Corpus Luteum During Pregnancy

Very few are the people who know the meaning of the corpus luteum ; Women in particular should have some knowledge about this topic, because it is something that only females go through, and it appears in the ovary just after ovulation, if you are interested in knowing more, we invite you to read the article, where you will know in depth everything related a corpus luteum or yellow body.

This corpus luteum or corpus luteum as it is also known, is a cystic formation that appears after the woman ovulates, and has two destinations, it takes one if the egg is fertilized and a different one if it is not.

When the ovum is fertilized, the corpus luteum lasts for a few months and grows a lot to the point that it becomes an authentic yellow body, and when it reaches this part is when it begins to secrete progesterone.

Once the progesterone is released, the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, the trophoblate, that is, its peripheral layer secretes the gonadotrophic chorionic hormone known by its acronym HCG, this favors the persistence of the corpus luteum during the first trimester of pregnancy.

When the trophoblast, which will become the future placenta, is already capable of secreting the hormone necessary for the survival of the baby, the corpus luteum retracts and ends up disappearing.

On the other hand, when the ovum is not fertilized, the other destiny that this takes is to become albicans , together with this process, there is a decrease in progesterone secretion and consequently the appearance of menstrual period.

The function of the corpus luteum is to maintain the production of progesterone for a certain time, until the placenta is formed, who will be in charge of producing it after the corpus luteum disappears.

Know everything you need about Natural Progesterone: Increase it, Contraindications and Benefits

A brief explanation of what the corpus luteum is , something simple, but they are concepts that you surely did not know, and that when you are pregnant, new things to learn appear, a lot of information that you want to know, and in this article we are going to deepen about what is the corpus luteum.

What do we call the corpus luteum?

We call the corpus luteum , or, due to the color it has, it is also known as the yellow body, it is a glandular structure that appears in women for a specific and temporary function of a cyclical nature, its development is within the ovary, and the moment of its appearance is after ovulation or when the ovule is detached, at which time a follicle breaks so that the ovule is released to the outside.

In the follicle a tiny gland called lutein grows , it is a yellow pigment found in photosynthetic bacteria, which is responsible for secreting progesterone. This is how the corpus luteum develops .

Characteristics of the corpus luteum

It is characterized by being a nodule or cyst with wide walls, with a peripheral vascular peculiarity, where the narrowing of the blood vessels reduces the blood supply to the limbs. Commonly, it has internal echoes and an interior margin.

Hemorrhagic corpus luteum, what is it like?

The corpus luteum is hemorrhagic in the final stage of a process carried out by the ovary, it causes the rupture of a blood vessel that is externalized through bleeding, and sometimes it can produce acute pain, similar to colic. Also, it is accompanied by other symptoms such as: hypotension or tachycardia, nausea and vomiting.

When diagnosing the corpus luteum, it can be confused with an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus), but a vaginal ultrasound can safely rule out anything.

Discover more information about  Ectopic Pregnancy: Signs, Treatments, Risks and Symptoms

Medical definition of the corpus luteum

It is a glandular structure of the ovary that occurs after the detachment of the ovum. It has a yellow color provided by lutein, a pigment or chemical compound that belongs to the xanthophyll group.

As the second phase of the ovarian cycle develops, the corpus luteum will secrete progesterone and at the same time prepare the uterine endometrium for possible implantation of the ovum. In the event that the ovum is fertilized, the corpus luteum rises and expels more amounts of progesterone, but if fertilization does not occur, the corpus luteum degenerates.

Corpus luteum function

The corpus luteum has the function of an endocrine organ or system of internal secretion glands, which separates the hormones that benefit pregnancy, if applicable. On the other hand, if fertilization is positive, the corpus luteum grows in size and secretes more and more amounts of progesterone.

When the ovum is not fertilized

In the event that the ovum is not fertilized, the corpus luteum stops secreting progesterone and declines, and after approximately 10 days in humans it disappears. Afterwards it decays into a Corpus Albicans , a fibrous scar tissue mass, which is seen on the surface of the ovary.

The endometrium (what covers the uterus) is shed without progesterone and is discharged through the vagina, in a menstrual cycle, and that is what you know as a rule.

When the egg is fertilized

When the ovum is fertilized and the formation occurs, the syncytiotrophoblast whose function is to create antibodies to the maternal endometrium in the development of blood circulation, the blastocyst cells (early stage of embryonic development) produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone produced during pregnancy by fertilization on the ninth day.

