It is well known that the plant kingdom contains numerous bioactive substances affecting the regulation of reproduction. The present study was undertaken to examine the putative contraceptive effects of three tradi- tional plant extracts from Côte d'Ivoire Pharmacopea. It concerns Afrormosia laxiflora (Papilionacea), Pterocarpus erinaceus (Papilionacea) and Cola nitida (Sterculiacea) stem bark. Data showed that treatment of rats with these plant extracts induced ovulation and oestrous cycle blockade at the dioestrous II stage. The analysis of the principal hormones involved in oestrous cycle regulation showed that the plant extracts decreased gonadotropin release (both LH and FSH). In fact, A. laxiflora, P. erinaceus and C. nitida extracts inhibited gonadotropin release as an antiestrogen-like substance. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.