Progesterone is essentially a female growth hormone which works by having control over the entire menstrual and ovulation cycle of females. It is sold in the market under various brand names such as Susten, Crinone and Prometrium. It comes handy for those women who in spite of not having reached the menopausal age, face a situation wherein they do not experience menstrual periods since their bodies have a deficiency of progesterone in them. So as a progesterone booster, medicines like Susten truly work wonders.
Progesterone has an added benefit in the sense that it prevents overgrowth in the uterus lining in women past the menopausal age who would otherwise be gaining access to estrogen only with the help of HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy.
You should not take progesterone under any circumstances without a doctor’s prescription, after you have been thoroughly examined by the doctor. Moreover, you need to be all the more cautious if you are pregnant since progesterone carries the possibility of doing damage to the fetus which will only cause harm to the impending baby. Also, while using progesterone, ideally use effective contraceptives (if you are not pregnant already) so as to minimize complications. Also check for peanut oil which some variations of the hormone do tend to have, especially if you are allergic to peanuts.
Risk factors attached to progesterone include the possibility of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots or even breast cancer. So you should not be taking this hormone if you have a history of these diseases, especially if there have also been other incidents of say liver disease or vaginal bleeding along the way. There is also the risk of decreased concentration or overall intellectual capacity whereby it is recommended that you do not take up tasks which require immense focus, such as driving.
Progesterone is often prescribed for short durations only whereby it is very important to take the hormone for that prescribed period only. It is likely to make a difference within that period so you need not take it any further. Within that period, make sure that you do not miss any dosage.
In case you go for any laboratory tests while you are taking progesterone, there is always a chance of unusual results emerging. Accordingly, it is advisable that you let the lab know about your progesterone ingestion.
Before Taking Progesterone
Be aware of ingredients inside the hormone pack that you are taking. As mentioned earlier, some packs contain peanut oil; if you are allergic to peanuts, they would not be suitable for you. Moreover, it is always preferable that you commence ingesting this hormone only after you have thoroughly consulted a doctor.
Tests which are typically conducted prior to going on a progesterone regime include those for the heart, blood pressure, epilepsy, cholesterol, kidneys, diabetes, circulatory problems if any, and so on. Psychological problems such as depression are also checked for.
Note that you should not take progesterone if you are nursing your baby with mother’s (i.e. your) milk since it can pass on through the milk to your child and cause it harm.
The process of taking progesterone would be strictly as per the doctor’s instructions. You should not deviate from the same under any circumstances. Start it as per the given schedule and also finish it over the same schedule. Even if you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to inquire with your doctor.
There are many ways to take progesterone – orally, as a gel meant for topical application on the vagina, applied as a skin cream or even injected directly into the blood stream. If you opt for the injection option, make sure that you are injected only by a person qualified and competent to do so. If you opt to do it yourself, you must be capable enough for that.
Make sure that you store progesterone only in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight or moisture.
Missing a Dose
Try not to let this happen – it is important that you take progesterone as per schedule. Just in case you miss it, take it as soon as it is possible for you to do so. But don’t take two doses too close to one another – under no circumstances should you overdose.
Just in case you overdose in spite of all precautions and warnings, make sure that you seek immediate medical help without delay. The hormone may need to be flushed out of your system on an emergency basis.
Progesterone has a tendency to affect cognitive thinking or ability. Therefore it would be wise on your part to avoid doing anything which requires a lot of focus and concentration, such as driving, if you are taking progesterone.
Possible side effects of progesterone include swelling, unusual emergency of facial or body hair, headache, loss of hair, drowsiness, inexplicable weight gain, pain where you are receiving injections and so on. It is important that you seek emergency medical attention in case you experience or perceive any of these side effects.
Remember many individuals taking progesterone do not experience any side effects.
At the same time, there may be other side effects also. Therefore it is always best to consult with your doctor to be absolutely sure.
Dosage is typically determined by the doctor. There is no fixed dosage as such since requirements differ considerably from person to person. It is best to stick to the dosage advised by the doctor without any deviation whatsoever.
Progesterone with other medications
Progesterone does not go well with certain other medications. Instances would include rifamycins such as rifabutin, medicines for seizures like phenytoin or carbamazepine, St. John’s wort as well as various otherwise commonly prescribed herbal or OTC medicines.
That is the reason it is always advised that if you are looking to take a progesterone course, it is best that you first consult with your doctor.
Likewise, since progesterone can alter the results which come out of various lab tests, it is best that you let lab personnel know about your progesterone ingestion.