The use of Clomid, hCG, or progesterone injections, pills, or suppositories might be recommended for women who are trying to conceive, but are susceptible to miscarriage due to the luteal phase defect. The following article provides information on the treatment and causes of this condition.
The luteal phase is a period which occurs between ovulation and menstruation in the monthly cycle. During this period, progesterone stimulates the uterine lining to thicken, so as to prepare for a possible pregnancy. In case the egg and sperm fertilize, the fertilized egg travels from the Fallopian tube into the uterus and gets implanted. This period or phase takes around usually lasts from 12 to 14 days. According to some doctors, problems can arise if the phase lasts less than 12 days.
A luteal phase defect (LPD) can occur if the ovaries do not release sufficient amounts of progesterone, and the uterine lining does not properly respond to the progesterone. So, women who conceive but suffer from this defect have higher chances of suffering from an early miscarriage. This is due to the fact that women undergoing this condition suffer from breakdown of their uterine lining, which in turn, causes menstruation and an early miscarriage.
Diagnosis of this condition is made with the help of a biopsy of the endometrium. However, this kind of test may turn out to be painful and also, a pricey affair. So, a measure of the level of progesterone in the body might be used for the diagnosis. LPD is not a disease too severe to be corrected. In most cases, over-the-counter medications are good enough for the treatment. And when OTC drugs do not work, the prescription ones always do.
Daily intake of vitamin B6 supplements and applying progesterone cream on the inner arm, inner thigh, neck, and chest might help in extending the duration of this phase. The recommended dosage for vitamin B6 and progesterone cream are 50 mg to 200 mg and ¼ – ½ a tsp. respectively. When OTC drugs are of little or no use, then the doctor may recommend medicines such as Clomid or progesterone suppositories for the treatment.
Clomid stimulates the ovaries to make more follicles and release eggs, and has to be administered orally, as per the dosage prescribed by the doctor. Progesterone suppositories are meant to be administered vaginally. This drug must be used after ovulation has taken place and until either 14 days after ovulation. In case of women who are trying to get pregnant, the use of Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) may help induce ovulation and produce more progesterone.
What May Disrupt the Luteal Phase?
The body needs to produce progesterone for the uterine lining to be thick enough and prepared for the implantation of a fertilized embryo. Progesterone is needed for a good quality corpus luteum that is formed by the follicle. The follicle may not develop properly, if the woman does not have a normal level of FSH, i.e., follicle stimulating hormone or her ovaries does not respond strongly to the same. So this may result in a failure of the corpus luteum, which may lead to inadequate production of progesterone. In short, low levels of FSH results in low progesterone and this factor causes menses to arrive sooner, thereby causing LPD.
In some cases, it may happen that even if the follicle is adequately developed, the corpus luteum may fail prematurely. This might occur if the corpus luteum does not persist for as long as it should (i.e., it degenerates after a few days unless pregnancy has begun). So due to this, the production of progesterone may dwindle at 5 – 7 days after ovulation. This causes menstruation. LPD might occur due to the unresponsive action of the uterine lining to normal levels of progesterone, despite the fact that the adequate follicle is properly developed and so is the corpus luteum. Due to this, the implantation of the fertilized egg does not take place.
On a concluding note, the treatment of LPD involves the use of OTC or prescription-strength drugs. Medical help must be sought for proper treatment at the earliest.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.