Progesterone Suppositories Side Effects vs Pregnancy Symptoms

Progesterone Suppositories Side Effects vs Pregnancy Symptoms

Progesterone suppositories are commonly prescribed to women who have experienced recurrent miscarriages or who may have lower levels of this crucial hormone.

While they play a vital role in supporting early pregnancy, these suppositories often come with side effects that can closely mimic the symptoms of pregnancy.

In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between the side effects of progesterone suppositories and early pregnancy symptoms. This guide aims to help women understand and navigate through this challenging time, providing clear explanations of the changes happening in their bodies.

What are progesterone suppositories?

Progesterone suppositories are a form of hormone replacement therapy. They are small, bullet-shaped medication doses inserted into the vagina.

The body slowly absorbs the progesterone contained in these suppositories, supplementing or replacing the hormones naturally produced by the ovaries.

Doctors often prescribe progesterone suppositories to help stabilize the lining of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. This is especially done in cases of luteal phase defect or for women undergoing certain fertility treatments.

The use of these suppositories can support the early stages of pregnancy until the placenta is fully formed and capable of producing sufficient amounts of progesterone on its own.

Does progesterone mimic pregnancy symptoms?

Yes, progesterone can often mimic pregnancy symptoms. This is due to the hormonal changes in the woman’s body, caused by the introduction of supplemental progesterone.

Common side effects of progesterone suppositories can include breast tenderness, mood changes, mild dizziness, bloating, and even mild nausea—all of which are also common early signs of pregnancy. These side effects can cause confusion and uncertainty during the early stages of pregnancy or when trying to conceive.

However, it is important to remember that while there are similarities, these symptoms are not definitive indicators of pregnancy. Always consult with a medical professional for accurate pregnancy confirmation.

Progesterone Suppositories Side Effects vs Pregnancy Symptoms

Side Effects of Progesterone Suppositories

While progesterone suppositories can be immensely beneficial, they also come with potential side effects. These can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • feeling of nausea or vomiting
  • vaginal itching, burning, or discharge
  • mild pelvic discomfort or cramping
  • breast tenderness or swelling
  • bloating, swelling in your hands or feet
  • dizziness or drowsiness
  • headaches
  • changes in mood or libido

Additionally, severe side effects such as chest pain, unusual weight gain, or severe abdominal pain require immediate medical attention.

Also Read: Do Progesterone Suppositories Cause Cramping?

Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy symptoms can be similar to the side effects of progesterone suppositories, which can create confusion, especially for those trying to conceive. Common early pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Missed period: This is usually the first sign of pregnancy for many women. However, some women still experience light bleeding or spotting around the time of their expected period.
  • Tender, swollen breasts: Changes in hormones might make your breasts sensitive or sore. This discomfort is similar to the breast tenderness that women might experience when using progesterone suppositories.
  • Nausea with or without vomiting: Morning sickness, far from being confined to the morning, can occur at any time of day. It generally begins one month after conception.
  • Increased urination: You may find yourself urinating more frequently than usual, due to an increase in blood flow causing the kidneys to process more fluid.
  • Fatigue: The increase in levels of progesterone during early pregnancy can make you feel unusually tired.
  • Food aversions or cravings: Certain foods you once enjoyed might now make you feel queasy, or conversely, you may start craving certain foods.

While these symptoms could be suggestive of pregnancy, they are also common in non-pregnant women and could be side effects of progesterone suppositories.

Please talk to a doctor if you have any symptoms. It doesn’t matter if you think they are from the progesterone suppositories or if they could be signs of pregnancy.

Distinguishing Between the Two

Differentiating between the effects of progesterone suppositories and pregnancy symptoms can be quite challenging. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Timing of Onset: Side effects from progesterone suppositories usually start within a few days of use. Pregnancy symptoms usually do not start until at least a week after conception.
  • Occurrence: While both can cause similar symptoms like breast tenderness or nausea, the frequency and intensity can differ. Side effects from progesterone are often more constant, while pregnancy symptoms can come and go.
  • Persistence: Usually, the body gets used to the new hormone levels and the side effects of progesterone go away. On the other hand, pregnancy symptoms usually get stronger as time goes on.
  • Physical Changes: Some physical changes, like the darkening of the areolas and a positive pregnancy test, are only experienced during pregnancy. No amount of progesterone can imitate these changes.

Will I get my period on progesterone suppositories?

Will I get my period on progesterone suppositories

Whether a woman gets her period while using progesterone suppositories depends on the individual and the stage of her menstrual cycle when she starts the treatment.

Usually, if a woman is not pregnant, her progesterone levels will drop at the end of her menstrual cycle, triggering her period. However, if a woman uses progesterone suppositories, these can keep hormone levels high, which might delay the start of a period.

Notably, a period will usually start within a few days of stopping progesterone supplement unless a woman is pregnant. If a woman is pregnant, her progesterone levels will continue to rise, and she will not have a period.

It is always important for women to talk with their provider about their menstrual cycle and any changes they notice while using progesterone suppositories to ensure the optimal treatment approach.


In conclusion, progesterone suppositories are beneficial for various reproductive health issues, but sometimes it can cause side effects that often mimic symptoms of early pregnancy. This overlap can often lead to confusion and anxiety, especially for those trying to conceive. To tell the difference, focus on when symptoms start, how often they occur, how long they last, and the physical changes that come with them. It’s important to keep in touch with your providers in these situations. If you experience any severe or concerning symptoms, make sure to seek immediate medical advice.


Are progesterone suppositories used in early pregnancy?

Yes, progesterone suppositories are often used in early pregnancy, especially in cases where a woman has low progesterone levels. They can help prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation and maintain early pregnancy until the placenta can take over progesterone production.

How does progesterone make you feel in early pregnancy?

Progesterone in early pregnancy may cause feelings of fatigue, mood swings, and sometimes mild cramps. It can also increase the frequency of urination, cause breast tenderness, and induce nausea or morning sickness, which are similar to early signs of pregnancy.

Do breasts hurt during pregnancy or progesterone?

Both pregnancy and progesterone can cause breast tenderness or pain. This is due to hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy or when using progesterone suppositories. It’s important to note that this symptom alone cannot definitively indicate whether you are pregnant or experiencing side effects from progesterone.

Does progesterone suppositories make you tired?

Yes, progesterone suppositories can indeed make you feel tired. This is a common side effect of progesterone, and it is also a symptom that women often experience early in pregnancy. This fatigue is due to the hormone’s natural sedative effects and the body’s increased production of blood during pregnancy.



The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

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