The Physiologic Basis for the Temperature Raising Effect of Progesterone

  • Irving Rothchild


The body temperature of regularly ovulating women tends to be about 0.75° F higher in the interval between ovulation and the next menstrual period than in the interval between menses and the next ovulation (1,2). This phenomenon, which has been recognized since before the turn of the century (3–5), has been shown to be due to the progesterone secreted by the corpus luteum (6–8,1,2). During pregnancy the tremendously increased duration of progesterone secretion is also associated with a prolongation of the body temperature elevation, although the latter does not last as long as does the secretion of progesterone (9). Other animals in which either an elevation of body temperature occurs during the luteal phase or in response to treatment with progesterone or both, are the cow (10–12), African dwarf goat (13), rat (14–16) and monkey (17). No relation between the ovulation cycle and the body temperature has been seen in the pig (18). Several other steroids of the pregnane and androstane series also raise the body temperature of human subjects, some to a much greater degree than progesterone does (19: See 20 for review).


Body Temperature Heat Loss Luteal Phase Heat Production Corpus Luteum 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Rothchild
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Reproductive BiologyCase Western Reserve University School of MedicineClevelandUSA

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