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Luteal Phase Defect

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Diagnosing Luteal Phase Defect continued...

The biopsy is usually done a day or two before you think you will get your period. A pregnancy test should be done before an endometrial biopsy is done. You should not have an endometrial biopsy if you are pregnant.  

An endometrial biopsy can help your doctor determine if you are "in phase" or not.  A definitive diagnosis is based on two or more "out of phase" biopsy results.

However, every woman can have luteal phase changes from time to time. The National Institutes of Health says that an endometrial biopsy cannot tell the difference between fertile and infertile women. It does not recommend it as a routine infertility test.

The beta-3 integrin biomarker test is a newer method to help determine if the lining of the uterus is ready for pregnancy. This test is done using a sample of the lining taken during an endometrial biopsy.

Beta-3 integrin is a sticky protein found in the lining of the uterus. If you do not have this protein, the embryo may not properly implant in the lining. This reduces your chances for a successful pregnancy.

Pelvic ultrasound may also help your doctor measure the thickness of the lining.

Treatment of Luteal Phase Defect

Treatment depends on your overall health and whether or not you are trying to get pregnant. Any health conditions that can lead to luteal phase defect should be appropriately treated.

You may not need any further treatment if you do not wish to get pregnant.

If you are trying to get pregnant, the following medicines may be helpful:

  • Clomid (clomiphene citrate) stimulates your ovaries to make more follicles, which release eggs.
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) may help induce ovulation and produce more progesterone.
  • Progesterone injections, pills, or suppositories may be used after ovulation to help the lining grow.

Talk to your doctor about all your treatment options. Not all treatments will work. And studies have not proven that treatment for luteal phase defect improves the chances of successful pregnancy in women who do not use assisted reproduction techniques.

Progesterone can help some women who receive fertility treatments. However, there is no proof that taking progesterone after you become pregnant will prevent miscarriage.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on January 10, 2013
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