Luteal support with progesterone vs. HCG


I was wondering what the differences are between luteal support with progesterone or progestins and HCG. In the past, I have been placed on progesterone suppositories after ovulation but this month I am taking four shots HCG post-peak. Just curious as to what the differing benefits might be as we are so eager to get pregnant.
Thanks for this marvelous site. And on a side note, it is wonderful to see the mention of Kubat pharmacy in Omaha on here. It is located right next to the doctor’s office I went to as an infant and child.


Last Updated: July 22, 2013
Progesterone and HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) are naturally occuring hormones with positive effects on the luteal phase of the cycle. The luteal phase is the day after ovulation to the day before the menstrual flow. It is also known as the secretory phase because the progesterone will cause some more thickening of the endometrium as well as vascularization of the endometrium in case of a pregnancy.

Progesterone does not require the presence of a corpus luteum, the residual of the follicle which produces progesterone. Vaginal progesterone gives higher endometrum levels of progesterone and has a moderate effect on the length of the luteal phase. However, sometimes this approach doesn’t work because there are different types of luteal phase defects. For instance, sometimes someone needs more estrogen in the luteal phase as well. This is where HCG comes in handy.

HCG increases post-peak or luteal phase progesterone AND estradiol and prolongs the post-peak or luteal phase. HCG is very similar to LH (lutenizing hormone) and one of its main functions is to stimulate the corpus luteum to continue producing progesterone and estrogen. Thus, HCG sustains the functional life of the corpus luteum.

Your physician must want to get the effects of HCG for you. There are several more steps that can be taken using cooperative hormone assitance at the proper time of the cycle.

Yes, Kubat’s Pharmacy is terrific. They make it a lot easier for physicians and patients with their excellent care.

I wish you well and hope that this information helps you!

Dr. Gretchen Marsh

Answered By:

Gretchen Marsh, D.O.
Dr. Marsh graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in 1987 in Pomona, CA and is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She has been certified as a NaProTechnology® Medical Consultant (NaPro) and Creighton model Fertility Care System (CrMS) teacher since 2001. She and her husband, Jon, have 5 sons and live in the Reno region, where she sees patients in person, in addition to her telehealth services offered via

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