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Luteal Phase Defect

A luteal phase defect interferes with your uterine lining development

You might have heard about infertility causes like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but what about a luteal phase defect? Texas Fertility Center (TFC) finds that many patients haven’t heard of LPD until they visit our doctors. Erika Munch MD, our San Antonio fertility doctor, takes time to explain this infertility cause. She also offers highly effective diagnosis and treatment options, including supplemental progesterone, for patients with this issue.

What is the luteal phase?

Before we start discussing LPD in more detail, it’s important to explain what the luteal phase is. This phase is part of a woman’s menstrual cycle, and it starts after ovulation. Typically, it lasts 12-14 days. During this time, the corpus luteum forms. This is a mass of cells that develops in the ovary. Its job is to produce the hormone progesterone.

Progesterone is what tells your body to prepare the uterine lining, or endometrium, where the embryo will implant and grow. If an embryo doesn’t implant, your body will shed this lining and you’ll have a period.

When you have a luteal phase defect, your ovaries either don’t release enough progesterone or your uterine lining doesn’t respond to the hormone. This defect can lead to infertility and early miscarriage.

How does a fertility doctor diagnose and treat a luteal phase defect?

Our San Antonio fertility doctor will typically diagnose a patient with a luteal phase defect after conducting two endometrial biopsies two days before the start of the woman’s period. She may also ask certain questions to help make an LPD diagnosis. Some examples may include the following questions.

  • Is your luteal phase less than 12 days?
  • Is there spotting or bleeding before your period?
  • Did a vaginal ultrasound before ovulation reveal an endometrium of at least 6-10mm?
  • Has a blood test shown low progesterone levels between ovulation and your period?

If Dr. Munch determines that you have this defect, she will work with you to create a customized treatment plan. Depending on your unique situation, your treatment may include one of the following options.

  • Progesterone supplementation in the form of injection, pill or vaginal suppository
  • Clomid or human menopausal gonadotrophins (hMG) to promote follicular growth
  • Supplemental hCG to help the corpus luteum secrete progesterone

Of these treatments, supplemental progesterone tends to be the most common and most effective. However, your treatment plan will depend on your diagnosis and other individual factors.

Contact us to learn more about getting a diagnosis and treatment for LPD. Our San Antonio fertility doctor looks forward to providing the care and support you need to have a baby.