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Side Effects Progesterone In Early Pregnancy

Side Effects of Progesterone in Early Pregnancy

Progesterone is a hormone that plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. It helps to prepare the uterus for implantation, supports the growth of the fetus, and prevents premature labor. However, progesterone can also cause a range of side effects, especially in early pregnancy.

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting: Progesterone can relax the muscles of the stomach and intestines, which can lead to nausea and vomiting. This is often referred to as "morning sickness" but can occur at any time of day.
  • Breast tenderness: Progesterone can cause the breasts to become tender and swollen as they prepare for lactation.
  • Fatigue: Progesterone can make you feel tired and sluggish. This is because it can lower blood pressure and slow down your metabolism.
  • Constipation: Progesterone can slow down the movement of food through the intestines, which can lead to constipation.
  • Headaches: Progesterone can cause headaches, especially in the first trimester.
  • Mood swings: Progesterone can affect the levels of other hormones in the body, which can lead to mood swings.
  • Increased urination: Progesterone can increase the production of urine, which can lead to more frequent urination.

Less Common Side Effects

  • Skin changes: Progesterone can cause the skin to become darker and more oily. It can also lead to the development of acne.
  • Hair growth: Progesterone can increase hair growth on the face, arms, and legs.
  • Weight gain: Progesterone can cause weight gain, especially in the first trimester.
  • Insomnia: Progesterone can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Leg cramps: Progesterone can cause leg cramps, especially at night.
  • Varicose veins: Progesterone can weaken the walls of the veins, which can lead to the development of varicose veins.
  • Hemorrhoids: Progesterone can cause the veins in the rectum to become swollen and inflamed, which can lead to hemorrhoids.

Serious Side Effects

In rare cases, progesterone can cause serious side effects, such as:

  • Blood clots: Progesterone can increase the risk of blood clots, especially in women who are overweight or have a history of blood clots.
  • Liver problems: Progesterone can cause liver problems, especially in women who have a history of liver disease.
  • Gallbladder disease: Progesterone can increase the risk of gallbladder disease, especially in women who are overweight or have a history of gallbladder disease.

Managing Side Effects

Most of the side effects of progesterone are mild and will go away on their own after the first trimester. However, there are some things you can do to manage these side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting: Eat small, frequent meals. Avoid foods that trigger your nausea. Drink plenty of fluids. Get plenty of rest.
  • Breast tenderness: Wear a supportive bra. Apply cold compresses to your breasts.
  • Fatigue: Get plenty of rest. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Constipation: Eat a high-fiber diet. Drink plenty of fluids. Exercise regularly.
  • Headaches: Take over-the-counter pain medication. Apply a cold compress to your head.
  • Mood swings: Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your mood swings.
  • Increased urination: Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Limit your fluid intake before bed.
  • Skin changes: Use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. Avoid harsh soaps and scrubs.
  • Hair growth: Shave or wax unwanted hair.
  • Weight gain: Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Insomnia: Establish a regular sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Leg cramps: Stretch your legs regularly. Apply a warm compress to your legs.
  • Varicose veins: Wear compression stockings. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
  • Hemorrhoids: Apply a hemorrhoid cream or suppository. Take over-the-counter pain medication.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Severe headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in your legs or feet
  • Pain or swelling in your abdomen

These symptoms could be a sign of a serious medical condition.


Progesterone is a vital hormone for a healthy pregnancy. However, it can also cause a range of side effects, especially in early pregnancy. Most of these side effects are mild and will go away on their own after the first trimester. However, if you experience any severe side effects, call your doctor immediately.

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