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More Problems for Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy

A synthetic form of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone widely used in contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), increases aggression and anxiety and reduces sexual activity in female monkeys, according to a study. The synthetic hormone is called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), and researchers say the findings may explain anecdotal reports of mood changes, depression and loss of libido in some women who use MPA for contraception and HRT. They say MPA appears to affect certain neuroendocrine systems in a much different way than natural progesterone, which could have a greater impact on the brain's stress system. The researchers are now examining aggression, anxiety and sexual activity in monkeys that receive the estrogen/MPA regimen for 21 days, the standard cycle for women who take contraceptives. You can read about more of the problems in my past articles on hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives.

EurekAlert June 7, 2004

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