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What Are the Concerns about Pregnancy and Suppositories?

A pregnant woman should always consult her gynecologist when she has medication questions or health concerns.
Progesterone suppositories may be used to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
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  • Written By: Marlene de Wilde
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2014
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There are concerns about pregnancy and suppositories but these can be eased by taking suppositories only in moderation and only under the guidance of a doctor. The most common suppositories given during pregnancy are glycerin to treat severe constipation and progesterone to maintain healthy levels of the hormone. If either of these are taken to excess, the pregnancy can be endangered. There are also contraindications if one medication is taken concomitantly with another. This is why any medication for pregnant women, whether suppositories or other forms, needs to be prescribed by a medical professional.

Constipation is a common condition for pregnant women and can reach very uncomfortable and painful levels. Very often, the iron supplements prescribed during early pregnancy can be responsible for the condition or it could be due to a diet lacking in fiber. It could also be due to the hormonal changes taking place in woman's body. Initially, doctors may advise cutting out the iron for a while or changing the supplement type until the condition is eased or they may suggest ways of increasing fiber and fluid in the diet. If neither of these methods work, then glycerin suppositories may be prescribed. There is a concern with prescribing suppositories for constipation that, while there have been no adverse effects reported, the treatments are not considered ideal for anything except short-term, last resort use.

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Progesterone is a hormone that plays a key role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Should the levels of progesterone drop, something that happens more in early pregnancy, then there is a substantial risk to the pregnancy and suppositories containing progesterone may be considered necessary. There may be some side effects after using the suppository which include vomiting, headaches, abdominal pain and nausea. Like glycerin suppositories, progesterone should only be considered a short term solution as long term use may lead to vaginal bleeding and urinary tract infections.

As there are contraindications between medications that may cause harm to mother or baby, there should be caution with the use of any medication during pregnancy and suppositories are just as likely to cause harm as any other medication. Only when the benefits are considered to outweigh any risk should medication be taken during pregnancy. The concerns about pregnancy and suppositories are no different to the concerns about pregnancy and any medication. Even alternative herbs and teas need to be checked carefully as these too could adversely affect the developing child.

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rugbygirl
Post 2

@ElizaBennett - I'm glad you brought this up. A friend of mine had to use progesterone suppositories. She started them very early in her pregnancy and continued for several weeks. At that point, I think the idea was that the placenta was making enough progesterone.

Before that, progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum, which is basically the place where the egg used to be. Apparently, in her, she couldn't produce enough progesterone that way. Fortunately, she was able to conceive and become a mom. Knowledge of your body is power! There are things that no doctor or test can tell you better than you can learn for yourself.

ElizaBennett
Post 1

Some women may not know that they need progesterone supplements until it's too late; they may have frequent very early miscarriages and not even be aware they were pregnant, as their periods may not be more than a day or two late.

So how can you know? The key is practicing the Fertility Awareness Method if you are trying to conceive. It involves taking your basal body temperature every day, so that you know exactly when you ovulate. Your period should arrive about two weeks after that. If you go past seventeen days, you are almost certainly pregnant. If your period arrives eleven days or fewer after ovulation, it's a sign that you are not producing enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy. Medical treatment might help you carry to term.

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