What Are the Concerns about Pregnancy and Suppositories?

Marlene de Wilde

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.

A pregnant woman should always consult her gynecologist when she has medication questions or health concerns.
A pregnant woman should always consult her gynecologist when she has medication questions or health concerns.

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.

Pregnant women are advised to take suppositories in moderation and only under the care of a doctor.
Pregnant women are advised to take suppositories in moderation and only under the care of a doctor.

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.

During a pregnancy, if the levels of progesterone drop, suppositories containing progesterone may be necessary.
During a pregnancy, if the levels of progesterone drop, suppositories containing progesterone may be necessary.

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.

Progesterone suppositories may be used to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Progesterone suppositories may be used to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Some women experience constipation during pregnancy.
Some women experience constipation during pregnancy.
Any medication for pregnant women needs to be prescribed by a medical professional.
Any medication for pregnant women needs to be prescribed by a medical professional.
Long-term use of suppositories that contain progesterone may cause urinary tract infections in pregnant women.
Long-term use of suppositories that contain progesterone may cause urinary tract infections in pregnant women.
Suppositories may be used to relieve constipation and digestive issues in pregnant women.
Suppositories may be used to relieve constipation and digestive issues in pregnant women.
It's crucial to consult a medical professional before taking any type of herbal or other dietary supplement during pregnancy.
It's crucial to consult a medical professional before taking any type of herbal or other dietary supplement during pregnancy.

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Discussion Comments

rugbygirl

@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

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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