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Despairing about short cycles/luteal phase - any experts out there?

(31 Posts)
TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 09:07:48

I'm 36 and we've been ttc DC1 for four months. Today AF has arrived at only 9dpo, making this my shortest LP yet. Got +OPK on CD13 and now AF already on CD22. I've always had shortish cycles but they're definitely getting worse - been tracking for over a year now and lately LP has shortened from average 10/11 days to 8/9 days. First half of cycle seems fine - +OPKs every month, plenty of ECWM, sore sides of breasts afterwards. After that it all goes wrong!

Been taking 100mg B6 this cycle as it seems to work for so many people, but if anything it's made things even worse! Also had day 21 bloods done last week - results due on Mon but not convinced they'll be accurate as were actually done on CD19 in the end (no appointment slots available on the right day!)

Anyone with similar experiences care to share? Beginning to despair about the whole thing and suspect DC are not going to happen for us. Based on my erratic cyclues I'm terrified I'm already perimenopausal. sad

ocelot41 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:10:00

Hi, I had exactly the same experience - same age, same LP. We now have a 7 year old DS - just offering a hand to hold

SweepTheHalls Sat 12-Nov-16 09:10:19

When TTC dc3 my cycles become very short too, averaging 18-21 days. I used fertility apps to track my cycles, and made sure we had lots of sex in the week around ovulation. After 2 and a half years we finally conceived DD. Good luck flowers

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 09:26:17

Thanks so much sweep and ocelot - lovely to hear your positive stories. Trying not to stress too much about it all but it's hard when your body is doing so many weird things and it's probably also tied up with guilt about leaving things too late (DP is also older at 42). My body has changed a lot over the past couple of years (never been on hormonal contraception so been very aware of cycles etc) and I guess I've been a bit of an ostrich about it. Periods are also getting lighter (although they've never exactly been heavy) hence the perimenopausal angst!

Think I've already done everything I can self-help wise from B6 to magnesium to Brazil nuts, so I guess going down the medical route is now our only option.

ocelot41 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:32:07

Temps, it feels like forever if you are TTC but 4 months isn't that long. It took us a year to conceive - and we managed it with an LP of 10 days, so it can be done. There is some research to suggest that sweeteners disrupt hormones, so I would say ditch them, and there is also some research to suggest that full fat dairy can help. So I did a daily ice cream dose! Seemed to work as before that my LP was only 7 days. No harm in putting your name down for a fertility clinic too as there is a bit of a wait. Good luck x

SweepTheHalls Sat 12-Nov-16 10:11:14

It is so hard, you have a hand hold here x

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 10:24:59

Thanks again Ocelot - I realise this sounds totally clueless, but how do I find out a good fertility clinic? My GP said that I'd be referred to their own clinic if my day 21/day 3 tests came back abnormal but otherwise I'd have to wait the standard 12 months to be referred. We do have funds to go private at least for initial consultations/tests, but I don't know where to start really!

HeyPresto1 Sat 12-Nov-16 11:16:35

Temps, where are you based? If in London, I can recommend a fab consultant who you could see in the first instance.

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 12:41:27

That sounds brilliant Hey - I am indeed in London, so please do recommend away!

Like I said all this is totally new to me, and I don't know anyone else who's struggled with ttc (or at least anyone who's honest about it!) My Mum conceived myself and DB first try at 34/36 and most of my close friends had kids earlyish at mid to late 20s, so I'm a bit of an outlier!

ocelot41 Sat 12-Nov-16 12:42:08

Sorry Temps, I didn't go private so don't know.

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 12:42:36

Just reading back my posts and cringing at the number of acronyms I've just - been well and truly sucked into this ttc madness! smile

ocelot41 Sat 12-Nov-16 12:43:34

It does totally drive you crazy - we understand!

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 12:48:11

OK no worries Ocelot. Did you get referred on quickly or have to wait it out? My GP seems utterly clueless about fertility stuff, which I think is fairly common. Had to explain what a luteal phase was at my last appointment.

Interesting about the dairy tip as I'd pretty much cut it out - switched to almond milk and coconut yogurt. Liking the sound of the ice cream idea, even though it's not quite the weather for it at the mo! Thanks again for the info - anything's worth a try!

MmmMalbec Sat 12-Nov-16 13:53:04

I have a 9-10 day LP as well with spotting leading up to AF. I conceived DS easily with a 13 day LP but we've been trying for 7 months now with no luck. I also tried b6 and it shortened my LP and also made me bled throughout the month. I went to the doctor that month and started the ball rolling with a consultant. They did tests on both of us and found nothing wrong. The only thing they didn't test is my progesterone- which is what I think is wrong. But anyway I've now got my prescription for clomid and will be starting it next cycle!

