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Short luteal phase - advice please!

(20 Posts)
SallyMischievo Sat 15-Feb-14 09:28:35

Dear All,
I posted last month as had started using OPKs after six months of just shagging and hoping for the best! I was a little alarmed as AF had arrived at 9DPO but was hopeful it was just a one-off. Sadly I have had exactly the same timings this cycle, (ovulated CD16, AF 9DPO) so I would be hugely grateful for some advice. What can I take to extend my LP and how many cycles might it be before it makes a difference? Also, would you recommend that I ask my GP to refer us for fertility tests at this stage? I'm going to be 38 in June so I am willing to scrape the funds together to have these done privately if there is likely to be a long wait!
Thank you! x

Shellster52 Sat 15-Feb-14 11:08:16

Hey Sally

I seem to ovulate late in my cycle and then my cycles are short at 24 - 26 days. I think it is slightly better now as my periods are more towards 26-27 days rather than 24-25. The two main things I attribute it to are quitting alcohol and Vitex.

I used to drink to drown my sorrows when my period arrived but have since read that this is bad news for your cycle and since I am now doing IVF as it turns out hubby has 100% abnormal sperm, I don't want to put a foot wrong when I am spending $$$$. The Vitex spray I got from a naturopath and I put two sprays under my tongue every morning. She says this is much better absorbed by the body than the tablets.

I am in Australia. I assume you are in England as that is where most Mumsnetters seem to live, so I am not sure how your medical system works over there but from what I read on here it sounds very slow. So yes I would personally highly recommend getting assistance ASAP.

I am 36 and don't produce many eggs during IVF and have realised how time is your worst enemy when it comes to TTC.

naty1 Sat 15-Feb-14 11:21:33

See if you can get a thyroid blood test done.
And they may be cd21 and cd3 tests for ovulation and fsh and lh levels.
Not sure how much they are but DH paid about )£100 for the infectious disease ones at gp prior to ivf

HungryHorace Sat 15-Feb-14 12:33:38

At your age they should refer for tests after 6 months of TTC.

You can always decide to go privately if a) they won't refer or b) the waiting list is horrendous.

Good luck.

jass43 Sat 15-Feb-14 17:43:48

vitex with B6vitamin took my LP from 9-10 to 13-14 in first cycle i started taking it. am now in cycle three, so two cycles with longer LP, hope it is not a coincidence

Showy Sat 15-Feb-14 17:47:47

A luteal phase averages between 10 and 16 days so a 9 day luteal phase is only very slightly short which is reassuring. And I certainly know people who have fallen pregnant with a luteal phase of 9 and 10 days respectively (I am one of them) so I don't think panic stations are necessary.

BUT at 38 and with a history of TTC and no conception, the GP should refer you as a matter of course. By all means try some of the things which are said to help (most of them certainly won't hinder) but pursue some preliminary investigations alongside this. Hopefully it won't be needed but if it is, getting started asap will help.

Solaia Sat 15-Feb-14 17:53:53

I take B6 and B complex and my short LP (9 days) is now consistently 13-14 days. I also now ovulate between CD 13 & 16 and I used to always ov around day 21. So my cycle lengths are the same, around 30 days, but the balance is a lot better.

I know you are using opks but a clear blue fertility monitor has been my saviour. It's amazing, I never have any doubts now about when my fertile window is.

Good luck! Go and see your GP btw to get the wheels in motion. We saw ours in July and were placed on the IVF waiting list last week, so about 9 months of tests and things before going on the list. The list itself is 12 months wait.

DevonLoch Sat 15-Feb-14 18:18:18

A short Lp should be investigated because it can be indicative of various things. there could be a follicle production issue, a corpus luteum problem, or failure of the uterine lining responding to normal levels of progesterone. These problems can also be found in conjunction with each other. And there are things that can be done to sort these out.
I would definitely get all your basic blood tests done through your GP as this may tell you a lot. Unless you are lucky, Don't expect a meaningful conversation with your GP about your Lp, you would need to see a gynae.
I was specifically told by my gynae that 10 days was too short and ideally it should be at least 12. Of course people can still get pregnant with less than 10 but with implantation happening on average around day 8/9, you can see you have reduced chances as your period arrives then.
Personally no one has ever got to the bottom of my short Lp. My progesterone level at 7dpo were in the 50s yet my period would always arrive 3 days later which doesn't make sense.
Best of luck.

