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Dawit Assefa, L.Ac, MAOM – Acupuncture Fertility & Women's Clinic

Luteal Phase Deficiency & Infertility


Progesterone is very important for a woman’s fertility. One, Progesterone allows only the release of one egg at a time for a cycle. Two, it keeps the endometrium (uterine lining) in tact basically preventing the shedding of the endometrium. Finally, it elevates the body temperature creating a nice warm environment for a potential fertilized egg to thrive in. Miscarriage can occur if there is a progesterone deficiency or LPD. Western Medicine treats this condition usually with Progestin supplementation, Clomid or HCG injections and all of them can have side effects. LPD can manifest as a short luteal phase (10 or 11 days), spotting/bleeding in the luteal phase, low temperatures in the luteal phase as well as a slow rise in temperature in the luteal phase or a significant drop in temperature days before day 1 of the period (1st day of bleeding). Blood tests can also indicate low progesterone levels.

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs can be very helpful in treating LPD. The goal of treatment is to restore balance to the body naturally and to sustain that balance on it’s own. The Western Medical approach does not treat the root of the problem. I have to come to realize that LPD sometimes can be due to weakness in the follicular (pre-ovulation) phase of the cycle due to poor follicle development. So Progesterone supplementation may not always work. Herbal compliance is key with LPD. Charts and blood tests can give us an indication of progress. Results can be seen in 3-6 months of treatment.

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