Do you track your menstrual cycle?

In today’s fast-paced world, understanding our bodies can often take a backseat. However, when it comes to menstrual health, taking the time to track and understand your cycle can have profound benefits. Whether you’re looking to conceive, manage symptoms of PMS, or simply get a better grasp of your overall health, tracking your menstrual cycle is a powerful tool.

Why Track Your Menstrual Cycle?

Tracking your menstrual cycle means noting down all the signs and symptoms you experience throughout the month. This can include ovulation pain, PMS before your period, changes in cervical mucus, the quality of your bleed (e.g., heavy, light, days of spotting), and energy levels around your bleed. 

By paying attention to these details, you can gain important insights into how your hormones are behaving and identify areas that may need attention. This practice helps you live in harmony with your menstrual cycle, making it work for you, not against you.

Understanding the patterns in your cycle can highlight hormonal imbalances. This knowledge allows for targeted adjustments in lifestyle or treatments to promote balance.

Tracking your cycle helps identify your fertile windows and potential issues with ovulation. This information is crucial for anyone trying to conceive, as a well-balanced cycle increases the likelihood of pregnancy.

Improved menstrual health can lead to better overall well-being. By recognizing and addressing hormonal fluctuations, you can enhance both your reproductive health and general health.

Tailoring treatments and lifestyle changes to support your unique cycle ensures that your approach is personalised and effective. Whether you’re looking to conceive or simply want to understand your body better, tracking provides a roadmap to optimal health.

Charting Your Basal Body Temperature

One of the most effective ways to understand your menstrual cycle is by charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). This simple daily practice can reveal a lot about your hormonal interactions. By supporting your menstrual cycle, it becomes easier to track your fertile days and identify where your hormones might need some tender loving care. Below is an example of an irregular BBT chart, often seen in those under stress, with no clear signs of ovulation.

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How to Chart Your BBT:

1. Purchase a fertility thermometer

2. Download an app: Use an app like Kindra to chart your temperature.

3. Take your temperature: Do this as soon as you wake up in the morning before getting out of bed or having a drink.

4. Ensure uninterrupted sleep: You must have had at least 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep before taking your temperature.

5. Chart for at least 3 months: This duration helps you understand your hormonal patterns.

The work I do with clients at our fertility acupuncture clinic aims to balance their cycles and ensure their hormones are in harmony. Below is an example of a well-balanced cycle, which is what we aim for in treatment, as we know a pregnancy is more likely to occur with a chart like this compared to one that is more erratic.

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By tracking your menstrual cycle and BBT, you gain valuable insights into your reproductive health. This proactive approach allows you to maintain hormonal balance, support fertility, and improve your overall health. Start charting today and take control of your menstrual health journey!

If you would like any help with your fertility journey then please book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation here.

At our Fertility Acupuncture clinic we can now offer medical phlebotomy and can carry out a wide range of tests including Day 2/3 LH, FSH and Oestrogen, to AMH levels and a Full Thyroid Panel. 

The day 2/3 tests FSH and LH are among the first tests that will be run by your GP when you’re trying to conceive. There is often a lot of fear around an elevated FSH reading as it can signify peri menopause and an anticipated poorer response for those starting IVF.

FSH Is one of the major reproductive hormones, which is always the first starting point along with LH (luteinising hormone) to be tested when you are TTC. But why is it important? How does is relate to our AMH levels and egg health? And what does it actually mean if it is high? Here are some factors to keep in mind when having your FSH tested. 

Follicle Stimulating Hormone, commonly referred to as FSH, is a gonadotropin—a type of hormone that plays a pivotal role in regulating the reproductive processes. It is produced and secreted by the pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain. 

FSH is involved in the development of reproductive cells, including sperm in men and eggs in women. FSH is often used as a marker to predict how well you will respond to IVF drugs as when elevated along with LH it can be a maker of perimenopause.

FSH stimulates the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles in the ovaries. Each follicle contains an egg, and without adequate FSH, these follicles cannot develop properly.

As the ovarian follicles mature, they produce oestrogen, a hormone crucial for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterine lining for potential pregnancy. These hormones are in a constant dance together communicating and regulating our menstrual cycle, when one of them becomes out of balance it has a knock on affect on our other reproductive hormones, as each cycle is influenced by previous cycles. 

