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The Short Luteal Phase Gang

(299 Posts)
onedaybaby Thu 24-Mar-11 18:20:34


I've noticed that the question about a short LP comes up quite a lot, and I would love it if we had our own thread to discuss where methods we are doing to try to increase it, lengths and what the dr thinks!

My LP is 8 days with a 31 day cycle.

I am currently taking Agnus Castus and have had accupuncture for 2 months. I also use the CBFM.

This will be my 9th month TTC. I have had the 21 day blood test (which has to be done on 28), the day 3 blood test and an ultrascan. All tests are normal.

MrsHY1 Tue 19-Apr-11 20:48:24

Hello all!
Right - well, I had my appointment with the consultant this morning. The good news is that my blood work was normal - showing I had normal levels of FSH and LH. Which is great, because I can remember when the levels were all over the shop when I was first diagnosed with PCOS - seems like the metformin I've been taking this past five years has corrected things!
The bad news is that this makes my case less straightforward - because even though I ovulate late - I am ovulating - so it would be against hospital protocol to give me Clomid. When challenged about my spotting and short luteal phase, he really didn't think it was a big deal and said there was no conclusive evidence that short lp hampers the chances of fertility. He's actually right there - but I pointed out that there's no evidence to say it DOESN'T hamper the chances either!
Anyway - I had been prepared for this so had taken in with me print-outs of medical abstracts of studies that have shown Clomid's effectiveness in extending lp and resulting in successful pregnancy. Where we got to was that he's happy to give me Clomid provided we pay for the first month of ultrasounds (about £250), provided the gynae agrees. He seems to think that this is a formality so I signed all the consent forms there and then - I really hope so.
He's hoping to talk to the gynae this week or early next, then will write out my prescription and post it to me. I really hope the gynae says yes!
Greengrassy - Best of luck to you, let me know how you get on! xx

joycep Wed 20-Apr-11 13:30:07

And I had my appointment earlier. Greengrassy, she is great isn't she? So proactive. She just sat there shaking her head hwen I was told that everything is normal. She said, I can see straightaway that it's all normal.
I have pretty straight forward periods, no spotting but I said to her my LP is 10/11 days. She said that IS a problem and is definitely too short. Although they often put m/c's down to an abnormality - a short LP could easily have been the reason. She said it just needs to be tweaked a little bit and is easy to sort out.
I showed her my results from my blood test on the NHS last week where I was told all was normal at 30n/ml for progesterone. She said 30 is too low - she likes to see above 40.
So, I'm getting an HSG tube thing done tomorrow. Her reason for this was just to check i didn't have one tube blocked or sth. I'm going back next week for a scan where she'll give me something to induce ovulation..a bit of clomid which she said was absolutely fine even though I'm ovulating. I'm going to be given progesterone suppostories to lengthen the luteal phase as well.
MrsHY - it's interesting what your guy was saying to you about not thinking it was a big deal. It seems to be the running theme. But well done for challenging.
I must say I'm quite surprised that I am being put on clomid and all these other things. Not looking forward to this tubal thing but let's hope we can all finally get our LPs sorted!
Greengrassy - I hope AF hasn't got you.

onedaybaby Wed 20-Apr-11 19:58:30

Oh this is so frustrating! I don't understand why my guy said an LP of 8 days and a week of spotting was ok while yours agree there's issues at 10/11 days!! (See earlier post on this thread) I guess I will have to wait for the 12 month mark before I can start speaking to some fertility experts.

MrsHY1 Wed 20-Apr-11 20:25:04

Onedaybaby - join the club love! My specialist may be erring towards giving me Clomid but that's only because it is also used in cases of 'unexplained fertility' and I sort of bullied him into it... he didn't think my short luteal phase (which looks remarkably like yours although I may squeeze an extra day and make it up to 9 if you don't count a day of heavier spotting...which I don't (!) was a problem.
I think the thing to remember is that they don't KNOW it's a problem. There is a school of thought suggesting that lpd is a condition that private specialists like to believe in (i.e. they weigh up the evidence and come down on the side of it being a problem) because then they can treat it with drugs and ultrasounds, both of which cost money. BTW I'm in NO WAY saying that private specialists are solely driven by money - far from it - perhaps they know something that the NHS don't. However, all the medical evidence points towards ovulation being the most important part of the jigsaw. So each month I tell myself that I've got this on my side. Perhaps do the same and see if you feel better.
PS - you can guaruntee that next time I get my period 8 days after I ovulate I'll be banging on about how LPD is DEFINITELY the reason I'm not up the duff and will tell you to completely ignore all of the above! I've never been the best at following my own advice x

