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Luteal Phase Defect

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Monday, August 03, 2009 | 0 comments

Stock photo by lumix2004
Life size model of baby at 8 weeks after conceptionThe luteal phase of the menstrual cycle spans from ovulation at midcycle until menstruation. The luteal phase should last for at least 12 to 14 days. A luteal phase which is less than 10 days will have difficulty producing an environment favorable for implantation.

The luteal phase derives its name from the fact that the luteinized cells from the collapsed follicle undergo a structural transformation in response to increased vascularization, a process known as luteinization. Thereafter these two cell types produce progesterone; one of which is dependent on the secretion of luteinizing hormone.

When a pregnancy occurs, and the developing blastocyst burrows into the uterine lining, the embryo will secrete hCG, which stimulates the ovary to produce more progesterone. This process is called luteal rescue. If this process happens too late or if pregnancy does not occur, LH stimulation decreases, progesterone levels decrease and uterine prostaglandins are released. This causes the corpus luteum to shrivel. The uterine lining, because of lack of progesterone stimulation, is shed.

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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