Why Am I Not Getting Pregnant? Possible Reason #2: Short Luteal Phase

Okay, now that we’ve covered when to time sex to get pregnant, I’m going to move on to a more specific issue that can affect some women: short luteal phases.

This is a fairly common issue, but women who are unfamiliar with fertility charting are unlikely to know anything about it. The good news is, you can easily determine through charting your fertility signs if your luteal phase is too short, and, if it turns out you do have a short luteal phase, there are plenty of steps you can take to lengthen it and achieve a healthy pregnancy. Knowing exactly what the problem is could potentially save you LOTS of money in expensive fertility tests!

For those of you who are new to this, the luteal phase is the phase between when ovulation occurs and your next cycle starts. The luteal phase typically lasts 12-16 days for most women. However if your luteal phase is short (less than 10 days), you might have trouble getting pregnant.

To find out how long your luteal phase is, track your basal body temperatures every day throughout your cycle. If and when you notice a sustained temperature shift, mark it in the app by tapping the checkbox next to ‘Temperature Shift’ under the temperature wheel on the day of your shift. Once you do that, the app will count the number of days from the shift until your next cycle starts (i.e., the length of the luteal phase. Voila!)

So, how can a short luteal phase prevent you from getting pregnant? During the luteal phase, increased progesterone production causes your body to build up a nice, soft endometrium (uterine lining) in which a fertilized egg can implant. At the end of the luteal phase, if implantation hasn’t occurred, progesterone production shuts off, and the endometrium gets shed (i.e., you get your period).

If your luteal phase is very short, there might not be enough time for the fertilized egg to reach the endometrium before it gets shed. Without an endometrium, implantation can’t occur, and you won’t be able to get pregnant.

Like I said previously, if you find you have short luteal phases, there are a number of steps you can take to fix them. First, even though this article is titled ‘How to Regulate Your Period’, following the advice in it can also help to balance your cycles overall (and lengthen the luteal phase). Many women have used diet and lifestyle changes and natural remedies such as acupuncture and herbalism to successfully lengthen the luteal phase – so you may want to consider trying the natural route before resorting to more expensive or invasive procedures. 

Questions? Ask me in the comments :)

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