The luteal phase is the second part of a women’s cycle, occurring after ovulation and is dependent on progesterone levels to maintain the uterine lining and potential pregnancy. During this phase several issues can arise and impact the possibility of conception. When issues arise most women will experience brown spotting before their period, feel pregnant but still get their period or have intense PMS. In most cases, women will never know unless they base basal temperature chart or become part of the silent “unexplained infertility” diagnosis.

Within each follicle there is an egg and a corpus luteum. The corpus luteum acts like a little pump, pulsating and releasing progesterone. When a follicle ruptures from the ovary, an egg is released and the corpus luteum starts pumping progesterone to support a pregnancy. Thus, the two weeks after ovulation are called the luteal phase – named after the corpus luteum.

The corpus luteum receives stimulation as the follicle matures during the follicular phase. With correct hormonal signaling from the HPA, the corpus luteum will have proper pumping capacity and stock up enough progesterone to sustain the cycle for 14 days.

For certain women, the follicular growth cycle is to short, such as ovulation on day 9 through 12. The short time span does not allow the corpus luteum to develop correctly, causing the luteal phase to be unstable. When the corpus luteum does not pump correctly, progesterone is secreted in an inconsistent manor. With temperature charting, the luteal phase will fall short, temperatures will fluctuate from day to day or start dropping before the period is to arrive. With progesterone being secrete unevenly, the environment is not robust enough for the implantation of an embryo.

It is important to treat the follicular phase of the cycle to change the corpus luteum’s functioning. This can potentially improve egg quality, as the egg is also impacted by irregular hormonal signaling. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are the best combined treatment for LPD. Research has found acupuncture to improve the ovarian response leading to improved follicular quality and corpus luteum functioning. In fact research has shown some Chinese herbs can increase the sensitivity of progesterone receptors to the body’s own hormones, encouraging the corpus luteum to produce and secret progesterone appropriately.

Come in and find a new treatment to support your body and encourage it to become stronger. Learn all the tips, so your luteal phase can change and develop into a robust part of a much bigger chapter.

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