Treatment for Luteal Phase Defects
Pregnancy doesn’t always happen as quickly as couples may expect. It often takes several months before attempts to conceive are successful. However, if a couple has been unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for a year or more, there may be underlying issues that need to be addressed.
Individuals who are having difficulty becoming pregnant should consider fertility testing at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center. Fertility testing can evaluate male or female fertility and diagnose areas of concern so that appropriate treatment can be administered.
A potential source of female infertility, as well as recurrent miscarriages, is luteal phase defects. Luteal phase defects shorten the luteal phase, which is a vital stage of preparation for a potential pregnancy.
Our fertility doctors offer treatment for luteal phase defects to provide our Los Angeles, CA patients with a greater chance of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
What Is the Luteal Phase?
The luteal phase is the stage of the menstrual cycle that immediately follows ovulation. During the luteal phase, the body prepares for pregnancy.
The corpus luteum develops during the luteal phase and releases progesterone. Progesterone stimulates the lining of the uterus to thicken and grow so that it can support the implantation of a fertilized egg.
The luteal phase should last 12 to 16 days. However, women with luteal phase defects will experience a shorter luteal phase, which may not allow the uterus to fully prepare for the implantation of an embryo.
The most common treatment for luteal phase defects is progesterone supplementation. By providing the body with sufficient progesterone, we can encourage the growth of a thick uterine lining.
Progesterone supplementation is usually provided in the form of an injection or gel. Supplementation should begin three days after ovulation, so it is important to pinpoint when ovulation occurs.
Progesterone is the most common hormone offered to women experiencing luteal phase defects, but other fertility drugs may also be prescribed for treatment. Fertility drugs that may be effective in addressing luteal phase defects include clomiphene citrate and human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG.
Clomiphene citrate stimulates the ovaries so that they produce more follicles and release more eggs. HCG is known to trigger ovulation, and encourages the body to produce more progesterone. Either of these fertility drugs may be prescribed on their own or along with progesterone to encourage a longer luteal phase.
In most cases, fertility drugs effectively treat luteal phase defects and allow a woman to become pregnant. However, if medication proves ineffective, or if there are additional issues contributing to luteal phase defects, then IVF may be a more effective treatment option.
IVF is a multi-stage treatment that begins with ovarian stimulation and then progresses through egg retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer. Because IVF assists with many of the stages of conception, it greatly increases the odds of pregnancy for patients experiencing a wide range of fertility issues.
If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant, fertility testing can provide the answers we need to create an effective fertility treatment plan. To learn more about the fertility testing process, or other services offered at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, contact us at your earliest convenience. You can also reach us by calling (818) 946-8051.