Luteal Phase Defect: Natural Treatment Options

Luteal Phase Defect: Natural Treatment Options

The third phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle is called the Luteal Phase, and is the time between ovulation and start of a woman’s period. It is during this important time that fertilization and implantation occurs.

As you might imagine, any disruption in the luteal phase of the cycle can be cause for concern since it can affect fertility. Most experts agree that a luteal phase less than 12 days does not give the uterus sufficient time to establish a nourishing lining for a growing fetus and therefore will cause a miscarriage if fertilization has occurred.

Symptoms of Luteal Phase Defect

  • A short menstrual cycle
  • Low progesterone
  • Disrupted body basal temperatures after ovulation
  • Odd symptoms during luteal phase such as low back pain, bleeding and loose stools

Fertility charting can help to determine the length of your luteal phase and if you have low progesterone. Luteal phase defect is estimated to affect 3-4% of women who have ‘unexplained infertility’, up to 63% of women who repeatedly miscarry and 6-10% of women who are fertile.

There are several factors which can cause a luteal phase defect (LPD). The most common is a low progesterone level. Progesterone is an important hormone needed for preserving the uterine lining and pregnancy during the first trimester. In the event a woman’s progesterone production did not reach the optimum level during this important stage in her cycle, a LPD may occur.

Low Progesterone and Luteal Phase Defect

Progesterone is produced throughout the entire cycle with levels elevating directly after ovulation and staying elevated until menstruation begins. If progesterone levels do not elevate enough after ovulation or drop too soon before menstruation, this can cause a short luteal phase. Here are some of the most common culprits to low progesterone:

Poor Follicle Production
If the pituitary gland does not make enough FSH hormone during the first half of the menstrual cycle (the time between your last period and ovulation), then follicle production may be weak, which can cause a thin uterine lining and an early period. This of course will prohibit fertilization and implantation from taking place.

A Premature Drop in Progesterone
If progesterone levels drop too soon (usually within a few days of ovulation), then the body will automatically think that it is time to flush out the uterus and start all over again. Very short cycles (usually less than 24 days) is usually a sign of this type of luteal phase defect.

Low Lutenizing Hormone
Lutenizing Hormone (LH) increases prior to ovulation occurring (24hrs). It is this spike in LH which causes ovulation to occur. A lower than normal LH surge at ovulation can prevent ovulation from occurring and cause low progesterone levels as well.

Uterine Lining Failure
A fertilized egg needs a nourishing environment to grow into a fetus. This is the job of the uterus. But, if your uterine lining is not thick enough – or strong enough – it can’t sustain this new life and a miscarriage may occur. This to can be caused by low hormones or hormonal imbalance. Estrogen is the hormone which thickens the uterine lining in preparation for implantation and progesterone “ripens” the uterus preparing for implantation.

Abnormally Low Cholesterol Levels & Being Underweight
Another cause of LPD is abnormally low cholesterol levels which results in low to no progesterone production. All hormones, including progesterone, must have cholesterol in order to be manufactured by the body. Being underweight can also be a cause for LPD due to low cholesterol and body fat levels which can cause low hormonal levels across the board.

Solutions for Luteal Phase Defect

While a luteal phase defect can be very serious, prohibiting a pregnancy until it is fixed, the good news is that in most cases it can be helped by natural therapies.

Luteal Phase Defect and low progesterone levels can be increased with a variety of methods including herbs, diet, supplements and/or progesterone cream.


Make sure that any of the herbal and supplement suggestions mentioned below are made in conjunction with a diet rich in whole foods, specifically:

Vitamin C: A study in Fertility and Sterility showed that vitamin C improves hormone levels and increases fertility in some women with luteal phase defect. During the study, 25% of the women who received vitamin C had got pregnant within 6 months compared to the placebo group in which 11% got pregnant in the same time period. Foods rich in vitamin C are: Papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberry and oranges.

Essential fatty acids: EFA’s are important for hormone production. Many women are low in EFA’s, specifically omega 3. Some foods rich in EFA’s are Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, halibut, shrimp, snapper, scallops and chia seeds.

Green leafy vegetables: Green vegetables are rich in B vitamins which are necessary for proper hormonal balance.

Cholesterol from eggs, coconut oil and fat from organic and grass-fed animal products: Cholesterol is necessary for hormone production. Avoid eating a ‘low-fat’ diet and makes sure to eat a diet that includes whole fat sourced from grass-fed animal products. Foods rich in clean cholesterol: grass-fed beef, raw milk from grass-fed cows or goats, whole milk yogurt and kefir, free-range/pastured eggs, butter from grass-fed milk (Kerry Gold is a common one), Coconut oil.

All of these foods are necessary for proper hormone production in the body. Click here to learn more about eating a natural fertility diet…

Vitex (Chasteberry)

For those looking for a more natural way to boost their progesterone levels, taking a supplement of Vitex (otherwise known as Chasteberry) may be the answer. A small fruit tree grown in the Mediterranean, Vitex has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of female issues including infertility. Studies have shown this herb to be affective at lengthening the luteal phase.

While it does not contain any hormones itself, it does help the body to increase its own production of luteinizing hormone (promoting ovulation to occur) which in turns boosts progesterone levels during the luteal phase of the cycle.

Progesterone Cream

One of the most common treatments for lengthening a woman’s luteal phase is to use a progesterone cream. Found over the counter, natural progesterone cream should be used twice a day on the inner arm, inner thigh, or neck, after ovulation has occurred until the period begins. If the problem begins with low Lutenizing Hormone, then just adding progesterone may not work. Click here to learn more about using progesterone cream properly…


A lot of women have reported a lengthened luteal phase after supplementing with B6. This may have been caused by the hormonal balancing effect B6 has on the body. B6 can be found in tuna, bananas, turkey, liver, salmon and many of the greens. Taking a B6 supplement is also another choice. Suggested usage is 50mg up to 100mg daily. Make sure to use B6 in conjunction with a B complex or multivitamin to avoid causing imbalances.


