Tuesday, February 21, 2012


For the last year, I've taken immense comfort in the fact that my luteal phase (LP), which was teetering on the edge of being classified as LPD, in both my cycles of conception, had changed greatly after I became Vitamin D replete.  It used to be a short 11 day one, and after I got my  D3 levels up and above 30 ng/ml, it has been a healthy average of 15 days, over 13 or so cycles.

Since Vitamin D increases both estrogen and progesterone and has been shown to regulate the menstrual cycle, its a logical thing to assume that taking vitamin D was responsible for this change.  Heads up on this link, it also talks about a subject I've long neglected in this blog, the effects of Vitamin D on male infertility. Its really something to take into consideration, for all affected parties.

Then, just as I'm about to start a cycle where I AM planning to TTC, I get my period 2 whole days early, giving me a 13 day LP. Occasionally something happens that seems entirely counter intuitive, and this is one of them. This past cycle seemed glorious looking. Lots of estrogen evidenced by crazy amounts of fertile CM, really high progesterone, evidenced by really high BBTs and crazy breast tenderness. Then why on earth did my endometrium give up the ghost 2 days early?  Ironically, based on the 2 progesterone symptoms (BBT and breast tenderness), I think my progesterone did not drop fully till day 16, but my period began 2 days early anyway.

Ugh, Ugh, Ugh. The next time I wanted to TTC, I wanted it to be in a very pretty-looking natural cycle with no issues, since that is all I have to go on. Now I kind of feel like I'm at the mercy of a celestial prankster, determined to mess with my head.

Anyways, if this cycle does not look like sh.it, I should be having an IUI on March 6th or the 7th, if nothing changes.  God, the thought of something changing and me having to make a decision whether to go with a crappy cycle or not is making me nervous already-- all the Should Is/Should'nt Is are starting up.

Adding to the pressure, I got really good news, but it makes when I conceive important-  My brother is getting engaged (!!!) and his fiancee wants to get married in December. Uhmmmm...also my due month, if I do get knocked up now. I definitely cannot attend a wedding when I'm nearly full term, not in India anyway. My parents are looking to pushing the wedding to late January,  which would be just on the edge of ok if all goes well, and as planned, but if not, its going to be a a bit of a pickle.  I did not forsee having to attend a wedding with a baby in tow---I really wanted to keep human contact to a minimum for the first few months of my child's life- that was going to be the best part of doing this in India, wherein no daycare would be needed. To have to attend a wedding, which in India is a 2 day long, giant communal affair, with 100s of germ-laden individuals running around the place and to try to devise a way that only 10 or so people get to handle/be in the same room as my baby...whee.  The thing with plans, you never see the potholes coming.

But...really, this is small stuff. Should remember not to sweat it All issues can be surmounted, you just roll up your sleeves and do what is necessary.   My brother is getting married---that is the part to celebrate!


  1. Wouldn't you know, that's the way it always works.  I'm convinced that there's some of this science can't and won't ever be able to explain.  

    Congrats to your brother, and fingers crossed for this cycle!

  2. I know you're disappointed, understandably, by the 2-day drop in the LP, but 13 days is very good and shouldn't be any problem in maintaining a pregnancy... if it had dropped to below 12 it might be cause for slight concern, and below 10 definitely concerning.  But 13 should be fine.  Hang in there and I hope that everything aligns correctly this time for you!

  3. My step sister is getting married on my due date up in Seattle and I'll miss it. Only excuse

  4. Hey,

    Thank you for the detailed vitain d and lpd information. I seem stuck in the 12 to 13 day range, especially since I started having m\cs. My doctors don't see concerned, but I've always had a bad feeling about it. Did you request a vitamin d test? Is it cycle time dependant at all?

  5.  Visiting for ICLW. Congrats to your brother! And if they do choose Dec. for their wedding, well you have to keep living your life. Can't put TTC on hold just because its inconvenient for other people. I hope this is a good cycle for you! And thank you for the article on Vit D - I'm already taking it, but I may talk DH into using it too.

    ICLW #80 - Curly Sue

  6. Interesting relationship between Vitamin D and hormone regulation, thanks.  And another piece that makes it seem all the more impossible that anyone actually achieves pregnancy!  It is daunting though to focus on all of these very small parts, hoping a tweak here and there will do the trick.  Please don't stress too much about a 13 day LP, or an ideal fertility chart!    

  7. Life is just full of surprises isn't it, both good and bad.  Hope you get to do that IUI in March!

    {visiting from ICLW}

  8. Out of curiosity, how long was your LP before? I highly recommend getting tested:  Vitamin D has has so many fingers in the pie that a deficiency is definitely among the lineup of suspects in any adverse event in this game, be it an inability to get pregnant,  an early loss or a late adverse event like pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes or issues rising from infection, like bacterial vaginosis.

    To answer your questions,, I had my first vitamin D test utterly by accident in India, but since returning here,  I've had my RE's order Vitamin D tests multiple times. Just in case your doctor has not been keeping up with the literature(ie, living under a rock) and says its not necessary, I suggest you go armed with the following articles.



    Its not cycle dependent either, you can get it tested anytime.

