IVF: Normal Side Effects After Progesterone Injections

Progesterone supplementation is a part of the IVF processes. Getting either the progesterone shots or the suppositories results in some side effects.

By Caroline Ikiugu
Edited by Kelli Harris

Published November 30, 2021.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves different stages including ovarian stimulation to produce eggs, egg harvesting, sperm retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer. Each of these stages involves different processes and medications including getting progesterone injections after egg retrieval, just before embryo transfer is done.

What Is Progesterone Used for in IVF?

In IVF, progesterone is used to prepare the uterine lining (endometrium) to allow the implantation of the fertilized egg (embryo). During the IVF cycle, some of the medication given as well as the egg retrieval process can affect the natural production of progesterone in the ovaries. Progesterone supplementation is therefore required to regulate the hormone levels.

Progesterone supplementation in IVF can be taken:

• Intramuscularly in form of progesterone in oil injections (PIO shots) given in the butt cheeks, thighs, or hips. • Vaginally in form of vaginal tablets, suppositories, or gel.

What Are the Side Effects of Progesterone Intramuscular Injections?

Progesterone oil injection side effects include:

• Pain or swelling at the site where the progesterone shots are given. • Acne • Abdominal pain • Bloating • Breast tenderness • Dizziness • Headache • Drowsiness • An increase in facial or body hair • Weight loss or weight gain • Nausea • Hair thinning or loss of scalp hair • Joint pain • Hot flashes • Anxiety

What Are the Side Effects of Progesterone Suppositories?

The most common progesterone suppository side effects include:

• Cramping or abdominal pain • Vaginal discharge • Vaginal discomfort • Breast tenderness • Bloating • Fluid retention and swelling • Irritability • Mood swings • Nausea • Vomiting

It is important to remember that people are different and will have different side effects to the intramuscular injections of progesterone in oil or the progesterone vaginal suppositories. Regardless of how you take your progesterone for IVF, contact your doctor if your side effects persist or worsen over time.