Recent studies have found that oxidative damage may be a cause of luteal phase defect. Women who had luteal phase defect and recurrent miscarriages were found to have significantly lower levels of antioxidants than healthy women. There are so many benefits of antioxidants on fertility, they should be a part of every couples fertility program. Learn more about antioxidants and fertility…

Any type of luteal Phase Defect is serious since it will prevent pregnancy. Luckily, they can be easily remedied with the therapies listed above. You may also find it helpful to get your hormones tested as well as fertility chart to determine the length of your luteal phase and to also see the changes your chosen protocol are causing.

1. Weiss, R.F. 1988. Herbal Medicine, Beaconsfield Arcanum, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2. Trickey, R. Women’s Hormones & the Menstrual Cycle. 2003, Allen & Unwin.
3. Vitamin C Increases Fertility in Women with Luteal Phase Defect. Fertility and Sterility (2003;80:459–61)


Let your voice be heard... Leave a brief comment or question related to this article.

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  1. I am 35 years old and have been TTC for 18 months. I had a chemical pregnancy about 9 months ago. I have had irregular spotting during my luteal phase since going off the pill 2 years ago (was on pill for 1 year). I have had ultrasounds and tests done and have been told that everything looks fine and that the spotting will not effect my fertility. My cycles currently range from 30-35 days. I use an OPK and ovulate Day 14-17 each month. However, I always begin to spot by 10-12 DPO until my period finally begins. So, I typically spot for a full week before my true period begins. I feel like this irregular spotting is associated with my infertility. Could natural progesterone cream help?

  2. Good morning,
    My cycle is on and off, which mean 26-29 days, but I don’t know if am ovulating. Please help me. What can I take because I’ve been trying for 4 years plus.

    • Dear Ruth,

      It is important to know that many woman have menstrual cycles that vary in length a bit from cycle to cycle. The usual range of a healthy cycle is between 21 and 35 days, but as long as there is a pattern, regularity, a healthy body and the follicular phase is between 12-14 days there should be no cause for concern.

      There are a variety of ways to help a woman learn when she ovulates each menstrual cycle from Cycle Beads, to ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), basal body temperature charting (BBT Charting), tracking cervical mucus changes and many applications or “Apps” for smartphones. The Guide to Fertility Charting and article Chart Your Fertility with a Fertility App on Your Mobile Device may be helpful.

      I hope you are able to find a method for tracking ovulation that is easy and convenient for you.

  3. I have been trying to conceive for 19 months following an ectopic pregnancy in Sep. 2013 resulting in the loss of one of my tubes. My periods are generally regular with cycle around 28 days. Will occasionally have a month that it might be off by a day or 2. I am pretty well aware when I ovulate and use an OPK just to verify and it’s typically happening around 21 days. I have not had official testing done for progesterone levels, etc., but had a HSG done to make sure the other side was fine (it is). I’m thinking of trying the Vitex. Is it safe to use a combination of these, i.e. B6 and Vitex, or even throwing in some fish oil as well?

    • Dear Andrea,

      I am sorry for your loss and what you have been through!

      Fertilica Vitex can be combined with vitamin B6 and a fish oil or omega supplement. Consider learning more about Fertilica Cod Liver Oil which we know to be a quality source of omega-3s supportive of fertility health and pregnancy.

  4. Dear Elizabeth,
    Thank you for this article. It’s very informative and easy to understand.
    I am 33 and I have irregular cycles although it seems to be getting better now mostly around 28 days. I ovulate on day 13/14, but the week before my period I usually start spotting & cramping- then I get my period. Is this considered as LPD?
    I’ve been using clear blu digital-dual hormone to keep testing even after ovulation and since cd 18 I’ve had a flashing face (high estrogen) until now and I’m on day 22. Is it normal?
    Also I believe I have high androgens in my body and am about to start taking DIM. Is it going to be safe taking these throughout my cycle and still keep trying for a baby?

    • Hello Helen!

      I am thankful this article has been so helpful.

      With a 28-day cycle and ovulation occurring on cycle day 13 or 14, the luteal phase would be 14 or 15 days long which is not indicative of luteal phase defect.

      Abnormal uterine bleeding can be scary and tricky. There are a variety of reasons why a woman might bleed in the absence of menstruation. Click that link to learn more.

      What I have learned about the Clearblu Digital Ovulation Test, the smiley face appears when LH surges and on the day leading up to ovulation. Clearblue says this day and the following day are your 2 best days to get pregnant.

      DIM can be taken preconception and while trying to conceive. It is to be discontinued upon first determination of pregnancy.

      I hope this information is also helpful!

  5. Good Morning Elizabeth!
    My cycles have been 27 and 28 days for more than 6 months. However, I ovulate the last few months on day 11. Also, according to the monitor I’m ovulating 2 days in a row (day 11 & day 12) is that normal? Does that qualify me for the Luteal Phase Defect?

    • Dear Sam,

      Ovulation on cycle day 11 or 12 means that your luteal phase is either 16 or 17 days long respectively which does not indicate luteal phase defect. Most experts feel that a luteal phase shorter than 12 days is when one may be experiencing too short of a luteal phase. A 27-28 day menstrual cycle is what most consider “normal”.

      Women typically only ovulate one day each cycle. Might one of these days be a peak day? I can’t really know without knowing which monitor is being used. Consider reading through any instructions or online forums for frequently asked questions.

  6. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years. I am 36 years old and we have 3 kids (7,5, and 3). I never had any trouble getting pregnant before. I eat healthily, and exercise every day. I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins for over a year. I charted this month and I got a positive opk on day 20 of my cycle, had a temperature spike on day 24 (so I ovulated on day 23) then I got my period on day 31. Is this luteal phase short? If I take progesterone, do I begin the day after I ovulate? and then when do i stop?

