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How long does the luteal phase last? 

Quick refresher: your luteal phase is the second half of your cycle, when your body prepares itself for pregnancy. It starts right after ovulation, and ends when your next period begins. 

And yes, it often brings those pesky P, M and S symptoms of being grumpy, bloated and moody.

For many folks who bleed, their luteal phase will last between11 - 17 days

A luteal phase of less than 8 days is considered to be short, and can affect chances of falling pregnant. If your luteal phase is too short, your body doesn’t get enough time to release progesterone and thicken the lining of your uterus. This makes implantation of the egg (and thus getting pregnant) difficult. 

Having a short luteal phase may not be obvious unless you’re trying to fall pregnant. Often the only signs are slightly early periods, spotting in between periods or difficulty falling pregnant. 

If you’re interested to know how long your luteal phase is, it’s fairly easy to track it yourself.

What’s your number?

To find out the length of your luteal phase, you’ll need to know:

  • Your ovulation date - this can be worked out using an ovulation urine test and basal body temperature (BBT) tracking. 
  • The start date of your period (the date you start bleeding). 

The time in between these two dates is your luteal phase. If you think it’s on the short side, have a chat with your doctor, as there’s a range of different supports available. 

You can track your basal body temperature at home to work out your ovulation date. For most folks BBT sits between 36.1C and 36.4C before ovulation and rises to between 36.4C to 37C after ovulation. Take your temperature at the same time each day (best when you first wake up) and keep a record in your phone or diary.

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