Scared Progesterone Can Harm My Baby


I am 32 years old and this is my first pregnancy. I have never had a miscarriage but when I started bleeding (hematoma) at 12 weeks my doctor decided to give me Proluton depot 500 mg injections. I have had nine of them and the last one was week 20 (i think)…the hematoma was gone by week 19. I am now 32 weeks pregnant and all scans have been good so far.
I read on that Proluton 500 mg is category D and it has horrible side effects on the baby (genital defects and such). I also took some cyclogest at the beginning of my pregnancy. I have not slept since then and have been crying as I am so scared I have permanently damaged my baby. Why would they administer such a horrible drug? What are the chances that my baby may have defects? I know my doctor gave me the shots because it took me two years and a month on Clomid to get pregnant and she was and is paranoid I might lose the baby so she did everything to keep the child. But if I had known the side effects of Proluton I would never have agreed to it.

Please give me your opinion as I am going crazy and have no one to turn to. Please help. I also read that this drug is not given in any of the advanced countries anymore. (I live in Iran.)

Thank you so much and please do give me anything that can help me put this to rest.



Last Updated: May 8, 2022
Dear Pegah,

Do not worry about Proluton, 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate. This drug is regarded as a safe drug in the U.S,. and is a common injectable drug used here to prevent premature labor. The natural hormone progesterone is secreted in high quantities throughout pregnancy, and helps sustain pregnancy. Bioidentical progesterone can be used to prevent miscarriage and prevent premature labor, and is very safe. The Cyclogest you used in early pregnancy is bioidentical progesterone. 17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone is a metabolite of natural progesterone.

Some synthetic progesterone-like drugs have affected the genitals of unborn babies. In the past, Proluton and even bioidentical progesterone were lumped by the FDA with the harmful synthetic drugs, and package inserts contained (and may still contain) this outdated information. However, newer studies have attested to the safety of 17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone caproate. You can find some of the newer studies at the following web site: FDA information and pregnancy do not accurately reflect current usage or information for a number of drugs.

Best wishes with your delivery,

Mary L. Davenport, M.D.

Answered By:

Mary Davenport, MD, MS
Mary Davenport, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician/gynecologist from the Oakland Region of California, offers telehealth services over She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed her residency at UC San Diego. Dr. Davenport is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and serves on the Advisory Board of the California Association of Natural Family Planning.

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