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Progesterone molecule
Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 57-83-0
ATC code G03DA04
PubChem 5994
DrugBank DB00396
ChemSpider 5773
Chemical data
Formula C21H30O2 
Mol. mass 314.46
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Synonyms 4-pregnene-3,20-dione
Physical data
Melt. point 126 °C (259 °F)
Spec. rot [α]D
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability prolonged absorption, half-life approx 25-50 hours
Protein binding 96%-99%
Metabolism hepatic to pregnanediols and pregnanolones
Half life 34.8-55.13 hours
Excretion renal
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status
Routes oral, implant, transdermal

Progesterone is a steroid hormone. In animals, it is made from cholesterol. It is the base for making certain estrogens and androgens. In animals, it is produced by their body mainly during the second half of the menstrual cycle. During pregnancy it is produced in higher quantities. Willard Myron Allen co-discovered progesterone with his anatomy professor George Washington Corner at the University of Rochester Medical School in 1933 year. Allen discovered temperature needed to melt it and its weight. He also gave it the name Progesterone based on Progestational Steroidal ketone.[1] In one plant, Juglans regia, progesterone has been found.[2] Also progesterone-like steroids are found in Dioscorea mexicana.[3] Progesterone level is low in children and postmenopausal women.[4]