Read the article we have on  Ovulation Symptoms: Calendar, Symptoms, How to detect it and Types

The human chorionic gonadotropin hormone signals the corpus luteum to follow the secretion of progesterone, which preserves the endometrium of the uterus and provides a place to form blood vessels where the zygote can easily develop. At that time the corpus luteum is called Corpus luteumgraviditatis .

The entry of prostaglandin (a lipidic substance) causes the degeneration of the corpus luteum, causing the fetus to abort. In humans, the placenta plays the role of producing progesterone and the corpus luteum disappears or becomes a Corpus albicans without degeneration or loss of the embryo.

It should be mentioned that there is a luteal support , which consists of the administration of some medicines that are generally progestin, these are intended to increase the probability of implantation and the principles of embryogenesis, thus complementing the function of the corpus luteum.

Phases of the corpus luteum

Once the woman ovulates, the luteal phase begins , a gland appears in the ovary called the corpus luteum or corpus luteum, which will last until the ovum is implanted or if not, menstruation begins, starting the next cycle.

In the second phase of the cycle, the uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy, its preparation consists of the accumulation of nutrients and generates many more blood vessels. But in the case of no fertilization then the corpus luteum functionally dies and the uterus mucosa is immediately devitalized due to the lack of adequate hormonal stimuli.

In this process of waiting for fertilization and the ovum not being fertilized, the accumulated elements must be detached, and the blood vessels break, in this way a small hemorrhage occurs that is known as menstrual flow.

More information related to this topic  Transparent Flow: Causes, Consequences, Symptoms and Cases

This luteal phase described usually lasts a minimum of ten days, and a maximum of 16 days, when the duration is equal to or less than 9 days you have to consult a doctor because it could be a luteal insufficiency, ovarian dysfunction or some endocrinological disease.

The Luteal Phase | Corpus Luteum Insufficiency

The luteinizing hormone LH in the middle of the cycle reaches a peak, at that point it is responsible for causing the ovulation process but when that peak is not as high as it should be, the corpus luteum does not develop fully.

And if that happens, that is, luteal underdevelopment, progesterone levels will not rise what is required to maintain pregnancy, it would be an insufficient luteal phase , or it may also happen that post-ovulatory levels are normal but fall prematurely and consequently bleeding appears 9 days or less after ovulation, it would be a short luteal phase.

The implantation of the embryo in the uterine cavity will occur 6 to 10 days after the ovulation process, when the progesterone concentrations are insufficient , a delay in endometrial maturation or perhaps an absence of it will occur, resulting in the delay or failure of implantation .

When the corpus luteum shows a failure, it could be due to exclusively ovarian dysfunction, or on the contrary, it can be caused by any of the endocrinological diseases: thyroid disorders or hyperprolactinemia (increased prolactin in the blood).

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This is why, if you suspect that you have luteal insufficiency, you should go to your doctor who will surely recommend a determination of thyroid hormones and prolactin in order to rule out that there are some of these associated disorders. What will tell you that you should go to the doctor is when you feel some of the following symptoms:

  • When your luteal phase lasts less than 9 days.
  • If you notice small bleeding when it corresponds to you to be in the luteal phase.
  • If in a test you show that you have low concentrations of progesterone.
  • If you have one or recurring miscarriages.

The Luteal Phase | The Menstrual Cycle

Every woman has her menstrual cycle , which consists of the process where female gametes, eggs or oocytes develop, in this menstrual cycle there are different changes that are directed to a possible pregnancy such as the corpus luteum that forms after the ovulation.

When the cycle begins, that is the first day of menstruation, and the final day is the one before the start of the next period, that is, it lasts about 28 days, although this really varies according to many factors and according to each woman , and may be longer or shorter.

The Menstrual Cycle | Menstruation

The menstruation is known by several names, some call period, others call it a rule or just menstrual bleeding. Already in this phase the endometrium is detached with the blood from some vessels, and when this occurs it is taken as a sign that it is not pregnant, if on the contrary there is delay or total absence, it may be a pregnancy, it must be confirmed with blood test, home urine tests or ultrasound because bleeding may also occur in pregnancy.

Check out our article on  Menstrual Cycle: Risks, Types, Delays and Home Remedies

The duration of menstruation is usually three to five days generally, although it is also normal when it lasts only two days, or extends to seven days. You can lose about 35 ml, but it is normal if you lose between 10 to 80 ml. Thanks to the enzyme known as plasmin, menstrual fluid is prevented from clotting.

