Prospective evaluation of luteal phase length and natural fertility.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a short luteal phase on fecundity. DESIGN: Prospective time-to-pregnancy cohort study. SETTING: Not applicable. PATIENT(S): Women trying to conceive, ages 30-44 years, without known infertility. INTERVENTION(S): Daily diaries, ovulation prediction testing, standardized pregnancy testing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Subsequent cycle fecundity. RESULT(S): Included in the analysis were 1,635 cycles from 284 women. A short luteal phase (≤11 days including the day of ovulation) occurred in 18% of observed cycles. Mean luteal phase length was 14 days. Significantly more women with a short luteal phase were smokers. After adjustment for age, women with a short luteal phase had 0.82 times the odds of pregnancy in the subsequent cycle immediately following the short luteal phase compared with women without a short luteal phase. Women with a short luteal length in the first observed cycle had significantly lower fertility after the first 6 months of pregnancy attempt, but at 12 months there was no significant difference in cumulative probability of pregnancy. CONCLUSION(S): Although an isolated cycle with a short luteal phase may negatively affect short-term fertility, incidence of infertility at 12 months was not significantly higher among these women. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT01028365.
Crawford, NM; Pritchard, DA; Herring, AH; Steiner, AZ
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