I have heard that progesterone in contraceptive pills or interuterine devices have been known to prevent ovulation. How is this possible since the LH and FSH are only affected by oestrogen not progesterone (am i wrong?) Also, my textbook says hormonal intrauterine devices contain progesterone to lessen uterine lining but doesnt the uterine get maintained by progesterone ?

Edit : I have yet to receive a satisfactory answer... Help anyone?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close as homework because explanations on how progesterone pills work are freely available from many sources, and as such it doesn't seem like this answer was very well researched. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 15, 2017 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause I have already done research on contraceptove pills but could not find any website specifically explaining how progesterone inhibits pregnancy $\endgroup$
    – user35897
    Sep 18, 2017 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ Did you try wikipedia? $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 18, 2017 at 14:13

2 Answers 2

  • When progesterone alone is used as a contraceptive it is assumed that the oestrogen level is endogenously maintained by the follicular cells.

Yes mainly oestrogen and only little does progesterone inhibits LH or FSH secretion.

LH surge is the principle stimulator of ovulation.

However,experimental work has suggested that immediately before the LH surge occurs, there is probably a sudden depression of estrogen...and this might be ...that leads to LH surge [source: Textbook of medical physiology A South Asian Edition- Guyton & Hall]

If progesterone or progesterone-oestrogen combinations be given before ovulation then feed back inhibition of LH surge occurs.This would lead to contraception by anovulation.

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  • Progesterone is only known to proliferate the endometrial lining.

However, administration of progesterone or oestrogen -progesterone combinations after ovulatory phase helps to achieve high concentration of these hormones ,much before the normal time required to attain peak levels due to endogenous secretions alone.

This helps to depress the FSH -LH secretion by feedback inhibition very quickly causing involution of the corpus luteum and early shedding of the endometrium termed as breakthrough bleeding


  • reference site

  • Textbook of Medical Physiology A South Asian Edition-Guyton & Hall


This might and must be known to you that progesterone is known as the pregnancy hormones as it maintains the endometrial lining to Slough off the baby along with the corpus luteum (strata functionalis) and thus maintaining the pregnancy and as far as the contraceptive pills and IUDs' are concerned they contain PROGESTIN i.e synthetic progesterone which inhibits LH production and hence anovulation which is a type of we can say contraception (prevention ) from pregnancy ;)÷

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This answer needs citations and editing for English usage/grammar; there are randomly capitalized words, very unclear wording leading to incorrect statements, etc. It doesn't meet the standards of an answer on Biology.SE. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 16, 2017 at 0:37

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