Progesterone Injections

Progesterone injections consist of an injectable form of man-made progestins that are used intramuscularly for a variety of health reasons. As a whole, progesterone injections are cream-colored or white and are intended to last for several months in the system. These injections are soluble in acetone, dioxane, and acetone and minimally dissolvable in water, which make them good for long-term use.

When Are Progesterone Injections Needed?

Progesterone injections in oil are often used to treat women who have irregularity in their menstrual cycle. Some women have a hormonal imbalance in which not enough natural progesterone is made and injectable progestins are used to replace the lost progesterone. Progesterone injections are also used as a form of birth control. Depo-Provera is a type of injectable progesterone used to prevent pregnancy.

You should not use progesterone injections if you are allergic to progesterone-containing medications, synthetic progesterone, sesame seeds, sesame oil or benzyl alcohol. You should also not use progesterone injections if you have a past medical history of blood clots in the legs, eyes, lungs or brain or if you have diseases such as undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, miscarriage, breast cancer, ovarian, cervical, genital or uterine cancers.

How to Take Progesterone Injections

Progesterone injections come in an oil base that can be given to you at your physician’s office, at an outpatient clinic or in the hospital. Some people can be trained to give their own progesterone injections at home. Your health care provider will teach you how to give yourself progesterone injections using the instructions listed here:

  1. Remove the metal top off the vial of progesterone and use alcohol to wipe off the stopper.
  2. Take out a 3 ml syringe and apply a sterile 22 gauge needle before giving yourself the injection.
  3. You may use ice compress on the skin to dull the pain of the injection just prior to giving the injection.
  4. Insert the needle in the lower outer portion of the buttocks by jabbing the needle into the skin.
  5. Pull back on the syringe to make sure you have not entered a blood vessel. There should be no return of blood if you have missed a blood vessel.
  6. If blood is noted, remove the needle, put on a new sterile needle and try again.
  7. After the injection, massage the site with a gentle circular motion to get the solution to mix with the gluteal tissue.
  8. If you have inflammation of the injection site after giving yourself the injection, try using a heating pad to relieve the symptoms.

In order to draw up the progesterone injection, follow these directions:

  1. Prime the syringe by drawing it back to the one cc mark. This draws air into the chamber.
  2. Inject the air into the progesterone vial.
  3. Remove 1 cc of the progesterone injection.
  4. Use the above technique to inject the medication.
  5. When finished, throw out the syringe and needle in a special box for contaminated materials.

The areas that can only be injected with progesterone shot are showed in the following shaded area. 

Are There Any Side Effects of Progesterone Injections?

Progesterone injections are generally extremely safe when used for the correct purposes and by those who know how to do proper intramuscular injections. However, there are some side effects of progesterone injections you should know about:

Common Side Effects

There can be breast tenderness, pain or swelling at the site of injection, weight gain, weight loss, headache, and increase in hair production of the body and face with loss of hair from the scalp. There can be dizziness or drowsiness that may need a doctor’s attention if they worsen or do not go away.

Progesterone injections are given to patients when the benefits of the injection outweigh the risks. Most people who take these types of injections do not complain of any major side effects.

Serious Side Effects

You should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects of progesterone injections: amenorrhea (an absence of menstrual periods), breakthrough vaginal spotting or bleeding, lumps in the breast, dark patches on the skin of the face, nervousness, depression, swollen ankles, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), painful urination, dark urine, stomach pains or nausea/vomiting.

Rare Side Effects

In rare cases, progesterone injections can cause dangerous blood clots. If you experience any evidence of blood clots, such as pain in the chest, left arm or jaw, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, headache, fainting spells, difficulty breathing, confusion, double vision, blurry vision, or pain, swelling and redness of the calves or arms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

While it is rare, there is a possibility of a dangerous allergic reaction to the progesterone. Symptoms include itching, localized or generalized swelling of the face, throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, rash, and severe dizziness. If you experience any of these allergic symptoms, seek medical or emergency medicine help right away.

More Concerns of Taking Progesterone Injections

1.   Progesterone Injections and Preterm Labor

If you have a history of preterm labor, you might have it again. For this reason, the obstetrician might give you progesterone injections weekly during the last two thirds of your pregnancy. This is generally not used for the kind of preterm labor that occurs when one is expecting twins, triplets or more babies.

2.   Progesterone Injections and IVF

In vitro fertilization, patients may need progesterone injections, which take the place of the corpus luteum that normally produces progesterone in the last half of the menstrual cycle to maintain the pregnancy until the embryo makes its own progesterone. Progesterone injections provide luteal support for the fertilized egg so that it can grow and survive in the womb.

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