Goodness knows that, as drugs go, far more noxious drugs than progesterone are used to treat infertility. (Just from my own limited experience, witness the reddened area I *still* have on my abdomen following my hCG trigger shot last Thursday.) So I almost feel like I'm a bit of whiner for writing about this, but I hope that someone reading can relate.
I have mentioned on here before the first thing I disliked about the progesterone gel: the mere fact that it is icky. Like medications I've used for yeast infections in the past, the gel (which is really misnamed because it is more like a thick cream) doesn't all absorb or melt away. As a consequence, nearly every trip to the bathroom occasions the sight of lovely clumps of the stuff. Disgusting!!
Today I have yet another reason to dislike the progesterone gel: the side effects. If you follow the link, you'll see that basically all of this medication's side effects are the same symptoms that one might expect in early pregnancy. My nipples have been exceptionally sore for the past three days. . . . yep, breast pain is on the list. I've been having cramps intermittently. Check. This morning I woke up with a headache and have been dizzy all morning. Double check. I have also been more tired than usual, and drowsiness is another listed side effect.
So far, the only mild side effects I seem to have missed are the bloating, constipation, and diarrhea and pain during intercourse. (While I can't say that intercourse is now painful, I have found that it is less enjoyable while using the progesterone gel, even though I don't actually insert the gel until after. And MM mentioned that it "felt different in there." Lovely.) Although perhaps I should just be grateful that I haven't had any serious side effects such as "pain/swelling/redness of an arm or leg, one-sided muscle weakness, vision problems, unusual vaginal discharge, stomach pain, or trouble breathing." Or "fainting, itching, skin rash, or mood changes."
Honestly, because I am using this medication, I wouldn't attribute any "symptom" I might have to actually being pregnant. Hey, maybe that's a good thing: I won't go getting my hopes up only to have them dashed when AF arrives!
Oh, and also: these mild side effects are probably just a tiny preview of what's in store for me if we do successfully conceive. Yet somehow I believe that I will find feeling sub-par more tolerable if it's because I'm pregnant. At least, I hope I will.