At The Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Dr. Janelle Dorsett and our team provide treatment for the most common fertility problems. Our services, which include IVF, a multi-stage assisted reproduction treatment, help patients have a greater chance of becoming pregnant.
The specific treatment plan that is right for each patient will depend on the type of fertility problem. One potential cause of female infertility is luteal phase problems, also known as luteal phase defects.
Treatment for luteal phase problems can give our Lubbock, TX patients a longer luteal phase that encourages fertilization and implantation.
What Is the Luteal Phase?
The luteal phase is the phase of the menstrual cycle that takes place between ovulation and menstruation.
During the luteal phase, estrogen and progesterone levels increase to change the uterine lining so that it is ready to accept an embryo, if fertilization occurs.
Since fertilization and implantation both occur during the luteal phase, luteal phase problems can greatly impact fertility and lead to miscarriages.
The luteal phase is meant to last at least 10 to 14 days. If the luteal phase is less than 10 days, it is likely a sign of a problem, or a luteal phase defect.
Causes of Luteal Phase Problems
To understand how luteal phase problems are treated, we must look at what causes them. The underlying cause of luteal phase problems is low progesterone levels. Progesterone is released throughout the menstrual cycle, but it is meant to elevate during the luteal phase.
If progesterone levels do not elevate enough, or if they drop too soon, patients will have a short luteal phase that does not properly prepare the uterine lining for successful implantation.
There are a number of conditions that can cause progesterone levels to be low, including:
- Poor follicle production
- Low levels of luteinizing hormone
- Low estrogen levels
- Low cholesterol
- Being significantly underweight
The most common treatment for luteal phase problems is the use of fertility medication. Fertility drugs can increase progesterone levels, as well as other hormones that work within the body to stimulate the release of progesterone.
Fertility drugs that are commonly used in the treatment of luteal phase problems include:
- Clomiphene citrate: This medication triggers the follicles so that they release mature eggs
- Human chorionic gonadotropin: This medication triggers ovulation, which should also stimulate the production of progesterone
- Progesterone: Progesterone supplements, creams, or injections may all be used to increase progesterone levels
If fertility medication alone does not prove successful in treating luteal phase problems, or if there are other fertility issues that need to be addressed, Dr. Dorsett may consider a more comprehensive treatment, such as IVF.
IVF begins with ovarian stimulation, which involves the use of fertility medication. Throughout IVF treatment, we continue to oversee and assist with all stages of conception to significantly increase a patient’s chance of becoming pregnant.
Schedule an Appointment
If it has been more than a year since you began trying to conceive, it may be time for a fertility evaluation. Dr. Janelle Dorsett can perform a thorough examination and recommend a treatment plan that will best meet your specific fertility needs. To learn more, call (806) 788-1212 and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.