Why was I given progesterone injections during my pregnancy?
Q: I have a 5 months old baby boy. During my initial stages of pregnancy, I was given 25 Progesterone injections, as I had a history of abortion. The abortion was due to physical strain and not due to polycystic ovaries. Why was I was given these injections, which they say should not be given unless it is gravely required. I conceived naturally. I have no health problems. I delivered by caesarean section, as my baby's size was big. But after the delivery the baby was only 3 kg. I have been wrongly diagnosed all through my pregnancy. Will the injections given to me cause any health problems in the long run? Was my doctor right in treating me, as I feel that I was betrayed?
A:Progesterone, whether orally or by injection, is indicated during pregnancy only if there is documented deficiency of this hormone. There is massive overuse of this medicine primarily because of aggressive promotion by manufacturers, sometimes accompanied by incentives to prescribers. One company has gone to the extent of claiming that its brand of progesterone helps pregnancy as if it is tonic! Such vague claims are possible due to lax implementation of drug laws. It is also a sad reflection on the functioning of some members of the medical profession. Since I don't know the clinical background in your specific case, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on C-Section. However continuous reports of excessive use of C-Section is being reported purely for commercial reasons from all over the country, particularly the North. It is fortunate that you have a boy since unnecessary use of progesterone can lead to hirsutism (facial hair) and other male-like symptoms in female babies. Most of the side effects, except for oedema (that can lead to high blood pressure), weight gain, breast enlargement are fortunately rare.