Fertility: implantation problem. Abstain during fertile time from now on?


Hi, everyone.

After nearly two years of infertility, it was determined that **my body requires extra progesterone in order to support implantation and to stay pregnant. **(I went through the whole gambit of infertility testing, and it’s a lot of detail to get into, but I came up healthy on everything, except a need for extra progesterone, even though my own progesterone levels are high.) Anyway, it worked the very first cycle, and I’m currently 8 weeks pregnant. :slight_smile: I’m still in shock that that’s all it took.

My question is coming up:
**For the rest of my fertile life, if I don’t take progesterone during the second half of my cycle, then my little embryo will not implant and it will die. ** As a devout Catholic, does that mean that for the rest of my fertile life, if my husband and I do not abstain during my fertile time, do I need to take progesterone during the second half of my cycle just in case we conceived? Asked another way, if I don’t have access to progesterone, do my husband and I have to abstain during my fertile time, lest we conceive and our embryo die?

See how confusing this is? If we don’t abstain during my fertile time and if I don’t have progesterone, then it’s leaving it in God’s hands, but would that also be putting God to the test? And as a devout Catholic, I dislike the thought of the possibility that we conceived and because of my problem, that our embryo dies because I didn’t have extra progesterone to support.

My initial thought is that we should abstain during my fertile time, BUT the marital act is a beautiful part of marriage. OR I can just convince my doctor to give me a steady supply of progesterone for the rest of my fertile life.

What do you think? What’s a good devout Catholic to do? See what I mean? You can argue this all kinds of ways. I’d like to get your input.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with progesterone taken the second half of your cycle. You can even go so far as to go natural and find a Dr. who will help you find a source of natural progesterone so you will never be without it.

Not only that but the “problem” could “fix” itself with this pregnancy.

Many women these days are finding out that they are progesterone deficient (read some books on hormone replacement, check out CCLI.org for some sources). I read recently that the best test for hormone deficiency is not a blood test but an even less invasive saliva test! Who’d of figured? Any way this is bordering on medical advise so I will need to move away from this topic:D.

Just know that you should never be that far from a good progesterone source that is not prescription.

Brenda V.


It’s not necessary to abstain - it regularly happens for many women that a fertilised egg will not implant, for lots of different perfectly natural reasons. God designed the reproductive system that way.

You certainly don’t know for a fact that every month’s or even most month’s eggs are fertilised. There are simply too many variables involved for you to be able to do so.

As long as you’re not actively preventing pregnancy you’re fine.


**If it were me, right now I would vote for “abstain during fertile times” if I was not taking progesterone. You know about the problem so you can’t just ignore it. Just the fact that you are already worried about your tiny baby not being able to implant and then dying shows that.

Many people use NFP for valid reasons so must abstain during that time. There is plenty of time the rest of the month to share the “beautiful act” with your hubby:)

But I definitely encourage you to find out more about your condition and seek out the various opinions of different types of health professionals to see what options you have besides the two you are currently deciding between.

Congrats on your pregnancy!!! Two years is a long time to wait for your little miracle…enjoy every minute of it:thumbsup:**


I don’t know if you’d be “required” (for lack of a better word) to take progesterone or not - but I can’t imagine not abstaining, not taking it, and being able to handle it emotionally. But I suppose that’s a different question…


See how confusing this is? If we don’t abstain during my fertile time, I’ll be wondering if we conceived and if my little embryo didn’t implant because of my problem.

ON THE OTHER HAND, LilyM makes an excellent point that women have many cycles where conception takes place but for one reason or another *implantation *doesn’t take place.

Aside from emotionally, I feel like I need an official church ruling.

I have an interesting Life Issue, no?


I would post this question in the Ask the Apologist forum to get an “official” answer.


I’d ask your pastor (and preferably one or two other priests while you’re at it!) and get their opinion, which’ll be quicker than AAA. Most probably you’ll find differing opinions just as you have here, but you may be able to get a feel for the consensus at any rate.

I’m happy to accept that I may be wrong, of course, first impressions to the contrary :slight_smile:


OH Heck girlfriend that’s a chicken before/after the egg question if I ever heard one!

MOST conservative Cath’s are going to tell you to abstain during the anti-ovulatory time, even though I didn’t read the whole thread. I have been here long enough to guess. :shrug:

I am going to say: temp and use NFP just like you were capable of getting pregnant without the progesterone (which does happen from pregnancy to pregnancy) and don’t read into everything. Even the slightest temp dip or rise. When you are ready to have another baby pay closer attention to your chart, your chancesof getting pregnant and call your OB for progesterone then.

Strike a fine balance, don’t worry about miscarriage if you abstain during your fertile time, but act appropriately when you are going for another.

God Bless, and I wouldn’t have these words if one of my close friends didnt have the exact same issue!


Congratulations on your pregnancy! :slight_smile:

Your situation is a toughie! I have no idea what I’d do, but I’ll pray for you! It’s like whatever you do, you could be wrong - either by not putting your trust in God or by not doing everything in your power to save a baby you don’t even know was conceived in the first place. I understand how confusing it is.