    • Dear Amanda,

      A seven day luteal phase by many standards is considered short. Regarding progesterone cream use, it is best to first determine through testing that progesterone levels are in fact low. Our Progesterone Fertility Guide will share more about testing and the proper use of natural progesterone cream.

      While natural progesterone cream may offer support, as you have read here there are a variety of rather easy ways to impact luteal phase length through changing one’s diet and lifestyle, and supplementing with nutrients and herbs that are often more of a “go-to” that progesterone cream (for me).

      I hope to have been helpful!

  7. Dear Hethir,
    Thank you for your research and sharing. I am a Certified Creighton Model Fertility Care Practitioner for 35 years and now a Nutrition Consultant too. This was a very simple beautiful explanation of some basic ideas that could help many women and couples overcome this very difficult condition. I do not know how I got on your mailing list. I would love to know where your center is? I hope you will contact me. For eg., your advice about B6 and taking it with a B Complex is very excellent. I would like to tell people about you.
    Yours Truly,
    Susan McConneloug

    • Dear Susan,

      Thank you for your praise! We are an internet-based business at this time without a physical location/center to visit. We work with our customers and clients via phone, email, Live Chat and email Fertility Consultations. We also offer an Affiliate Program for practitioners interested in affiliating with the Natural Fertility Company.

      I have also shared your message with Hethir.
      All my best!

  8. So after the reading the article I was just curious when I should take vitamin B6 for a short luteal phase… before ovulation or all month long? Thank you!

    • Dear Claire,

      Vitamin B6 is best taken in combination with a multivitamin (whole food multis are best) and daily through the entire menstrual cycle.

  9. I have a moderate case of endometriosis and have heard mixed reviews regarding vitex and its possibility of worsening the symptoms. I have a 24 day average cycle, have gone through clomid, femera, brevel, and have used ovidrel most months in addition to the other meds. I have had an hsg so there is no scar tissue or physical blockages, but feel like there is something more to the lack of fertility. Can you tell me if vitex would be safe to try? I regularly take a pre-natal multivitamin, fish oil, D, magnesium and zinc. Thanks!

    • Dear Laura,

      It is important for women with endometriosis to work to nourish the endocrine system which is the system that coordinates the communication or our hormones.

      Fertilica Vitex supports hormone balance and has been found to normalize and improve progesterone levels which are often low with estrogen-dominant fertility conditions. Vitex is actually used in Germany by gynecologists to treat mild endometriosis and reduce the advancement of mild endometriosis.

      I hope this is helpful!

  10. Hi – I’ve averaged an 11-day luteal phase (low end of normal) and this past cycle it went down to only 10 days. I am taking a vitex tincture but I have also been looking in to B6 as a part of a B complex supplement to help with this. I know that too much B6 can lead to some rather undesirable side effects. My question is this – if taking a prenatal that includes all the B vitamins such as B6, but not in the amounts you mention above, would you think it a good idea to add on a B-complex supplement as well?

    • Dear Stacey,

      A B-complex supplement can be taken with a whole food prenatal multivitamin to meet the suggested daily dose. If interested in taking just vitamin B6, it alone is best taken with either a B-complex supplement or a whole food multivitamin or wholefood prenatal multivitamin.

  11. Hello,
    Thank you so much for all the great information on this site – it is really informative and comforting! I have been charting for 6 months and prior to that I have always kept an eye on my dates of menstruation – which were always 28 days. Since ttc I have had 3 early periods at 24-25 days even though I only ovulated on day 17 which I know by using opk and and temp charting. On months where we did not have sex within the short fertile window my LP was 14 days and the few months we did have sex within the window and possible fertilization of an egg my LP was 6 to 7 days with my period arriving a week early! Do you have any recommendations for this or should I go see someone? I am 32.

    • Dear Karen,

      We have learned that Luteal Phase Defect is is one of the easiest fertility issues to reverse with simple, natural diet changes – including herbs, nutritional supplements – and natural therapies.

      It is entirely up to you whether you visit your healthcare provider or not. One reason to do so would be that he can help you determine if your progesterone levels are low and a possible contributor to your short luteal phase. Knowing this can help you decide if natural progesterone cream is something for you to try.

      I hope the information in this article is helpful as decide the best course of action for your needs! If you would like help in deciding, we offer Natural Fertility Consultations. Learn more about a Fertility Consultation here…

      All my best!

  12. I’m 30 and have been ttc for 6 months since getting my mirena IUD removed. Since getting it removed and beginning to track my cycles I have noticed that my cycle is about 25 days, LP is 13 days, but spotting begins around 9-10 DPO. I am concerned that I have so many days of spotting before beginning my cycle. I haven’t been charting (starting now), just using OPKs. Last month I used the clear blue easy advanced and I got a smiley for the day I was ovulating, but it did not give a flashy smile to indicate a rise in estrogen. Is this a short LP problem?
    I have begun taking vitex, but I wasn’t sure if I should start researching the other recommendations you have or if this is another problem.

    • Dear Erin,

      According to the Clear Blue Easy website about the Advanced Digital Ovulation Test, “a flashing smiley face for the “high” fertility days leading up to ovulation, and a solid smiley face for your “peak” fertility days on the day your LH surge is detected and the day after.” It is my estimation, although it would be best to reach out to them, that given you saw the solid smiley face there was a LH surge indicating ovulation may happen.

      The Frequently Asked Questions there also share that “… If the hormone changes naturally occur close together it is possible that High Fertility may not be displayed and that the Holder will change from Low Fertility to Peak Fertility without displaying High Fertility…”

      It is generally agreed upon that a luteal phase 12-14 days in length is healthy. I am not certain there is cause for concern. Charting your basal body temperature, BBT, should offer more in-depth information on your entire cycle and I hope will be reassuring.

