Low hCG Levels in Pregnancy? Try Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced in the placenta during pregnancy. Its purpose is to support and sustain the embryo.
The average levels of hCG in a pregnant woman’s blood are: 3 weeks: 6 – 70 IU/L. 4 weeks: 10 – 750 IU/L. 5 weeks: 200 – 7,100 IU/L. HCG levels that are outside normal limits during pregnancy might indicate a problem.
What can different hCG Levels indicate?
High hCG levels could be a sign of:
- Miscalculation of pregnancy date
If hCG levels are abnormally high, it might mean that a pregnancy is further along than predicted. While not a serious issue, it needs to be addressed with your doctor.
- Molar pregnancy
A molar pregnancy occurs during fertilization and results in abnormal tissue growth in the uterus.
- Multiple pregnancies
High hCG levels might be a sign of multiple pregnancies.
Low hCG levels could be a sign of:
Miscarriage is the sudden loss of a baby in the womb. It occurs when the embryo naturally dies before 20 weeks of pregnancy. In the case of miscarriage, hCG levels may have initially rose but failed to continue increasing as expected.
- Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo attaches outside of the uterus. It typically connects to the inside of the fallopian tube. An ectopic pregnancy causes side effects, including abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding, and can be life-threatening. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, levels of hCG tend to remain consistently low.
- Fetal death
Fetal death is the sudden death of a fetus that can occur at any point in pregnancy.
Patterns of hCG Levels
While hCG levels vary for each pregnancy, they generally follow the same range throughout a healthy pregnancy.
- In the first trimester, hCG levels generally increase and peak around weeks 8-11.
- After those peak weeks, hCG levels will steadily decrease until birth.
Understanding this pattern can help you monitor your health throughout pregnancy.
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for low hCG levels
TCM, short for Traditional Chinese Medicine, is an alternative medicine practice. TCM believes that Qi is the body’s vital life source and that an imbalance of Qi can cause various health problems, including fertility issues. TCM practices, like acupuncture, work to restore this imbalance.
Acupuncture involves inserting needles into specific points of the body in an attempt to stimulate the nervous system and support holistic healing. It is an effective practice because it focuses on the root of a health issue rather than merely alleviating its symptoms.
Acupuncture for low hcg levels can target and heal a variety of factors that might be causing low hCG levels and hindering fertility. It can increase blood supply to the uterus and ovaries, thicken the uterine lining, and rectify hormonal imbalances. Doing so can help a woman’s body reach optimal hCG levels, which in TCM signifies reproductive health.
Scientific Studies on the Relationship Between TCM and hCG Levels
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been a longstanding treatment for miscarriage in Asian countries. Recent research supports that TCM practices, particularly Chinese using herbs, might positively influence hCG levels.
For example, one study showed that Chinese herbal medicine combined with progesterone-based treatment had positive effects in increasing birth rates and improving the embryonic states of women who had suffered recurrent miscarriages.
Another study found that using Chinese herbal medicine increased BA levels in the reproductive system. It is believed that the lack of BA, a blocking antibody, combined with endocrine hormone deficiency, could lead to miscarriage in early pregnancy. By stimulating the growth of BA, research suggests that the Chinese herbal medicines used in this study prevent miscarriage.
How Acupuncture Can Help With Miscarriage
Miscarriage is a common infertility condition that can become recurrent in women. However, evidence suggests that acupuncture can help prevent miscarriage. One study demonstrated that acupuncture reduced anxiety levels and increased pregnancy rates in women struggling with infertility. This success may be attributed to the fact that acupuncture offers a healing environment that promotes relaxation. When dealing with fertility issues, acupuncture may lower stress levels which can help contribute to a healthy pregnancy.
Acupuncture can also result in the following benefits:
- Improved blood flow to the uterus
- Thickening of the endometrial lining
- Balanced hormones
- Stress reduction
- Reduced cramps
Learn more about how acupuncture can prevent recurrent miscarriage here.
How Acupuncture Can Help With Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies may require surgery, which can lead to a blockage of the fallopian tubes and infertility. Evidence suggests that Chinese herbs and acupuncture can prevent this infertility from occurring after an emergency ectopic pregnancy.
A study by Fudan University Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital showed that acupuncture and herbal medicine prevented infertility caused by fallopian tube blockage. Furthermore, this study suggests that acupuncture and herbal medicine may play a significant role in recovery for women who have had emergency surgery for ectopic pregnancy.
Diet and Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
The cause of miscarriage is often unknown and unpreventable. However, there are general lifestyle changes you can make to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy, including:
- Refraining from smoking and drinking while pregnant
- Maintaining a healthy weight before and during pregnancy
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a well-balanced diet
Certain health conditions might put you more at risk of miscarriage. If you have polycystic ovary syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, a thyroid condition, or Type I diabetes, you should consult a doctor if you are trying to conceive.
HCG levels that are too low during pregnancy might indicate a problem like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Traditional Chinese Medicine, particularly Chinese herbs and acupuncture, can help you maintain healthy hCG levels and prevent miscarriage throughout your pregnancy.
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For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with low hCG levels, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.