Can Progesterone Cause Cramps?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 03 June 2019
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Progesterone can cause cramping for various reasons. Women with normal amounts of this hormone in their bodies may experience cramps during menstruation, which is brought on by progesterone. Those taking extra doses of this hormone because of a deficiency, or for any other reason may also find that cramping is a common side effect, whether due directly to the hormone, or to the pregnancy that may result from taking it.

Typically, there must be a good balance of both estrogen and progesterone in order for the menstrual cycle to work as it should. Estrogen is responsible for ovulation occurring, while progesterone is in charge of menstruation beginning, as it makes sure the uterine lining has plenty of blood vessels in case an egg is fertilized and needs to implant. If an egg is not fertilized, the lining will be shed, resulting in menstruation. One of the most common signs that menstruation is approaching is the onset of menstrual cramps, so this is one way in which progesterone can cause cramping naturally.


Many women who are trying to conceive may find that their level of this hormone is low, which can make it difficult or even impossible to maintain pregnancy. Once they begin ingesting progesterone supplements, they may find that cramping is a side effect. If the addition of this hormone to their diet results in the desired outcome of pregnancy, they may experience cramping as well. This is because the implantation of a fertilized egg often causes cramps, which is why most women taking this kind of supplement may have trouble determining if the cramping they feel early on is due to the extra hormones or pregnancy.

Whether a woman is taking additional progesterone in order to achieve pregnancy or to eliminate certain menopause symptoms, she might find that cramping is to be expected. Not only is regular cramping a direct side effect of the supplement, but constipation is, as well. This can often result in stomach cramps, adding to the chances that a woman taking this kind of hormone for any reason may suffer from cramps.


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Post 4

Not all progesterone causes cramping. I have been on the shots twice now during pregnancy. The first time for 13 weeks and three days. Now this time I did 10 weeks of the shots. I had to switch to the suppositories to go on vacation and now I have the most god awful cramps. They came and go all through the day. So if possible, I recommend the shots!

Post 3

So progesterone is the culprit of those nasty monthly cycle cramps! I have to spend several days in bed every month because of those cramps. They're the worst part of menstruation. Thank God for pain relievers!

Post 2

@ankara-- The suppositories might be causing more cramps simply because of irritation. You should ask your doctor about switching to progesterone cream, especially if you've had good results with the cream in the past. Or you may want to wait a while and see if the cramps lessen.

Progesterone causes cramping in everyone regardless of how it's taken. But from my experience, the cramps are more intense in the beginning of treatment and become milder with time. I also have cramps and spotting during and after intercourse because of progesterone.

Post 1

I'm taking progesterone right now because of a deficiency and I'm trying to get pregnant. I'm using suppositories and I've been experiencing a lot of cramps lately. They're much worse than menstruation cramps and they've been scaring me.

I've actually taken progesterone in the past, but I had used a cream and not suppositories. I remember having some mild cramps once or twice but it was nothing comparable to this.

Does the form the hormone comes in make a difference in terms of progesterone side effects?

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