Can progesterone improve Covid-19 outcomes in men?

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COMPARED with women, men are more likely to develop severe Covid-19 and die.

A small-scale pilot study tested whether injectable progesterone improved outcomes in men hospitalized with moderate-to-severe Covid-19.

Participants receiving progesterone had better clinical outcomes after 7 days.

The study concludes that further research is required to assess proge-sterone’s safety and efficacy for the treatment of Covid-19 in a larger, more diverse population.

Overall, men are 2.4 timesTrusted Source more likely to die from Covid-19 than women.

This disparity may result from a complex interplay of psychosocial, behavioral, and biological factors.

For instance, men tend to engage in higher-risk behaviors at a greater frequency than women, such as increased use of tobacco and alcohol.

They also have lower rates of social distancing, hand-washing, and wearing masks.

Men also have a higher incidence of health conditions associated with poorer Covid-19 outcomes and are less likely to seek medical care proactively.

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Females tend to mount stronger immune responsesTrusted Source than males, which may be due to differences in sex chromosome genes and sex hormones, such as progesterone.

Several immune cell types express progesterone receptorsTrusted Source, which can inhibit inflammation in premenopausal females.

Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries in females and the adrenal gland and testes in males.

However, it is present in much lower concentrations in males and postmenopausal females.

Earlier researchTrusted Source has shown that premenopausal females with Covid-19 tend to spend less time in hospital. They are also less likely to need respiratory support than postmenopausal females.

Progesterone may dampen the exaggerated immune response or “cytokine storm” that causes severe lung injury, which sometimes leads to fatalities in people with a SARS-CoV-2 infection.