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Acupuncture for Low Progesterone


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#1 RedEmber

RedEmber
  • Global 100+
  • 210 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Calgary
  • Dx:Male Factor
  • My Clinic:Calgary Regional Fertility Program

Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:44 AM

Hi Dr. Lorne

Here is a summary of my case...

I had some blood work taken a couple of months ago:
- On CD3 my Estradiol was 194 pmol/L (reference range 90-700), FSH was 5 IU/L and LH is 3 IU/L
- On CD21 my Estradiol was 945 pmol/L (reference range 150-950) and progesterone 39.4 nmol/L (reference range 13-108).

In this particular cycle:
- I ovulated CD17
- I began spotting on CD29
- My cycle lasted 30 days
- It look 5 days for my temps to get to the high point after ovulation (increasing 0.1 or 0.2 per day)
- Once my temp got high it stayed there for 7 days before dropping and spotting began
- All my temps are low throughout the cycle (lowest is CD2 at 96.8 and highest is CD22 at 98.0)

I should also mention that:
- I've not had my LH level tested at ovulation, but in OPK's my LH level is never dark enough, I see it but it doesn't get darker than the control line
- I very rarely have good quality (egg-white) cervical mucus around ovulation, and when I do it's not much. Usually it is quite thick.
- I have the sticky/creamy infertile mucus most of the month.
- I don't get a ferning pattern in my saliva when I check for ovulation via a microscope.

A naturopath has diagnosed me with low progesterone and has me on this protocol:
- Day 1 - 14: tablespoon of ground Flax Seed,100mg Flax Oil 3 times a day

- Day 15 > : tablespoon of ground Sunflower Seed, 1300mg Evening Primrose Oil 3 times a day

- Everyday: 200mg Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCI), baby aspirin, 100mg folic acid

- Told to avoid: Maca, Fish Oil, Soy



I do take other supplements for health, but they are not part of the protocol: chlorella, multi-vit (sometimes - if my diet hasn't been the best), CoQ10, probiotics (sometimes - if I've not been eating fermented food), 5HTP (occasionally when feeling low), digestive enzymes, Vitamin D (winter only).



I am not taking any progesterone.



I can see in my temperature charting that this protocol is making my temperatures rise quicker after ovulation and stay high for longer. Last month I managed 11 high temps. Before the protocol I got about 3 or 4 high temps. The cycle where I had my blood drawn (results above) was the first cycle I was on the protocol, so my chart was actually better than usual that month with 7 high temps.

So my question is... Can acupuncture or TCM help me? And if so, how would it affect my hormones?

(Note - I am scared of IVF, so want to do everything I can to conceive naturally, so open to all suggestions)

Have a great Christmas!
ABOUT US
  • Me: 33, RE says all OK, but 2 Naturopaths sees low progesterone in luteal phase.
  • DH: 33, Male Factor - low concentration, motility, morphology and antibodies
HISTORY
  • 19 Sep 2010: Began TTC
  • 9 Nov 2011: Us = 1st appointment with fertility clinic (Dr. O'Keane).
  • 11 Jan 2012: Us = 2nd appointment with fertility clinic. Find out its male factor.
  • 15 Mar 2012: Us = Attend mandatory IVF talk.
IVF#1
  • 19 Mar 2012: Us = Active on wait list
  • 2 May 2012: Us = Got call to begin IVF
  • 16 May 2012: Me = Start Suprefact nasal spray & baby aspirin
  • 30 May 2012: Me = Start Stims: Gonal F = 150 iu, Luveris = 75 iu. Dose later reduced to 125 then 100 iu Gonal F. Stimmed for 9 days. 20 follicles.
  • 10 Jun 2012: Us = Egg retrieval. 18 eggs. Fertilization through ICSI.
  • 11 Jun 2012: Us = Day 1, Embryologist report: Of 18 eggs retrieved, 17 mature, 15 fertilized. Began Prometrium and Estrace.
  • 13 Jun 2012: Us = Day 3, Embryologist report: We've still got 15 embryos. Going for a day 5 transfer.
  • 15 Jun 2012: Us = Day 5, transfer 1 x 3AA blast (perfect), Embryologist report: other 14 not doing well, warned we might not have anything to freeze
  • 16 Jun 2012: Us = Day 6, Embryologist report: 4 frozen. All developmental 4, quality A's and B's
  • 28 Jun 2012: Me = Official pregnancy test = BFP
  • 29 Jun 2012: Me = 1st Beta: 449 (14dp5dt)
  • 1 Jul 2012: Me = 2nd Beta: 1012 (16dp5dt)
  • 16 Jul 2012: Me = Ultrasound, pregnant 7w1d, measured 6w,4d. Heart beat 120bpm.
  • 11 Sep 2012: Me = Doppler, heart beat 150bpm.
  • 10 Oct 2012: Me = Ultrasound, heart beat 136bpm, it's a boy.
  • 4 Mar 2013: Due Date
src="http://tickers.baby-gaga.com/p/dev062pb___.png" alt="pregnant" border="0" />