joycep Thu 21-Apr-11 10:50:23

I don't understand why they don't think 8 days is a problem oneday. I have spoken to 4 or 5 different people over the last 8 months about my LP. One consultant said it was a problem and his colleague said it wasn't. This gynae is the first person to say it is sub optimal, it needs tweaking. MrsHY is right, there will definitely be a money factor behind these private specialists. I'm not convinced i really need an HSG for example considering I've got pregnant before but then I think there is a money issue with the nhs as well which is preventing you getting the right treatment because this isn't a life threatening matter.
Ovulation is obviously key in getting pregnant but if you're ovulating and your period is coming 8 days later, surely that must flag up to a specialist that something is out of phase. I think everything I have read about LP has always said that under 10 days LP should be investigated. 10/11 days is a bit iffy. If implantation takes 9 days on average but you get your period before this, then chances of getting pregnant must be reduced. However, there are always going to be the exceptions as some people on MN have proved.
My whole thinking for me is that I don't think it's normal to be in cycle 11 after a m/c and for nothing to have happened. If my DH is normal and I'm supposedly normal and for our ages, then on the rules of probability it should have happened which tells me there is something that is slightly skewed.

greenygrassy Thu 21-Apr-11 13:33:07

It is frustrating isn't it! As you have all said I think that no-one is sure one way or the other, and the money factor works both ways. I was thinking the other day that the private consultant joycep and I are seeing is sitting on a goldmine of desperate women. Having said that I saw an NHS consultant a few months ago, who did consider giving me progesterone to lengthen my luteal phase. She did add that she had no idea whether it would make a difference to fertility though. It seems to me that you can get pregnant with a short luteal phase, if you happen to have early implantation one month, but that it's likely to take longer (as we've noticed) because you have to wait for that early implantation month.

joy I'm so happy she was helpful and nice. It sounds like you're getting exactly the same treatment as me. I already had the hcg shot (though I had ovulated, so it was more for LP than to induce ovulation), and I'll be starting on Clomid and getting the HSG.

I'm 14 dpo with no sign of AF or spotting! I think this must be due to the hcg shot I was given after I ovulated. I didn't do anything else that was different , and I've never got this far before. Unfortunately though all tests have been BFN, and now I am feeling the familiar drag. Still, it's nice to get to 14 dpo.

greenygrassy Thu 21-Apr-11 13:48:03

joy Just realised you must be getting the HSG today - good luck. Hope it goes well.

joycep Tue 26-Apr-11 11:34:12

hey greengrassy - did AF show up? I hope not. If i got to 14dpo, I would be convincing myself i was pregnant.
HSG was fine, it was very quick as had no blockages. I guess it's one thing to rule out. I go back tomorrow for a scan and i'm not quite sure what she's going to give me next...clomid i think!

MrsHY1 Sat 07-May-11 12:10:10

Hello, how is everyone?
I'm cd37 today and was all excited because I thought I o'ed on cd 23 and never get past 8-9 days and much past 5 without spotting - but did a test this morning and BFN. I actually got a load of EWCM last night so think this cycle is a massively late one, ovulation wise, or perhaps it'll be anovulatory.
Anyway, the gynae at Kings has approved me for Clomid for three cycles at first and then we'll review - so not all bad news! They're due to arrive with me (they get sent direct from the drugs company - have never heard of that before) on Tuesday afternoon. Have to wait for AF to come and then take them cd2-6 and then go in for an ultrasound on cd10 to check I'm not hyper-responding. Also have to do OPKs day 10-20.
So wish me luck girls. I'll let you know how I get on. Greengrassy - we may end up being Clomid buddies! xx

MrsHY1 Sat 07-May-11 12:10:58

Durrr, sorry, I meant joycep we might be Clomid buddies! Sorry greengrassy!

eurochick Sat 07-May-11 12:31:27

My LP seems to have gone from 11 days to 12 after my first month of acupunture. Legnthening the second part of the cycle was one of the things she was aiming to do. It'll be interesting to see if it stays that way and is not just a fluke.

