Many women undergo a lot of stress as they are not able to conceive or experience repeated abortions. The pain and mental stress that a couple goes through is terrible and the best option is to consult a doctor who will be able to help you in conceiving soon. One common issue that prevents a lot of women from conceiving is Luteal Phase Defect. What exactly this is and how to treat it is described in detail below.
What Is Luteal Phase?
Luteal phase is actually the third part of a menstrual cycle and is the phase between the beginning of periods and the ovulation time. This is the period where implantation and fertilization of an egg takes place. Any alteration in the luteal period can disrupt the fertility and may be a reason for inability to conceive or repeated abortions.
What Are The Symptoms Of Luteal Phase Defect?
- Low levels of progesterone
- Menstrual cycle that is short or irregular
- Loose stools, ache in the lower back area and bleeding
- Basal body temperature that is disrupted following ovulation
- Spotting between the periods
- Difficulty in conceiving
What Causes The Luteal Phase?
In a normal case the luteal period extends from 12 to 14 days. It is during this phase that ovaries produce progesterone, a hormone that triggers the growth of the uterus lining. When one conceives, the fetus attaches itself to this lining. In the absence of conception, the lining just sheds away and results in your periods. Luteal phase defect occurs when:
- Ovaries are unable to produce required quantities of progesterone
- When the uterus lining fails to respond to progesterone
- This defect can also be an adverse effect of some other health issues like:
Lot of times when you treat the underlying health issue, the luteal phase defect automatically resolves.
Luteal phase defect may be one of the reason of infertility as well as early miscarriages but there’s no definite proof that luteal phase defect leads to infertility or miscarriage.
If a woman is diagnosed with luteal phase defect, then there is a possibility that the woman may not get pregnant at all or a miscarriage will take place as her uterus is not fully prepared to support a pregnancy.
How Is Luteal Phase Defect Diagnosed?
It is not easy to pinpoint luteal phase defect as the main cause of your conception related issues. Till date, there is no direct test to reveal luteal phase defect. The common tests that are normally performed by doctors which help to diagnose luteal phase defect includes checking the:
- Progesterone levels
- Luteinizing hormone levels
- Follicle stimulating hormone levels
Other means to reach diagnosis include performing a pelvic ultrasound that reveals the thickness of the uterus lining. Tests like endometrial biopsies also helps to reveal what exactly the issue is.
Treatment For Luteal Phase Defect
Once luteal phase defect has been diagnosed by your doctor, the next step is to begin the treatment accordingly. The outcome of the treatment majorly depends on how your overall health is and whether you are trying to conceive or not. If you are not planning to conceive, then any kind of treatment is not required for this issue.
On the other hand, if you have been trying to conceive without any positive results or have been going through repeated abortions, you require immediate treatment. The most common pills are:
- Clomiphene citrate (Clomid): This pill stimulates the ovaries to produce more follicles that in turn gets more eggs released
- Progesterone pills, suppositories or injections: This is normally used soon after you ovulate to aid the uterus lining to develop well
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG): This tablet helps to trigger ovulation and also has been found to be effective in production of more progesterone
You can also resort to natural means of increasing your progesterone levels.
Natural Treatment For Luteal Phase Defect
There are numerous herbs and natural diets that have been found to be effective in rectifying luteal phase defect and help you conceive fast.
- Diet rich in Vitamin C: You need to consume a diet rich in Vitamin C as this vitamin has been proven to bring a commendable increase in hormone levels and also improve your fertility. So the solution is to include foods that are rich in Vitamin C such as Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, papaya, oranges and strawberries in your diet
- Essential Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids are also imperative for production of hormones. Most women have been found to have insufficient levels of EFA especially omega 3. So having food rich in AFA like Sardines, salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, shrimp, and flaxseeds are beneficial to rectify your hormone levels
- Green leafy Vegetables: Vitamin B also plays an important role in maintaining hormonal balance and since leafy greens are rich in vitamin B, they should also be included in your diet
- Chasteberry or Vitex: Having supplements of Vitex is also another good means to hike up your progesterone levels
All the above mentioned facts point out that luteal phase defect does need to be taken seriously as it can stand in the way of one getting pregnant. However, there are umpteen remedies like the ones mentioned above that can be used to rectify this issue and ensure you conceive fast.