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Is Naturogest (progesterone) safe during pregnancy?

Q: My wife is in the 7th month of pregnancy. She weighs 75 kg. She was weighing 64 kg before her pregnancy and her last LMP was eight months ago. She was having some menstrual problems before marriage and was taking Femilon and Aldactone for more than a year. She was prescribed Naturogest also for some months during pregnancy. How safe is the drug for the mother and the baby? Otherwise she is normal with some bouts of constipation and swelling in the feet. She also has facial hair growth. Is the present weight gain of 11 kg normal? It is likely to increase further till the delivery? Kindly advise.

A:In the absence of adequate information, it is not possible to comment on the use of Femilon and Aldactone since some menstrual problem is too vague aterm. Naturogest is the brand name of a hormone called progesterone. It is used for the treatment of dysfunctional uterine bleeding, infertility due to documented deficiency of progesterone and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It is also used for the maintenance of early pregnancy (up to 12th week only) in cases of documented history of repeated miscarriages due to luteal phase defect. In other words there should have been repeated miscarriages in the past and there should be documented luteal phase defect (i.e. progesterone deficiency). Unless these two conditions are met, it should not be given. The use of this hormone during the second (12-24 months) and third (24-36 months) trimester of pregnancy can lead to the development of cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or hepatocellular disease. Unfortunately many companies are actively promoting the use of progesterone to help pregnancy as if it is a vitamin. One of the side effects of progesterone is hirsutism (facial hair growth).

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