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Days 15-28: The Luteal Phase
What happens during the Luteal Phase of Ovulation?
During the luteal phase, the burst follicle that released the egg during ovulation develops into a small yellow structure or cyst called the corpus luteum. It secretes hormones that cause the uterine lining or endometrium to thicken and be able to nourish a fertilized egg if it were to implant. If the egg is fertilized by a man’s sperm, the resulting embryo would travel down the fallopian tube and implant in the uterus. This happens around the 20th day of the cycle.
If the egg is not fertilized and implanted, the LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels will decrease and as a result, the corpus luteum will deteriorate.
Around day 26 of your cycle, the uterus will begin the process to shed its lining causing menstruation to begin.