Question on when to start progesterone when trying to get pregnant with luteal phase defect

by Caroline


My husband and I have just begun trying to conceive, but I have been tracking my cycles for years and have discovered that I have a luteal phase defect and low progesterone. I read that you should start taking the progesterone in the 50 hours prior to ovulation, but wanted some clarity on that.

I usually use LH test strips to determine when I'm ovulating. I typically get 1 or 2 "high" strips before my peak. Should I start the progesterone when I first see the "high" days or when I see my peak day? I usually ovulate quite quickly after my peak day. How much should I take before ovulation? 200/mg?

Since I have a short luteal phase (longest has been 11 days, but normally 8-9), should I bump up to 300/mg a day? Or stay at 200mg?

Thanks so much in advance! So glad I found this resource!

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Jul 03, 2019
Question on when to start progesterone when trying to get pregnant with luteal phase defect
by: Joy

Hi Caroline

There is a Pregnancy page which explains this in detail. A low dose of progesterone will not help. 100-200mg/day or more progesterone should be used, depending on symptoms. In some cases up to 400mg/day will be needed. It should be used from ovulation, or during the 50 hour pre-ovulatory surge. You will have to experiment to see what suits you but I suggest that you use 200mg and see how you get on. Use a good organic cream such as Natpro which is a 3% cream. If used too early i.e. 7 to 8 days before ovulation, which is when many women are told to start it, progesterone can act as a contraceptive, but usually 200mg/day or more is needed. So starting too early can prevent the chance of falling pregnant. Progesterone therapy does take time, so patience is needed.

No progesterone should be used before ovulation which is called the folliculr phase. If trying to conceived, progesterone should only be used at luteal phase. Please read the How to use progesterone Cream page.

Jul 04, 2019
Thanks!—progesterone for luteal phase defect
by: Caroline

Thanks Joy! I have the Natpro cream and will try using the 200mg/day.

I still have some confusion around when exactly to start the cream. I know that it can be used 50 hours before the surge, but what is the best way to determine that? If using LH test strips, when should I start using the cream? At the "peak" day or when the test line starts to get darker.


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