OTOH, I’m pretty sure whatever you do will not be objectively wrong, b/c your choices are based on WANTING children and also wanting God’s will in your life. I’d just discuss it with my confessor and, in the spirit of obedience, do as he says. It’s a hard choice and perhaps it is just a chance for you to practice obedience and not be afraid, b/c you do want to do God’s will, and He knows it. :slight_smile:


Congratulations on your pregnancy.

I think it is up to you as to how to proceed. I don’t believe the church would require you to abstain during your fertile time. You could as an heroic act of virtue but I don’t believe it is necessary. You should consult with a priest or go to the diocese if you wish to speak with someone who specializes in moral theology.


who knows Gods plan for your life? if you are eating healthy and doing everything to keep yourself healthy then I would just go about my life. If you get pregnant and your body is able to sustain the pregnancy then it was ment to be, if not then odviously it wasnt. If and when you are ready for another baby and find you again cant get pregnant try the progesteron again.

If you feel that you are always wondering whether or not you concieved and you are worried all the time about loosing another baby then i would do NFP and abstain during fertile times. However I dont think you have to.


It is NOT necessary to abstain during the fertile times. You do not know that this is the case for every single cycle. This might have worked for just this cycle. Next cycle might be totally different. There are really too many variables involved here. You (or your husband or both) naturally have lowered fertility. God knows this. Many couples with normal fertility experience implantation loss, and they never know about it. Does that mean that every couple should walk around with progesterone “just in case?” Unless you know that it for 100% certain happens every single time, then I would drop it entirely. You know that it COULD happen some of the time. Every married couple runs that same risk. Even those with eight kids loose children very early on like this. Please don’t worry yourself anymore about this!


I don’t think you are going to get a ‘Church ruling’ on this issue. The Church doesn’t make judgements about each and every exceptional case.

But there are some general principles. We should not actively take steps that cause harm to another. Harming another would mean that we either go out of our way to cause harm or that we don’t provide the ordinary necessities to preserve life.

That is not your issue. You are not causing harm to an unborn child by engaging in marital relations with your husband and conceiving him/her. Under ordinary circumstances women don’t need to take special hormone suppliments to keep their unborn children alive. If such a child should die it is tragic but it is not because anyone hamed the child.

Instead, you would have to take extraordinary steps to prevent harm to your child*** IF*** such a child is even conceived… We are never required to take extraordinary steps to save the life of another. In your case the extraordinary steps would impose an extra financial burden on your family and might even be cause a risk to your health. The harm caused to you and your whole family by taking extraordinary steps might be more significant than any potential harm to a potential child.

Now the fact that you don’t need to take extraordinary steps doesn’t mean you could not take them. It just means that you, your spouse, your doctor, and if you wish, your priest or spiritual advisor, should consider the pluses and minuses of what you will do as a couple.


In the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Second Edition, published in the mid 1990’s (Page 197) under Miscarriage. It says:

“About 50 percent of all fertilized eggs spontaneously abort, most of them before a woman has any idea she is pregnant. The percentage of miscarriages in women who know they are pregnant is about 10%.”

I thought that pointing this out would make you feel better. Your problem is very common. I have never heard of any church rule that requires abstinence if a woman is having a problem with this. In fact, I knew of someone who had maybe a dozen miscarriages before she finally had a child.

I think your best bet is to abstain if you don’t want to get pregnant. If you don’t care one way or the other whether or not you have another child, remember that these situations can fix themselves. You might get a big surprise even if you don’t use the progesterone! You apparently needed progesterone for your last child, but you don’t know for a fact what would have happened if you didn’t take the progesterone!

I think it is best to relax and not worry about it.


Hi. I want to thank everyone for your replies. This has been a very good dialogue. A lot of you wrote stuff that was already in my head, but I just hadn’t written it. It is good to see it all written down.

It’s only been two days since my post, but I’ve done some thinking, and out of the blue yesterday my mother told me that a lot of women (especially in their 30s) have trouble becoming pregnant for the first time. Once they get past the first pregnancy, the others seem to come easily. As one of the posters pointed out, pregnancy may correct my underlying problem. Indeed, at my acupuncture appointment this evening, my Chinese doctor told me that my “blood stasis” has been greatly diminished! (Blood stasis is a Chinese diagnosis for endometriosis, which has never been diagnosed in me, but I’ve always suspected it.) It IS possible that since I’m in my late 30s and I have never been pregnant (took me long time to find husband), that I have 20-years accumulation in there of endometrial adhesions and such. THAT’s just one theory. The extra progesterone has acted to fight against all that and helped me implant. All those other cycles for two years, I felt that I kept getting pregnant and losing it. It’s all very intersting.

I do hope that pregnancy does help resolve the underlying issue (if it was endometriosis all along).

I feel better now that we’ve had this post.

Thank you.

I’m going to proceed to keep taking the progesterone until the 12th week (as the doctor ordered), and hopefully have a healthy baby! AND next year, I will re-evaluate my situation. I now lean that we should NOT need to abstain during my fertile time, since it is likely that my underlying issues will be resolved. I think it will be beautiful NOT to abstain and see what happens. We will always be open to life. AND if after a few months I start feeling that I have implantation failure again, then I can reevaluate and go back on the progesterone for #2.

God bless all of you.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.