FSH levels are taken on day 2/3 of your menstrual cycle, this is when the hormone will be at its baseline, as it prepares for the start of a new menstrual cycle. When FSH is elevated on day 2 of a cycle it means it has been recruiting follicles too early, which will have an impact on the rest of your cycle and can often cause early ovulation. 

FSH levels will fluctuate between menstrual cycles, and is influenced by a number of factors including the progesterone levels in the previous cycle.  FSH and AMH are the communication channel between the brain and the ovaries and one impacts the other, often as FSH increases AMH will decrease. 

FSH levels are influenced by stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, even the act of having blood taken can cause stress leading to an elevated reading. It’s really important when comparing your readings you make sure you have recreated the same environment such as having a similar amount of sleep, fasting or non fasting, and making sure they are done at the same lab. 

One high reading is not enough to say you are in peri menopause, results must be looked at within the context of the other hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle, and it should always be taken into consideration if a lifestyle factor has lead to an elevated reading.

Working on stress reduction, making sure we have enough intimacy which positively affects parts of our brain that releases FSH, as well as ensuring you have enough sunlight and moonlight exposure which helps our production of melatonin which can lead to better sleep quality and lower FSH. For those who aren’t able to get enough sunlight red light therapy can be very beneficial. 

FSH levels can be measured through a simple blood test which can be completed here at our Fertility Acupuncture clinic. 

Whether you are planning to start a family or simply want to understand your body better, knowing about FSH and its functions can provide valuable insights. If you have concerns about your hormone levels, it’s always a good idea to have a fertility specialist, like myself, guide you through the appropriate tests and treatments.

Choosing an IVF clinic can be a difficult decision and myclients often tell me they feel like just another number to the clinic, with a one size fits all treatment approach. Finding the right clinic for you can make a difference in the outcome of your treatment. Also, depending on your age and own fertility needs, the right clinic can vary.  

I’m often asked in our fertility acupuncture clinic – What makes a good IVF clinic? This is because the only things that clients have to go on are the clinics online stats and live birth rates. 

However, stats can often be misleading as to have a live birth you need to have had a transfer. Often a clinic will not include in these statistics any data on how many patients did not get to the embryo transfer stage. This is a very important static which will help you get an idea of the overall performance of the clinic. Look for a clinic that is open and transparent with their statics when you ask. 

Having frequent scans and your hormone levels measured during treatment means clinics can make important changes during your treatment where needed.  The closer your clinic monitor you throughout your cycle the better, this way any changes in dosage can be done. 

Questions to ask your chose IVF clinic

How many patients come for treatment but don’t get to embryo transfer stage?

How often with you scan me? 

Will you take my hormone levels throughout my cycle?

Will you check my progesterone levels before I have mytransfer?

Do you add medication into my cycle to keep me in line with the clinic opening times etc or will you see me for scans and treatment that are dictated by how I am responding to treatment? 

At our fertility acupuncture clinic, At Source Acupuncture, we can help you to prepare for your IVF treatment. If you would like to find out more about how we can do this, then please book a discovery call here.

One fundamental aspect of fertility assessments is medical phlebotomy, a procedure vital for collecting blood samples to analyze various hormonal levels and markers relevant to fertility.

We are pleased that we are now able to offer medical phlebotomy at our fertility acupuncture clinic!

We can now take your blood within your appointment to save you with the dreaded home finger pricks tests or visiting a hospital. Venous blood rather than finger prick is more likely to give a high level of accuracy which is very important when it comes to hormone levels. 

Below are just some of the tests we can now run, to help assess you during your fertility journey: 

Day 3 LH, FSH and Estrogen

Day 3 LH, FSH, and estrogen are tests that are commonly performed to help gain insight into the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. Often these hormones can highlight hormonal imbalances. 

Luteinizing Hormone (LH):

LH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. In women, LH plays a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle and ovulation. On Day 3 of the menstrual cycle, LH levels are typically low. Elevated levels of LH on Day 3 may indicate conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Abnormal LH levels can affect follicle development and ovulation, potentially impacting fertility.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH):

FSH is another hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, it stimulates the ovaries to develop eggs for ovulation. It can be elevated with stress. FSH levels reach highest levels during menopause. 


