There are many conditions that can make it difficult to become pregnant. Fertility testing can help identify issues that may be preventing pregnancy and provide a path to finding the right fertility treatment for your needs.
One condition that may interfere with a woman's ability to become and stay pregnant is a luteal phase defect. At the Center for Assisted Reproduction, our fertility doctors offer luteal phase defect treatment to patients in the Fort Worth, TX area. To learn more about luteal phase defect treatment or to find out if treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.
Understanding the Luteal Phase
The luteal phase is part of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase occurs during the second half of the menstrual cycle, occurring after ovulation and before a woman's period starts, lasting about 12 to 14 days.
During the luteal phase, the corpus luteum forms within the ovaries and begins to produce the hormone progesterone. Increasing progesterone levels trigger the lining of the uterus to grow, preparing the uterus for the possibility of a fertilized egg. If no fertilized egg reaches the uterus, the lining will shed and result in a woman having her period.
What Is a Luteal Phase Defect?
Sometimes there may be an issue with the luteal phase, making it difficult for some women to become or stay pregnant. In such cases, there may be a luteal phase defect causing issues with fertility.
A luteal phase defect may occur as a result of the ovaries not releasing enough progesterone, or from the lining of the uterus not properly responding to the release of progesterone.
When a luteal phase defect is present, the lining of the uterus doesn't grow as it should. Without the lining of the uterus thickening, a fertilized egg may not be able implant within the uterus, causing infertility or miscarriage.
In addition to difficulty becoming or staying pregnant, women with luteal phase defects may also experience spotting between periods or more frequent periods.
Treating a Luteal Phase Defect
Treating a luteal phase defect begins with trying to determine the cause. For some women, a simple lifestyle change can help correct a luteal phase defect, while other women may require medical treatment.
The following conditions can cause a luteal defect. By treating these conditions, it may be possible to correct a luteal defect.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Thyroid disorders
- Extreme amounts of exercise
Medications May Help
Although treating the underlying cause of a luteal phase defect can be sufficient for some women, others may still experience problems during the luteal phase and continue to have difficulty becoming and staying pregnant.
For women with luteal phase defects who are trying to become pregnant, medications may help. Possible medications include:
- Progesterone: Progesterone pills, suppositories, or injections may be used after ovulation to encourage the lining of the uterus to grow.
- Clomiphene citrate: Clomiphene citrate, or Clomid, may help by triggering the ovaries to make more follicles and release more eggs.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin: Human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, may help the body produce more progesterone by helping to start ovulation.
Learn More about Your Treatment Options
If you and your partner have had difficulty conceiving, the fertility doctors at the Center for Assisted Reproduction offer a wide range of diagnostic fertility tests and treatments to help you in your journey to conceive. To learn more about your treatment options, please call (972) 661-9544 or (817) 540-1157 to schedule a consultation.