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What are the Different Types of Progesterone in Oil Injections?

By Bobbie Fredericks
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Progesterone is a female sex hormone. It is produced during pregnancy and also during the menstrual cycle. Progesterone in oil injections are given to women undergoing in-vitro fertilization. It is also helpful for women with absent menstrual periods or abnormal menstrual bleeding. The kinds of oil used are sesame, cottonseed, peanut, olive, and ethyl oleate.

Progesterone in oil is given as an intramuscular injection in the upper buttocks, near the hip. Pain at the injection site is common. The different oils used in the injections differ in amount of pain caused. Allergic reaction is possible to sesame and peanut oil. If this occurs, cottonseed, olive, or ethyl oleate oils are used instead.

Sesame oil is the most common oil used in progesterone injections. It is thinner than peanut oil, and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Peanut oil is also common, though allergic reactions are more likely and can be severe. Warming the oil before injection will help it flow more smoothly into the muscle and will avoid lump formation at the injection site. Using heat, rather than ice, for pain control will help prevent lumps and allow the drug to properly disperse.

There are three other oil available to use in progesterone injections if the patient is allergic to both sesame and peanut oils. Cottonseed oil is less likely to cause injection site pain. In the rare cases that conttonseed oil causes an allergic reaction, olive oil or ethyl oleate is used. Ethyl oleate is the thinnest oil available. Because of this, a smaller needle can be used, and it does not cause lumps at the injection site.

Progesterone is given to women undergoing IVF because it is thought to help prepare the body for pregnancy. It is continued for the first ten to twelve weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Progesterone in oil and progesterone suppositories are the most common forms prescribed. Research does not show a clear benefit of one over the other, although doctors usually have a preference.

Women with amenorrhea, or absent periods, are at an increased risk of endometrial cancer. To minimize the risk of endometrial cancer in patients with amenorrhea, medical professionals prefer to induce a menstrual period at least once every three months. Injections of progesterone in oil are most commonly used, although other forms of period inducement are also effective.

Irregular menstrual bleeding is also treated with progesterone. An injection of progesterone in oil is given once a day for six days. Bleeding usually stops by the sixth day.

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Discussion Comments
By browncoat — On Aug 11, 2012

@bythewell - Personally, I'd rather have the suppositories, just because I hate the idea of the injections. The thought of someone I love having to give me an injection every day gives me the willies.

But I'm a big fan of people adopting rather than trying to have their own child for years and years and failing. There are plenty of kids out there who need a home and you can adopt them without any progesterone side effects whatsoever.

I know it's not the idea solution for everyone, but I do think that people put too much emphasis on blood these days and not enough on love.

By bythewell — On Aug 10, 2012

I've heard that the medications and injections that they give women during IVF procedures often lead to mood swings and, in particular, to depression. This seems to be the reason that a lot of couples give up on IVF and decide to either adopt or go without having children. It's just too stressful to live with the effects of the medication.

Aside from the mood symptoms, there are other ones like constipation and rashes and insomnia. To some extent I think this is almost a good thing. The people who stick out the symptoms must really want to have kids, although I guess anyone who tries IVF must really want kids in the first place.

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