Mothering Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am wondering if anyone has any knowledge or experience with progesterone injections for preterm labor. My ds was born at 33 weeks and my doctor has suggested that I get these weekly injections from 16-36 weeks so that I will be able to carry to full term. This is a new treatment that they have started to help prevent ptl and I would love to find out as much info as I can. I can't find any information about this anywhere and I'm looking for any little tidbit!

I'm currently close to 10 weeks, so I have a little time to make decisions...

Thank you!

Tara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Tara, waht do you want to know? P17 shots are an option for me too and I've done a good bit of research. As a quick summary, the injection is intramuscular, starting date depends on your doctor I believe but it's not before the 2nd trimester. It's not the same progesterone that mommas get in early pregnancy, it's a different one (apparently there are more than one kind of progesterone) that can actually help keep a cervix lengthened (for people with IC issues) and keeps uterine muscle from contracting. Most of the recent research is focused on multiple pregnancies since they most often have PTL issues (and the current evidence isn't helpful there yet).

I don't remember the stats but it helps most women carry to 36 weeks (which I think is considered full term for the baby). I can look through the studies again if there's specific info you wanted, or you can look at my blog (there's a link in my siggie, but the actual post goes back a bit into August I think). I know it was FDA approved a few years ago and they've been using it in Europe since the late 90's. HTH!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Christy,

Thanks so much for your response. I'm really interested in side effects. Do you know of any to the mama and the baby? My docs say it is a synthetic form of something my body is already producing so there is no harm. I tend to question a lot of things though! I'm worried about the little one inside me getting these mega doses of progesterone.

Are you going to get them?

Thanks!

Tara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Well, everything I've read suggests that the cause of PTL may in fact be a low level of this progesterone, similar to a momma losing a baby in the first trimester needs the other kind of progesterone. And I've not seem any side effects on momma or baby. It's basically replacing a hormone that you're not making enough of naturally.

And I don't know if I'm getting them yet but the likely answer is yes. I lost my twins at 20 weeks (my uterus was at 30 weeks) and unless they see major changes in my cervix suggesting that it was a cervical failure (they don't expect to see that) then I'll be getting them. I'll know more after my next appointment on the 23rd.

It's a hard decision to make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
I had the P17 shots from about 23 weeks through 35 weeks with my last pregnancy. I have an "irritable" uterus that likes to contract too much. The progesterone shots were fantastic at controlling the contractions through week 29 or so. I remember saying that they made the contractions a "non-issue" because they were so infrequent. However, as the weeks went on, I started to develop a sensitivity to them and my tushie would get a huge hand-sized welt where the injection site was and I itched like crazy (not a nice place to have a crazy itch!) and it was quite tender. I just had to deal with it though for about 5 or 6 weeks because the pros outweighed the cons. I also had more contractions later on and the shot would clearly "wear off" close to the end of the week and I'd start having more and more contractions again.

But, like I said, overall the shots did their job at calming down my uterus (and thus preventing early dilation). My body just does a lousy job at producing enough progesterone to keep my uterus calm and happy. That said, I stopped taking them at 35 weeks. A week later I was having contractions very frequently, some even 2 to 5 minutes apart for hours at a time (but in no pain whatsoever). Long story short, I ended up finally having painful contractions at 38 weeks and found I was already 7cm dilated from all the contractions leading up to that point in the weeks prior. Then our son was born a few hours later, fit as a fiddle! The shots, though a pain especially at the end, were well worth it and just what my body needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tulips,

Thank you so much for this first hand account. This is really what I need to know. I'm guessing you will be getting them again? Is there any reason (aside from them being a pita!) that you wouldn't do it?

Tara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
If my uterus is less irritible this time and I don't need the shots, then I'd love to skip them, but chances are good that I'll need to get them this time around too. They were so effective last time, that if needed again this time, I can't see any reason I wouldn't get it. With my 2nd pregnancy, they weren't doing the progesterone shots back then and I had preterm labor and was dilated to 2cm by 31 weeks and ended up on Brethine and bedrest. I absolutely hated the Brethine so the progesterone was a much much welcome alternative. The progesterone supplements, aside from the welts and itching later on, had no other side effects and I felt much safer about it regardsing effects on our baby. I didn't need the Brethine at all with my 2nd son. Yay!

Also I should mention that not all women will experience the sensitivity to the shots like I did. And the sensitivity developed over time for me. Initially there was no side effects whatsoever (except reduced # of contractions!).

Ok, to sum up...

1st baby - no preterm labor, everything was fine.
2nd baby - preterm labor starting at 30 weeks. Ended up on Brethine and bedrest until 35 weeks. Baby born healthy at 37 weeks.
3rd baby - starting noticing frequent BH contractions around 23 weeks. Started P17 shots weekly and continued until 35 weeks. Baby born healthy at 38 weeks. No bed rest, no brethine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Tulpis, thanks for that info! It makes me feel really good to hear a success story with the injections.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
My fiend had the shots from I think 23 weeks through 34. Her first baby was miscarried at 10 weeks, second born at 34 weeks, third born at 26 weeks and didn't make it, and 4th (the pregnancy w/ the shots) went to 40 weeks!

She got a little itchy, and very moody, irritable. But the end result was a healthy, full term baby who went home in 24 hours
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Oh yeah.... I totally forgot about the emotional side effects!! We noticed it a couple weeks in to the shots. On day 2 after the shot, I would get either extremely sad or very, very mad. On day my dh was just about to leave the house and I said, "I'm not happy. I don't like this house. I don't like are carpet. I don't like anything. I'm furious." I was just sitting calmly on the couch but inside I was fuming! I was so stinking mad about absolutely nothing! It was sooo bizarre. Even I knew it was odd at the moment. Another time, I was so so soo utterly sad - again, for no reason at all. It was all very short-lived, maybe a day at most, but usually just a few hours and then it would pass. I forgot all about that! I think it actually got better as the weeks went on, but probably because I knew it was coming and could handle it better.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top