What forms of progesterone are available?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

America is the land of choices -- well, sometimes at least -- and progesterone is no exception. It is available in a whopping five different forms: an injection form, which is injected (bet you could see that one coming) into a muscle; an oral form taken by mouth once daily; a vaginal tablet; an intravaginal gel and one in a slow release ring.

Depending on what you need the progesterone for and what your daily habits are like, you and your doctor will figure out which form is best for you.
Progesterone is a hormone that women need for normal menstrual cycles and for pregnancy. Women who do not make progesterone or do not make enough may have irregular periods or may not be able to become pregnant. Even women who have already gone through menopause may need progesterone. Several forms of progesterone are available with a prescription from your doctor. The form of progesterone you use depends somewhat on the reason you are taking it. You may take an oral form of progesterone—a capsule that you take once a day for a limited number of days. You may have progesterone injected into a muscle; this is called the intramuscular (IM) form of the drug. Other forms of progesterone include a gel that you put into the vagina and a tablet that you place in the vagina.

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