Allopregnanolone and reproductive psychiatry: an overview

Katherine McEvoy, Lauren M. Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Psychiatric symptoms that coincide with reproductive transitions are related to changes in sex steroids, but studies show that this relationship is governed by individual women’s vulnerability to change rather than by differences in level. There is growing interest in the role of allopregnanolone (ALLO), a 3-α reduced metabolite of progesterone and a strong allosteric modulator of the GABAA receptor, in such symptoms, with enough evidence now across various times of reproductive transition to offer an overview of the role of this hormone in reproductive psychiatry. This review offers a brief overview, focusing on literature of the last 3 years, of the relationship between allopregnanolone and mood at menarche; in the menstrual cycle; in the peripartum; and in the menopausal transition. ALLO dysregulation is identified in all of these transitions and found to be associated with mood symptoms, although evidence of its exact role; its relationship to other systems; and directionality is not consistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019


  • Allopregnanolone
  • PMDD
  • anxiety
  • mood
  • perimenopause
  • postpartum
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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