Would Progesterone Therapy Help Me?


My name is Meghan, and I am hoping that you can help me with a fertility issue. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for nearly a year. I have been charting my temperatures and monitoring my cervical mucus during this time and have yet to become pregnant. Over the past 4 months, I noted a decrease in the length of my luteal phase from a typical 14 days to 9-11 days. It appears that I ovulate, as I see a temperature shift; however, I did have blood work the past two cycles in the post-peak phase, showing a progesterone amount around 8, which is a bit low. The physician that I am currently seeing has suggested Clomid, but I am concerned. Can progesterone replacement therapy assist with conception, in my case? And if so, what is the typical dosage administered? I understand that it is generally administered post-peak days 3-12? Should bloodwork be done again after this phase in order to see if miscarriage can be prevented?
Thank you for your assistance.



Last Updated: June 3, 2014
Dear Meghan-

I hope that I can help you with a potentially very complex situation. The good news is that you have already done most of the work and are far ahead in trying to conceive. So keep that good news in mind!

For some reason your luteal phase, the time after ovulation until the next menstrual flow, has shortened. You don’t say that you are having any spotting during this time. Also, you don’t say when the progesterone level was drawn in the luteal phase but I will assume that it was post-peak day 7. A level of 8 ng/ml at that time would definitely be low but normal on post-peak day 11 and slightly low on post-peak day 3. This is according to the research at Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha NE using their lab.

It would be important to know several things first. What are the levels of progesterone throughout the luteal phase? Are they starting off normal and never achieving normal height or are they dropping off early? What are the estrogen levels doing throughout the whole cycle? These levels can help in understanding whether the follicle is normal or if the receptors are working correctly, etc. Yes, a temperature shift can point to ovulation but temperature shift doesn’t tell how well you are ovulating. For example, is the follicle big enough to produce enough estrogen and progesterone. Is the left over follicle, the corpus luteum, functioning well enough and long enough to maintain the lining of the uterus for continued pregnancy.

Yes, progesterone is used in many cases to assist in achieving and maintaining pregnancies. And yes, if progesterone is needed to be used in achieving then it must be checked during the pregnancy. Again, Pope Paul VI Institute has done all of the research and has standardized the normals for progesterone levels during pregnancy. The amount used depends on the woman’s levels to begin with and what it takes to get her levels into the normal range.

Clomid (clomiphine citrate) can be used for achieving pregnancy. Clomid is used early in the cycle on days 3-5 and stimulates follicle production. Again, at the Pope Paul VI Institute, they advocate a low dose regimen of 25mg at first then move up from there. This is for women who have regular cycles and working ovaries which sounds like you have. There are much fewer multiple births using a low dose regimen.

There are other medications that can be used depending on where exactly the problem lies in your situation. Some would consider HCG to be used mid-cycle which helps both estrogen and progesterone levels. Also, one would wonder if your thyroid is normal. Additionally, your husband needs to have an exam and sperm count.

I hope that this helps you and that this information will help you become pregnant!

Sincerely, Gretchen V. Marsh, D.O.

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 MyCatholicDoctor.com

Read more related questions

Panic About Fertility

I’m having a complete panic about my fertility. I’m 30 years old and stopped taking the pill a few months ago after being on it…

Trying to Conceive for First Time

I am a 38 year old woman, trying to conceive for the first time. I am using the Clearblue Fertility Monitor and it showed high…

Could Polyp Be Causing Miscarriage?

Could you please help me as I don’t know who I can ask? I am 43 years old (have had no children before) and within…

Breastfeeding and Miscarriage

I am a 38 year old woman with three children who has also had five miscarriages. I am currently four weeks pregnant (six weeks after…

Conflicting Advice on Progesterone and Infertility

I am 27 years old and my husband and I have been trying for our first child for five months. I have been charting since…

Low Estradiol on Day Three of Cycle

I am 26. I have had four miscarriages. Recently I had cycle day three labs done. The results are as follows: FSH 5.5 TSH 1.33…

How Long Should I Wait to Conceive After Weaning

I had a miscarriage a few weeks ago, and I believe that it is very possible it was due to low hormone levels. I had…

Is My Premenstrual Spotting Related to My Miscarriages

I am 40 years old, with an almost-three-year-old daughter. My husband and I have been married for eight and a half years. We went through…

New Normal After Stillbirth?

My first child (a beautiful baby girl) was stillborn in February of this year (40 weeks gestation with no known cause). My husband and I…

Poor Cervical Mucus and Now Miscarried

I am 37 years old, with two children ages six and three and a half. I have been trying to conceive for one year using…

Still Think Something is Just Not Right

I am 26 years old and my husband and I have been practicing NFP since we married two years ago. Right after getting married, I…

What is Normal TSH?

I was having a difficult time becoming pregnant. I finally got pregnant, but then miscarried. This was unusual for me because I quickly became pregnant…

Create An Account

This is not a membership, this is an account for our CANFP website. If you decide you would like to sign up for one of our memberships later, you can do so with or without this account.

First Name *
Last Name *
E-mail *
Username *
Password *
Confirm Password *
Edit Profile
Order History
Shipping and Billing
Login Information
Notification Settings
Notification Subscriptions

CANFP conducts varied outreach programs to the community at large, in addition to serving our members (NFP users, teachers, and advocates).

CANFP provides education programs tailored to the audience, not only on Natural Family Planning, but on the wide variety of topics related to it.

Programs can be continuing education for NFP Professionals, introductory information for a lay audience of youth or adults new to the topic, or specifically tailored to the interests of a professional audience, such as educators, physicians, or clergy. Content is faith based or secular, whichever is suitable for situation.

CANFP offers a variety of resources for those just discovering Natural Family Planning, as well as to meet the varied needs of our CANFP Members. Most resources are available to any visitors to our site. Some resources do ask you to register as a site user in order to access them, others are available only to CANFP Members.

CANFP statewide conferences, regional events offered in collaboration with local partners, events featuring CANFP speakers, or exhbit, as well as other events throughout the state of interest to our NFP community.  Come meet one of our experts at one of these events or book a speaker for your own upcoming event.

CANFP depends on the gifts, talents, and generosity of our members and supporters. The success of our mission depends on the collaboration of our members. Please consider contributing your time treasure and talent through CANFP to share the good news of NFP with the world! Both volunteer and contracted positions available.

Stay informed by joining our email list

* indicates required
Which role(s) best describes you?