3/4 The menstrual cycle. The luteal phase

Our series of articles on menstrual cycle coming to an end. After the period, follicular phase et ovulation, let's tackle today the last phase of the female cycle, luteal phase.

This period is between ovulation and the next period of the next cycle. This phase has the merit of being crossed very often by the famous SPM ou Premenstrual syndrome which we have already discussed here. Short luteal phase, long luteal phase, how long is the luteal phase? What are the symptoms that can be felt during this period of the cycle? What about general mood, energy, libido or pain?

With this latest in-depth article, Loulou wanted to provide you with as much information as possible about the hormonal and female cycle. We dived together for four weeks to discover your body, your hormones and this rather amazing cyclical phenomenon. Do you still have questions? find our comprehensive guides.

 

luteal phase menstrual cycle
 

The luteal period during the menstrual cycle

Let's re-situate the luteal phase together. The latter takes place just after ovulation and generally lasts about 14 days for a 28 day cycle. This phase can last from 10 to 18 days in most cases and depending on the length of the cycle.

The luteal phase can take two completely different turns, in case of fertilization or not:

  • be there implantation andimplantation of the egg in the uterine cavity, therefore the first phase of the development of the embryo and therefore of a pregnancy,
  • or the destruction of the unfertilized egg.


In both cases, it is during the luteal phase that theendometrium or uterine lining thickens to accommodate a fertilized egg for implantation.
If no nidation takes place, the phenomenon stops around the 20th day. The body understood that no fertilization was taking place. The cycle ends and the body then prepares to expel the mucous membrane that had developed. News rules then appear.

La luteal phase is also called progestin phase.

Luteal Phase Questions/Answers

What exactly happens during the luteal phase?

You will have understood it well, the female cycle is controlled by hormones. These directly influence the behavior of cell, ovary but also ofuterus. On an average cycle of 28 days, in a woman with no particular case, this is exactly what happens during the luteal phase:
- the egg was released from its follicle during ovulation and is waiting to be fertilized by a potential sperm. The ruptured ovarian follicle has an important role, it is called the yellow body. It secretes a key hormone: progesterone.
- Progesterone has a direct impact onendometrium. This thickens to better accommodate the fertilized egg.
- The days pass. If no fertilization takes place, the corpus luteum disintegrates bringing with it a drop in hormones and the triggering of new rules.
- On the contrary, if the fertilization takes place, the yellow body helps the good egg implantation.

luteal phase pms

 What is the corpus luteum? 

Le yellow body holds the leading role in the luteal phase. It is simply the mature follicle, seen previously in the follicular phase. This matured and released a viable oocyte ready to be fertilized during ovulation. The role of this bag does not stop there!

Le Graafian follicle turned into yellow body measures approximately 20mm. It is so named because of its yellow pigment, the lutein. The corpus luteum provides a welcoming environment for successful implantation. The role of the corpus luteum at the start of pregnancy is therefore essential. At the very beginning of pregnancy, the corpus luteum is not destroyed and remains active near the embryo to secrete progesterone in particular. The corpus luteum does not self-destruct through the action of human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone formulated by the embryo.

Sometimes the corpus luteum does not destroy itself as expected, it can even grow in size. Gynecologists talk about corpus luteum cyst. This is eliminated in the next cycle and everything then returns to normal.

What are the symptoms during the luteal phase? 

During the luteal phase, the Seins may be more swollen than usual. This is because of the high rate ofestrogen and progesterone. Your body temperature is also slightly above normal. You can know some cravings and some weird cravings. In the early phase, just after ovulation, your discharge may be heavy, clear, and watery. Cervical mucus is present to allow sperm to pass through.

Headaches, mood swings, depression, anxiety, the list can be long!
Find our article dedicated to the disorders you may experience during the luteal phase, solutions to deal with premenstrual syndrome.

What does the term luteal insufficiency mean?

Luteal insufficiency or short luteal phase takes place during a short or too short menstrual cycle. In a cycle that is too short (less than 28 days), the level of progesterone essential for the proper implantation of the egg in the endometrium is not possible. The chances of getting pregnant are then lower. The uterus is not welcoming and ready enough. Also, with too low a progesterone level, risk of miscarriage are accentuated.
Progesterone creams or taking vitamin C are some ways to lengthen your luteal phase. It's best to talk to your doctor about it.

What factors can disturb the luteal phase?

The luteal phase can be upset by external factors such as stress, diet, sport or even sleep. A hypothyroidism or PCOS can also be very probable reasons. Finally, it should be known that after 35 years, the fertility of the woman weakens.

 

Luteal phase PMS