Prenatal progesterone and educational attainments

Br J Psychiatry. 1976 Nov;129:438-42. doi: 10.1192/bjp.129.5.438.


Children whose mothers received prenatal progesterone have been shown to be advanced in development at one year and to have greater academic achievement at 9-10 years. This study compares the educational attainments at 17-20 years of 34 progesterone children with 37 normal and 12 toxaemic controls. More progesterone children continued schooling after 16 years compared with controls; a higher proportion left school with 'O' level and 'A' level passes, the average number of passes per child was greater at both levels and more obtained a university place. The best academic results were in those whose mothers had received over 5 grams of prenatal progesterone, and for whom administration commenced before the sixteenth week and treatment lasted longer than eight weeks.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Fetus / drug effects*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / drug effects
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / complications
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • Progesterone / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors


  • Progesterone