Side Effects of Progesterone Pessaries

Updated February 21, 2017

Progesterone pessaries are prescription hormone treatments used to stimulate fertility and engender pregnancy. Using this medication may cause side effects based on the patient, the duration of use and size of the dose.


Progesterone pessaries are waxy inserts placed in the vagina to introduce the hormone progesterone to the female body. Progesterone is essential for pregnancy and helps the uterus prepare to receive an embryo. Women who are deficient in progesterone may have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects with this medication include localised itching at the insertion site, stomach cramping, bloating, fatigue, oedema, increased blood pressure, vomiting and nausea. You also may experience symptoms associated with hormone fluctuations, such as acne, breast tenderness and mood changes. These effects are generally mild, but if they worsen or become bothersome, contact your doctor.

Severe Side Effects

In rare cases, progesterone pessaries can cause serious side effects such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, depression, migraines, shortness of breath, jaundice and loss of speech and coordination. You also may experience symptoms of diabetes such as dry mouth, frequent urination and excessive thirst. If you notice any of these side effects, seek medical attention immediately and stop using the pessaries.

Drug Interactions

Progesterone pessaries can react adversely with common medications such as acetaminophen, the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor and the antifungal drug clotrimazole. This hormone also can change your glucose (blood sugar) sensitivity, so it may react adversely with glucose regulators such as Glucophage and insulin.


Progesterone pessaries may cause dizziness and drowsiness so be careful when driving or operating heavy machinery. Only women should use this drug.

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