Can I take progesterone while pregnant?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Depending on what you are taking progesterone for, and what form of progesterone you are using, it may be safe during at least part of your pregnancy. For example, if you are using progesterone vaginally, to help maintain a pregnancy, you should use it as prescribed by your doctor, for up to the first 10 weeks of your pregnancy. But, the makers of a capsule form of progesterone, which is taken by mouth, list pregnancy as a reason to not take this form of progesterone.

So tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You can weigh the risks and benefits and figure out whether or not you should continue to take progesterone. 
The vaginal form of progesterone is used to increase the chances of the embryo implanting correctly and to maintain the pregnancy during much of the first trimester, so using this form of progesterone is probably safe to use at the beginning of your pregnancy. If you are taking the oral form of progesterone, you should be aware that the manufacturers of the capsule form of progesterone, called Prometrium, suggest that there is no reason to use oral progesterone during pregnancy. This is because there may be an increased risk of certain birth defects, such as genital abnormalities and heart defects. Before getting pregnant while on progesterone, you should be aware of this risk of birth defects. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.