Progesterone, reproduction, and psychiatric illness

Lindsay Standeven, Katherine O. McEvoy, Lauren M. Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Mood and anxiety disorders are vastly overrepresented in women, and one important contributor to these differences is the fluctuation in sex steroids in women during the reproductive years. Considerable evidence supports a role for abnormal sensitivity to these hormonal fluctuations for some women, who develop mood symptoms associated with reproductive transitions. This chapter presents evidence of the role of endogenous progesterone and its metabolites in such mood symptoms, and then goes on to cover the evidence concerning exogenous progesterone's effects on mood. Overall, the literature does not support an association between exogenous progesterone and negative mood in the general population, but does indicate that subset of women may be vulnerable to such effects. Research is lacking on women with psychiatric illness.


  • Allopregnanolone
  • Anxiety
  • Contraception
  • Mood
  • Progesterone
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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