General Category => Preterm Labor: Anything and Everything => Topic started by: claire1228 on May 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Title: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: claire1228 on May 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM
I have been taking weekly progesterone injections since around 17 weeks. I am currently 30 weeks. For those of you that have taken them, at what point did your doctor take you off of them? Last week my specialist said that once I get to 34 weeks, if I go into labor they won't try to stop it any longer. So I'm thinking they will take me off maybe around 33 or 34 weeks?

Also, I know the question I am about to ask is a little, um, personal  :o, but if anyone has any suggestions, they willl be greatly apperciated ! Since I have been on bedrest, I have had lots of problems with constipation. One week everything may be fine and then the next I am severely constipated. Then sometimes out of the blue, I may get diarreah (sp?) for a day or so. My doctor has me on peri colace twice a day. I also keep over the counter glycerine suppositories on hand for when I need. At one point it got so bad I had to drink this horrible stuff. I forget the name, it was something over the counter. Is anyone else having these problems? If so, any suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any and all replies !  :D
Title: Re: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: jmegio on May 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM
hi claire-

i think you and me are at similar stages in our journey :)

i've been getting p17 injections, as well, since about 19 weeks.  i don't believe there's a connection between stopping the meds and when the doctors would stop preventing labor.  my own doctor has already said she would like the progesterone to continue until 36 weeks (which i think she interprets as completing a full, 36 weeks, which would put me at term).  That's assuming i make it that far.  but, if i go into labor in the 34-36 week interval, i doubt she would stop it.

on to the next topic... constipation is a legitimate concern while on bed rest.  i know my doctor does not want me straining.  since i have bed rest and iron supplements working against me, i take one colace and a half dosage of miralax EVERY day.  it keeps me pretty regular.  not sure if you were referring to miralax in your post?  it's a powder, that's supposed to be tasteless, but i just mix it with my morning glass of orange juice -can't even tell it's there because it dissolves.  i also do a high fiber cereal in the morning.  run that regimen by your doctor; works for me!
Title: Re: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: munchkinsmom on May 29, 2012 at 12:40 AM
My dr said he would give me my last shot at 36 wks. I take them on Mondays, so for me that will be at 36 wks 2 days.

I had major issues with constipation during my last pregnancy as I was on anti-nausea meds that had that side effect. Fiber helped. I think we ended up getting a high fiber protein shake that I drank once a day. We got powdered fiber to put in other drinks as well. Dried fruits, especially apricots or prunes (or dried plums, which are the same thing as prunes), and prune or plum juice help too. I preferred the plum juice to the prune juice - it had a more palpable texture to me. Mylanta can help with some people too, plus it helps with heartburn, which I always have in the second half of my pregnancies. Hope you find something that helps! 
Title: Re: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: Heather on May 30, 2012 at 08:19 AM
The dr. said they would take me off progesterone at 36 weeks, so I'm assuming I would have my 36 week dose and then be done.  I'm due for a refill next week and am contemplatling switching to the daily suppositories though because my left hip is killing me from the injections (even with alternating sides) and I've been told it's better for IC, plus it's like half the cost, which wouldn't be a factor if I didn't have other reasons for wanting to switch.

Until bed rest I wasn't having any issues, but since going on bedrest I've had big bowel changes and have also had issues with constipation.   The dr. has me on 250 mg Colace twice a day and then I've been trying to eat more fruit and have a large glass of apple juice.  Most of the time that's worked for me, but here and there it hasn't cut it.
Title: Re: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: SRKDVMMOM on May 30, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I have had the same problem. I have found that if I drink a caffeinated beverage, that helps. One can of Pepsi can help, and I figure the caffeine is better than having a backup cause contractions, since for me that does happen. One day I did have to take a brief walk to get things moving. I have now been put on an iron supplement. Combined with progesterone shots, bed rest, etc., I am being very careful. I take stool softener (colace) daily and try to eat tons of fruit.
As for actually passing the stool, I have found that the birthing technique described in hypnobirthing helps a ton!! Instead of pushing or straining, I change my breathing pattern and 'breathe it down'. The technique recommends using bowel movements as a means to practice the birthing breathing anyway, and I am amazed at how well it works!! Basically, take a deep quick breath in, then exhale slowly, focusing the exhale low, sort of visualizing that you are exhaling out through the vagina (or in this case, rectum). It seems to help support the normal muscle contractions and help relax you to let things flow as they should. Since doing this, I have found that passing stool is quicker, less uncomfortable, and much more effective.
Title: Re: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: claire1228 on May 30, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Thanks for the help ladies, great suggestions !

Jmegio, my doctor had also mentioned to me not to strain much, but sometimes I have no option. I hate to do it, especially with my cerclage and the fact that I'm already dialated to around 1cm. Hopefully things aren't too bad for the remainder of my bedrest !

Heather, the progesterone injections are a little pricey ! I have insurance but the progesterone costs me around $90 a month. Right now I have enough for I think 2 injections left, at that point I may ask my doctor about the suppositories, beings they are cheaper. I would hate to get a refill and have the baby a week later ! But if the doc says to stick with the injections, I will. I rather pay a little extra for a safer baby !!
Title: Re: Stop progesterone injections ? Constipation ?
Post by: Heather on May 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I have insurance, but because the pharmacy has to formulate the progesterone there is a large portion that isn't covered.  The injections cost me about $60 more for a 10 week supply then the vaginal suppositories.  I agree, if they thought the injections were better I would gladly spend the money.  We're pretty willing to do whatever it takes to keep him in as long as possible.  However, from what I've read and from talking to the other perinatologists where I go, only the dr. who prescribed the progesterone prefers the injections.  All the other dr.s have told us that for IC the vaginal suppositories are supposed to be better, which is the #1 reason I'm changing. The pain and the cost just help.  They even supported the vaginal suppositories so much that we discussed switching before my doses ran out if they thought it would give us that much better of a chance, but the 2 or 3 I talked to felt as long as I was on some form of progesterone it was fine. 

Has anyone else switched from 1 to the other or is using the vaginal suppositories? I'm just wonder what the down sides in switching might be.