Progesterone is one of the natural hormones required to get and stay pregnant, but some women do not produce enough of it. This causes the endometrial lining to become too thin to allow implantation to occur after fertilization, leading to early menstruation instead of pregnancy. For this reason, many women with fertility issues opt for progesterone supplements, either given by their doctor or purchased over the counter. The main types available are oral tablets, vaginal suppositories, creams, and injections.
Many women find taking oral progesterone supplements to be one of the easiest ways to increase their level of this hormone. It is meant to be taken with food in most cases. Unfortunately, it has been determined that it is not as good as other types of progesterone supplements for increasing the hormone level in the uterus, though it does increase the level in the entire body. Additionally, many women experience side effects like dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.
Supplements are also available in the form of vaginal suppositories. These are usually shaped like a pill, with a small amount of the hormone mixed with cocoa butter. These progesterone supplements are usually activated by the heat in the body, which releases the hormone, but many women find that the melting suppository can become messy. Therefore, it is advised that women going this route use a pad to keep the mess manageable.
Another supplement is in the form of cream, which can also clearly get messy. It is meant to be applied to the wrist or thigh in most cases, as it is absorbed through soft areas of skin. There is no prescription necessary for this cream, but women considering it should do some research first. Most doctors recommend that you stop using it once pregnancy is achieved, and it is also not safe while breastfeeding.
Those doing IVF cycles are often given injectable progesterone, which involves the hormone mixed with oil. It can be injected once per day, and is often seen as one of the most effective and least expensive progesterone supplements available. It should be known that some women are allergic to this kind of supplement, and it usually requires a rather large needle, which can make this option unappealing to many women.