Progestagens (also spelled progestogens or gestagens) are hormones that produce effects similar to those of progesterone, the only natural progestagen. All other progestogens are synthetic and are often referred to as progestins.
All progestagens have antiestrogenic (counteracting the effects of estrogens on the body) and antigonadotropic (inhibiting the production of sex steroids by gonads) properties.
Progestogens differ in their potency (affinity for progesterone receptors) and side-effects. Such side-effects may be androgenic (medroxyprogesterone and most C19 progestagens), antiandrogenic (cyproterone acetate), estrogenic, glucocorticoid (some C21 progestogens), or antimineralocorticoid (progesterone).
Cyproterone is an antiandrogen.
In a normal menstrual cycle, a sudden drop in progesterone levels triggers menstruation. Norethindrone acetate (brand name Aygestin) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (brand name Provera) may be used to artificially induce progestogen withdrawal bleeding.
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