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Progesterone is a steroid hormone that prepares and maintains the uterus for pregnancy 46. Progestin is any of a group of steroid hormones that mimic the effect of progesterone 46. Progesterone or progestin cream may be used to regulate menstruation and help relieve menopausal symptoms, reports Medline Plus 46. Hormone replacement therapy or HRT often combines progesterone with estrogen to diminish hot flashes, vaginal dryness and other symptoms associated with menopause 46. Side effects associated with progesterone or progestin may include weight gain 46.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Progesterone or progestin may have different effects depending on the specific brand prescribed and how much you use, reports the Mayo Clinic 456. While high doses of progesterone may be needed to continue a pregnancy, low doses of progestin can can prevent pregnancy 46. Progesterone also works as part of hormone replacement therapy or HRT by reducing the amount of estrogen in the uterus 46. Progesterone cream may diminish hot flashes, bloating, headaches and other symptoms in menopausal women 46.
Unusual or rapid weight gain is a potential side effect of progestins. As a matter of fact progestins are sometimes used to stimulate appetite and treat dramatic weight loss in cancer patients or individuals with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS, reports the Mayo Clinic 5. Progestins encourage the production of certain proteins that can improve appetite and cause weight gain.
Progesterone may cause fluid retention that may lead to bloating or swelling of the ankles, feet or face 46. In some cases loss of appetite may occur, notes Drugs.com 3. Additional side effects may include:
- muscle pain
- breast tenderness
- dry mouth
- low-grade fever
Commercial progesterone creams can vary dramatically in additional ingredients and suggested dosages 46. Little credible data exists to support the effectiveness of progesterone cream, cautions the American Academy of Family Physicians or AAFP 46. Women with a history of liver disease, breast cancer or abnormal vaginal bleeding should not use progesterone cream 46. Tell your doctor or dentist that you are using progesterone if you are scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure 46.
Women who have had hysterectomies don't typically need progesterone, notes the Cleveland Clinic 46. Check with your doctor about the potential benefits and side effects of progesterone 46. Always apply progesterone cream to the skin exactly as directed 46. Keep in mind that certain side effects of progesterone may not have been reported 46.
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