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Progesterone vs Medroxyprogesterone

Progesterone Medroxyprogesterone

Progesterone Structure


Medroxyprogesterone Structure

Does not negate estrogen’s effects on lipids and modestly improves cholesterol [1] Adversely affects lipids and negates estrogen’s beneficial influence [1]
Has an antihypertensive effect [2] Causes edema and fluid retention; increases risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and venous thromboembolism [3]
Improves sleep and has a calming effect [4] Causes insomnia and anxiety [5]
Prevents postpartum depression [6] Causes depression [5]
Has no effect upon the liver[7],[8] Contraindicated in liver dysfunction [5]
Used in the luteal phase to help a woman become pregnant [9] to maintain a pregnancy [10] Contraindicated in pregnancy [5]
Protects against breast cancer [11] Increases risk of breast cancer [5]
Stimulates osteoblasts, which help to build bone [12] Reduces bone density [13]
Works with pancreas to increase the release of insulin [14] Causes deterioration of glucose tolerance [14]


[1] The Writing Group for the PEPI Trial. Effects of estrogen or estrogen/progestin regimens on heart disease risk factors in postmenopausal women: the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) Trial. JAMA. 1995;273(3):199-208.

[2] Kristiansson P, Wang JX. Reproductive hormones and blood pressure during pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 2001;16(1):13-17.

[3] PDR Staff. 2016 Physicians’ Desk Reference, 70th Edition. PDR Network; 2015.

[4] Schüssler P, Kluge M, Yassouridis A, et al. Progesterone reduces wakefulness in sleep EEG and has no effect on cognition in healthy postmenopausal women. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2008;33(8):1124-31.

[5] Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) [prescribing information]. New York, NY: Pfizer; May 2015.

[6] Dalton K. Succesful prophylactic progesterone for idiopathic postnatal depression. Int. J. Prenatal and Perinatal Studies. 1989:323–327.

[7] Bolaji II, Grimes H, Mortimer G, Tallon DF, Fottrell PF, O’dwyer EM. Low-dose progesterone therapy in oestrogenised postmenopausal women: effects on plasma lipids, lipoproteins and liver function parameters. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1993;48(1):61-8.

[8] Darj E, Axelsson O, Carlström K, Nilsson S, Von schoultz B. Liver metabolism during treatment with estradiol and natural progesterone. Gynecol Endocrinol. 1993;7(2):111-4.

[9] Cometti B. Pharmaceutical and clinical development of a novel progesterone formulation. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015;94 Suppl 161:28-37.

[10] Goodman LS, Gilman AG, Hardman JG et al. Goodman and Gilman’s the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12th Edition. McGraw-Hill Book Company Limited; 2011.

[11] Lambrinoudaki I. Progestogens in postmenopausal hormone therapy and the risk of breast cancer. Maturitas. 2014;77(4):311-7.

[12] Compston JE. Sex steroids and bone. Physiol Rev. 2001;81(1):419-447.

[13] Cundy T, Farquhar CM, Cornish J, Reid IR. Short-term effects of high dose oral medroxyprogesterone acetate on bone density in premenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996;81(3):1014-7.

[14] Fraser IS. Estrogens and Progestogens in Clinical Practice. London; Churchill Livingstone; 1998.