I think I might have a short luteal phase – how can I be sure?
A luteal phase length of at least 10 days is usually required for successful implantation of an embryo. Anything less than 10 days is considered a ‘short luteal phase’ and will usually prevent a pregnancy from establishing. Spotting that occurs within 10 days of ovulation can also suggest a luteal phase defect.
Before you start to worry however, there are a couple of factors to be aware of:
Firstly, not all charts are straightforward to read and interpret. As a consequence you may have ovulated earlier than your chart suggests, with a corresponding luteal phase length that is normal. A single chart with an apparent short luteal phase is nothing to be concerned about. However, if you consistently experience this pattern across a number of cycles, you will need to consult your doctor for further investigation.
Secondly, if your temperature doesn’t increase until 3 or more days after your last day of fertile cervical fluid, you may be ovulating earlier than your temperatures suggest. Some women take longer to react to the temperature-raising effect of progesterone after ovulation. In this case your luteal phase will appear shorter than it actually is.
For more information on this topic, check out Step 3 of the Program (or see the Step 3 resource Your Guide to – Luteal Phase Defects)