Definition - What does Progestin mean?

Progestin is a synthetic hormone similar to the naturally occurring hormone, progesterone, which is one of the primary sex hormones in both men and women. Progestin is used for a variety of purposes, including aiding pregnancy and assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments, preventing pregnancy, and treating issues of the reproductive system.

FertilitySmarts explains Progestin

Progesterone is an essential component of a woman’s reproductive system, and has two primary roles relating to implantation and pregnancy:

  • Preparing the uterus from pregnancy by developing and thickening the uterine lining.
  • Maintaining a supportive and nutritious environment for the fetus during the first 8-10 weeks of pregnancy.

An absence of progesterone can result in infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, and failed ART treatments. Therefore, progestin is administered as a supplement when a woman’s body does not develop progesterone in high enough quantities and as a standard component of ART treatments or in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols. Many of the other medications required in ART and IVF actually deplete the body's natural progesterone levels, or prevent progesterone from being developed. As a result, the synthetic hormone is required.

Progestin is administered in a variety of forms, including:

  • Vaginal gel
  • Vaginal suppositories
  • Vaginal inserts
  • Oral capsules
  • Injections
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