Background: It has been suggested that pregnancy may promote metastases in melanoma and that the contraceptive pill may be an etiologic factor. The purpose of this study is to determine if uveal or conjunctival melanomas express estrogen or progesterone receptors. Methods: Twenty-seven choroidal and five conjunctival melanomas were investigated. Immunohistochemistry was performed using the antibodies ER-D5, which recognizes heat-shock protein 27 (formerly called the estrogen receptor-associated cytoplasmic antigen; ER-1 D5, which recognizes the estrogen receptor; and PgR, which recognizes the progesterone receptor. Results: Most of the conjunctival and uveal melanomas stained strongly for heatshock protein 27 but none of the tumors showed positive nuclear staining for either the estrogen or the progesterone receptor. Conclusions: No evidence was found for either estrogen receptor or progesterone receptor expression in choroidal or conjunctival melanomas. Based on the literature, there is little evidence for these hormones having a role in the development or progression of these tumors.