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Progestin (Oral route, Parenteral route, Vaginal route)

Progestins are hormones. They are used by both men and women for different purposes.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Progestins are prescribed for several reasons: To properly regulate the menstrual cycle and treat unusual stopping of the menstrual periods (amenorrhea). Progestins work by causing changes in the uterus… Read more
Brand names include
Alti-Mpa, Aygestin, Camila, Crinone, Errin, First-Progesterone VGS, Jolivette, Megace, Megace ES, Megace Os, Next Choice, Option 2, Ovrette, Plan B, Prochieve, Prometrium

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Oestrogens and progestins for preventing and treating postpartum depression

Additional research needed to evaluate the effect of oestrogens for the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression but synthetic progesterones should not be administered.

Replacement of estrogens and progestins to prevent morbidity and mortality in preterm infants

Preterm infants commonly have low levels of sex steroids (estrogen and progesterone) because of lack of placental supply. It is suggested that estrogens and progestins have a role in normal development. However, risks of giving sex hormones include abnormalities in babies such as vaginal cancers and narrowing of the urinary passage. The review authors searched the medical literature and found only one small controlled trial. Thirty female low birthweight preterm infants (less than 29 weeks gestational age and weighing less than 1000 g) were given combined estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone or placebo in the first six weeks of their life. There were no clinical benefits found with giving the sex hormones or any adverse effects during the study. The measured levels of estrogen and progesterone were similar to those found in babies in the womb.

Evaluation of treatments for vaginal bleeding induced by progestin‐only contraceptives

As the use of progestin‐only methods of contraception continues to increase worldwide, the problem of vaginal bleeding disturbances these methods induce is becoming of increasing public health relevance.Since this adverse effect limits method's acceptability, and leads to loss of compliance. Some women may benefit to some degree from some interventions tested. However the evidence reviewed is not strong enough to recommend routine use of any of the regimens included in the trials, particularly for long‐term effects. Positive results need to be reproduced in larger scale trials.

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Summaries for consumers

Oestrogens and progestins for preventing and treating postpartum depression

Additional research needed to evaluate the effect of oestrogens for the prevention and treatment of postpartum depression but synthetic progesterones should not be administered.

Replacement of estrogens and progestins to prevent morbidity and mortality in preterm infants

Preterm infants commonly have low levels of sex steroids (estrogen and progesterone) because of lack of placental supply. It is suggested that estrogens and progestins have a role in normal development. However, risks of giving sex hormones include abnormalities in babies such as vaginal cancers and narrowing of the urinary passage. The review authors searched the medical literature and found only one small controlled trial. Thirty female low birthweight preterm infants (less than 29 weeks gestational age and weighing less than 1000 g) were given combined estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone or placebo in the first six weeks of their life. There were no clinical benefits found with giving the sex hormones or any adverse effects during the study. The measured levels of estrogen and progesterone were similar to those found in babies in the womb.

Evaluation of treatments for vaginal bleeding induced by progestin‐only contraceptives

As the use of progestin‐only methods of contraception continues to increase worldwide, the problem of vaginal bleeding disturbances these methods induce is becoming of increasing public health relevance.Since this adverse effect limits method's acceptability, and leads to loss of compliance. Some women may benefit to some degree from some interventions tested. However the evidence reviewed is not strong enough to recommend routine use of any of the regimens included in the trials, particularly for long‐term effects. Positive results need to be reproduced in larger scale trials.

See all (71)

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