      I hope this is helpful!

  13. Hoping you can help me. We have been trying for almost 2 years. We are on the older side and I only have 1 ovary so we are fighting a uphill battle. We had been doing Fertility Treatments but couldn’t this month due to a cyst so we went at it on our own. I had a PEAK read on my Ovulation Predictor on Day 12 and 13. I started Progesterone Cream on Day 15. On Day 20 I started seeing speckles brown spots on the tissue paper after I went to the bathroom. Same on Day 21. On Day 22 I saw quite a bit of pink in the morning and then again speckled brown throughout the day. On Day 23, there was an increase in the brown in the morning and then again speckled. Could this be considered a LPD?

    • Dear Chelsea,

      Spotting alone does not for me instantly signify Luteal Phase Defect. Do you know the length of your luteal phase? If not, have you considered charting your basal body temperature to determine luteal phase length? Are cycle days 20-23 the days during which you normally menstruate? Have you confirmed you have low progesterone levels through testing to know that you in fact need to supplement with natural progesterone cream?

      Often spotting when using natural progesterone cream is a result of using a stronger dose than needed, or applying it on the wrong days of the cycle. Spotting can also be one result of estrogen receptor sites ‘waking up’ (being stimulated) – progesterone enhancing the action of estrogen for a short period of time – if you have just started supplementing natural progesterone cream after experiencing progesterone deficiency.

      Could this spotting a cycle change be a result of stopping the fertility treatments you were on? It may be worth asking your healthcare provider about this too.

      I hope this is helpful!

  14. I’m 30 and currently pregnant with our third child. Our first two I had no problems conceiving and got pregnant during my first cycle. With our third I was told I had LPD after several months of not being able to conceive. I finally conceived with clomid, estrace, and progesterone. Is there a chance after this baby my body will “reset” and I will go back to normal cycles or will I have LPD from now on?

    • Hello Ashley!

      Congratulations! How are you feeling?

      There is really know way of me knowing the answer to your question. Such extreme hormone shifts happen during pregnancy and after for a variety and reasons, that I am not sure even your healthcare provider will be able to know this for you.

      The great part about the luteal phase is that it may be able to be easily supported by natural therapies as you have read in this article.

      On behalf of our team, we wish for you a happy and healthy pregnancy, birth and baby!

  15. Hello. I have been tracking my last 2 cycles while TTC. I finished birth control pill in September and I have been trying to conceive October and November. So far, unsuccessful. I have noticed since tracking, my luteal phase was only 8 days one cycle and 9 days the other cycle. Is that too short to conceive? If so, how can I prevent this?

    • Hello Amanda!

      Experts are in agreement that a luteal phase shorter than 12 days is too short. Too few days after ovulation does not give the uterus sufficient time to build a nourishing lining supportive of implantation and a growing fetus. Miscarriage may happen as a result of a short luteal phase.

      Take time to reread the Natural Solutions section in this article for tips and guidance on what you might try.

      Best wishes to you!

  16. Hello,
    I am 36. My luteal phase was 11 days in October, 13 days last month and now I am 15 dpo and no period. Is it possible to have this much variation? I have a 13 month old and am still breastfeeding her. I have also adopted a more whole foods diet in the past 2 weeks. Thanks!

    • Hello Rachel!

      While breastfeeding, differing cycle lengths from month to month can occur. The fluctuation of hormones while breastfeeding and as a result of breast stimulation can cause such variation.

  17. Hi!
    I am 25 years old and got off oral birth control pills three months ago because my husband and I want to have a baby. My first and second cycle were 30 days with a 9 day luteal phase and then a 10 day luteal phase (respectively). I am now on day 41 of my 3rd cycle (8 days post-ovulation — it was even later this month). Is there anything I can do at this point to lengthen my luteal phase? Is it too soon after birth control pills to start taking supplements (like vitex) to help regulate my cycle? I have ovulated every cycle so far (according to OPKs and bbt charting) so I’m worried about taking something that could cause an anovulatory cycle.

    • Dear Allie,

      It can take several months for the cycle to regulate as our body detoxifies and works to remember how to achieve hormonal balance on its own. It is not too soon to start using herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies to support your body in achieving this ability to be balanced. As you incorporate natural therapies that have an action on the hormonal system, there may be shifts in the menstrual cycle. These shifts are often temporary and a sign that the body is responding. Whether you will have an anovulatory cycle as a result of what you try, no one can know for you.

      Regarding that which you can consider to support a healthy 12+ luteal phase, the natural solutions discussed above in this article are worth re-reading and considering.

      It may also help to learn more about How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control.

      Best wishes to you!

  18. Hi, I am 36 TTC. This is actually my first time tracking my periods and using opk test. I noticed my periods come at different times. My question is can I ovulate a week before my period? Because I got a positive on opk test yesterday and I think my period is to start on Nov. 30. I really never noticed how many days my periods were apart up till last month and that one was 34 days. Thank you

    • Dear Misty,

      Yes ovulation can occur just one week prior to the start of menstruation. This indicates a short luteal phase and possibly hormone imbalance.

  19. I am 30yrs and definitely confused right now on what medical test to do.
    I start spotting 1 week after ovulating and the spotting goes on for 10days. I then have a period for 3 days.

    I got pregnant in July 2014 and miscarried August 2014 at 5weeks 4days according to doctor. I was supposed to be 8weeks pregnant… meaning the baby stopped developing at 5weeks.

    I have had 3 cycles now and I start spotting very early. I feel bloated and nauseated and have itchy breasts, but as soon as I start spotting all goes away. I just remain bloated and before and during the spotting there is mild pain.

    Any idea what this is???

