Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

When Do Pregnant Women Need Progesterone Shots?

I’m pregnant and have heard that progesterone shots can prevent early labor. Should I get them?
– Izzy

If you've had a premature baby in the past, your doctor may prescribe progesterone shots during your current pregnancy to help prevent early labor.

Babies born early (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) can have health problems, including breathing and feeding problems, vision problems, and learning problems.

The progesterone shot (sometimes called "17P" for the drug name [17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate] or its brand name, Makena) can help prevent an early birth. 17P has the hormone progesterone in it, which helps prevent contractions. The uterus contracts during labor to help "push" a baby out of the womb for delivery.

Doctors recommend starting 17P shots during the second trimester of pregnancy (usually between 16 and 20 weeks), and continuing them until 36 weeks. Health care providers give the shots in the back of a woman's arm, or in the hip or thigh area.

As with any shot, there's a risk of minor side effects like redness and soreness at the shot site. Rarely, some women get blood clots or have allergic reactions.

Reviewed by: Thinh Phu Nguyen, MD
Date Reviewed: 20-07-2022

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.