How to Support the Body During Its Luteal Phase
As women, our bodies go through an incredibly curious and complex cycle — the menstrual cycle. Since menstruation can be a complicated topic for many, we'll break down the layers of the menstrual cycle and talk about one of its essential phases: the luteal phase.
Knowing what goes behind your cycle will give you a better idea of how you can adequately care for your reproductive system, giving you a happy and healthy vagina.
The Four Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
Each phase of the menstrual cycle serves specific functions. Let's take a look:
- Menstruation: This first phase is when you experience your period. Your body begins to shed your uterine lining from the previous cycle because of the absence of pregnancy.
- Follicular Phase: This phase overlaps with the menstruation phase for a few days, wherein the follicles will grow. A follicle will become more prominent than the rest and will release a mature egg. After the release of the egg, that signals the end of the follicular phase.
- Ovulation Phase: This phase occurs when the mature egg is released.
- Luteal Phase: During this phase, the egg travels down your fallopian tube, and it ends once your period begins.
As mentioned earlier, we'll be focusing on the luteal phase since many important events happen in the body during this time as it prepares for pregnancy. Let's dive deeper and see what really goes on during this phase and how you can keep a healthy vagina:
Behind-The-Scenes: What Goes On During the Luteal Phase?
After your follicle releases a mature egg, it travels down the fallopian tube, where it could come into contact with sperm and eventually be fertilized. During this transition, the follicle itself changes, the empty sac closes off and transforms into a new structure called corpus luteum.
The corpus luteum's job is to release progesterone, which thickens your uterus' lining, preparing it for the fertilized egg. These blood vessels that grow inside the lining will supply oxygen and nutrients to the growing embryo.
However, if you don't get pregnant during this phase, your corpus luteum will shrink, progesterone levels will drop, and the uterine lining will shed during menstruation.
How Long Is the Luteal Phase?
Normally, a luteal phase can last from 11 to 17 days, but for most women, the luteal phase can last for 12 to 14 days.
Short luteal phases are considered to last for less than ten days, but since short luteal phases don't allow your body to create enough support for a growing baby, getting pregnant may be much harder. On the other hand, a long luteal phase may be caused by a hormone imbalance known as PCOS.
What Are the Causes and Treatments for a Short Luteal Phase?
When you have a short luteal phase, you may have a condition called luteal phase defect or LPD. Here, your body produces less progesterone than usual, or your uterine lining doesn't grow in response to your progesterone. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to infertility and miscarriage when left unchecked.
Certain life factors contribute to a short luteal phase. One of which is smoking since it reduces your body's estrogen and progesterone production.
Here are some ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant:
- Take infertility drugs or human menopausal gonadotropins to stimulate follicle growth;
- hCG to increase progesterone production;
- Progesterone by vaginal suppository, injection, or oral medication.
How Do You Track Your Luteal Phase?
A great way to determine if you've ovulated and you're in your luteal phase is by tracking your basal body temperature or BBT.
During the first part of your menstrual cycle, which is the follicular phase, your BBT will most likely be in the range of 36 degrees to 36.5°C. Once you start ovulating, your BBT will go up because your body will start producing progesterone, which stimulates heat production in your body.
Once you're in the luteal phase, your body temperature would be a degree higher than it was during your follicular phase.
The Bottom Line: The Luteal Phase Is a Complex Stage in Your Menstrual Cycle
Now that you know the causes, the symptoms, and how to improve your chances of getting pregnant, all you need to do is listen to your body and find ways to keep your reproductive system and vagina healthy.
How Can We Help You?
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Your vagina is a delicate part of your body, and you ensure that it stays happy and healthy throughout the day. You can do this by using our natural intimate hygiene products, such as hygiene wash, vaginal foam, stimulants, and more. Check out our products today, and keep your vagina healthy!