Role of progestins in contraception

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005 Mar;84(3):207-16. doi: 10.1111/j.0001-6349.2005.00759.x.


Progestins have been used for contraception for more than 30 years. The main goal was to develop a contraceptive method devoid of the metabolic or clinical side-effects associated with the use of estrogens. The development of new contraceptive methods and formulations is time-consuming and requires devotion, belief, and also strong economical basis. As a result of this endeavor new methods have been developed: oral progestins, implants, injectables, intrauterine hormonal systems, and vaginal rings. Progestin-only contraceptives may be preferable in some situations, which have absolute or relative contraindications to estrogen, side-effects to estrogen containing hormonal contraception, lactation, and comfort and feasibility of formulations for long-term use. At present, emergency contraception is also performed with progestin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervix Mucus / drug effects
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / pharmacology*
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female*
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Drug Implants
  • Endometrium / drug effects
  • Fallopian Tubes / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices
  • Ovulation / drug effects
  • Progesterone Congeners / adverse effects
  • Progesterone Congeners / pharmacology*
  • Progesterone Congeners / physiology
  • Reproductive Control Agents / administration & dosage
  • Reproductive Control Agents / adverse effects


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Drug Implants
  • Progesterone Congeners
  • Reproductive Control Agents