Simply a luteal phase defect means the uterine lining fails to properly mature and it creates problems for conceiving and implantation of a fertilized egg. Since embryo viability is directly dependent on the state of the uterus lining, a luteal phase defect can be the main cause of a woman not being able to get and stay pregnant. Most women will experience problems due to a short luteal phase, but there are also some that will have to deal with a long luteal phase. A long luteal phase means the female body continues to produce high levels of progesterone for more than 16 days past ovulation. While a long luteal phase defect is very rare, it can adversely affect fertility and prevent conception.
One of the reasons a long luteal phase can be so confusing is that because of experiencing constant progesterone elevation, it means it can be very hard to determine when ovulation happens. If a long luteal phase is suspected, there are certain hormone based blood tests which a physician can order to find out more information. Long luteal phase treatment can include keeping a daily record of body temperature to give the woman a better idea of when ovulation actually happens. It is also possible to mistake other conditions for a long luteal phase and when trying to conceive, a woman can find the condition very frustrating.
Most women will realize the cycle has continued for more than 28 days and think it means she is pregnant. High progesterone levels and an increase in body temperature can also be indicative of conception. Long luteal phase treatment involves speaking to a gynecologist and obtaining more information and possibly undergoing more tests to determine how to best handle the problem.