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Progestins , also called luteal hormones or pregnancy hormones , are substances that literally help create and maintain pregnancy ( Latin gestatio ). In the broader sense, these are compounds that bring about the secretory transformation of an uterine lining that is in the proliferation phase . In addition to estrogens, progestins are the second important class of female sex hormones . Like these, they are steroid hormones .

Structural formula of pregnane
(10 β , 13 β -dimethyl-17 β ethyl gonane )
Structural formula of Pregnanediol
(Pregnan-3 α , 20 α -diol)
Structural formula of progesterone
Structural formula of pregnenolone
(3 β -hydroxy-5-pregnen-20-one)

Progestogens are steroids which as a backbone pregnane (10 β , 13 β -dimethyl-17 β ethyl gonane ) have. The most important representatives are the pregnanediol , the progesterone and the pregnenolone . In order to distinguish the natural progestins from the synthetic hormones, the latter are also referred to as “ progestins ” or “progestogens”.


Progesterone of granulosa cells is formed in the wall of the ruptured follicle sit and under the influence of luteinizing hormone (LH), the corpus luteum form - in the further progesterone is formed - that prepares the endometrium to the embedding of the fertilized ovum prior to and prevents further follicle maturation if fertilization occurs.
The progestins are formed during pregnancy and prevent ovulation at this time.


The natural progestins are used relatively rarely medically.

Synthetic analogs of progestins, called progestins, are used in oral contraceptives . Progestins are also used to prevent long-term contraceptives such as three-month injections or implants (e.g. Implanon ). Progestins are also used in part in hormone replacement therapy .

Proligeston is used in veterinary medicine to suppress heat.

Some progestins are used as antiandrogens , e.g. B. cyproterone ( Androcur ).

Control loops

Progesterone is bound by transcortin and in this binding reaction it competes with cortisone , which is also deactivated by transcortin. In turn, the production of transcortin is modulated by estrogen . Estrogen, in turn, is made from testosterone . Testosterone and progestin are complementary (see above). The control loop is thus closed.

Synthetic progestins

A synthetically produced progestin is Nestoron .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Jochen Suss: Gestagene. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , pp. 484-486; here: p. 484.
  2. Joachim Buddrus, Bernd Schmidt: Fundamentals of organic chemistry . 4th edition. Walter de Gruyter Verlag, 2011, p. 853, ISBN 978-3-11-024894-4 .
  3. G. Emons: Hormone therapy with estrogens and gestagens in peri- and post-menopause. In: The internist. Volume 49, Number 5, May 2008, pp. 553-558, doi: 10.1007 / s00108-008-2107-y . PMID 18345528 .