Estrogen is primarily produced by the ovaries. It plays a critical role in regulating the menstrual cycle, promoting the growth and maturation of the uterine lining, and facilitating ovulation. Estrogen levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, with higher levels before ovulation and lower levels around menstruation. Healthy Estrogen levels are important for fertility. Higher levels are linked with conditions such as endometriosis. Elevated levels can also suppress FSH levels, as the two work as a check and a balance system. The two should be taken together on day 2/3 of your menstrual cycle. 

Full Thyroid Panel

A full thyroid panel is essential for assessing thyroid function and its impact on fertility. Individuals experiencing fertility challenges should consider thyroid testing as part of their comprehensive fertility evaluation. Identifying and addressing thyroid disorders can help optimise reproductive health and improve the chances of conception and successful pregnancy.

AMH Levels

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) level tests are an essential. AMH is a hormone produced by the small follicles in the ovaries, however it can not tell you how many eggs are left in reserve, AMH levels also do not predict time to pregnancy. AMH levels must be used as part of the fertility jigsaw and should not be used alone to make recommendations on fertility treatment. To find out more please read our AMH blog.

Seeking guidance from fertility specialists can help navigate this journey towards parenthood with knowledge and confidence. If you would like to book a discovery call to find out more about how we can help you at our fertility acupuncture clinic then please click here. Please remember that for those starting treatment, arranging your initial consultation on day 2-3 of your menstrual cycle will mean we can get your base line hormones tested. When TTC it’s important to have these done every 6 months as things can change.

Progesterone helps to prepare the endometrium (lining of your uterus) for an embryo to implant and develop, if conception occurs then progesterone levels increase to support early pregnancy until the placenta takes over between 10-12 weeks gestation. 

Issue can arise such as little or no progesterone production from the ovaries or poorly developed follicles that do not secrete enough progesterone to develop the uterine lining. This can lead to problems in conceiving and for some it can be a reason for recurrent miscarriage. 

Some women notice that there luteal phases is insufficient which is known as luteal phase deficiency which is where the luteal phase ( the time between ovulation and bleed is less than 10 days. A short luteal phase can result in embryos not implanting and difficulty in conceiving. 

Acupuncture can be very beneficial at supporting progesterone levels and luteal phase deficiencies. Some of the ways that acupuncture can support progesterone levels and luteal phase deficiencies are through:

Stress Reduction: Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress levels by affecting the release of neurotransmitters and hormones such as cortisol. High stress levels can disrupt the balance of reproductive hormones, including progesterone. By reducing stress, acupuncture may indirectly help balance progesterone levels.

Regulating the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis: The HPA axis plays a crucial role in regulating stress responses and hormone production, including progesterone. Acupuncture may modulate the activity of the HPA axis, leading to more balanced hormone levels.

Improving Blood Circulation: Acupuncture can enhance blood circulation to reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. Improved blood flow may support ovarian function and hormone production, including progesterone.

Modulating Neurotransmitters: Acupuncture may influence the release and activity of neurotransmitters involved in hormone regulation, such as serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters can indirectly affect the production and balance of reproductive hormones such as progesterone. 

Here at our fertility acupuncture clinic, At source Acupuncture, we have a range of hormone tests that can help un identify hormonal imbalances such as the DUTCH test which gives comprehensive insight into hormonal imbalance.

The DUTCH test, which stands for “Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones,” is a relatively new method for assessing hormone levels in the body. It’s a comprehensive hormone panel that utilizes dried urine samples to provide a detailed analysis of hormone metabolites. The DUTCH test measures a wide range of hormones including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and their metabolites. It provides a more comprehensive picture of hormone levels and how they are metabolized in the body compared to blood or saliva tests.

If you regularly have a short luteal phase, have spotting in the days leading up to your period or suspect low progesterone maybe a factor for your TTC then come and talk to us today about what treatment options are available. If you would like to book a discovery call to find out more about how we can help you at our fertility acupuncture clinic then please click here.

AMH, or Anti-Müllerian Hormone, is a hormone produced by cells in developing egg sacs (follicles) in the ovaries. AMH levels are often measured as part of fertility assessments.

However, it cannot tell you how many eggs are left in reserve, AMH levels also do not predict time to pregnancy. AMH levels must be used as part of the fertility jigsaw and should not be used alone to make recommendations on fertility treatment.. 

