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Low progesterone level to get pregnant? acupuncture can help

If you are trying to conceive, you may be aware of the importance of progesterone. This hormone plays a crucial role in pregnancy, without which a successful pregnancy cannot occur. In women, progesterone is primarily produced in the ovary, and its production increases rapidly after ovulation. The highest levels of progesterone are seen during the luteal phase, specifically from day 19 to day 22 of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone prepares the uterine lining for implantation, prevents further ovulation, and thickens the mucus to prevent sperm from penetrating. If fertilization does not occur, progesterone levels drop, and menstruation takes place. However, if fertilization occurs, the placenta produces much more progesterone during pregnancy. During this period, progesterone helps prevent miscarriage by decreasing the maternal immune response to accept the pregnancy and reducing uterine smooth muscle contractility, contributing to the survival and development of the embryo and fetus.

Aside from the ovary, progesterone is also produced in the adrenal gland as a precursor to estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol, which is an adrenal cortical hormone essential for stress response, sugar and electrolyte balance, blood pressure, and general survival. During chronic stress, the secretion of progesterone is reduced as the body produces more cortisol to respond to stress using progesterone.

Low progesterone levels are quite common and can cause several symptoms, such as infertility, miscarriage, spotting, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast tenderness, insomnia, unexplained weight gain, and anxiety. Blood tests can determine if progesterone levels are lower than normal.

Low progesterone levels can decrease the chances of getting pregnant. They indicate poor egg quality because progesterone is produced in the follicles (eggs) and corpus luteum, which develops later on from the follicles. Poor quality follicles and corpus luteum do not produce enough progesterone to reach normal levels.

If you want to get pregnant, you should be concerned about low progesterone levels. Without enough progesterone, you may have trouble getting or staying pregnant. Low progesterone levels can prevent the uterine lining from developing well. If the lining is not thick enough, the egg won’t implant. Signs of low progesterone levels include irregular cycles, such as short cycles, spotting after ovulation, or the absence of periods. These indicate that the ovaries are not functioning correctly. Low progesterone is also one of the causes of miscarriage, as pregnancy needs progesterone to support it. If progesterone levels are too low, the uterus may not be able to carry the baby to term.

Acupuncture can help improve ovarian circulation to improve egg and corpus luteum quality, resulting in increased progesterone production. Acupuncture can also improve adrenal gland function and reduce stress, reducing progesterone usage and improving the chances of getting pregnant. A recent study found that acupuncture could increase the levels of estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P) in IVF patients and promote endometrial artery blood flow. Acupuncture could also increase blood E2 and P levels and reduce the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). These results suggest that acupuncture can restore the balance and regularity of sex hormones in infertile women by decreasing serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels and increasing E2 and P levels, which are beneficial for follicle development and maturation, regular ovulation, and the normal physiological function of the inner membrane.


Jing-yu Xu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 3854117.

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