  20. I m 31 year old.I get my periods every month but they are light that last for a 2-3 days with light flow.I have black,brown spotting 3-4 days before a period begin then actual red flow for 2-3 days n then again spotting for4-5 days.I m confused how to calculate length of my cycle.Does spotting before period count as day 1 or the actual red blood flow is the first day?So I dnt knw my cycle length but I guess it’s around 26-29 days.I m experiencing excessive facial and body hair growth now.My doc tested me for insulin resistance and I hav mild IR.All my androgen levels are normal.I never tried to get pregnant but now I want to have a baby but I don’t knw what to do.Do I have LPD?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Hina,

      Day one of a menstrual cycle is the first day of actual full, or normal menstrual flow. Spotting is a tricky subject as it can be caused by many different factors which may be… disturbance in the hormonal/balance – feedback loop, failure to ovulate, fertility issues like endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cervical abnormalities, even excessive exercise and poor nutrition. To know if you have luteal phase defect, it would help to know the exact length of your luteal phase first and foremost.

      Were you tested for polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS? Signs of this fertility condition often are irregular or absent menstrual cycles, mid-cycle bleeding, anovulation and excessive body hair. It may interest you to learn about Saw Palmetto and PCOS.

      I look forward to hearing back from you.

  21. My UNUSUAL situation: I’m 53 years in November, had periods many years, corpus luteum deficiency with all 3 viable pregnancies (oral progesterone to stay pregnant) and my last period was late March this year.

    Recently I’ve been “active” with a younger man who’s never been a father. Believing us safe to enjoy activities until I SPOTTED recently. Could I ovulate without having periods or could I still conceive?

    If pregnant, I DO NOT wish to miscarry but I MUST take progesterone to sustain healthy pregnancy. I’m experiencing ALL usual pregnancy symptoms by the way. Please help me figure this out?

    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Ellen,

      Spotting can be caused by the act of intercourse, ovulation occurring, implantation and a number of other fertility issues. Was this mid-cycle spotting or could it have been a result of any of the above? While a woman can ovulate without having a period, the hormonal shifts that have caused menstruation to cease and in not having a period, the uterine lining may not be healthy enough to sustain pregnancy. This all being said, there is no way of me knowing if you could still conceive.

      It is going to be best for you to seek guidance from your healthcare provider if you think you may be pregnant especially given your past progesterone needs in pregnancy. He or she can help you evaluate your hormonal needs and guide you in the proper dose should you need to supplement. Please don’t try to figure this out on your own.

      We have a guide to Natural Progesterone Cream Use in Pregnancy you may appreciate as well.

      Best wishes!

  22. I bought liver cleanse and the Fertility Cleanse from your website. I started the liver cleanse on the 7th day of my cycle, surprisingly I had my period on the 18th day when I had started taking the Fertility Cleanse for only a day. It was a very painful period on one side. I find this bewildering as I have always had regular 28 day cycle. Do I discontinue the herbs?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Bella!

      Do you mind a few questions to help me better understand which products you used?

      Can you clarify which liver cleanse product you used? Was it the Liver Cleanse Flushing Tea? Did you use this alone or with other herbs, or nutritional supplements? Did you continue using it while using the products of Phase 2 of the Fertility Cleanse?

      It is best to pause using the Fertility Cleanse while you menstruate and then start where you left off when bleeding stops. For some women, spotting can happen as a result of cleansing and for others menstruation can start early. This is not cause for concern, rather a sign that your body is responding the Fertility Cleanse.

      Take care!

  23. My OB diagnosed me with LPD after blood tests and a biopsy. I have two healthy kids followed by 5 miscarriages that all happened within the 1st trimester. I am now 14 weeks pregnant after having been on a progesterone suppository. OB said it was safe to stop treatment since the placenta takes over progesterone production. I have been off it for 7 days and today notice I am spotting light brown with a mucous-like discharge. To be blunt, this happened after my first orgasm since getting pregnant, so I am wondering if I need to go back on the progesterone, or if the O simply caused some mild contractions that released old lining tissue? I’d call my OB, but it’s 1:45am and this is on my mind.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Sarah!

      First, Congratulations!

      I am sorry this is weighing heavily on your mind! You should have been sleeping! I hope you have since been able to talk to your OB or nurse.

      Typically blood that looks dark, old and/or brown is old blood left over from the previous cycle, but it would be best for you to talk this through with your OB.

      Take care!

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. The Dr. said it was unrelated to LPD and no cause for alarm. Thank you for responding!

  24. Hi, Following a failed FET cycle 3 months ago I have noticed that I bleed for 2 days, stop and start spotting the day after. I have also been charting since the beginning and my temp drops 1-2 days after seeing a temp spike and stay down. I have little to no cervical mucus. I have been diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility’ and at this point I believe my issue is either low oestrogen levels, low progesterone lovels, or both and having read this article a short luteal phase-am so confused! Have been taking maca for 2 months and took vitex for 1 month but it threw my cycles out is there anything else I can do??

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Mrs. B,

      I am sorry you are confused!

      Fertilica Maca and Fertilica Vitex are to be take long term, anywhere from 3-6 up to a year, without taking a break to see desired results. Fertilica Vitex can cause temporary shifts in the menstrual cycle for some when they first start using. I am sorry this was concerning, but in general we see these shifts work themselves our within 1-3 cycles of use.

      It may be best for you to consider a consider a Fertility Consultation. Given what you have shared, it sounds as though working one on one with a fertility herbalist will help you with a clear idea of how you can best support your body in achieving hormone balance and prepare for healthy pregnancy – to receive a full plan designed specifically for your fertility health needs.

      I hope you will consider this invaluable experience!

  25. Good day

    I am 9 days late with period. took HPT but it came out negative. last month I was by the gynae and she said I have an ovarian cyst. is there anything I can take to let this go away.



  26. hi i will get periods at every 27th day but i get abdominal pain before 10 days so s there anything treatment for this

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Archana!

