For women with a short luteal phase, it can be a struggle to conceive. It is essential that there is a long enough period between ovulation and the time menstruation is expected, because fertilized eggs need time to implant into the lining of the uterus. When there is a shortage of time, menstruation shows up even if the egg was fertilized, and the fertilized egg then leaves the body with the menstrual blood.
Everyone’s cycles vary somewhat, and the luteal phase can be longer and shorter with each cycle. But when the luteal phase is consistently too short to allow eggs to implant properly, it severely affects a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. What can be done to solve this problem, improve a woman’s chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant? How to increase the luteal phase?
The first thing to try, and probably the least invasive, is taking a Vitamin B6 supplement. Many women report that their luteal phase increased after starting Vitamin B6 supplements – often one or two days in the first month, but up to a week for subsequent cycles. The exact reason why Vitamin B6 lengthens the luteal phase is unknown, but most experts agree that it is closely linked to lowering levels of the hormone prolactin in the body.
Vitamin C and all-in-one prenatal vitamins have also been known to increase the length of some women’s luteal phases, so you could try either a combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, or just take a prenatal vitamin. You can gradually increase the dose of Vitamin B6 to 200 mg a day, if need be.
Acupuncture, and herbal supplements like fenugreek, dong quai, and red clover, can also play a role in lengthening the luteal phase. These are powerful methods, but they need to be used with caution, as they are dangerous when administered by people without sufficient knowledge. Unfortunately, due to the unregulated nature of alternative medicine, there is a lot of quackery in this field. If you have decided to undergo acupuncture or try herbal medications, I’d recommend you choose your practitioner carefully, and only on the basis of personal recommendations.
Failing those methods, progesterone creams might help resolve a Luteal Phase Defect. Many progesterone creams are available over the counter, though it is probably best to discuss the use of such creams with a doctor before starting. Progesterone creams do just what their name suggests – they increase progesterone levels that are so essential in the luteal phase, through direct application to the skin. It is best to vary the location where you apply a progesterone cream. Neck, arms, thighs and chest are the best areas for progesterone cream application.
Finally, there is the fertility drug Clomid. While this popular drug is mainly known for its ovulation-stimulation properties, Clomid can also be used to correct a Luteal Phase Defect in some women. Deciding to use Clomid (after careful consultation with your healthcare provider) is a big step, and not without risks and side effects. But at the same time, Clomid has helped many thousands of women achieve their dreams of motherhood.