Thursday, October 25, 2012

Luteal Phase Defect and Fertility.

I'm always leery of self-diagnosis via google, but I have say that I've just fallen prey to it.

Warning: This post is potential TMI for some of you out there!



Now that you've all been suitably warned, let me lead you down the rabbit hole on the baby making project of 2012. Things you should know before I begin:


  • I've always, up until 2 years ago, had a 28-29 menstrual cycle. 7 days long. I could tell you what days would be light, heavy, medium, colour, consistency. Like clockwork. 
  • I've only missed my period 2x in my life: once when I switched to a vegetarian diet and once when I got pregnant
  • My partner and I have been pregnant. We got pregnant very easily on an oops & I knew immediately that we were potentially going to have a problem because I knew my cycle inside out
  • We had an abortion with no complications. My cycle went back to normal right away
  • Since then I had a knee injury and have gained weight (not tons, because it's been a long time since I've small, but enough)
  • I've been a vegetarian 19 years (20 this Jan). Generally I've been decent about balancing my proteins, etc, but I could be better
  • About 2 years ago my menstrual cycle started to change. Slowly but surely I've gone from spotting a week before my period and getting it on the regular day, to now spotting about 1 week after my period, on and off, until my period, which is now about 3 full days and starts on cycle day 22-23.

Suffice to say, charting, taking temperatures, checking cervical mucus, peeing on stick... I've done all of it and time everything just so. While I know these things take time, I've been not only confused by why it is so much harder this time around, but also by what the hell is happening with my body.

I tried to go to the doctors. I've been tested for thyroid problems. I've taken follic acid and multi-vitamins. I've recorded every symptom and puzzled over the weird ways in which my body actually seems pregnant, only to find myself not pregnant, from nausea to tender breasts. I've questioned whether this is my mind playing tricks on me...

But then a post over on Green Phone Booth made me stop and think about looking at the problem differently. So I started looking, trying to match my symptoms with the things I knew: that I have a short luteal phase. From there I found my way to luteal phase defect (see previous link for quick explanation). It looks as if my short luteal phase may make it impossible for an egg to implant properly, making it difficult to get/stay pregnant.

So now I'm going to be doing some follow up research. But I feel like singing a Hallelujah because for once I feel like I have something that makes sense to me. And regardless of whether or not it can be fixed or if we have a child, it gives me something to make sense of the change and also something to work with in terms of self-health. And if it doesn't work or isn't what's going on, that's fine. But it's a starting point that makes sense in terms of what I've been experiencing.

Rest assured, while I will start taking some B6 (in moderate amounts because too much is bad for you), I'll forego rubbing progesterone into my arms! And back to the doctor I go, fingers crossed I'll have better luck and patience this time around! I'm loath to admit it, but I might need to revamp my diet... and actually reduce my carbs. Sigh. I love carbs.

B6 it is!

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