Progestogens, also known as progestins, are a class of hormones that are involved in the regulation of the female reproductive system. Progestogens are primarily produced by the ovaries, but are also synthesized by the adrenal gland and the placenta during pregnancy.
The primary function of progestogens is to prepare and maintain the uterus for pregnancy. Progestogens play a key role in the menstrual cycle by thickening the lining of the uterus, which provides a suitable environment for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. If pregnancy occurs, the placenta continues to produce progestogens, which help to maintain the pregnancy.
Progestogens are also used in hormonal contraception to prevent pregnancy. Progestin-only pills, injections, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) all work by preventing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, and thinning the lining of the uterus to make implantation less likely.
Progestogens can also be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, and symptoms of menopause. In addition, progestogens are sometimes used in combination with estrogen in hormone replacement therapy to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. However, progestogens may have side effects, such as mood changes, bloating, and breast tenderness, and the risks and benefits of their use should be carefully considered on an individual basis.