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What is the Luteal Phase?

Trying to understand your menstrual cycle can be much more difficult than you think! School education about it tends to focus simply on your period, and the risk of getting pregnant (rarely the challenge of getting pregnant, which plenty of people experience). The more complex reality contains many different stages, driven by complicated hormone cycles, all of which form an interlocking system optimised by years of evolution to give you regular chances to get pregnant, nurture a foetus and give birth to a child.

Your menstrual cycle begins with your period: this is your body clearing out the preparations for pregnancy it made in the last cycle. At the same time, the follicular phase begins. This is one of the more widely understood parts of the cycle as it relates directly to ovulation. In the follicular phase, the ovaries mature up to 20 eggs in small sacs called follicles, with the healthiest eventually released in ovulation, while the others are reabsorbed into your body.

It’s clear that any disruption to this process would leave you without a fertile egg to be released, so people who are concerned about fertility often focus on this phase as the source of their problems. Your menstrual cycle doesn’t stop with ovulation, however, and the next phase is just as important and well worth learning about.

While the egg is in the fallopian tubes, waiting to be fertilised, your body shifts its focus. Ovulation triggers a new phase in your cycle: the Luteal Phase. Your hormones are now directing the thickening of the endometrial lining in the uterus.

If your egg is fertilised, it will pass into the uterus and embed into this thickened lining where it will continue to grow, first into a foetus and eventually into a baby. Problems with the Luteal Phase can make pregnancy difficult, as if it is too short, the endometrial lining won’t be thick enough and the egg won’t be able to embed there. This means that simply ensuring you ovulate, and your fertile egg meets fertile sperm isn’t the only important thing when you’re trying to boost your fertility.

Tracking your menstrual cycle is important, as this lets you know how long each phase is, and if your body is doing everything it needs to get pregnant. OvuSense can tell you with accuracy when you menstruate, and combining that with the dates of your period lets you pin down the length of your follicular phase and your Luteal Phase. From there you can determine if either is too short (or too long), or simply irregular, and begin to find a solution to the problem.

To learn more about your cycle and hear from Ovusense customers visit ovusense