What’s the deal with prometrium?

April 22, 2010

So, the mystery of my body and its touch-and-go relationship with progesterone production is probably worthy of a post on its own (First I was told I was infertile because I was producing TOO MUCH progesterone. But now that I am pregnant and need it, I apparently do not produce enough. Thanks, body, for being totally weird. Or maybe I should just deduce that saliva hormone panels are not to be trusted.)

But I digress. Because for now, I come to you with this question: what is the deal with prometrium? And by “the deal,” I mean “the danger.” I am taking 200 mg a night. I know many of you also take it, in the hopes of achieving or sustaining a pregnancy. And yet, the warning label says to discuss with your doctor if you think you may be pregnant. Are there  real risks of taking it?

Infertile brain trust: I love you! Please give me your mad, mad knowledge.

In other, unrelated, news: I saw Sigourney Weaver today. She looks totally normal and seems quite nice. She also looked, err, pretty normal-shaped. This was a surprise because I recall her skinny near-naked body in Avatar … was she digitally altered or did she just lose weight/tone up for that scene? I don’t expect an actual answer to that question.



  1. From what I understand, I think doctors in the past thought it might cause some birth defects. But PPVI did a study (or someone did, it’s on their website) that showed there were actually less birth defects among those on progesterone than in the general population. Not to mention most of the meds I’ve been on the past five years have had that same warning about pregnancy. Go figure! Hope that helps. I’m sure others know way more than me about this. If you google it PPVI’s study should come up.

  2. saliva cortisol is absolutely not trustworthy for sex hormones, the only thing it does well is cortisol and DHEA. I had this issue with my husband for years before realizing that it was the cortisol that was off!

  3. Sorry I don’t have any advice. I’m generally clueless about all these things! Good luck… I’m praying for you!

  4. One thing I do know – chemical abortifacients (i.e. methotrexate/mifepristone, AKA RU-486) operate by interrupting the ability of progesterone to bind to its receptors in the uterus, which causes a failure/reversal of implantation and spontaneous abortion. (Obviously a serious natural deficiency in progesterone would have that same effect.) You can always have too much of anything, but I get quite the opposite impression about progesterone and pregnancy from what your label says.

  5. Everything I’ve ever seen seems to side with what AWYH and Misfit that progesterone supplementation generally has a positive effect in pregnancy. There are so many women taking prometrium and other progesterone supplementation that if it truly was causing birth defects, there would already be a huge media uproar and lawsuits.

    Here’s what PPVI has to say about it:
    Safety of Progesterone in Pregnancy

    There has been, over the years, a good deal of commentary that suggests progesterone is, in some way or another, associated with fetal abnormalities when used in pregnancy. This question is examined in detail in the textbook, The Medical & Surgical Practice of NaProTECHNOLOGY. This includes the 25-year experience of the Pope Paul VI Institute and a report of the outcomes of 933 pregnant patients who received progesterone during the course of their pregnancy. This is the largest single study of its kind ever conducted. The incidence of fetal abnormalities was actually lower in that population than it was in the population that did not receive progesterone.

    The conclusion reached upon extensive study of this topic at the Pope Paul VI Institute, specifically as it relates to the naturally-occurring hormone progesterone, is the following: There is no credible evidence to suggest that its use to support pregnancy, whether that support be in the early days or months of pregnancy or later in pregnancy, is, in any way, teratogenic or responsible for any genital malformations. In fact, all of the available evidence strongly supports it safety when used in pregnancy.

    In this report, over 2,000 pregnancies were reviewed or reported with the use of progesterone support in pregnancy with no increase in birth defects or genital anomalies. Progesterone support in pregnancy can be considered completely safe!

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