How do I know progesterone shots won't have longterm effects like DES did?

by Megan

My dr has recommended weekly progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor. The drug is called Makena. I've read about women that took DES and the effects on their sons and daughters. How can I be assured this progesterone injection won't do the same? I am very nervous about this.

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May 12, 2014
How do I know progesterone shots won't have long-term effects like DES did?
by: Joy

Hi Megan

You have not been offered progesterone but a progestin, please do be careful with this. So many people get confused, thinking that progestin is progesterone, it’s not, it’s synthetic. Please read the side effects of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate , Makena – see here and here.

There are two forms, 17-OHP and 17-OHP-C. 17-hydroxyprogesterone. (17-OHP) is a naturally occurring metabolite of progesterone. Whereas 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHP-C), is a synthetic progestin, also used to prevent miscarriages and pre-term births. Often the same term is used for both compounds. No adverse side effects have been reported with the use of 17-OHP, which is produced primarily by the adrenal glands, and increases in the third trimester. But 17-OHP-C I would not recommend, as there are safety concerns about it's use. It doesn't appear to reduce preterm contractions either. I would always favour the use of progesterone though, and let the body metabolise it naturally into 17-OHP. There is no evidence to date of any adverse side effects to the foetus while using progesterone during Pregnancy, and it's more potent than 17-OHP-C, see here, here, here and here. One of the critical factors which is overlooked completely by prescribers of 17-OHP-C, is because it's a progestin, it's not metabolised into the all important natural metabolites of progesterone. One in particular is allopregnanolone, possibly even more important than progesterone itself.

Hope this helps.

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