Luteal Phase Defect
The luteal phase is the period between ovulation and the beginning of a
menstrual period, which normally lasts for 14 days. During this phase, the
ruptured follicle that released the egg closes to form the corpus lutenm,
which produces the progesterone used to thicken the endometrium in
preparation for a potential implantation. The disorder in which the luteal
phase lasts for less than 10 days is known as a luteal phase defect (LPD).
Women with a LPD are often unable to sustain a pregnancy, as the uterine
lining begins to breakdown. This results in menstrual bleeding and a
Causes of Luteal Phase Defect
Low levels of progesterone
Symptoms Associated with a Luteal Phase Defect
A luteal phase that is less than 10 days
May experience very light, short, and/or frequent periods
Herbal Treatment for a Luteal Phase Defect
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus L.)
Scientific Evidence from Clinical Trials
In a random, double-blind, placebo controlled trial involving 52 women with
latent hyperprolactinemia, which was causing luteal phase defect, 20mg of
agnus-castus was given each day. Within three months, the tests group's
prolactin levels had decreased, luteal phases returned to the normal
ranges, and deficiencies in progesterone were eliminated when
compared to the placebo group (Milewicz A, Gejdel E, Sworen H, et al:
Another randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study
involving 96 women with sterility due to secondary amenorrhea and luteal
phase defects showed that the use of a standardized extract of vitex
agnus-castus twice a day for three months resulted in notable
improvements in their conditions (Gerhard II, Patek A, Monga B, Blank A,
Gorkow C: 1998).
Gerhard II, Patek A, Monga B, Blank A, Gorkow C. 1998. "Mastodynon ®
beweiblicher Sterility for female fertility randomized, placebo-controlled,
clinical double-blind study." Forsch Komplementarmed. 5 (6):272-78.
Milewicz, A Gejdel E, Sworen H, et al. 1993. "Vitex agus-castus extract in
the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia:
Results of a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study."
Arzneimittelforschung. 43(7): 752-66.
An outline of clinical studies that verify the effectiveness of herbal medications and supplements