This rule produces some annoying symptoms such as: pain in the abdomen, back, thighs, also in the uterus, but if it is severe it is known as dysmenorrhea and it usually occurs in young women and adolescents. They may also suffer from pain in the sinuses, headaches and a bad mood or irritability, but then they get better and go away.

The Menstrual Cycle | Preovulation

This phase is also known as the proliferative phase or follicular phase , during which the hormone makes the uterine tissue grow, lasting until the thirteenth day of the cycle. In pre-ovulation there is: first the ovary produces estrogens, the ovum matures and the endometrium increases.

In folliculogenesis, the development of ovarian follicles is completed thanks to a follicle-stimulating hormone, it reaches the end through dominance. Due to the influence of different hormones, all or most of the follicles stop growing, except for one: the dominant one that in the ovary is growing and following its development until it reaches maturity and thus forms the oocyte, it is known as a tertiary follicle. or graafian.

Follicular Phase or Folicugenesis

In the phase of follicuggenesis, as the follicles mature, they secrete an increasing amount of estradiol, this is estrogen, which initiates the formation of the new proliferative endometrial layer. It also stimulates the crypts of the cervix to produce fertile cervical mucus, a signal to know when you are fertile.

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The Menstrual Cycle | Ovulation

Speaking of the 28-day cycles, on the fourteenth day of the cycle or in some cases on the fifteenth the ovum finishes its maturation and begins to be transported from the ovary to the uterus through the fallopian tube.

When it is about to reach maturity, estradiol levels reach a point where the effect will be reversed and estrogen will begin to stimulate the production of a large amount of luteinizing hormone.

It is not known which of the two ovaries will release the ovum, it may be in one cycle the right one and in the other cycle the left one, it is somewhat random apparently, but it may be the case that both ovaries ovulate and if both eggs are fertilized it is when a twin pregnancy occurs.

The Menstrual Cycle | Post ovulation

After ovulation, the luteal phase begins, that is, in the ovary where ovulation occurred, a tissue rich in cholesterol and yellowish in color begins to appear, this as you already know is the corpus luteum .

The corpus luteum works correctly during the first twelve weeks and it is essential, not to say vital for this pregnancy, and for this first trimester the embryo will be called a fetus and it will be the placenta that is responsible from that moment on nourishing it.

During pregnancy the corpus luteum

We have already mentioned so far what we mean when we talk about the corpus luteum, and what is its specific function, in the event that there is no fertilization it will disappear after a few days, but if it is fertilized, then it will remain exercising its function until three months of pregnancy and yields its work to the placenta.

Learn more about 12 Weeks of Pregnancy; Complete Gestation step by step

What is corpus luteum hemorrhagic pregnancy?

When the corpus luteum is formed and there is fertilization, it can capture blood inside it and become a hemorrhagic corpus luteum that, when ruptured, will cause pain, and the bleeding will bring great concern and concern to the future mother.

Corpus luteum absent during pregnancy

If the corpus luteum is absent, there will be a significant progesterone deficiency, which can lead to spontaneous pregnancy or fertility problems if you are trying to get pregnant. Without this hormone implantation failure is certain .

What is called the corpus luteum gravidarum?

The corpus luteum gravidarum is called the one that must be maintained longer than the corpus luteum we have been talking about, its presence is necessary at least until the fourth or sixth month of gestation, it reaches about 5 cm in diameter and also secretes Relaxin, a hormone which softens the connective tissue of the pubic symphysis, thus facilitating childbirth by softening the pelvic joints.

Abortion and corpus luteum

Spontaneous or early abortions occur when the woman has an abnormal luteal phase, since for the fertilized egg to implant and mature, it will need the corpus luteum from before that moment and must be maintained for at least 10 days.

And if the pregnancy occurs, it must be maintained at least twelve weeks after conception, until the placenta develops, who will be responsible for providing nutrition to the embryo, an abortion can occur if the corpus luteum was deficient.

For more information on this topic, we invite you to read  Spontaneous Abortions: Causes, Symptoms, Types and Possible Treatments

Corpus luteum before menstruation

The beginning of the luteal phase is the third of the menstrual cycle, it begins after ovulation and ends before the next cycle begins, that is, it will last from 10 to 12 days, sometimes up to 14 days or 16 days.

It is worth mentioning that its development is different if the ovum is fertilized, but if fertilization does not occur, before menstruation it will cause what is known as premenstrual syndrome and is characterized by some intense symptoms of fatigue, depression, irritability and breast tension.

