Luteal Phase Dysfunction Medication

Updated: Dec 09, 2016
  • Author: Thomas L Alderson, DO; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy in luteal phase deficiency are to restore ovarian function, reduce morbidity, and prevent complications.


Hormone replacements

Class Summary

Medical treatment centers on hormonal support of the patient's luteal phase.

Bromocriptine (Parlodel)

Used if hyperprolactinemia is the underlying pathology causing LPD. Tablets can be used vaginally in patients who cannot tolerate adverse GI effects.

Levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid)

If LPD is caused by hypothyroidism, correction of endocrine disease results in normal luteal phase.

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene)

Stimulates release of pituitary gonadotropins. Improves folliculogenesis and, therefore, the luteal phase. Works best in biopsies that are lagging 1 week behind the date of endometrial sampling.

Cabergoline (Dostinex)

Long-acting dopamine receptor agonist with high affinity for D2 receptors. Prolactin secretion by anterior pituitary predominates under hypothalamic inhibitory control exerted through dopamine.

Progesterone intravaginal gel

Progesterone supplementation may be administered PO, IM, or vaginally. Oral progesterone is metabolized rapidly in liver, and the metabolites have little effect on endometrial activity. When administered IM, fails to achieve adequate levels of endometrial progesterone compared with vaginal forms. Vaginal progesterone is DOC for LPD; this is because of the proximity of the uterus to where the medication is delivered. Vaginal gel 8%, either qd or bid, is better tolerated compared to suppository form. Gel also provides increased receptor sites in the endometrium compared with suppository. Treatment begins 2 days after ovulation as determined by ovulation predictor kit. Correction of LPD can be confirmed by repeat EB.

Follitropins (Follistim, Gonal-F, Fertinex)

Improve folliculogenesis, which increases total progesterone. This remains an expensive method associated with increased patient discomfort because medication is administered SC.