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Article
March 5, 1960

MASCULINIZATION OF FEMALE FETUS DUE TO USE OF ORALLY GIVEN PROGESTINS

Author Affiliations

Baltimore

From the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1960;172(10):1028-1032. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020100036007
Abstract

A markedly masculinized female infant is readily mistaken for a hypospadic male or for a normal male with simple cryptorchism. This congenital condition is sometimes caused by virilizing adrenal hyperplasia, but data here presented show that it has also frequently resulted from administration of progestins to mothers in treating habitual or threatened abortion. Seventy cases of fetal masculinization of female infants associated with the oral administration of progestins to their mothers are analyzed. Thirty-one followed the use of 17-α-ethinyltestosterone, and 35 followed the use of 17-α-ethinyl-19--nortestosterone. In 25 cases the mothers were given estrogens with the progestins in order that the estrogen might offset the virilizing effect of the progestin, but the evidence showed that the estrogens did not prevent fetal masculinization. These data do not argue against the use of progesterone, for the progestins concerned in all cases were synthetic.

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