Understanding LUFs with Guest Anna Saucier
Luteinizing unruptured follicle syndrome (LUFs) is a hard issue to treat, let alone know if you have. Also known as “trapped egg syndrome,” LUFs is a form of anovulation in which ovulation does not occur successfully. This is a rare condition and can prevent conception in many women.
Anna Saucier, a powerhouse in the fertility space, understands firsthand how difficult trying to conceive with LUFs truly is. Anna runs an online business that provides a growth and support membership for FABM instructors and health professionals. She is also the founder of Cycle Power Summit, an online conference that spreads the power of cycle charting and fertility and health restoration to a worldwide audience.
Restorative women’s health is a topic that excites, energizes, and motivates Anna to learn, create, share, and teach! But it hasn’t always been this way. There was a point when her infertility was a heavy, nearly unbearable cross that made her life extremely difficult.
The Painful Struggle of Infertility
For 7 years, Anna struggled with infertility. Month after month of charting and blood draws and ultrasounds all repeatedly amounted to the agonizing wait to take a pregnancy test and then the unbearable disappointment of a negative test every single month.
“My entire life evolved around this and the suffering and pain of infertility were so deep that there were many times I truly didn’t want to live through another cycle of disappointment.”
LUFs often does not show signs and is considered a “silent” problem because of this. Doctors have a hard time diagnosing LUFs because it is not easily detected. The body acts normally as it would during ovulation: basal body temperature rises, hormones are produced and even shows “ovulation” has taken place if an endometrial biopsy is done. BUT ovulation hasn’t occurred, because the follicle has not ruptured and there is only a slight increase in progesterone fluid levels. LUFs can only be detected by a serial vaginal ultrasound specifically designed to track ovulation.
Throughout the dozens of cycles of blood draws and ultrasounds, coffee, travel, and running, Anna and her husband worked closely with their doctor who helped them move forward in the right path.
“She never gave up on us for four years and ultimately we learned that I had something called Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome. Even though my charts and blood work showed that I was ovulating, my follicles weren’t actually releasing an egg… meaning I wasn’t actually ovulating.”
Anna also discovered she had low progesterone, which is common with LUFs, and mild PCOS in an androgen-excess form. LUFs sometimes occurs more frequently in women taking fertility supplements or prescriptions and who have had pelvic inflammatory disease, PCOS and endometriosis.
When healthy ovulation occurs, the mature ovarian follicle ruptures due to a surge in LH levels. The egg is released and makes it way down the fallopian tube. The corpus luteum is then free to produce progesterone that coats the uterus lining.
As far as we know, only a very small percent of women experience LUFs. The egg develops in the follicle, the follicle fails to rupture and instead turns immediately into the corpus luteum. The egg is not released and stays in the follicle while the corpus luteum produces some, although usually low amounts, of progesterone.
LUFs doesn’t necessarily happen every cycle, so while it may be a handicap to getting pregnant, it may just take slightly longer due to multiple cycles. Anna educated herself on her cycle, made diet changes, took supplements, and engaged in counseling. Collectively, these all helped her ultimately get pregnant!
Discovering My Life’s Work
“Even before we conceived naturally, my experience with NaProTechnology, charting, and my growing knowledge of women’s restorative health made me realize that I had stumbled upon something that every woman in the world deserved to know about and have access to. I developed such a strong passion for educating and empowering women with the knowledge of their bodies, I knew I’d found my life’s work and was determined to do whatever I could to make this what women’s healthcare centered around.
I became a Certified FertilityCare Practitioner and taught the Creighton Model FertilityCare System to women and couples for four years, and then decided to take my passion for restorative women’s healthcare to a more worldwide scale. It was from this passion that Cycle Power Summit was born.
My years of infertility were crushing, but from them I learned my unique purpose in the world and received the motivation and deep desire to put the power of fertility awareness and charting at the forefront of the discussion on women’s restorative healthcare.”
Visit www.cyclepowersummit.com to join this FREE conference that begins April 16.
Testing with Proov may not be able to tell you if you have LUFs because the follicle can still produce varying levels of progesterone. If you’re having trouble conceiving - especially after trying at home options like ovulation tests, Proov, and sperm tests, talk with your doctor about possible solutions!