Luteal Phase Defect

How acupuncture can help

The number one reason for a luteal phase defect is low progesterone levels.

Poor follicle production occurs in the first half of the cycle. In this case, the woman may not produce a normal level of FSH, or her ovaries do not respond strongly to the FSH, leading to inadequate follicle development.

Premature failure of the corpus luteum can occur even when the initial quality of the follicle/corpus luteum is adequate. In some women, the corpus luteum sometimes does not persist as long as it should. Here, initial progesterone levels at five to seven days past ovulation may be low.  Even if they are adequate, the levels drop precipitously soon thereafter, again leading to early onset of menses and hence a luteal phase defect.

Failure of the uterine lining to respond can occur even in the presence of adequate follicle development and a corpus luteum that persists for the appropriate length of time. In this condition, the uterine lining does not respond to normal levels of progesterone. Therefore, if an embryo arrives and tries to implant in the uterus, the uterine lining will not be adequately prepared, and the implantation will most likely fail.

Acupuncture help the body produce more balanced hormones through adjusting hypothalamus, pituitary and ovarian function, so the dominant follicle can develop properly and respond to FSH once it is selected 3 months before the ovulation. Furthermore, acupuncture can bring more blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, so that the corpus luteum and uterine lining can develop properly. Thus, enough progesterone can be produced.