      It is hard for me to know exactly without knowing what might be causing this for you. However, in general cramping could be helped by using herbs that have an anti-spasmodic, calming effect on the uterus. You may want to learn more about supporting menstrual cycle health. You could also consider UteriCalm which you will read about in the article I linked you to just above.

      Best wishes!

  27. Thank you for the great suggestions. I have been TTC for 8 months and have found I ovulate around CD 23, yet my luteal phase is ~8 days. I think I’m still recovering from the Ortho-evra patch I used to be on for ~3 years. I wish I new it could cause such problems with TTC later in life, I would never have gotten on it in the first place.

  28. I really didnt know any of these information. It makes so much sense. THank you for this!

  29. Great article, thank you! My LP is only about 10-12 days long and my Dr. told me I was crazy for thinking I had LPD. I am 30, we have one 4 year old child and have been TTC for over a year. We are a healthy whole-foods family always, so I am praying that my upped intake of supplements, maca and the foods mentioned above does the trick for me. Thanks for writing such easy to read, comprehensive articles. This site has been a great help to me.

  30. This is interesting… I’ve been diagnosed with endometriosis, PCOS, and low progesterone/LPD but in spite of prescription progesterone, then progesterone injections, taking vitex and later adding maca, I *still* have a 24 day cycle in spite of progesterone blood tests showing normal during treatment. I have clockwork cycles, even though they are short! I’m starting to wonder if I have either LH issues or if my progesterone drops earlier than it should as suggested in this article. My body is a complete mystery!! I’m loving these articles, they are very informative.

    • Hi Melissa,

      Yes, 24 days is short, but if your luteal phase is at least 12 days, you may be in the clear. The body is a complete mystery! Since you have low progesterone…my thoughts are that progesterone supplementation, over time may be a good route. How long were you taking prescription progesterone? It takes anywhere from 4 months to a year to bring low progesterone levels back to a good level, so perhaps the supplementation wasn’t long enough? I hope you get this figured out! My last thoughts…have you changed your diet to align with a healthy way of eating for endometriosis and PCOS? That may help!

  31. Thank you for writing this!,
    So many issues i’m having with my body line up with this!!
    breast cysts (extremely painful)
    irregular periods (27 to 42 days)
    inability to loose weight
    still lactating 4 years after BLW our youngest,
    but i’m not trying to fall pregnant, have got my 2 little boys and don’t plan on having any others, (youngest is about to turn 5)
    is there another condition (for lack of a better term) that i could be experiencing, or is this likely to my issue?
    Thanks in Advance!

    • Hi Mish,

      LPD may be part of what is going on with your body, or a result of a hormone imbalance. Women who are still lactating after weaning a baby may have a condition called hyperprolactinemia, a result of elevated prolactin levels. One of the top causes of this is a small benign pituitary tumor. It sounds like you need to get in to a good doctor (one that listens to you and your concerns and you feel comfortable with) and get a full hormone panel run. See what tests we find are important here: under Hormone Testing. Your doctor will help you to determine the cause of your symptoms. After you find out your test results, if an issue/imbalance is determined, there are natural options to help and you can contact us back! We work with women who aren’t trying to conceive as well as those that are!

  32. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. I apologize that we were unable to reply to all past comments. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  33. I have a 30-day or so cycle. But I start spotting in the 9-12dpo range. I usually ovulate around day 10.

    I was just diagnosed with low progesterone. It was 3.5 at 7dpo.

    I was on the pill for 8 years. I got pregnant with my 2 1/2 year-old daughter immediately upon stopping the pill. I had a great pregnancy.

    I then had normal cycles for 1 year. Then, 1 year of the spotting, super-sore breasts, bit of insomnia, PMS, etc.

    Dr wants me to take Prometrium & Clomid.

    Would Maca have a similar effect? I have read not to take Vitex with regular cycles. I have regular cycles & I am still ovulating.

  34. Hello
    I had a miscarriage in Feb 2012, and i recently found out that my luteal phase is only 9 or 10 days. My gynec has given me the progestron cream. And she told me that there is nothing else to do. How can I get back my hormones to normal level. Please please advice me on this. I have nobody to else to ask for guidance. We have been ttc for almost 2 years. Can I just take vitex as an additional suppliment while using this progestron cream?

  35. Hi
    I have been charting for only three months now because of the two miscarriages I had last year, Sep ’11 and Jan ’12.
    My cycle has been very irregular since, a 19 day cycle between Feb & Mar, no idea but I suspect I didn’t ovulate so soon after a miscarriage.
    The three cycles I have charted BBT, CM and Cervix Position.
    Cycle 1: 25 days long, temp rise (OV?) day 16
    Cycle 2: 23 days long, temp rise (OV?) day 16
    Cycle 3: 26 days long, temp rise (OV?) day 14

    I have no clue and I have seen my doctor, he suspects a progesterone deficit.
    Just wondering what I can do naturally to lengthen my LP? I’ve read taking Vitex Agnus Castus, B6, B12 and Dong Quai can all help but I have no clue how much of each to take etc etc.