MrsHY1 Sat 07-May-11 16:08:36

Ooh that is interesting eurochick. Hope it stays that way for you. I've decided to knock my acupuncture, Chinese herbs and all the other vits I've been taking on the head- apart from my prenatal multivit. I'm just not convinced anything has had an effect- and judging from my current very ling, anovulatory cycle I might even have made things worse!

joycep Sun 08-May-11 08:50:24

That's great you have been approved Mrshy. I hope you get a bfp though from this cycle. I will be starting in just over a week I guess. I have to test on Friday and if bfn I will stop my progesterone and wait for AF. Actually not looking forward to clomid. I think extra progesterone has made me moody and very emotional so god knows what I will be like on clomid!
Eurochick - glad acupuncture working for you. Mine never managed to extend my LP.

greenygrassy Mon 09-May-11 18:29:17

Hi Ladies, Af did get me last month (on 15dpo - at least LP was better), so I took Clomid on days 2-6. I took it at night, due to advice that doing it like that doesn't make you so crazy. It was fine, and I didn't even notice it. Sooo, last wednesday I had an ultrasound, and I had two ripe eggs, one in each ovary! The right was bigger than the left.

MrsHY1 joycep we can all be clomid buddies, unless you girls get lucky this month. Fingers crossed.

eurochick Mon 09-May-11 18:58:29

It's early days but seems promising. I also had a 3 day LH surge rather than my usual one dayer, so it seems to be doing something. I just hope it is helpful!

MrsHY1 Mon 09-May-11 20:32:04

That's fab greengrassy, and thanks for the tip about taking it at night! That's fab that you've got two eggs! Does that mean that both will definitely be released? And if so does that mean twins?!?

I just hope I don't hyper-respond - if I do and I've got more than 4 follicles when I have the ultrasound they'll cancel the cycle and cancel the Clomid.

I'm so negative - I need to be more positive!!

joycep Tue 10-May-11 11:29:56

Sorry AF got you greengrassy. I'm 100% positive I'm not pregant this month. Cross fingers for this month for you.. Out of interest, what day did you have to go in for the scan and did you get an HSG injection to encourage ovulation? I guess clomid has just brought ovulation forward for you then..? I'm not quite clear what it actually does.
MrsHY - I find it's so easy to be negative with this. I'm sure you won't hyper respond if you start on a low dose. I thought it was quite safe stuff.

greenygrassy Wed 11-May-11 19:18:34

Gals, I asked the consultant about hyper-stimulation before I started and she said that on such a low dosage, there's no way it would happen. I'm on 50mg. Still I was a little worried too. It is easy to be negative before you start, but don't be, it really is fine.

I don't know if both eggs will have released, but I've been imagining the triumphant conception of twins all week!

I went for the scan on day 10 and she gave me the HCG on that day and said I would ovulate the next day or the day after that at the latest, but she said that my follicles actually looked more like day 12 follicles. (This is prob because I still spotted before AF and started the clomid after the spotting, so prob was day 12.)

I'm not really sure what the point is either! She said that the womb lining might not be synched with ovulation, hence the lpd, and the clomid would help with that.

Any good news from you MrsHY1 or joy?

