Shedding light on luteal phase support at our San Antonio fertility center
Trying to conceive without success can feel all-consuming and disappointing. Erika Munch MD and her team understand this frustration and offer highly effective medical treatment and compassionate care. Our San Antonio fertility center doctor delivers leading-edge diagnosis and fertility treatments, including luteal phase support.
A quick course on regular menstrual cycles
Before discussing luteal phase support, we want to provide a refresher on a woman’s menstrual cycle. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. After puberty occurs, women will typically have a monthly menstrual cycle. These cycles are broken into four phases: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase.
In a normal menstrual cycle, the luteal phase occurs after ovulation but before a period begins. Typically, it lasts 10 to 12 days. During the luteal phase, the body produces a hormone called progesterone. This hormone thickens the lining of the uterus so that it can support a pregnancy. If you have a luteal phase defect, the lining doesn’t develop properly, making it difficult to conceive or to stay pregnant.
There are several issues that can cause a luteal phase defect.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Being overweight or underweight
- Thyroid disorders
- Reproductive conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS
Luteal phase support can improve the odds of pregnancy
Diagnosing luteal phase defects can prove complicated because we don’t have a single test to detect this issue. As part of a full fertility evaluation, our San Antonio fertility center expert will run blood tests to assess your hormones and perform an ultrasound to check the uterine lining.
Often, a luteal phase defect can disrupt the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and progesterone. Generally, Dr. Munch will treat any deficiencies by offering luteal phase support via hormone therapy, such as Clomid to increase egg production, hCG to induce ovulation and produce progesterone, and finally progesterone supplementation to improve the lining development after ovulation occurs.
Patients who undergo IVF treatment may also need this support. With assisted reproductive technology, ovulation is medically induced. This can result in a luteal phase defect. Because low progesterone levels can reduce the chance of having a viable pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe progesterone supplements, hCG therapy or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, which improve LH levels and naturally sustain the luteal phase.
Texas Fertility Center offers advanced fertility treatments
No matter your situation, you can rely on the caring team at our San Antonio fertility center. We will walk with you every step of the way and devise a comprehensive treatment plan to produce a successful outcome. Contact our office for more on luteal phase support or to schedule a consultation appointment.