How does it work?
Gestone injections contain the active ingredient progesterone, which is a naturally occurring female sex hormone. Gestone injections are used in the treatment of menstrual disorders, in assisted reproduction and to help maintain early pregnancy in women who have had recurrent miscarriages.
Progesterone is essential for the normal functioning of the reproductive system. The body produces progesterone at certain times of the menstrual cycle and this hormone regulates the growth and shedding of the womb lining. Gestone injections mimic the effects of your natural progesterone and so can be used in the treatment of menstrual problems such as irregular or heavy menstrual periods. The injections help regulate the healthy growth and normal regular shedding of the womb lining. An injection is given daily for 5 to 10 days each month, stopping two days before the expected start of your period.
Progesterone is also essential for maintaining a pregnancy. After ovulation, the corpus luteum (which is the empty follicle from which the egg was released) produces progesterone, which acts on the womb lining and causes it to thicken in preparation for a fertilised egg to implant. This is known as the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. If an egg implants successfully into the womb, the corpus luteum continues to produce progesterone to maintain the pregnancy until the placenta develops fully. The placenta produces increasing amounts of progesterone until it is fully developed, when it then takes over the production of progesterone to continue to support the pregnancy.
In some women, insufficient progesterone is produced during the luteal phase and this causes problems with implantation of fertilised eggs into the womb lining and maintaining a pregnancy in the early stages. Gestone is used to treat this hormone deficiency and help a pregnancy to continue in women who have had three or more miscarriages. Gestone injections are normally started on about day 15 of the woman's cycle (day one is the first day of your period.). The injections are usually continued until the placenta is producing enough progesterone to support the pregnancy.
Gestone injections can also be used to support pregnancy in women having infertility treatment with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT). In this case the injections are started on the day the embryo or gametes have been transferred into the womb, to help implantation of the fertilised egg into the lining of the womb. The injections are continued for up to 16 weeks until the placenta is producing enough progesterone to support the pregnancy.
Gestone injections are given into the muscle of the buttock (intramuscularly).
What is it used for?
- Menstrual disorders such as heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), irregular periods, or continuous, heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Maintaining early pregnancy in women who have had three or more miscarriages due to an inadequate luteal phase (see above).
- Helping a fertilised egg implant into the womb lining during assisted reproduction with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT).
- Stop using this medicine and inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms while having these injections: visual disturbances (such as blurred vision, partial vision, sudden short-sightedness or complete loss of vision), swelling of the eyes, or migraine or severe headaches.
Use with caution in
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- Women with heart disease, such as recent heart attack, angina, heart failure.
- Kidney disease.
- Mild to moderately decreased liver function.
- Women who suffer from migraines.
- Women with a history of depression.
- Hereditary blood disorders known as porphyrias.
- Women whose skin is sensitive to light (photosensitivity).
Not to be used in
- Women with abnormal vaginal bleeding of unknown cause.
- Missed or incomplete abortion.
- Severely decreased liver function.
- Women with inflammation of a vein caused by a superficial blood clot (thrombophlebitis).
- Women who have ever had a blood clot or bleeding in the brain, eg a stroke or mini-stroke.
- History of cancer involving the genital tract.
- History of breast cancer.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- Progesterone is produced naturally during pregnancy. This medicine has the same effects as natural progesterone and has no harmful effects when used as luteal support during the first month of pregnancy. This medicine should not be necessary once there is adequate progesterone being produced by the placenta.
- Small amounts of this medicine may pass into breast milk; its effect on a nursing infant is not known. This medicine is not recommended during breastfeeding.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Reactions at injection site.
- Breast tenderness.
- Change in menstrual bleeding.
- Stopping of menstrual bleeding.
- Menstrual spotting or breakthrough bleeding.
- Changes in vaginal discharge.
- Skin reactions, such as rashes, itching and acne.
- Retention of water in the body tissues (fluid retention).
- Changes in weight.
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
- Hair loss (alopecia).
- Excessive hair growth on the face and body (hirsutism).
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
- Irregular brown patches on the skin, usually of the face (chloasma). If you experience this you should minimise your exposure to the sun or UV light while having these injections.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while being treated with this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
The following medicines may increase the breakdown of this medicine in the body, which could make it less effective:
- antiepileptic medicines, eg phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, topiramate
- the herbal remedy St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum).
This medicine may decrease the blood level of the antiepileptic medicine lamotrigine.
This medicine may increase the blood level of the immunosuppressant ciclosporin.
Learn more about Reproductive Therapy: IVF
Learn more about Reproductive Therapy: Egg Donation