MrsHY1 Thu 12-May-11 21:17:52

Hi greengrassy
Fingers crossed for your twin conception! Interesting point about HCG jab - I think in my blurb from Kings it says that if I don't end up ovulating with the Clomid alone they support it with HCG. But I hopefully should O, given I do usually - it's just ever so late and then I have the LPD on top.
I'm keen to start my Clomid but am still in the longest cycle I can remember! Day 42 today. Will probably test tomorrow because if i still don't have AF by early next week I might go to the GP for Provera so I can start the Clomid. 99.9% sure it'll come up negative though. But a girl can wish!! x

greenygrassy Fri 13-May-11 18:17:09

MrsHY1 Day 42 - wow - that is quite some cycle. How did the testing go today?

joycep Fri 13-May-11 22:26:39

Hi greengrassy - thanks for the info. AF got me today so I will start the clomid on Sunday eve. I knew nothing had happened this month so quite pleased just to get it over with. It is good to hear that clomid didn't affect you that much. I am crossing fingers for you, twins and all!
Oh MrsHy - I hope you are pregnant! That must be so frustrating to be waiting all this time....Cross fingers for you too.
Hope you ladies all have a good weekend.

MrsHY1 Sat 14-May-11 12:00:30

Hello ladies
Tested yesterday and BFN of course - if I ovulated when I originally thought I did, it would have made me 17 dpo yesterday - so I'm fairly sure if I was pregnant it would have showed. But, if I ovulated when I next thought - about a week ago - then I should be spotting by now! It's all very confusing. It also doesn't help that I've had a lot of CM since the last 'batch' (sorry!) of EWCM whereas normally I go from EWCM to nothing to spotting to AF. I also have a bit of boob pain and twinging in my right ovary (that's what it feels like). I think this cycle my poor ovaries have tried and failed to lay an egg twice and are now gearing up for a third go! I guess I'll give it another week and see if AF arrives. I hope there's no sell-by date on the Clomid!

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 16-May-11 13:48:29

Hello all, please may I join you? I have my first GP appointment on Friday to discuss my luteal phase length - I've only been charting for 4 months, but each month it has got shorter! My first charted cycle was 13 days, which I was pleased with, then it went down to 11, then 9, then 8 this month. I called my GP this morning to ask if they thought I should be concerned, and they asked me to come in, which I wasn't really expecting - I thought they'd ask me to chart for a few more months and then call again if it hadn't lengthened. Does anyone have any tips on questions to ask? I was going to ask about vitamin B6 and agnes castus, and about doing some tests, but any advice would be very gratefully received. Thanks!

joycep Mon 16-May-11 14:36:20

LoveIn - welcome. That's strange that there is such a varied LP length as that normally stays fairly consistent. I've read about a few people having this. I guess you're positive about when you're ovulating..? Are your cycles quite regular?
Anyway, what i have learnt from MN is that many people's experiences with GPs regarding fertility in general and espeically LP is frustrating to say the least. If you find your GP saying LP of 8 days is not important then you know they don't know much about it! I would tell them it's a concern for you and you would like the Day 3 LH and FSH test and day 21 progesterone test. Whilst you're there, you might as well get all the other tests like thyroid, vit D all done. Just rule out all the standard ones. Once you get your results and even if they're normal, I would try and get a referral to a gynae. They are the specialists in fertility and not GPs.
I say all this , not knowing how long you've been trying. Many GPs like you to be trying for a year (if you're under 35) but if it's bothering you and you want to get to the bottom of it, I would always suggest being proactive. If you get pregnan in the meantime, well you haven't lost anything! I hope that is of some help.

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 16-May-11 14:50:48

Thanks, joycep - my ever-decreasing luteal phase does seem a bit odd when it's supposed to stay fairly consistent. It tends to be fairly clear from EWCM and temperatures when I've ovulated, but I have got some OV tests this month for the first time so we'll see if those results match the rest. We only started trying in January, so it's very early days, but my GP seemed keen on the phone for me to come in, so hopefully given the massive weirdness of my luteal phase they will take it seriously. I will push for tests I think as surely a decrease over 4 cycles from 13 days to 8 must suggest something is not quite right! A couple of months I have had lots of cramping in the luteal phase but then AF has arrived so I've wondered if maybe an egg has been fertilised and is trying to implant but AF overrules things? This may, however, be entirely inaccurate/medically impossible! I will see what my GP says on Friday. I think my medical insurance pays for fertility testing (going to check the policy tonight) so it may be that if I can get a referral from my GP, I can go forward with insurance.

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