Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Progesterone and the premenstrual syndrome: a double blind crossover trial.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 01 June 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1617
  1. L Dennerstein,
  2. C Spencer-Gardner,
  3. G Gotts,
  4. J B Brown,
  5. M A Smith,
  6. G D Burrows


    A double blind, randomised, crossover trial of oral micronised progesterone (two months) and placebo (two months) was conducted to determine whether progesterone alleviated premenstrual complaints. Twenty three women were interviewed premenstrually before treatment and in each month of treatment. They completed Moos's menstrual distress questionnaire, Beck et al's depression inventory, Spielberger et al's state anxiety inventory, the mood adjective checklist, and a daily symptom record. Analyses of data found an overall beneficial effect of being treated for all variables except restlessness, positive moods, and interest in sex. Maximum improvement occurred in the first month of treatment with progesterone. Nevertheless, an appreciably beneficial effect of progesterone over placebo for mood and some physical symptoms was identifiable after both one and two months of treatment. Further studies are needed to determine the optimum duration of treatment.