How Does the Corpus Luteum Affect Fertility

The corpus luteum is a small gland located at the base of the uterus (endometrium) which produces estrogen and progesterone. It acts like a ‘second womb’ for developing embryos, and helps maintain their development throughout gestation.

It’s main role is to produce eggs for implantation into the uterine wall. If there are no eggs available then the embryo will die or it may develop normally without any further intervention from either mother or father.

In women, the corpus luteum is found in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen near where your liver would be. In men it is usually located in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen.

If you have had children before, chances are that they were conceived using donor eggs. These days most IVF clinics use frozen embryos from donors rather than trying to create a baby from a live partner’s egg or ova.

There are two types of treatment for infertility: artificial insemination (AI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Artificial insemination involves taking a sample of the woman’s fallopian tubes, inserting them into another person’s reproductive tract, and implanting the resulting embryo into her womb. In vitro fertilization involves combining a man’s DNA with a woman’s eggs or ova.

Both methods involve creating new life. In some cases a couple might be able to use a frozen embryo from a previous IVF cycle or other fertility treatment. In others, extra embryos may have been created and not used at all.

Normally, this procedure is only available to women who can’t get pregnant. However, it can be performed in men as well. If you are infertile or otherwise unable to produce viable eggs or sperms, you may be a candidate for such an operation.

Sources & references used in this article:

LH pulses and the corpus luteum: the luteal phase deficiency (LPD) by W Wuttke, L Pitzel, D Seidlova-Wuttke, B Hinney – 2001 – Elsevier

The luteal phase after 3 decades of IVF: what do we know? by HM Fatemi – Reproductive biomedicine online, 2009 – Elsevier

The human corpus luteum: remodelling during luteolysis and maternal recognition of pregnancy by WC Duncan – Reviews of reproduction, 2000 – rep.bioscientifica.com

Common pathophysiological mechanisms involved in luteal phase deficiency and polycystic ovary syndrome. Impact on fertility by G Boutzios, M Karalaki, E Zapanti – Endocrine, 2013 – Springer

Growth and development of the corpus luteum by LP Reynolds, DA Redmer – … AND FERTILITY-SUPPLEMENT …, 1999 – biosciproceedings.org

Corpus luteum—conceptus—follicle relationships during the fertile cycle in rhesus monkeys: pregnancy maintenance despite early luteal removal by AL GOODMAN, GD HODGEN – The Journal of Clinical …, 1979 – academic.oup.com