emergency medical treatment is necessary if you experience swelling of the legs, chest pain, vision changes, persistent vomiting, numbness anywhere on your body, or fainting.
If you have any medical conditions, such as kidney disorders, heart disease, or liver disease, you must tell your doctor prior to getting an injection of progesterone. Other conditions you must make sure to tell your doctor about include breast malignancy, thromboembolism, fluid retention, hyperlipidemia, depression, weight gain, glucose intolerance, and results of any previous thyroid function tests. When you are receiving these injections, it is very important to follow all of your doctor's instructions to avoid possible adverse effects and to ensure the efficacy of the progesterone remains at the intended level.
Progesterone shots may also interact with medications you are taking. It is important to tell your doctor about all medications that you take, including both non-prescription and prescription. You must also tell your doctor about all vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements that you take.