In a pregnant woman, during the luteal phase the fertilized egg will travel from the fallopian tube and into the uterus for implantation. As a result, it is important for you to determine this phase to help you pinpoint your ovulation period which increase your chances of getting pregnant.

What is luteal phase?

A female menstrual cycle has different stages. However, the Luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is one of the most important when it comes to increasing fertility and conception. In fertility and conception, luteal phase is also known as days past ovulation (DPO). At the onset of this phase, a woman produces progesterone that is responsible for making a woman’s body feel an increase in temperature (basal body temperature). This is a natural mechanism of the body to create a fertile environment for the ovum ? and the uterus undergoes physiological changes to sustain implantation and fetal development. The higher temperature acts like an incubator which is important in maturing a fertilised egg if conception has occurred.

In a pregnant woman, during the luteal phase the fertilised egg will travel from the fallopian tube and into the uterus for implantation. This phase normally lasts from 13-15 days. During conception, the luteal phase will last for the entire term of pregnancy until the time of giving birth.

Luteal Phase Of The Menstrual Cycle
In menstrual cycle, the body begins to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH facilitates the formation of a follicle on one of the ovaries. The follicle contains and nurtures the egg. When a follicle has adequately matured, a surge of luteinising hormone (LH) causes the follicle to burst and release the egg into the fallopian tube – ovulation. The egg tours down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. At this point, fertilisation of the egg may take place.

When the follicle expels the egg, the follicle is now called a ‘corpus luteum’. The corpus luteum is responsible for producing the hormone progesterone – and during the luteal phase, progesterone facilitates a thickening of the uterine lining and the development of blood vessels, which gives the embryo a place to attach. During the luteal phase, the corpus luteum will produce progesterone for approximately twelve days.

How to determine luteal phase?

The luteal phase begins on Day 14, after your ovulation and continues throughout the menstrual cycle until Day 1 of your next period (time in a woman’s cycle between ovulation and menstruation). The luteal phase length usually remains the same. Ovulation can be delayed by a number of factors (Medication, illness, stress, heavily increased activity, etc.). Even if your ovulation period is delayed, if you know the length of your luteal phase, you will be exactly aware when will be the expected date of your menstruation period.

“I have late periods” This is a common complaint of most women but if they were charting they would know that actually it was their ovulation being delayed and not their period.

How long is my luteal phase?

Ideally, the luteal phase is around 10-16 days in length. When a Luteal phase is less than 10 days, pregnancy cannot be sustained because there is not enough progesterone being produced. It is also considered a luteal phase defect. But some doctors believe that if the luteal phase falls under 12 days, then it is a problem. If you conceive and you have a luteal phase defect, you might have an early miscarriage.

What is luteal phase defect and its treatment?

Luteal phase defect is a common problem to a lot of women when it comes to getting pregnant. Many women want to overcome a short luteal phase. They want to solve it in a natural way, in order to conceive successfully.


  • Women who want to get pregnant but have a short luteal phase are often treated with progesterone therapy.
  • Over the counter remedies:
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is safe and can be taken daily in dosages from 50 mg to 200 mg. Regular intake during the entire month will help to lengthen the luteal phase.
    • Progesterone cream is useful in lengthening the luteal phase. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of progesterone cream spread on the inner arm, inner thigh, neck, and chest ” alternating places ” twice a day from ovulation to menstruation or until the 10th week of pregnancy.
  • Prescription drugs:
    • Clomid or progesterone suppositories. Clomid is taken orally as prescribed by the doctor.
    • Progesterone suppositories are taken through the vagina after ovulation and until either day 14 post ovulation or at some point weeks later during a pregnancy, if pregnancy occurred.
  • Herbal remedy suggests Vitex Agnus Castus (can be found in the fertility enhancing supplement e.g FertilAid for Women). It sustains progesterone production.

What can affect the luteal phase cycle?

Birth control is one of the most common things to affect the Luteal cycle. It works to suppress the production of hormones that is important for getting pregnant. As a result, the body is not suitable for pregnancy. However, if the use of birth control is discontinued, some women develop problems in increasing their hormone levels back to a high amount that is enough to result a pregnancy.

In this condition, you may consult a doctor. He may prescribe the use of synthetic hormones to bring the hormone back up to a normal level.

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