    Best of luck!

  9. Congratulations on your brother's engagement! Very exciting. Indian weddings are beautiful, but very involved. So I understand you wanting to be careful with how you plan out TTC.

    I have one question: have you every had your progesterone checked during your LP? Could give you some insight.

    {visiting from ICLW

  10. Praying that all goes well for your March IUI. We are gearing up for our March dIUI cycle as well! I'm visiting from IComLeavWe :) Timing the baby and wedding is difficult...once you are pregnant and it gets closer maybe you could bring someone to watch the baby and you could go back and forth between the hotel and festivities. That way you are able to keep baby away from needless germs! just an idea.

  11. Hopefully your March IUI goes great! And I hate having to try to plan TTC around other people's weddings, after 4 years of infertility though I have just recently decided I will TTC when it's right for me and if I miss a wedding for a child then so be it. At some point we have to put ourselves first right...While a wedding is a big deal, so is a child.

    {from ICLW} Lavonne @ *Our Wish*

  12. Jrcclw, It would give me a LOT of insight and the scientist in me has always been itching to do it, but I've ever only tested progesterone when I was TTCing.  In both the cycles where  I TTCed  (and got pregnant while being vitamin D deficient), my levels were around 40+ ng/ml, which is pretty healthy.

    After I got replete, I never did a progesterone blood test, but I could hazard it had gone up based on my symptoms, a pretty dramatic increase in the level of breast tenderness,  and the increase in my LP length.

    I'll be checking again when I TTC this month-  I'm looking forward to that progesterone test a lot, I like #s:)

  13. Congrats on your brothers engagement.  It's so much fun when siblings get married.  And yeah, trying to plan life around pregnancy...*especially* when infertility is involved it the worst.  Good luck with the IUI.

  14. Wow, I'm really having some issues with your comment form, sorry!  Anyway, my LP prior to getting pregnant the first time was 14/15 days and my entire cycle very predictable.  Thank you for the resources.  I'm on the hunt for a more... talented RE at the moment so maybe I'll use the Vitamin D testing as a litmus test!

  15. Have you looked into the effect of B vitamins on your LP?  It was what did the trick for me (LP went from 11 days to 13).  Perhaps a combo of both the B and D vitamins could stabilize things?  Best of luck on your next cycle!


  16. It sounds like the shorter LP was an outlier, but I know how unnerving something like that can be. Especially when you're getting ready to cycle. By the way, that's happened to me before: AF arrives earlier but evidence of Progesterone doesn't go until after. It's very weird and I'd love to hear an explanation to it

    Congrats to your brother!

  17. I hope your cycle proves to be perfect for your IUI. do you plan to give birth in India? And congratulations on your brothers engagement.

  18. Very interesting about the Vit D...my LP has always been on the short side but I have stopped tracking my cycles because it makes me CRAZY!  As for AF she loves to play tricks on us.  

    Congrats to your brother!  Happy ICLW!!

  19. Boo for cycles coming early (or even off schedule for that matter!).  I hope you to do your IUI and get a sticky, sticky BFP.  Very interesting about the Vitamin D.

    ICLW #97

  20. Also visiting from ICLW.  I hope your March IUI works out!  I'll have to check into that vitamin D thing for male fertility, as that's the issue we know about (for now).  How exciting about your brother getting married, and a wedding in Inda sounds amazing!

  21. B6 alone also increased my LP from 9-10 to 12-13.

  22. Ironically, I've been taking my prenatal which has a good amount of folic acid and  food folate, and this cycle, I started taking L-methyl folate, which is the optimized version that people with MTHF can absorb. That stuff is supposed to shoot your folate blood levels through the roof.


    I've actually been wondering if that had anything with the weird drop (because its the one difference I introduced), but again, that would be completely counter-intuitive.

    I'm just going to go kick a wall and state that sometimes I effing hate biology.

  23. I've felt kinda...bad? wrong? I dunno...for not starting a cycle now because I don't want to be due at Christmas when my cousin's getting married and I have a convention across the country.  I feel less bad about it because the timing of starting the cycle would be bad too, but I still do feel kinda bad, especially since I know the first IVF may not work anyway, and it doesn't help that my dad is reminding me that timing will never be perfect.  I don't want perfect, but I do want not crappy!

    ICLW #6

  24. Wow, a 13-day LP sounds great to me!  I've never had one that long.  I know, though, it's all relative and it's disappointing to have that after it's been 15 for a while.   

    I'm looking forward to catching up on your blog!  I'm so sorry about your losses.  And I read about that doc who told you not to cuss in his presence.  OMG, you have got to be kidding.  That is AWFUL of him to say.

    Congrats to your bro!  It definitely adds a layer of complication to things to be thinking about a wedding in India. 

    Sending good luck to you for this cycle!

  25. Hi, 

    I'm finding you for the first time through ICLW. I am thrilled for you that your brother is getting married, and hopeful that you will work out pregnancy in a way which permits you to enjoy the experience, but not have the added pitfalls that you describe. I love that line 'The thing with plans, you never see the potholes coming.' Too true, even though my circumstances are different and I'm not TTC. 

    Best wishes,