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Progesterone Suppositories

Progesterone Suppositories

Women undergoing fertility treatments are often prescribed progesterone suppositories at some point during their treatment. Know more about this topic in this article.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Progesterone is one of the most important reproductive hormones in a woman's body. In a natural unmedicated cycle, it is secreted by a structure called corpus luteum. This is a cyst-like structure formed on ovaries during release of a mature follicle. This hormone increases the blood supply to the uterine lining or endometrium. As a result, it thickens and provides a better scope for a fertilized egg to implant. Thus, it is very important in order to have a successful conception. In some women, it is not produced in sufficient amounts naturally by corpus luteum in luteal phase. This may seriously hamper their chances of conception. This article gives you information about progesterone suppositories, which are sonetimes prescribed for women.
Uses
These are essentially a small dosage of progesterone suspended in a fatty acid like cocoa butter. When you insert the suppository in vagina, it melts and gets absorbed in the uterine lining. It is more beneficial than oral pills, as it does not come in contact with the liver, thereby preventing any possibility of metabolic side effects. Besides, it directly gets absorbed in the uterine lining so that their interaction with other organs is bypassed. It gets absorbed steadily in the uterine lining, thereby mimicking the role of natural progesterone in a more accurate way. In anovulating women, this hormone helps regulate the menstrual cycle.
How to Use?
The course of this suppository begins 2 -3 days after ovulation and continues until the woman gets pregnant or has her menstrual cycle. In the absence of successful implantation, the thickened uterine wall is shed as menstrual flow. The suppository is inserted in the vagina, like any other vaginal suppository. In case of vaginal infections, it can be inserted in rectum. You insert it in a similar way as a tampon. Often, it will come with a tampon-like inserter, which helps in easier insertion. Try to insert it deep as possible to improve the chances of better absorption. Besides, deeper insertion ensures than it does not leak out when it melts in the uterus.
Dosage
As mentioned above, you are required to take them twice a day. However, the exact dosage may vary for every woman. Your doctor or reproductive endocrinologist may recommend certain tests prior to deciding your dosage. This allows him to adjust the dosage in suppository by studying naturally secreted progesterone levels in the body. Besides, the dosage for anovulatory women may differ from that of other women who are taking them as an aid for conception.
Side Effects
They are very safe, and often lead to successful conception and healthy pregnancy. In fact about 77% of women who use them, successfully become pregnant. However, certain side effects are reported in about 2 to 12% women who opt for this treatment. Some common side effects include nausea, headaches, cold flashes, bloating, vision problems, dizziness, breast tenderness, etc. Uterine bleeding, though rare, is certainly one of the side effects.
Other minor side effects, include vaginal irritation and discomfort when it leaks. When they are inserted rectally, they may stimulate bowel movements. Taking them during pregnancy may prove to be risky for the mother and the baby. So, it's best done only under expert medical guidance.
Thus, progesterone suppositories can be a great aid in your fertility treatment. They drastically elevate your chances of getting pregnant, when combined with other therapies.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.