Where is the corpus luteum formed?

The corpus luteum is located in a follicle in the area of ​​the ovary that has housed the ovum, there it will develop temporarily before being released after ovulation.

What is the cystic corpus luteum?

cystic corpus luteum occurs when excessive internal bleeding occurs at the time of ovulation, these corpus luteum cysts will disintegrate once the egg has been released, but if you become pregnant it will not go away as quickly. Experienced bleeding is caused by an overproduction of luteinizing hormone.

These cysts of the normal corpus luteum can measure from two to three centimeters, they form after the sac is sealed after the release of the ovum, accumulating fluid inside, but as a follicular cyst it ends up disappearing after a few weeks.

Gestational or corpus luteum gravidarum

When the corpus luteum is fertilized, it is known as the gestational corpus luteum , its mission is to produce hormones such as progesterone so that the pregnancy progresses normally.

What is a persistent corpus luteum?

The persistent corpus luteum is the one that retains its functionality beyond the corresponding period, linked to the permanence of the luteal tissue known as the metatral period, it is called persistent because its action is prolonged over time and the hormonal imbalance results in an impediment of follicular maturation or the difficulty for this, causing anaphrodisia, in other cases ovulation is delayed affecting the first months of embryonic development.

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Why is it called the corpus luteum in regression?

When it is called corpus luteum in regression, we refer to the degeneration of the corpus luteum, it is known as luteolysis, very important for women because it allows the restart of the menstrual cycle

What does corpus luteum insufficient mean?

When the corpus luteum does not raise the levels of the hormone progesterone enough it is called insufficient corpus luteum , it can also be called deficient luteal phase .

What about a non-visible corpus luteum?

If in several consecutive cycles you do an ultrasound and the corpus luteum is not visible, it means a lack of ovulation, and no pregnancy can be given.

Corpus luteum and ectopic pregnancy

Above it was mentioned that people and the diagnosis if not studied carefully can be confused with an ectopic pregnancy, but in reality it is a cyst that can develop spontaneously, although it simulates that it is an ectopic pregnancy, they are not treated for the same .

The corpus luteum and the placenta

After 5 or 6 days of menstruation, the corpus luteum is ending its function to give rise to the placenta, it begins to perform the same function as the corpus luteum, the placenta begins to produce pregnancy hormones.

The corpus luteum and progesterone

Progesterone is released by the corpus luteum or, necessary during the first 3 months of pregnancy, where it enables the uterine mucosa to develop sufficiently and accept nesting.

Corpus luteum and thickened endometrium

The endometrium is a fairly vascularized tissue, its nature is regenerative, its composition is made up of a multitude of blood vessels and glands that are formed and destroyed in each menstrual cycle, it is divided into layers:

Basal layer

In the basal layer are the blood vessels, also the stem cells that will generate the functional layer.

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Functional layer

On the other hand, the functional layer is the part of the endometrium that grows during the menstrual cycle, ending up shedding and being expelled to the outside during the period.

Thickening in the menstrual cycle

At the time of the menstrual cycle there are two main functions that can be distinguished:


Due to the production of estrogens, the functional layer grows in size, this because the cells of the basal layer begin to multiply. Blood vessels and endometrial glands also appear. This proliferative phase occurs from the first day of the cycle until ovulation begins.


After ovulation, the body that remains in the ovary that served as a shelter for the ovule makes the endometrium mature, so it will be thicker, as it grows, they begin to secrete a little mucus and a substance rich in glycogen.

Corpus luteum in veterinary medicine

This corpus luteum can be given in veterinary medicine, let’s see a brief one below:

Cows and the corpus luteum

The estrous cycle of the cow begins at puberty of the animal, the first estrus occurs between and 28 months. In the poetry, it is characterized by the follicular increase and regression of the corpus luteum, the uterus of the cow increases in size and increases there. If the presence of the baby has not been detected, this sends a hormonal signal that produces the regression of the corpus luteum in the right-handed phase after having passed a frequent cough.

Treatments for the corpus luteum

There is a rational treatment that consists of the enucleation of the corpus luteum through the rectum , however, when it is gently adhered, this treatment is practiced, it is detached and the abdominal cavity is allowed to do its job, it will reabsorb it, and expel it, but if it is very adherent, it will be a difficult enucleation, so it is advisable for these cases to previously inject small doses of estrogen such as 20 or 30 mg and to carry out the enucleation on the third or fourth day.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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