  36. Dear Hethir,

    I have read a lot of information from your website over the last 18 months. I wondered if I could ask for your advice?
    I have just turned 38 and my partner and I have been trying to conceive for approximately 18 months. My partner is 34 healthy and his sperm count and sperm motility is normal. I have had hashimotos for 7 years, and last year I discovered I have uterine fibroids. I am on bio identical hormones for my thyroid, my doctor has my TSH down quite low so I now ovulate most months. I have been on 200mg of natural progesterone for just over a year, at first the cream and now I use a troche. I am also on a 50 mg DHEA. I take multivitamins, epo, fish oils, vitamin d (10 units per day for a deficiency) vitex, iodine ( deficiency) folic acid, b complex and baby aspirin, preseed.
    As far as treatments that we have tried – my thyroid doctor also practices nutritional medicine so he has me on the above supplements and a good diet with alot of fresh foods, full cream A2 milk and eliminating coffee and alcohol. I was also seeing a naturopath and I was taking fertility tonics for 3 months but I stopped ovulating so I ceased the treatment. I’m not sure if it was related to the treatment or a coincidence. I have also tried acupuncture and Chinese medicine for 6 months.
    I chart and use an ovulation predictor. So far we have had no success in conceiving and whenever we think we have had a month where conception may have taken place I end up cramping and spotting and getting my period really early. I am normally a regular 27 day cycle but if I have one of the cycles where we think we may have conceived I get spotting and then a period around CD 20/21. I am currently spotting and it started at CD 20.
    I realise that as the months continue to pass I am running out of time to be a mother due to my age. Can you offer any general advice as to why I am spotting, anything I’m not doing that I should be? Or do we seem to be on the right track?

    Thank you for reading my post.

    Kind regards,


  37. hello.

    ttc for my second child but had another miscarriage last year. just started trying again this hear. im 39 and have recently noticed a change in my cycle. on ocassion i have two periods in one month. this has happened 3 times. i just had my period 17days ago and am spotting and feel like its coming again. had blood work done, doctor says progesterone is on the low side and suggested supplementing with bio hormones 100mg vaginal. do you advise i take vitex too. all other hormones were fine i had everything done except iron was also low and im supplementing. could this be a sign of menopause. dr advises to not to put of ttc for too long.i really want another one. i live a very clean lifestyle. i eat well and take supplements, drink wheat grass and weigh 110pnds. i’ve removed all chemicals from my diet and cosmetics. any other advice to offer in terms of supplements. how much standardized vitex to you advise i take, thanks

  38. Hi,

    I had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks (baby stopped developing just short of 10 weeks). I had a D&C, and got my first period 29 days later. I had my first ovulation after the miscarriage 11 or 12 days into my cycle, and then stared my next cycle after only 23 days when prior to the miscarriage, my cycles were 27 days faithfully. I am expecting my 3rd period to start in about 5 or 6 days (according to a 23 day cycle), but am concerned about my LP since my cycle has shortened, and my LP seems to be only 10 or 11 days now. I purchased some Vitex & have it on hand in case this cycle is short as well. What would you suggest? Thank you in advance

  39. Hi,
    Currently, I have a 2 yr old. Prior to her, I had to miscarriages and then another 2 after her. My last miscarriage was in Dec 2012. I had my regular period from Dec 2011 to Feb 2012. By regular, I mean 28 days cycle. But in Mar 2012, it went to 34 days which is very unusual for me as I always have a regular period. And in April 2012, all I had was brown-black discharge for 9 days. So far, nothing has happened in May 2012 yet. I had my blood test recently and the luteal phase result shows <1 where the normal range is between 0-5 for non- pregnant female. What can I still do to go back to my regular cycle?


  40. Hello,
    I’m new to charting so don’t want to sound to premature about writing but ill give you a little background first of all. I have a daughter that was born March/2010, in October 2010 I received my last depo-shot because we want another baby and I know it took 6 months after getting off it the first time to concieve our daughter. I got my period in Jan right on schedule then things started to get screwed up. My next period was in May 2011 followed by June. July and August were late by up to 2 weeks each. September I began having periods literally every other week so my doctor put me on birth control in October to “regulate” my periods. I took the pill for 2 months (Oct and Nov 11) and since then I have been getting regular periods but have gone from 28 days to (now) 25 days. I have started tracking my bbt this cycle and noticed on fertility friend it says I didn’t ovulate until day 18 (leaving me 7 day Luteal phase if I get my period in 2 days as supposed to) after reading through online today I’m going to start taking B6 and red raspberry leaf tea (I already take a prenatal since we have been ttc for over a year now) do you have any other suggestions? I have to explain why I haven’t talked to the doctor about this yet: I plan on having bbt charts, etc when I DO go but I have already talked to her about this and the only thing she said is this “wouldn’t be the ideal time to get pregnant” because I was hit head on in a Motor vehicle accident this past september (2011) and suffer from post concussion migraines, haven’t worked since then and a number of other issues (nerve damage in neck-causing the headaches, soft tissue damage, etc) BUT there’s a number of years between my boyfriend and I (he’s 41 I’m 25- and no he doesn’t have impotence problems) and we would like to have another child before (as he says) he’s to old to enjoy children and seeing them grow up and actively participate in their lives. Sooo there’s my whole crazy story, any help would be greatly appreciated :)

  41. I took Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) for the first time this month (1,000mg day 1-OV). I have had a wierd luteal phase this month. I am 7 days past ovulation, and I have had creamy cm every day (typically I would be dry now), and I have had a small bit of colostrum leaked onto the ends of my nipples (I stopped breastfeeding 6 months ago). Would this be linked to the EPO????

    • Hi Amanda,

      I am not sure and I know I am replying to your very old post. I have known many mamas to have some fluid leak from the breasts for up to a year post-breastfeeding, including me.

  42. If anyone could give me a word of advice, I’d appreciate it. My husband and I are trying to conceive. I had stretchy, fertile-seeming cervical fluid on March 27th, preceded by creamy/milky quality the day before. We tried on the 26th, 27th, & 28th. Nine days later (April 5th, yesterday) I started cramping very mildly and spotting lightly (my period usually starts suddenly and fairly heavy). Is this a real period or could it be an early miscarriage? Does this indicate a short luteal phase? Or is it possible I miscalculated my ovulation? I’m so confused by what I’ve observed. Please help.

