There are also many synthetic sex steroids. Synthetic androgens are often referred to as anabolic steroids . Synthetic estrogens and progestins are used in methods of hormonal contraception . Ethinylestradiol is a semi-synthetic estrogen. Specific compounds that have partial agonist activity for steroid receptors , and therefore act in part like natural steroid hormones, are in use in medical conditions that require treatment with steroid in one cell type, but where systemic effects of the particular steroid in the entire organism are only desirable within certain limits.