Norethisterone Enanthate

Reviewed: May 24, 2021
Norethisterone enanthate flies solo; a synthetic progestin, it’s used on its own in the contraceptive injection called Noristerat. It’s androgenic and suppresses testosterone in men, which has made it a candidate for a potential hormonal male contraceptive1. Hallelujah. Once injected into the body, nortethisterone enanthate is quickly converted into norethisterone, and works in the same way with similar side effects.

How does it work?

Norethisterone enanthate is converted into norethisterone. It mainly works by preventing ovulation. It also works by thickening the cervical fluid, which can stop sperm from entering your uterus, and can thin the lining of your uterus in a way that makes it harder for a fertilised egg to implant.

What’s it in?

The Injection

Is it androgenic?

Yes. (Check out our ‘Androgens’ blog for more info on what this means).

What are the side effects?

The following side effects have been recorded for Norethisterone when taken by injection3.
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities
  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Skin reactions
  • Weight changes
  • Bloating4
  • Tender breasts4


  1. C.Hay, F.C.W.Wu. Male Hormonal Contraception in the The Encyclopedia of Hormones. Academic Press. 2003. p622-631 Available from:
  2. Kim JJ, Kurita T, Bulun SE. Progesterone action in endometrial cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and breast cancer. Endocrine Reviews. 2013. 34(1):130-162. doi:10.1210/er.2012-1043
  3. Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press <> [Accessed on 13 August 2020]
  4. Aronson JK. Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs: The International Encyclopedia of Adverse Drug Reactions and Interactions. 16th Edition. Elsevier. 2015.

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