Luteal phase

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Menstrual cycle

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753

The luteal phase (or secretory phase) is the latter phase of the estrous cycle in animals, and the menstrual cycle in humans and great apes. It begins with the formation of the corpus luteum and ends in either pregnancy or luteolysis. The main hormone controlling this stage is progesterone, which is significantly higher during the luteal phase than other phases of the cycle.[1]

Some sources define the end of the luteal phase to be a distinct "ischemic phase".[2]

Luteal phase defect

Luteal phase defect (LPD) is believed to interfere with the implantation of embryos[3] The lactational amenorrhea method of birth control works primarily by preventing ovulation, but is also known to cause LPD.


  1. Bagnell, C. 2005. "Animal Reproduction". Rutgers University Department of Animal Sciences.
  3. Diaz, S. et al. Relative contributions of anovulation and luteal phase defect to the reduced pregnancy rate of breastfeeding women. Fertility and Sterility. 1992 Sep;58(3):498-503. PMID 1521642.

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