Given that your over 35 you should be able to get help if you're trying for over 6 months.

Good luck, I know how frustrating it is to feel like you've done everything right only to have AF arrive before you have any chance of conceiving

HeyPresto1 Sat 12-Nov-16 14:08:50

Clive Spence-Jones at The London Clinic is your man! I saw him in 2014 after a recommendation on Mumsnet, I was 37 and had been TTC for 9 months, my luteal phase was 7-9 days and my blood tests had indicated low progesterone. Unfortunately my GP wasn't much help so in desperation, we made an appointment to see Mr Spence-Jones. Amazingly, two days before we were due to meet him, I got a BFP but we decided to attend the appointment regardless. I told him my concerns and he prescribed Cyclogest to use for the first trimester to give the pregnancy the best possible chance. DD who is almost 2 is the result! We are planning to go back to him in January as we are now TTC no. 2 and my luteal phase is still 7-9 days, despite taking vitamin B complex. I'm just waiting to get day 3 and 21 tests done again to confirm low progesterone first. Good luck and do let us know how you fare!

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 15:01:30

That's amazing Hey - thanks for the info and congrats on your DD. Your situation does sound quite similar to mine, so here's hoping...

Mmm Well done on getting the Clomid, and hope it works for you. Weird how most people swear by B6 but for a few of us it seems to have quite the opposite effect. Am the most virtuous person ever at the moment lifestyle wise, not that the supplements and clean living seem to be doing me much good!

That's exactly it re AF arriving before any chance of conception - I do feel as if my body's letting me down each month. Get all the textbook ov and post-ov symptoms - this month incredibly sore breasts on CD 5/6, but then I start AF cramping and the symptoms seem to subside by CD 7 or so - it's literally as if I can feel the progesterone draining away! Then I'm tired for a day or so and AF shows her unwelcome face. Don't seem to spot beforehand unlike many, but AF is sometimes worryingly light (not enough time for lining to build up) and often quite watery/thin blood. Just the joys of ttc in your mid 30s I guess! smile

TempsPerdu Sat 12-Nov-16 15:06:25

Also keep coming on here and enviously reading about people with normal cycles testing on 17 and 18DPO - can't imagine even making it to 11 or 12 DPO right now! Even in my 20s I'm not sure I ever went over about 26/27 days!

HeyPresto1 Sat 12-Nov-16 15:25:27

You're more than welcome! I think you can take progesterone after ovulation and then test at a certain number of DPO and stop using if you haven't got a BFP. Someone else might know more than me?

ocelot41 Sat 12-Nov-16 17:48:04

I had quite a few rubbish GPs but at 36 knew I had to keep pushing until I got a referral. We were due to have our first appointment the month I found I was pg. The ice cream thing was part of a big study into unexplained fertility - I looked it up as it sounded like an old wives tale! I had also been drinking skimmed milk, diet yoghurts etc. Went fullfat and my LP jumped up a couple of days - that was enough

ocelot41 Sat 12-Nov-16 17:51:45

This is the study

I was getting all the symptoms of ovulation but not ovulating until later - almost like my system was trying to ovulate but couldn't quite manage it. Only worked it out after temp charting. Hope that helps

TempsPerdu Sun 13-Nov-16 12:13:06

Thanks, that's really interesting Ocelot - you've inspired me to add full fat milk and Greek yogurt to this week's supermarket shop! At this stage I'm prepared to give anything a whirl!

AF is still here but being weird as usual (light, sluggish flow, lots of old blood) so am pretty convinced my hormones are out of whack.

ocelot41 Sun 13-Nov-16 12:24:58

Worth a shot, eh? Its a lot cheaper and less invasive than Clomid! I would also encourage you to temp chart as its a more reliable way of seeing what's going on than other signs - there is a free app called Fertility Friends which is great. Lots of other folks there TTC for moral support

MmmMalbec Sun 13-Nov-16 17:44:57

I swapped to full fat milk and had a full fat Greek yoghurt every day one month and it made no difference unfortunately. Good luck though!

ocelot41 Sun 13-Nov-16 17:55:53

Took me 2-3 months to made a difference. But who knows really?

TempsPerdu Sun 13-Nov-16 18:14:08

Thanks Mmm It's just and error I suppose - and all these things are probably marginal anyway. I've pretty much resigned myself to needing some sort of medical intervention but if I can make any kind of difference myself it's worth a try.

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