The Luteal phase (the waiting phase)
The luteal phase is the second half of your menstruation cycle that begins once you ovulate and ends when your period starts. You know when you are in the luteal phase by charting your temperature. After ovulation your temperature will rise, typically half a degree, so that you should be around the 36.5 degree mark: this is the sign you are in the luteal phase.
Why is the luteal phase important? The luteal phase is often referred to as the ‘waiting phase’ for women trying to conceive. This is the time your egg (which is hopefully fertilised) is travelling through the fallopian tubes into the uterus to attach to the endometrium (uterine lining). Because this takes some time it can take up to 16 days before you can test positive for pregnancy. If you are pregnant, this time period can have a big impact on the pregnancy, which is why pregnancy support should start at this time.
Another reason why the luteal phase is important is because it can tell you a lot about how prepared for pregnancy your body is. If your luteal phase is too short (under 10 days) you might have trouble remaining pregnant because your period will start too early for the egg to be properly attached. It can also tell you if you are not producing enough progesterone, which is what the body uses to create the best environment for the growing embryo. If your temperature is not changing much it could suggest low progesterone levels which cannot maintain pregnancy.
Receiving acupuncture treatment during your luteal phase is very beneficial to a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture is excellent at improving blood stagnation, which allows for an increase in oxygen levels and dilation in blood vessels resulting in a stronger, healthier and more efficient blood supply for mother and baby. By focusing on blood stagnation in the ovaries, acupuncture can regulate hormones better, producing higher quality eggs as well as an efficient and consistent cycle, making conception easier. Treating blood stagnation in the uterus increases its ability to thicken the lining which will better hold on to eggs.
During pregnancy acupuncture can continue to improve blood flow allowing for more nutrient dense blood to support the baby and promote cell division so the baby can grow.
Acupuncture is also extremely good at dealing with stress. Acute stress is very bad for the mother, but especially for the growing baby which may result in chronic stress later in their life. Stress also impacts on your immunity, sending it into overdrive and sometimes even attacking itself. This can cause immunity issues with your baby once it is born. Stress may also reduce progesterone levels. Acupuncture has been proven to raise endorphin levels and reduce stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. By decreasing stress, acupuncture also benefits pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, the immunity system, and hormonal pathways including progesterone which directly affects your growing baby.
It is for all these reasons， and more， that we suggest starting acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment as early in the process of trying to conceive as is possible.
Have you booked you appointment with our acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine specialist Jane Ma？ If not call us on 07 3162 6888 or email us at [email protected]