  43. I do BBT charting. I’ve figured out that I have a short luteal phase of 10/11 days. This cycle, I ovulated on CD22 and started an otc natural progesterone cream. (1/8 tsp/2x daily) Since starting the cream, I have been having very sore breasts/nipples, headaches, and feeling out of sorts. I am now dpo11 and my temps have above my coverline, with no AF in sight. This morning, my temp started to fall a little bit, and my breasts are no longer sore. I did a preg test and it was negative. Is it normal for progesterone to mimic pregnancy symptoms?

  44. i sent in a question earlier. Pls i also want 2 kno. My period lasts 4 only 2days. Is this ok?

  45. Hello,
    We’ve been TTC for too long now, and we’ve just recently had a miscarriage in September of 11. While I was all to happy to learn we could conceive it was devastating to have lost our baby. When I was pregnant, and didn’t know it, I swear to the Lord above, that I had a period. Not until 8 days after my period did I test due to mid cycle spotting. (something that’s never happened to me before) As you can guess, I was beyond surprised when I saw that second line appear. We’ve also had what you would call “chemical pregnancies” in the past. I would test, and an incredibly faint line would appear, and I’d wait two days and nothing. I just recently started to REALLY look over my chart on fertility friend, and realized that my luteal phase is only 9-10 days long. I’m thinking that, could be the culprit as to why I’m not able to keep these pregnancies. I’m currently taking 100 B-complex. (and thanks to this site, I’m going to be eating more green leafy veggies, and more foods high in vitamin C) Is the 100 B-complex enough? Or should I be taking more B-6 with the complex? My husband is deployed right now, so I’m taking this time to try and “fix” this problem. Crossing my fingers and praying it works.
    thanks so much!

    • Hi Diana,

      I am glad to hear you went back through your charts and figured this out! For B6 suggested usage is 50mg up to 100mg daily. Make sure to use B6 in conjunction with a B complex or multivitamin to avoid causing imbalances. You would look at your B complex supplement label to see how many milligrams of B6 are included in it. If it is less than 50-100mg you will need to additionally supplement with a separate B6.

      Best Wishes,


  46. Hello Hethir,

    I need your advice. I have been ttc for 7 months and ONLY since ttc have I started brown spotting 4-5 days before my period. I have had a regular 23 day cycle for 2 years, since coming of the pill. My luteal phase has only been 9 days. Since taking B6, my luteal phase is now 11 days. But the spotting keeps getting worse. I took Soy isoflavones CD 1-5 this month thinking perharps a poor corpus luteam may be the cause. I had EWCM for 10 days this cycle. I ovulated on CD 14 as usual, and started Emeritta Progest 3DPO. By 4DPO i had alot of brown spotting. Which is at least a week sooner than the spotting usually starts. The cream also made me dizzy and sick to my stomach, mind you i think i may have used a little too much. Im at a loss, and really unsure of what to do from here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi hollis,

      What you are experiencing after beginning the progesterone cream is very typical. This is because hen you are first introducing progesterone back into the body after an extended period of progesterone deficiency, the estrogen receptor sites ‘wake up’ (are stimulated) enhancing the action of estrogen for a short period of time. This is acutally a sign that the progesterone is working, even though at the beginning it can exacerbate estrogen dominance symptoms such as breast tenderness and swelling, spotting, fluid retention, dizziness, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches and nausea. This should go away after the first couple cycles of use. We do not find soy isoflavones work very well and often end up causing more hormonal imbalance in the end. Dietary changes should come first before herbs or supplement use for LPD. Because I do not know what your diet or lifestyle is like it is hard to say what may be best to learn about. Honestly manipulating hormones by using soy isoflavones in the first half of the cycle and then using the progesterone cream the second half of the cycle may not be the best route to go at first. It is best to begin with dietary changes, supplementing nutrients that may be lacking, then adding herbs to regulate the cycle length next, and last increasing progesterone directly. Just a thought. Check out our thoughts on soy isoflavone use at the end of the article at this link:

      All the best,


  47. I have been charting my BBT for about 8 months now. The number of days from my temp. rise until my period has varied: 13, 15, 12, 10, 12, 14, and last month was 13. This month, my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby, and have skipped only 1 night since my period ;) I had a temp rise on day 23, and even though the temps have stayed up, it was not a full rise. I’m at day 29 now, and of course checking out everything about earliest pregnancy signs and such. I have a very good feeling that I am in fact pregnant, although that may just be wishful thinking. On the chance that I could be pregnant, I am now worried about having a short luteal phase this month and losing the baby. Is there anything that I can do at this point to try to ensure that doesn’t happen?

    • Hi Rebecca,

      You could contact your doctor about your progesterone level (to see if it is adequate. I am not sure if there is really anything you can do at this point. Without knowing what is causing LPD, if you even have that, it is hard to say what may be helpful. You may find that information on our Recurrent Miscarriages page may be helpful.

      All the best, hoping you are pregnant!


  48. I am on day 17 of my cycle and started bleeding. Taking Bio Prog days 12-26 and tried to conceive days 10, 13 and 14. Is this a period or something else?

  49. I’ve been TTC for a while now. Last month, I had 1 day of brown spotting, then a few days of nothing, then my period. So this month, I temped. I had 1 day of brown spotting 9 DPO and then my period at 12 DPO. Before last month, I had never spotted. I have a 2 year old who still nurses 3 times per day. She’s 27 months and I got my first PP period at 6 months and my cycles have been regular (24-32 days) since. Is this a luteal phase problem?

    • Hi Anne,

      Based on your information there is no real way for me to know for sure if you may have LPD or not. Because low progesterone is the leading cause of LPD you may want to consider taking a progesterone test. This may help you to determine if in fact that is the case. This article has great tips for what you can to nutritionally and supplemental to start. If you continue to spot, you also may want to consider other options, but you may need to wean your child before beginning these.

      All the best,


  50. I had a fibroid operation nine mouths a menstration has came in dec and mar.after the operation i was giving no drugs.what shoud i do.i dont have a child and will want .can i have the second chance.thanks you so much.