by EBSCO CAM Review Board

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

  • Natural progesterone, micronized progesterone, progesterone cream


Progesterone is one of two main female hormones. It has been used for pregnancy support and to ease symptoms of menopause. Progesterone can be used as an oil, extract, or cream. It can also be used as a nasal spray.


There are no advised doses for progesterone.

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Assisted reproduction—likely to provide benefit A1, A2
  • Pregnancy support—likely to prevent preterm delivery C1, C2

May Not Be Effective

  • Miscarriage prevention—may not increase the rate of live births among women with a history of miscarriages B1, B2

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Premenstrual syndrome D1
  • Traumatic brain injury E1, E2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to progesterone in small doses for a short time, but problems such as stomach upset, skin reactions, weight gain, and other side effects may happen. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period or by women who are breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • People taking medicine for seizures or menstrual bleeding should talk to their doctors before taking progesterone. It may interact with their medicines.
  • People with an allergy to peanuts should talk to their doctors before taking progesterone. It may cause a reaction.
  • People with these health problems should talk to their doctors before taking progesterone: thromboembolic problems, breast cancer, cerebral apoplexy, ectopic pregnancy, genital cancer, liver problems, missed abortion, pregnancy, thrombophlebitis, and abnormal vaginal bleeding.


REFA Assisted Reproduction

REFA1 Liu XR, Mu HQ, et al. The optimal duration of progesterone supplementation in pregnant women after IVF/ICSI: a meta-analysis. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012 Dec 13;10:107.

REFA2 Hill MJ, Whitcomb BW, et al. Progesterone luteal support after ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. 2013 Nov;100(5):1373-1380.

REFA3 van der Linden M, Buckingham K, et al. Luteal phase support for assisted reproduction cycles. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 7;(7):CD009154.

REFB Miscarriage Prevention

REFB1 Lim CE, Ho KK, et al. Combined oestrogen and progesterone for preventing miscarriage. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;(9):CD009278.

REFB2 Coomarasamy A, Williams H, et al. A Randomized Trial of Progesterone in Women with Recurrent Miscarriages. N Engl J Med. 2015 Nov 26;373(22):2141-2148.

REFC Pregnancy Support

REFC1 Oler E, Eke AC, et al. Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate and vaginal progesterone for the prevention of recurrent spontaneous preterm delivery. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2017;138(1):12-16.

REFC2 Jarde A, Lustiv O, et al. Vaginal progesterone, oral progesterone, 17-OHPC, cerclage, and pessary for preventing preterm birth in at-risk singleton pregnancies: an updated systematic review and network meta-analysis. BJOG. 2019;126(5):556-567.

REFD Premenstrual Syndrome

REFD1 Ford O, Lethaby A, et al. Progesterone for premenstrual syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(3):CD003415.

REFE Traumatic Brain Injury

REFE1 Ma J, Huang S, et al. Progesterone for acute traumatic brain injury. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;12:CD008409.

REFE2 Pan ZY, Zhao YH, et al. Effect of progesterone administration on the prognosis of patients with severe traumatic brain injury: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2019;13:265-273.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
  • Review Date: 12/2015
  • Update Date: 12/15/2015