The luteal phase is a time period within a woman's menstrual cycle. The luteal phase starts the day after ovulation and lasts until menstruation. Because conception occurs during the luteal phase, this period is very important for women wishing to get pregnant. Women with a short luteal phase may experience difficulty getting pregnant. Therefore, some women may seek natural ways to lengthen their luteal phase. Consult your physician before starting any natural treatment to extend the luteal phase.
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Length of the Luteal Phase
The length of the luteal phase differs for every woman. It usually lasts from 10 to 16 days. A luteal phase of less than 10 days may make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant. During ovulation, your body temperature rises. Therefore, if you wish to find the length of your luteal phase, take your basal body temperature each morning. When you see it rise, you may assume that ovulation has started. You luteal phase ends once you start menstruating.
In some cases, taking certain vitamins may help extend your luteal phase and increase fertility. Vitamin B6 is one of the most common treatments for luteal phase defect, or LPD, which simply means a shortened luteal phase. Vitamin C may also help some women, especially older women, achieve pregnancy. Both of these vitamins can be found in healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and eggs.
Chasteberry, more commonly known as vitex, is the fruit of the small, shrublike chaste tree. Vitex extract, sold in capsules, is used by many women to promote fertility. The plant has been shown to help lengthen the luteal phase and increase progesterone levels.
Dong quai is a well-known Chinese herb that has been used for more than a thousand years in traditional Chinese medicine. Dong quai grows in the mountains of China, Korea and Japan. The root is harvested and turned into tablets or powders. Dong quai has traditionally been taken to help women with a variety of reproductive issues including irregular periods and infertility. However, research has yet to determine the efficacy of the plant.
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