The measurement of AMH levels is commonly used in fertility assessments, especially for women who are considering fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). It can provide information about a woman’s potential response to ovarian stimulation.

I often get asked, in my Fertility Acupuncture clinic, if AMH levels can increase and the short answer is yes. Let me explain…

While we know that AMH levels do slowly decrease as we age, there are other factors that can prematurely reduce AMH levels, such as inflammation caused by endometriosis digestive disorders and other health conditions. infections, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, anaemia, poor blood sugar control, poor sleep, autoimmune issues and more. if these areas can be identified and improved then AMH levels can increase. 

A big part of the work I do with clients is to work out whether there are any factors like the ones listed above that could be negatively impacting AMH levels and the ovarian environment. Once we know what we are dealing with we can work on improving this area, which improves fertility outcomes and for those that need IVF a better response is noted. 

Often low AMH levels are stated as how close someone maybe to the menopause, but some people are shown to have low AMH for decades and still continue to have regular healthy menstrual cycles. For some they have a naturally low AMH and have no issues conceiving. Low AMH levels don’t automatically mean poorer egg quality.

AMH levels are typically measured through a blood test. Research has shown that AMH levels can half and double in a menstrual cycle so when comparing  your results make sure they have been taken at the same time in your cycle, I recommend day 2/3 for consistency, here is some research that shows that AMH can fluctuate within a menstrual cycle *

From  the beginning of March I will have completed my medical phlebotomy training, which means I will be able to offer your hormone and health blood tests (including testing for your AMH levels) during your appointment, saving you from the dreaded finger prick blood tests or having to get down to your local hospital. 

If you would like to receive more support around your AMH levels or If you’re feeling lost on your fertility journey and want someone to put you back on track, come and see me for a fertility acupuncture consultation, I absolutely love helping clients become parents! 

If you would like to book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation then please click here.

* Khodavirdilou, R., Pournaghi, M., Rastgar Rezaei, Y., Hajizadeh, K., Khodavirdilou, L., Javid, F., Hamdi, K., Shahnazi, M., Nouri, M., Fattahi, A., Beckmann, M. W., & Dittrich, R. (2022). Does Anti-Müllerian hormone vary during a menstrual cycle? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of ovarian research, 15(1), 78.

A new year signifies a fresh look on your fertility journey. Not all fertility consultations have to be the same, and here at At Source Acupuncture we offer a different approach. 

Anna offers a space where you are properly heard instead of being dismissed. Where you can receive logical answers to your fertility concerns backed up by research and in a way that you don’t need a medical degree to understand. 

When you come for a consultation with Anna you will feel like there is someone who understands your situation rather just feeling like another number in a larger fertility clinic.

For some of you a new year signifies another birthday and we know one of the biggest worries women have on their fertility journey is their age. 

Age is given as the biggest factor in a women’s ability to conceive but it’s not just your chronological age (how long you’ve existed) that counts. 

We know that fertility declines slowly as we age, however your biological age is also very important. This means the rate in which you are aging physically and it differs between people.

This means that to some extend it’s not just about how many birthdays you have had but your habits and environment through the years. This means that we have some control over the aging process and by looking after our bodies we can affect our biological age.

Biological age is affected by epigenetics which means how our behaviours and environment can change the way our genes work. 

Maintaining your health is important when aiming to slow down the decline of your fertility. This includes:

Eating healthy: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support overall health and hormone regulation. We recommend a Mediterranean diet as an ideal basis for receiving all of your nutrients. 

Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is really important to keep the body and mind healthy. Exercise around your Menstrual cycle which means doing more high intensity exercise near ovulation when you have an increase in oestrogen and testosterone and Choosing more restorative exercise such as yoga around your period when your hormones are at their lowest. Exercise until you feel energised not depleted.

Stopping Smoking: Women who smoke are twice as likely to be infertile as non-smokers. This is true if you are trying to become pregnant for the first time and if you have been pregnant before. Smoking can also affect the success rates of fertility treatment, such as IVF (In vitro fertilisation).

Reducing Alcohol Consumption: If you drink while trying to get pregnant, you may find it harder to conceive. You don’t need to drink large amounts of alcohol for this to happen. Even drinking between one and five alcoholic drinks per week can reduce your fertility.

