Progestins and Oral Contraceptives

  • John A. Thomas
  • Edward J. Keenan


Development and maintenance of the female reproductive system are dependent on the cyclical interaction between estrogens, primarily es-tradiol-17β, and progesterone. The principal target tissues for these steroid hormones include the uterus, vagina, fallopian tubes, and mammary glands, as well as the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus. Although estrogens are recognized as promoters of cellular proliferation, progestins are known to facilitate cellular differentiation. In addition, progesterone and related drugs exert significant antiestrogenic effects. It is the balance between estrogen and progesterone actions that regulates the state of the female reproductive system. Some of the therapeutically useful derivatives of progesterone share a structural similarity to androgens, and these agents in some instances also produce androgenic or antiandrogenic activity.


Progesterone Receptor Luteinizing Hormone Oral Contraceptive Corpus Luteum Uterine Bleeding 
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Pharmacology of the Oral Contraceptives

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Edward J. Keenan
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
  1. 1.Corporate ResearchTravenol Laboratories, Inc.Round LakeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyNorthwestern University School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyNorthwestern University School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyWest Virginia School of MedicineMorgantownUSA
  5. 5.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Illinois School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Department of PharmacologyRush-Presbyterian School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  7. 7.Hormone Receptor Laboratory, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  8. 8.Department of Surgery, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  9. 9.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  10. 10.Department of Medicine (Medical Oncology), School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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