Tracking your hormones and doing the calculations can sometimes be challenging when conceiving. But, whether you can estimate your due date or you intend to plan a suitable time for intercourse, you will need to know how to do the math. The Luteal Phase is also referred to as the secretory phase.
Fortunately, some simple math is all you need to calculate the essential part of your cycle, known as the Luteal Phase. This phase is a crucial indicator of fertility and only requires a simple formula to figure things out. Keep reading to know how you can determine the phase and why this information is crucial for your pregnancy journey.
What’s a Luteal Phase?
This part is named after the formed structure instead of the follicle from which an egg was released. This phase is followed by the follicular phase, which ends when bleeding starts. In the luteal phase, the hormone progesterone is higher than in the follicular period.
Since the secretory phase is a vital indicator of fertility, knowing what happens during it and how it will play out in your cycle is essential. For this reason, you need to track your menstrual cycle and monitor fertility signs in your body. The information you get will be useful if you are trying to conceive.
Luteal phase calculator
Every woman’s menstrual cycle varies, lasting for 21-35 days. Since menstruation occurs in a fairly regular sequence, it’s possible to calculate the luteal phase by tracking the cycle and noting important dates, such as the 1st day of the previous period and the ovulation date. When you plug those numbers into a formula, you will determine the length of the Luteal Phase.
What aspects do you need to know?
To know the exact length of your luteal phase, you need to determine a couple of important dates before working out anything:
- The actual ovulation date before your period
- The day your menstrual period begins
Once you know the dates, you must plug them into the following simple formula to determine the span of your Luteal Phase.
How do you calculate this phase?
Generally, the luteal phase is the total number of days between ovulating and starting your periods. This is calculated using the following simple formula.
The date of the menstrual period – date of ovulation = total number of days in a luteal phase.
To calculate the span of your luteal phase, you need to subtract your menstrual cycle date from the ovulation date to get the number of days. For instance, if your ovulation date was January 14th, and your menstruation period started on January 28th, your calculation will appear like this: 28-14= 14. This example shows that the luteal phase span is 14 days.
As you can see, knowing your luteal phase and doing your calculations properly is knowing when you ovulate. You can accomplish this by using traditional methods such as ovulation calendars or a fertility tracker, known for being more precise.
What is a normal secretory phase?
A standard Luteal Phase usually lasts 11 to 17 days and is a vital marker of fertility. Any number outside this duration is abnormal and will negatively affect your chances of conceiving. When implantation occurs, the fertilised egg requires enough time to accomplish this.
What if you have a short secretory phase?
Any less than a ten-day phase is considered short and could signify luteal phase deficiency. A short phase usually affects fertility as it does not allow the body to develop enough to support the pregnancy. In most cases, this is associated with a progesterone production deficit.
Progesterone is a hormone that prepares the body for pregnancy and ensures you get and stay pregnant. It also thickens the uterus lining so the fertilised egg can be implanted properly. If your luteal phase is short, your uterine lining will not get enough time to develop the right thickness to receive the fertilised egg or support an embryo, and you will find it harder to maintain a pregnancy.
What causes some women to have a short Luteal Phase?
Low progesterone levels are the primary reason most women have shorter luteal phases. But, additional health problems can also contribute to this deficiency. This includes obesity, excessive exercise, mental stress, polycystic ovary syndrome, and anorexia. Some studies have also linked the short phase with smoking because this habit reduces an individual’s estrogen levels, leading to a progesterone deficiency.
Can a short luteal phase be fixed?
If you have realised your Luteal Phase is short, you must wonder if you can fix the problem. The treatment will vary depending on the primary cause of the progesterone deficiency. Taking hCG supplements has successfully helped many women treat the condition. Supplementation causes your body to release more progesterone, increasing the luteal phase. A healthcare provider can prescribe progesterone to counter the deficiency in other cases.
Progesterone is available in different dosage forms, including rectal, oral, and injectable. But progesterone supplementation has unwanted side effects like headaches, bloating, abdominal cramping, fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea. Most women do not like these side effects, so they seek alternative solutions.
Ways to increase the Luteal Phase naturally
If you do not want to take supplementation, you can naturally increase the length of your secretory phase. Changing your diet, lifestyle and mental outlook helps increase the length of your luteal phase. You can also rely on herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, and essential oils. Below are natural ways to fix a short Luteal Phase:
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble element that helps in lengthening this phase naturally. It’s known to improve the endometrial lining thickness in the uterus and increase progesterone levels. Some of the citrus fruits you can include in your diet are lemons, limes, and oranges. Ascorbic acid supplements can also come in handy.
- Diet plays an essential role in controlling the menstrual cycle. When you include foods rich in vitamin C in your fertility diet, you may increase the length of your luteal phase. Some foods include strawberries, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, pineapple, and plums.
- Stress can significantly affect your secretory phase durations, and it is essential to manage stress if you want to increase the span of your phase. Some quick ways to accomplish this include exercising regularly, creating time to meditate, and trying alternative therapies like acupressure and acupuncture. Constant use of essential oils can also relieve stress.
What if you have a long Luteal Phase?
If your Luteal Phase is within the normal range, you will not be concerned because it’s much easier to conceive. When you track your cycle, you will know when things are off or out of range. A long luteal phase could mean you are expectant and haven’t yet figured it out. If you experience worrisome symptoms, such as heavy periods, or severe pain during sex, you should consider seeing a doctor.
The journey to understanding fertility is filled with questions and uncertainties. Fertility2Family is here to provide clarity and support. Our blog offers a wealth of articles, like this one on the Luteal Phase, to help you unravel the complexities of fertility. To further assist you on your journey, we offer a range of fertility kits designed to help you confidently track your cycle, providing you with the practical tools you need to navigate your fertility journey.
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.