Luteal phase — what is it and how to calculate luteal phase

The reproductive function of women is manifested in the ability to produce healthy offspring. This problem becomes increasingly relevant, because the birth rate each year had plummeted. To ensure that the process of fertilization and conception helps luteal phase.

Luteal phase is the period coming after the process of ovulation when the production of luteinizing hormone suspended, and the work enters the corpus luteum, ensuring the production of progesterone.

In addition to progesterone, are produced and other hormones involved in the preparation of the body to motherhood and changing the structure of the inner layer of the uterus. If fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum dies and goes along with menstrual secretions.

Physiology of the menstrual cycle

Menstrual periods first start with the girls entering puberty. Since then, the cycle continues, preparing the female body to the process of fertilization and pregnancy. This physiological process in women is the norm. Any deviations in the form of an irregular menstruation, their absence or presence of bleeding consider pathology requiring consultation.

In the period of the cycle in the ovary is the follicle with a developing egg in it. If fertilization does not happen, the egg dies and comes out with bloody menstrual discharge (menstruation).

Every woman the duration of menstrual period of an individual because of the nature of the organism, heredity, systemic diseases. The norm is considered to be moderate menstrual discharge, continuing from 3 to 7 days. Shortening or lengthening of this period is an unfavorable sign, and indicates the presence of any problems in the reproductive sphere.

Menstrual cycle (MC) usually lasts 28 days, but the norm I think, and the duration from 21 to 35 calendar days. Typically, the duration of menstruation has not changed. But sometimes high physical workload, mental strain, stress and hormonal imbalance changing the time.

MTS is divided into 3 phases:

  1. The first phase is the follicular or menstrual. It is characterized by the time of the release of the Mature follicle with menstruation. The duration of this stage is variable and depends on many factors. On average, after 6 – 7 days from the start of the cycle in the ovaries begins to Mature new follicles. Under the influence of estradiol-active follicles increases markedly in size and becomes dominant. In medical terminology it is called grafoam follicle.
  2. The second phase of the cycle, the ovulatory phase. At this point, see the active the body’s production of luteinizing hormone and growth of the dominant follicle. Its growth contribute to emissions of large amounts of hormones and also the production of enzymes and prostaglandins that regulate the process of ovulation. This stage lasts two days.
  3. Luteal (secretory) phase – the third stage. Is characterized by the transformation of the follicle into a temporary endocrine gland (yellow body) produces progesterone from the occurrence of fertilization (after ovulation).
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What is luteal phase?

Luteal phase, often referred to as the progesterone, is an important physiological process. What is the period? It is regarded as the final stage of the menstrual cycle in which there is a gap and out of the follicle. Released hormones transform the inner layer of the uterus. This process allows to create a favorable environment for the embryo (in case of successful fertilization). Production of progesterone occurs after ovulation until the full development of the placenta (14-16 weeks). If fertilization has not occurred, hormone production ceases, and menstruation occurs.

The method of calculation of the luteal phase

How to calculate luteal phase? Length of the luteal phase is relatively constant, hovering at around 13 – 14 days.

To track the luteal period, you can use several methods:

  • measurement of basal temperature;
  • counting on the calendar;
  • with the help of ultrasound.

Basal temperature

Measurement of temperature in the rectum should be done every morning before getting out of bed. If the figure of mercury reached 37 degrees, we can assume the beginning of the ovulatory phase. During this period, the probability of conception is very high. After ovulation the basal temperature drops to 36.5 degrees, which indicates the beginning of the luteal phase. In the case of conception basal temperature will remain consistently high.

The calendar method

The second method is to determine the ovulatory phase on calendar days. To calculate the date of ovulation can, counting 14 days from the first day of the last menstrual period. This calculation does not give accurate results because the follicular phase is not defined by clear boundaries. The oscillation observed from 12 to 24 days or more, which is normal and conforms to the physiological characteristics of the organism.

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Long follicular phase occurs in nursing mothers, or may indicate the presence of tumors in the ovaries. Cysts in the ovaries – a common phenomenon (especially during the hormonal changes the body), which in most cases is within two to three months without any treatment. Not be amiss to consult a doctor and find out the cause of the lengthening of the follicular phase of the cycle.


Consultation with application of tool methods of research (ultrasound) with the help of modern medical equipment gives the most accurate answer, what is the luteal phase to know how to define it and how it will continue. Ultrasound can give much information. During the examination, the doctor can see signs of ovulation and to detect the corpus luteum, and hence to determine the approximate time of the onset of the luteal phase.

The luteal phase deficiency

Pathological changes of the length of the luteal phase usually indicate an obvious reproductive disorders, and are accompanied by infertility.

  1. Changes in the level of hormones, their imbalance. Active production of prolactin negatively affects the function of gonadotropins, reduces the production of FSH and LH and violates the course of the menstrual cycle.
  2. Inflammatory processes in the reproductive system.
  3. The endometriosis.
  4. Common systemic diseases (hypothyroidism, diabetes, functional disorders of the hypothalamus).
  5. Infectious diseases.
  6. Taking certain medicines.
  7. Psychogenic factor.


To determine the cause of luteal phase defect doctor suggests the patient to undergo a certain examination, including blood tests for hormones. Normal values of hormones during the luteal phase of the cycle presented in the table.

Hormone The norm The reasons for the increase The reasons for the decline
FSH Of 1.09 – 9.2 mmed/ml A pituitary tumor, endometriosis, hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, persistence of the follicle. Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, hyperprolactinemia, obesity.
LH And 0.61 – 16.3 per mmed/ml Pituitary adenoma syndrome, ovarian failure, endometriosis, hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, prolonged fasting. Hyperprolactinemia, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, a true luteal phase deficiency, obesity.
Prolactin 109 – 557 IU/ml A tumor of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, PCOS. Sheehan’s syndrome, hyperglycemia.
Estradiol 91 – 861 pmol/l Persistence of the follicle, endometrioma ovarian cyst, ovarian tumor. Testicular feminization, hyperprolactinemia, sudden weight loss, heavy physical exertion.
Progesterone 70 – 56.6 nmol/l Some forms of secondary amenorrhea, kidney failure. Chronic inflammatory processes in the pelvic organs, persistence of follicles, endocrine pathology.
Testosterone 0,52 – of 1.72 nmol/l Syndrome Cushing’s, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, ovarian tumor. Hyperprolactinemia, adrenal insufficiency, use of corticosteroids.
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According to the testimony appointed by ultrasound, MRI and other methods of instrumental diagnostics.

Treatment and prevention

Independently identify violations is not possible. Visually we can only see the violation of the cycle, but to determine the real picture of what is happening possible in the complex of laboratory and instrumental methods of examination.

The main focus is aimed at addressing the root causes of pathological disorders and the use of hormonal therapy to stimulate ovulatory function. For extra treatment apply physical therapy (with the use of phonophoresis intravaginal), acupuncture and Spa (hydrogen sulfide baths, mud Black sea and Mediterranean sea).

Only careful attitude towards their health, hygiene and routine, prompt treatment of systemic diseases, lack of stress combined with the modern techniques of infertility treatment will help to prevent dysfunction of the reproductive system.