The Affects Of LPD

What Is The Luteal Phase?

While becoming pregnant may seem simple, the fact of the matter is there are many processes that have to synchronize before hand. If one of the links in the chain is malfunctioning, then fertility is affected. Such is the case with luteal phase defect (LPD). The luteal phase is the period between ovulation and the actual onset of the following menstruation. It is a short span; however, if the number of days between these two occurrences is either too great or too little, conception can be problematic. The luteal phase is 10 to 14 days and if the number of days is on either side of these parameters, the woman has luteal phase defect.

The normal course of action goes like this: Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) creates the mature follicle in the ovary containing an egg. At maturity, the follicle bursts, turning into the corpus luteum (Latin for "yellow body") which is a temporary endocrine structure causing the secretion of progesterone. Progesterone causes the uterine lining (endometrium) to thicken, providing a place for the fertilized egg to embed and grow. When a luteal phase is less than 10 days, there is not enough progesterone produced and the endometrium is unable to sustain a pregnancy.

Temperature Rising? You Must Be Ovulating!

Often women who are hoping to conceive use a method of measuring basal body temperature every day to determine when the luteal phase is occurring. It is during this phase that ovulation takes place and conception can happen. Her temperature will rise and hold at the elevated level for the average 12 days of the luteal phase. If her temperature is not elevated for the correct number of days, it is likely she is suffering with luteal phase defect. Testing by the doctor may expose a low progesterone count.

Diagnosing LPD At Home And At The Clinic

If there is suspicion of a diagnosis of LPD, a test for serum progesterone performed about seven days after ovulation will determine the level of progesterone in the body. If these results are inadequate, an ultrasound done mid-cycle allows the doctor to view the endometrium. A biopsy is another way to diagnose LPD. A few days before the start of the next menstrual cycle, the biopsy is performed to determine if the lining is adequately developed and able to sustain a pregnancy.

LPD Can Be Treated Effectively

Once diagnosed, treatment begins. Fortunately, LPD is very responsive to treatment. Options to treat LPD include the addition of progesterone taken orally, vaginally by suppository or by injection. Ovarian stimulation drugs may be used to encourage better hormone production in the ovary. A frequently used drug for this is Clomid, which tricks the body into thinking it does not have enough estrogen, so it goes into production very quickly. Clomid also helps the follicle mature when the condition is one of inadequate follicle development.

Luteal Phase Defect is a relatively common disorder among women. It is also very treatable. The important key is to determine the exact cause of LPD in order to obtain the correct treatment.