Side Effects of Progesterone Replacement Therapy
On a whole, progesterone therapy is one of the safest forms of hormone replacement available today. There are very few side effects of progesterone replacement therapy, and most would be considered extremely mild. There are also some cases in which treatment with progesterone might not be recommended. All of this will be discussed in this report.
We begin with the most common reported progesterone replacement therapy side effects:
- Swelling in the lower legs, ankles, and feet
- Breast changes – pain, tenderness, enlargement
- Weight gain
- Skin rash
- Appetite changes
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Increased risk of viral infections
In most cases where side effects do occur, they often disappear on their own as the body gets used to the increase in progesterone it is receiving. If these changes do not subside on their own, or if they become bothersome, the doctor will reduce the dosage of progesterone therapy accordingly. Most women never experience any adverse side effects. Progesterone therapy is not considered to have serious risk factors for the majority of people.
Less common or rare progesterone therapy side effects include:
- Mood swings
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
- Dementia (post-menopausal women over the age of 65)
- Breast cancer (women between 50 and 79)
The risks listed above are extremely rare, especially when treatment is prescribed and supervised by a hormone replacement specialist.
Reducing the Side Effects of Progesterone Replacement Therapy
The best way to reduce the risk of any medical treatment is to work with an experienced doctor and be completely open and honest about any previous or current health issues and medications being taken. This is the optimal way to reduce any unwanted progesterone replacement therapy side effects from occurring.
Alcohol use may increase dehydration that can cause dryness in the vaginal mucous membrane linings. Limiting or ceasing consumption of alcohol beverages may help if this becomes an issue, or a doctor can be asked about vaginal lubrication options before starting treatment with supplemental progesterone
Although there are no known side effects, progesterone replacement therapy may not go well with grapefruit juice as this beverage has been known to interact with many medications.
The following medical conditions may be contraindicated for treatment with supplemental progesterone:
- History of blood clots
- Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
- Cancer of the breasts or genitals
- Arterial disease
- Previous abortion or ectopic pregnancy
- Liver disease
- Allery to any of the ingredients in progesterone medication
- Loss of consciousness or decreased function after a stroke
The medications listed below could have serious interactions with progesterone replacement, so be sure to discuss this with the doctor prior to beginning treatment:
- Cancer Drugs (Tafinlar, Zydelig, Gilotrif)
- Lysoderm (mitotane)
- Fanapt (ivacaftor)
- Afrezza (inhaled insulin)
- Stribild (HIV/AIDS medication)
- Kalydeco (ivacaftor)
- Adempas (riociguat)
If you have any questions about the information provided here regarding the side effects of progesterone replacement therapy, please contact the hormone professionals at Kingsberg Medical for further clarification and answers.
We are happy to offer free consultations to women and men throughout the US interested in learning more about what hormone replacement therapy can offer. Diagnostic testing and affordable treatment options are available.