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Luteal Phase Defect

Learn why luteal phase defect can lead to recurrent miscarriage and how we can help

Our Indianapolis fertility doctors can help patients with a luteal phase defect. An ovulatory cycle includes the follicular and luteal phases. A luteal phase defect occurs when progesterone production is lower than normal during the luteal phase. This defect can result in the uterine lining not developing properly. As a result, it can be more difficult for the embryo to implant. This condition can increase the chance of recurrent miscarriage and potentially cause infertility.

All about the follicular and luteal phases of ovulation

The body goes through two phases during ovulation (the release of an egg). A disruption in either phase can affect a person’s ability to conceive.

Follicular phase. This phase occurs before ovulation. It involves the development of an ovarian follicle, which is a fluid-filled sac inside the ovary that contains the egg. The developing follicle produces estradiol, a type of estrogen, that causes the uterine lining to thicken.

Luteal phase. After the ovarian follicle releases the egg, the remaining cells in the follicle become known as the corpus luteum. They then begin producing progesterone. The release of luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers this process, known as luteinization. If an adequate amount of progesterone does not release during this phase, the uterine lining may not properly develop. This is a luteal phase defect.

The primary symptom of this defect is short menstrual cycles. Over-the-counter ovulation prediction kits can help a person determine the length of their luteal phase. If the time between the surge of LH and the start of a person’s period is less than 11 days, they might have a defect in their luteal phase.

Our Indianapolis fertility doctors can also diagnose this condition through an endometrial biopsy. This test analyzes a piece of the patient’s uterine lining tissue under a microscope.

How our clinic treats a luteal phase defect with hormone supplements

When a doctor suspects that a patient has a defect in their luteal phase of ovulation, they’ll recommend progesterone supplementation. This supplementation can help prevent miscarriage. It does so by improving the quality of the uterine lining and increasing the chance of the embryo properly implanting.

Most doctors recommend patients begin progesterone supplementation three days after ovulation. There are different forms of progesterone supplementation. As such, the doctor will prescribe the type they feel would work best for a patient’s needs.

With the support of our Indianapolis fertility doctors, patients can move past ovulatory challenges and go on to build healthy families. Contact us to learn about our fertility services.