SallyMischievo Sat 15-Feb-14 18:23:38

Thank you a million times to all who have replied. Very much appreciated by yours truly! Where can I buy Vitex from and do I need to ask for high dosages of the B vitamins recommended over the counter?

Shellster52 Sat 15-Feb-14 20:06:15

I bought Vitex from my naturopath and from memory it was vitamin B6 in particular that needs to be taken at 100mg daily.

But exactly as Showy says, while these things can't hurt, definitely a good idea to get the ball rolling with medical assistance. I spent a year trying different things to sort out my cycle because I thought it was the problem and then discovered hubby's sperm was 100% abnormal. Then another year before starting IVF. So two years of aging.

And as Solaia says, she had 12 months of testing to get on the IVF waiting list and now another 12 months to wait for IVF.

SallyMischievo Sun 16-Feb-14 17:21:56

Thanks again to all those who kindly advised me yesterday. I have an appointment with my GP scheduled for Friday and will also investigate clinics that carry out tests privately in the London area.
Vitex and 100mg capsules of Vitamin B6 now purchased! Just to clarify - should I take these from start of AF until ovulation only?

Floppityflop Sun 16-Feb-14 18:33:46

I am interested in this thread and other similar ones but don't want to hijack or waste time with a new thread. I have been trying for ages but only now became desperate enough to try OPKs. It seems I have OV'd later than I thought, CD19 on a 27/28 day cycle. I have had MC once about 6 yrs ago. (I am 36.). I onl get the peak fertility days, not the high fertility ones on the test and it says that can be be because of low oestrogen. I heard vit b6 can help but I stopped taking vits because I felt they were making me put on weight! Does vit b6 really help or do I need to see GP?

MollyWhuppie Mon 17-Feb-14 14:52:35

I have always had 9 - 10 day LP and have conceived twice quite quickly. I would recommend using Dong Quai alongside Agnus Castus & B vitamins (I heard that taking the complex is better as b6 works better when taken with other B vitamins. You need to take a high dose too - I took B100 Complex)

Dong Quai helps implantation which I think might help the embryo to implant in a shorter time which is good for short LP-ers!

SallyMischievo Mon 17-Feb-14 16:41:59

Thank you, Molly.
B Complex and Dong Quai added to my shopping list!
Did you take the vitamins, Agnus Castus and Dong Quai throughout your cycle or just from CD1 until ovulation? I have been reading conflicting advice.

jass43 Mon 17-Feb-14 17:06:31

exactly, there are two schools of this - vitex until ov only or all the way through. i am taking all the way thorugh, but i have not yet had a pregnancy on them. I have ad also that in case tou take it until bfp, do not stop before 12weeks, or you might hurt progesterone balance and miscarry.

SallyMischievo Mon 17-Feb-14 19:20:40

Thanks for your reply, Jass.
I am not sure which way to go with this. I think I might take it until ov this cycle and see if it makes any difference to LP. Will keep taking vits throughout cycle though!

Shellster52 Mon 17-Feb-14 23:01:22

I have read research that shows Vitex takes 3 months to work so not sure that you will see any difference taking it for two weeks one cycle. Glad you got an appointment with your GP to get the wheels in motion. So more things added to your shopping list. I have a whole shelf in my kitchen dedicated to vitamins now and a chart on my fridge telling me which ones to take and when. You are going to start following suit!

CakeInMyFace Tue 18-Feb-14 20:17:40

Is it safe to keep taking b6 one pregnant or are you meant to stop? Anyone know? I just started it as think I have a short lp. So far so good. If I were to hey a bfp would I stop it straightaway?

CakeInMyFace Tue 18-Feb-14 20:18:09

Get a bfp not hey a bfp!

Shellster52 Wed 19-Feb-14 00:59:33

Mm, not sure Cake, all my research has focused on infertility. Never thought to be positive and expect a BFP! I personally would stop and switch over to a prenatal tablet that would contain b complex in the correct dose along with folic acid. But that's my personal opinion.

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