#2 Dr. Brown FABORM

Dr. Brown FABORM
  • Advisor
  • 279 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:British Columbia
  • Dx:N/A
  • My Clinic:Acubalance

Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:28 PM

Hi Redember,

For our American readers, please note that we use different measurements in Canada for hormones such as estradiol. So the 194 pmol/L converts to 52.84 pg/ml (American measurements). Iyt seems like the advice and supplements you have received are working. You may want to allow 3 to 4 full cycles to see how effective it is but it appears you are started off well this cycle.

It appears you are several supplements that can help with cervical mucus. If you look at this product, for cervical mucus, it contain what you are taking except it also contains NAC. Check with your ND about adding NAC. You may want to add pre-seed lubricant to counter your thick mucus and your husband low motility while you are balancing your hormones.


as per your post
So my question is... Can acupuncture or TCM help me? And if so, how would it affect my hormones?

(Note - I am scared of IVF, so want to do everything I can to conceive naturally, so open to all suggestions)


The answer is that a Chinese medicine approach may help you and it would affect your hormones by lengthening your luteal phase, seeing a quicker shift in your BBT chart from follicular to luteal and overall higher temps in your cycle. The Chinese medicine approach is often thought as just acupuncture. The Chinese medicine approach the way I practice includes diet and lifestyle (sleep, rest & exercise) modifications, stress reduction and mind body practices along with acupuncture and herbs & supplements.

I think you are in the majority of couples who do not want to do IVF and prefer conceiving naturally. IVF has its place and for some it is the reason they have their families. Chinese medicine help optimize your fertility and to establish a healthy blue print (epigenetics) for your unborn child. Chinese medicine can increase your chances of getting pregnant through sex or IVF and going full term delivering a healthy baby.

Good luck.
Lorne Brown B.Sc.,CA, Dr.TCM, FABORM, CHt
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Acubalance Wellness Centre (British Columbia)
www.acubalance.ca
www.ivfacupuncture.ca
604-678-8600

#3 RedEmber

RedEmber
  • Global 100+
  • 210 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Calgary
  • Dx:Male Factor
  • My Clinic:Calgary Regional Fertility Program

Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:45 PM

Thank you for your response Dr. Brown
ABOUT US
  • Me: 33, RE says all OK, but 2 Naturopaths sees low progesterone in luteal phase.
  • DH: 33, Male Factor - low concentration, motility, morphology and antibodies
HISTORY
  • 19 Sep 2010: Began TTC
  • 9 Nov 2011: Us = 1st appointment with fertility clinic (Dr. O'Keane).
  • 11 Jan 2012: Us = 2nd appointment with fertility clinic. Find out its male factor.
  • 15 Mar 2012: Us = Attend mandatory IVF talk.
IVF#1
  • 19 Mar 2012: Us = Active on wait list
  • 2 May 2012: Us = Got call to begin IVF
  • 16 May 2012: Me = Start Suprefact nasal spray & baby aspirin
  • 30 May 2012: Me = Start Stims: Gonal F = 150 iu, Luveris = 75 iu. Dose later reduced to 125 then 100 iu Gonal F. Stimmed for 9 days. 20 follicles.
  • 10 Jun 2012: Us = Egg retrieval. 18 eggs. Fertilization through ICSI.
  • 11 Jun 2012: Us = Day 1, Embryologist report: Of 18 eggs retrieved, 17 mature, 15 fertilized. Began Prometrium and Estrace.
  • 13 Jun 2012: Us = Day 3, Embryologist report: We've still got 15 embryos. Going for a day 5 transfer.
  • 15 Jun 2012: Us = Day 5, transfer 1 x 3AA blast (perfect), Embryologist report: other 14 not doing well, warned we might not have anything to freeze
  • 16 Jun 2012: Us = Day 6, Embryologist report: 4 frozen. All developmental 4, quality A's and B's
  • 28 Jun 2012: Me = Official pregnancy test = BFP
  • 29 Jun 2012: Me = 1st Beta: 449 (14dp5dt)
  • 1 Jul 2012: Me = 2nd Beta: 1012 (16dp5dt)
  • 16 Jul 2012: Me = Ultrasound, pregnant 7w1d, measured 6w,4d. Heart beat 120bpm.
  • 11 Sep 2012: Me = Doppler, heart beat 150bpm.
  • 10 Oct 2012: Me = Ultrasound, heart beat 136bpm, it's a boy.
  • 4 Mar 2013: Due Date
src="http://tickers.baby-gaga.com/p/dev062pb___.png" alt="pregnant" border="0" />