Estradiol as a Treatment for Women with Borderline Personality Disorder


Estradiol as a Treatment for Women with Borderline Personality Disorder


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a serious and highly prevalent (5.9%) psychiatric disorder, affecting women more than men. BPD sufferers experience severe emotional instability, social and occupational dysfunction, and engage in chronic self-mutilation and suicidal behaviours, with associated high levels of mortality, morbidity, and health service use. BPD patients are a complex group that are challenging to treat. Current psychological treatments are expensive and difficult for BPD patients to access, and there is currently no clearly designated pharmacotherapy. Underpinned by psychosocial causes, childhood trauma is reported in most patients (>80%) and is linked to abnormalities in the development of the neuroendocrine axes. Significantly, cyclical fluctuations in ovarian hormones affect emotional and cognitive behaviours relevant to BPD. As such, this indicates the neuroendocrine system as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of BPD symptoms.


To determine whether estradiol is effective in treating symptoms of BPD, and specific symptom domains including emotional regulation, cognition, mood and quality of life, as well as biological markers.


Women aged between 18-43, who have a current diagnosis of BPD or experience symptoms consistent with BPD are invited to take part in this study.


This study is a 12-week randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial that will be conducted at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre. Participants will be randomly selected to receive daily either 1) transdermal estradiol 100mcg twice weekly patch, or 2) inactive placebo. Participants will touch base with their study coordinators every two weeks to monitor mood symptoms and adverse events.


Project status

If you are interested in learning more about this study please contact the team to register an expression of interest

For more information, please contact the Women’s Mental Health Division via email at


 MAPrc Multidisciplinary Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004