The luteal phase in simple terms is known as the section that forms a part of your menstrual cycle and occurs after ovulation. This is usually before the first day of your next menstrual cycle and lasts up to 12 to 14 days but may be as short as 6 days. During this phase, the lining of your uterus normally thickens to prepare for a possible pregnancy.
What causes a luteal defect?
Some women that menstruate and have fertility problems may experience a shorter luteal phase. When women experience problems with their luteal phase, it may be referred to as a defect. A luteal phase defect can be defined as having a low or inadequate amounts of progesterone during your luteal phase. A luteal shorter than 8-10 days can most likely indicate potential fertility problems. Many women that struggle to conceive or have experienced recurrent miscarriages, tend to have a shorter luteal phase. However, it is possible to experience a short luteal phase without experiencing any fertility issues. The possible symptoms may include; irregular ovulation/ anovulation,recurrent miscarriages, short menstrual cycle and spotting when ovulating.
What are the possible causes of a luteal phase defect?
- Age (being over age 35)
- Eating disorders
- Endometriosis and PCOS
- Excessive exercise
- Thyroid imbalance
What treatments are there for a luteal phase defect?
There is no effective treatment however, every possible concern regarding your menstrual cycle needs to be brought to your doctors attention. You may try the following when consulting your doctor:
- Identify and address any underlying conditions that could potentially have an affect on your menstrual cycle
- Boost your ovulation by using fertility medication
- Low doses of Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) as it may help start ovulation and make more progesterone
- Progesterone supplementation can be used after ovulation to help the lining of your uterus grow
It would be highly recommended that women who are trying to conceive consult a doctor or fertility specialist. This will ensure that there are no issues regarding your menstrual cycle that will prevent you from having a successful pregnancy.