Selective progesterone receptor modulators

Professor Beverley Vollenhoven

Selective Progesterone Receptor Modulators (SPRMs) are a class of synthetic steroids that have agonist, antagonistic or mixed effects on target tissues. Their current use is for the treatment of fibroids, as emergency contraception and for medical termination of pregnancy. Mifepristone is one of the oldest SPRMs and is used primarily for medical termination of pregnancy but has also been studied for the treatment of fibroids. Ulipristal is used both for the treatment of fibroids as well as for emergency contraception. There have been problems with its ongoing use in the treatment of fibroids though this has now been resolved. There are endometrial changes with long term use of these drugs which need to be understood by histopathologists as these changes don’t translate to complications for women.


Professor Vollenhoven is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility specialist. She is Head of Gynaecology at Monash Health, Deputy Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Monash University and a clinician at Monash IVF.

She has a sub-specialty qualification in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) with her areas of clinical interest being infertility including IVF and ovulation induction, polycystic ovarian syndrome, eating disorders, paediatric and adolescent gynaecology and menopause. She also has a clinical and research interest in the cause and treatment of uterine fibroids (leiomyomas).

Beverley Vollenhoven has more than 140 publications in both journals and books. She is the Head of the Contraceptive Counselling Clinic and has an appointment as a Reproductive Endocrinologist at the Menopause Clinic and Long Term Follow Up of Children with Cancer Clinic at the Monash Health.

She is a member of committees for the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Safer Care Victoria and the Therapeutic Goods Administration