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In most cases, women trying to get pregnant are given progesterone supplements after IUI to promote better embryo implantation thereby improving their odds of getting pregnant. There are several ways to take progesterone such as oral, vaginal or via intramuscular injections. Progesterone supplement is available in oil solutions or capsule pill. However, taking progesterone can have certain side effects. Every woman is different. Therefore, the effect of progesterone also varies from individual to individual. Mostly the side effects are similar to the symptoms of early pregnancy.
What are Progesterone Supplements?
The hormone progesterone is naturally produced by the ovaries to prepare the uterus for implantation and to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Progesterone supplements are hormone medicines that resemble the hormone progesterone’s composition. They can enhance the receptivity of the endometrial lining of the uterus. By this means they can increase the likelihood of implantation of the embryo in the uterine wall. Furthermore, they support the pregnancy in the early developing stages till the placenta starts producing adequate amounts of the hormone progesterone which usually happens around 7th to 9th weeks of gestation.
Why are Progesterone Supplements Recommended after IUI?
IUI is a process that involves placing of treated sperm right into the uterus which allows it easy access to the egg and increases the chances of it binding with the egg. After an IUI attempt, taking progesterone supplements can heighten the possibility of conception as they help in making the uterus more receptive for the embedding of the embryo. They also the mimic the signal of hormone progesterone released by the ovaries that stop menstruation to let the pregnancy develop. Scientific evidence submits that progesterone after IUI success can lengthen uterine lining’s lifespan which is likely to give an egg added time to implant itself thus promoting pregnancy.
How is Progesterone Given and Which Route of Administration is Best?
Doctors can administer progesterone after intrauterine insemination orally, through the vagina or by injection. Vaginal administration is more likely to reach the maximum tissue levels of progesterone. Therefore most doctors prefer prescribing vaginal suppositories or tablets after IUI. Progesterone taken orally can have more side effects and may not be as effective vaginal application methods. Progesterone given by intramuscular injections tends to be very effective as well.
Most women may like to know when to start progesterone after IUI. The answer is that the doctor depending upon the particular case at hand may be the best judge to decide about the method and medication to be given to the patient.
Are There any Risks and Side Effects of Progesterone Supplements after IUI?
Certain side effects of progesterone supplements after IUI can be:
1. Breast Enlargement
Progesterone tends to stimulate the development of breast’s glandular tissues causing them to swell and grow. Some patients also experience breast tenderness owing to enlargement of breasts. Increase in progesterone during pregnancy also results in expansion of breast size.
2. Gastrointestinal Distress
Progesterone supplements can negatively impact the gastrointestinal system triggering constipation, bloating, nausea, vomiting. The upsurge in progesterone levels during pregnancy normally affects the stomach and bowels of most women.
3. Psychological Effect
Taking progesterone supplements after IUI can produce some psychological effects like headaches, mood swings. Progesterone can bind with different brain receptors to generate such effects. They can also cast a sedating effect inducing excessive sleep.
4. Skin Reactions
In some cases, when patients were given progesterone by intramuscular injection, skin reactions occurred. Skin is prone to erupt into bumps, rashes and redness at the spot of injection. Also, most likely the injection is injected into a patient’s rear which may cause some pain and at times an allergic reaction.
Progesterone supplements taken via vaginal suppositories, gels and inserts, although painless and more effective, can result in leakage of the medicines from the vagina which may be very messy and uncomfortable for the patient. The patient may have to resort to the frequent cleaning of the discharge. In some instances, patients have also reported a negative response to the carrier which contained the progesterone.
Progesterone after IUI may be essential as it helps build the uterine lining making it favourable for implantation of the embryo. However, it is best to get yourself tested to establish if the progesterone levels are low. In case your body is making enough you may not require supplements. In any case, seek your doctor’s advice on the necessary course of action.
Also Read: Pregnancy Symptoms After a Successful IUI