Combination of
Estriol glucuronide Estrogen
Estriol sulfate Estrogen
Estriol sulfate glucuronide Estrogen
Clinical data
Trade names Progynon
Routes of

Progynon is an orally active formulation of estrogen that was developed by Adolf Butenandt at Schering and introduced in Germany in 1928.[1][2][3][4][5][6] It was reportedly the first sex hormone product and hence also the first estrogen product to be introduced for medical use.[6] Progynon was originally an ovarian or placental extract,[7][8] but Schering soon switched for economic reasons to using the urine of women who were in late pregnancy.[4] This form of Progynon was essentially the same product as Emmenin, which was developed by James Collip at Ayerst and introduced in Canada in 1930 (and in the U.S. in 1934).[1][2] Both products contained a mixture of water-soluble estrogens, which was determined later to be mostly estriol glucuronide.[2][9] Conjugates of estriol like estriol glucuronide and estriol sulfate constitute more than 90% of the estrogens in the urine of pregnant women.[10] Of these conjugates, 35 to 46% are estriol glucuronide and 15 to 22% are estriol sulfate in late pregnancy; the double conjugate estriol sulfate glucuronide also occurs.[11][12]

To further reduce the costs of manufacturing Progynon, Schering eventually switched to using the urine of pregnant mares and called its new product Progynon 2.[1][2][13] Ayerst followed suit, with the introduction of Premarin (conjugated equine estrogens) in 1941.[2]

Progynon was also the name that Butenandt originally gave estrone (which he had isolated in 1929) in his first publication on the substance (and later referred to as folliculine, with the name estrone not finally being adopted until 1935).[14][15] Aside from Progynon and Progynon 2, the Progynon name has also been used in a variety of other estrogenic products marketed by Schering. Examples include Progynon-B (estradiol benzoate), Progynon-DH (estradiol), Progynon-DP (estradiol dipropionate), Progynon-C (ethinyl estradiol), Progynova (estradiol valerate), and Progynon Depot (estradiol valerate, estradiol undecylate).


  1. 1 2 3 Barbara Seaman (4 January 2011). The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women: Exploding the Estrogen Myth. Seven Stories Press. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-60980-062-8.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Thom Rooke (1 January 2012). The Quest for Cortisone. MSU Press. pp. 54–. ISBN 978-1-60917-326-5.
  4. 1 2 Christopher Kobrak (7 October 2002). National Cultures and International Competition: The Experience of Schering AG, 1851-1950. Cambridge University Press. pp. 119–. ISBN 978-0-521-81481-2.
  5. Streck, Arnulf (1928). ""Progynon"-Schering, ein Neues Zyklus-Hormonpräparat". Klinische Wochenschrift. 7 (25): 1172–1178. doi:10.1007/BF01738283. ISSN 0023-2173.
  6. 1 2 Vera Regitz-Zagrosek (2 October 2012). Sex and Gender Differences in Pharmacology. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 549–. ISBN 978-3-642-30725-6. The first sex steroid used as pharmacological agent was Progynon, first sold by Schering AG in 1928. [...]
  7. Batisweiler, J. (1928). Placentaextrakt Progynon (Schering-Kahlbaum) bei Menstruationsstörungen und Kastrationsfolgen. Zbl. Gynäk, 2227-2232. Chicago
  8. Stanley Alstead (22 October 2013). Poulsson's Text-Book of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Elsevier. pp. 195–. ISBN 978-1-4832-2584-5.
  9. Gregory Pincus (22 October 2013). Recent Progress in Hormone Research: The Proceedings of the Laurentian Hormone Conference. Elsevier Science. pp. 307–. ISBN 978-1-4832-1945-5.
  10. Robert K. Creasy; Robert Resnik; Charles J. Lockwood; Jay D. Iams, Michael F. Greene, Thomas Moore (2013). Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-1-4557-1137-6. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  11. N. S. Assali (3 September 2013). The Maternal Organism. Elsevier. pp. 339–. ISBN 978-1-4832-6380-9.
  12. Helmut Sies; Lester Packer (2005). Phase II Conjugation Enzymes and Transport Systems. Gulf Professional Publishing. pp. 294–. ISBN 978-0-12-182805-9.
  13. H. K. Chopra; Navin C. Nanda (15 December 2013). Textbook of Cardiology: A Clinical and Historical Perspective. Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 326–. ISBN 978-93-5090-803-7.
  14. James K. Laylin (30 October 1993). Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, 1901-1992. Chemical Heritage Foundation. pp. 253–254. ISBN 978-0-8412-2690-6.
  15. Profiles of Drug Substances, Excipients and Related Methodology. Academic Press. 2 November 1983. pp. 136–. ISBN 978-0-08-086107-4.

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