Progestogens used in menopause. Side effects, mood and quality of life.

Author: Sherwin BB.

Publication Year: 1999

Citation: J Reprod Med 1999;44(2 Suppl):227-32.

This review summarizes the effects of progesterone on mood and other brain functions. Progesterone receptors are present in many of the same areas of the brain as estrogen receptors, including the limbic system and hypothalamus. The limbic system plays a prominent role in regulating mood and emotion. As a comparison, progesterone decreases brain excitability, while estrogens increase it. This relates to why women with epilepsy have a higher frequency of seizures during the part of the cycle when estrogen levels are high, and a reduced frequency when progesterone levels are high. Estrogen and progesterone may also have differing effects on MAO, thereby affecting concentration of serotonin (a mood elevator) in the brain.