Maintaining Healthy Sleep: Sleep is one of the foundations of good fertility. At night our endocrine system, which regulates our homes is actively producing hormones that are key in fertility such as oestrogen, progesterone, LH and FSH. 

If you’re feeling lost on your fertility journey and want someone to put you back on track, come and see me for a fertility acupuncture consultation, I absolutely love helping clients become parents! 

If you would like to book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation then please click here.

As a specialist Fertility and Women’s Health acupuncturist, Anna’s focus is on supporting clients through fertility struggles and often sees these clients struggling emotionally around the Christmas period.

Navigating fertility issues during the Christmas period can be emotionally challenging, as this time of year often revolves around family, children, and celebrations. 

Here are some tips to help you cope with fertility challenges during the festive period:

Deciding who to work with on your fertility journey can be complex, there is so much advice online and many different avenues to pursue.

Often when I see clients for the first time they have had a multitude of blood tests which have been deemed ‘ok’ by their GP, they maybe waiting for a fertility referral or pursuing private treatment, however most have never had someone take the time to really explain what all these tests mean.

The majority of clients I see fall into suboptimal range which mean their results maybe be ‘passable’ for the NHS criteria but they certainly aren’t optimal for fertility, which mean crucial parts of their fertility jigsaw puzzle are left missing.  

During a Fertility Acupuncture consultation we take the time to go through each of your results and piece together what is impacting your fertility and then we take steps to explore and remedy.  This month alone our investigations have uncovered a hidden autoimmune issue just from thoroughly investigating a ‘passable’ thyroid result, and a suspected PCOS picture that presented as low progesterone.

Finding these issues and putting the steps in place for clients to get the treatment they need transforms their fertility journey and puts them one step closer to parenthood. 

Here is a review from a lovely client.

” I wish I had found you sooner, we have been trying to conceive for 7 years and were told IVF would be our only chance as my AMH was very low. This ended up not to be the case and I am now 13 weeks pregnant , Thank you!!

If you’re lost on your fertility journey and want someone to put you back on track come and see me for a fertility acupuncture consultation, I absolutely love helping clients become parents! 

If you would like to book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation then please click here.

This month has seen an increase in clients with Endometriosis (or endo), so as a Fertility Acupuncture Practitioner, I wanted to raise the awareness for those TTC, as around 25% with unexplained infertility could have endo.

Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the uterus are found elsewhere in the body.

The most common sign that people are aware of is painful periods. The reason why it can be hard to get a diagnosis for endometriosis is that it often shows up in a more systemic way, meaning it’s not just localised pain but wider spread inflammation that can affect the whole body.

Some have no symptoms at all, and the only reason they get a diagnosis is because they have been struggling to conceive. 

Other symptoms of endometriosis include: 

The prevalence of endometriosis in women with infertility can be as high as 30-50%. Having excision (removal) is important but lifestyle and dietary factors also need to be established to help stop the endo from regrowing.

As endo is an oestrogen dependant condition (it grows with oestrogen) it’s important to help the body keep oestrogen levels in check. Ways to help this are ensuring you are having at least one bowel movement a day (this is how we rid ourselves of excess hormones) and supporting the livers detoxifying function.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition and is linked with a disordered immune system, if the immune system is imbalanced then patches of endometriosis won’t be cleared by the body which leads to an inflammatory response by the body in it’s attempts to rid of the body of cells that shouldn’t be there. 

Fertility Acupuncture can help to manage endometriosis and support your fertility by: 

If you’ve been TTC for a while and you suspect endometriosis, then ask you GP for a referral to a gynecologist to help investigate further. 

Did you know that we also offer Fertility Acupuncture support during the early stages of pregnancies?

I can’t thank Anna enough for her help both pre-pregnancy and during. Not only did acupuncture help to relieve stress and calm my body but I truly believe it helped to maintain my pregnancy in those early weeks, particularly during a few complications. It really helped to have a focus and to have someone to openly discuss things with. Anna is incredibly knowledgeable and made many recommendations of things to support my body and pregnancy. She was always on hand to offer guidance and answer any questions and really made me feel that whatever path my journey was going to take, things would be OK and I would reach my ultimate end goal or having a healthy baby. I now have an 8 week old baby boy! Thank you Anna for being a big part of my journey“. Jess.