The effect of progesterone and progestogens on the fetus.

Author: Dalton K.

Publication Year:1981

Citation: Neuropharmacology 1981; 20(12B):1267-9.

This article looks at the differing effects of progesterone and synthetic progestogens on the fetus. Of note in this article is evidence that progesterone supplementation may reduce episodes of pre-eclampsia. Synthetic progestogen supplementation during pregnancy may produce a variety of side effects. Several references are made to articles documenting cases of masculinization of external genitalia in female babies. There are two known cases of true hermaphroditism and several cases of behavioral problems developing in adolescent girls whose mothers took oral synthetic progestogens during pregnancy. More problematic may be administration of oral estrogen-progestogen preparations. Side effects may include spina bifida, esophageal anomalies, heart defects and limb reduction deformities.