The aim of modern fertility treatment is not only to achieve pregnancy but also to have the healthiest possible baby.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress-response and anxiety. This in turn may lead to a better overall hormonal balance in the reproductive cycle. It may enhance natural fertility, offer support during the stimulation phase of IVF cycles. Also, it may support pre and post embryo transfer treatments.
The ideal treatment plan is to start working with acupuncture and diet during the three months before conceiving as this is the optimum time period - affecting both egg and sperm quality. It is a good idea to come and have an initial consultation quite early in the planning process so that we can then plan your treatment.
IVF and IUI: Fertility Acupuncture - a Complementary Fertility Therapy
Fertility acupuncture has been shown to improve fertility rates when used as a complementary therapy for ART cycles for IVF, IUI and other ART protocols.
Fertility acupuncture may benefit those undergoing IVF and other ART treatments by lessening many unwanted side-effects, mitigating some negative effects of IVF stimulation, and enhancing implantation and pregnancy rates.
Researchers have confirmed the following benefits:
- Regulation of menstrual cycle.
- Improved sperm count and motility.
- Reduced stress and anxiety associated with infertility.
- Regulation of hormone and endocrine systems.
- Improved blood flow in the uterus and ovaries thereby increasing ovarian sensitivity to gonadotropins and enabling an improved uterine lining for implantation.
- Increased chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Fertility treatments vary from person to person, but are usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles (twelve weeks). Treatments can include acupuncture, customised herbal therapy, stress reduction and dietary counselling. Treatments work alone but are an excellent addition to any Western intervention.
Zita West Clinic Affiliate
The Zita West Clinic is a very well known London clinic which specialises in fertility treatments. I am a approved Zita West affiliated acupuncturist.
Further information about many aspects of IVF and assisted reproductive protocols are available from The Zita West Clinic website.
"If you are trying to get pregnant, our simple aim is to help you to succeed in the quickest and most natural way possible, with the best possible outcome and the least possible involvement from us. You might be surprised at how big a difference the right physical and emotional preparation, combined, if necessary, with the right medical tests and investigations, can make when you are working with people who know how." ©Zitawest.com
Acupuncture Increases IVF Success by 65%
Women undergoing IVF were 65 percent more likely to become pregnant when they combined the procedure with acupuncture. (British Medical Journal, February 2008) The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Maryland in the United States and the VU University of Amsterdam in Holland. It is thought that acupuncture stimulates the neurotransmitters which in turn trigger the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone - controlling the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and boost the production of endogenous opioids, inducing the body to relax. Researchers claim that because acupuncture costs are relatively inexpensive compared to an IVF cycle, it would be a cost effective, safe and efficient way of boosting success rates in assisted fertility treatment.
Acupuncture Improves Sperm Quality Acupuncture helped infertile men by improving sperm quality in their semen. (July 2005, Journal Fertility and Sterility)
In the research project, 28 men received acupuncture in addition to traditional infertility treatments, while another 12 men received only the traditional treatments. All of the men were diagnosed with infertility of unknown origin. Acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in the sperm of men who received acupuncture, although it had no effect on sperm immaturity or premature death.
The effects of acupuncture on IVF and ICSI:
A randomised controlled clinical study on 225 patients was carried out. In group one, 116 patients received acupuncture and, in group two, 109 patients received a placebo. The pregnancy rates for IVF and ICSI in group one were double the rate of group two. Conclusion: Acupuncture can be of great benefit to IVF and ICSI. http://www.aborm.org/research
- Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro acupuncture
- Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultra structure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.Pei J et al Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7 Fertility and Sterility
- Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality.
Siterman S et al Arch Androl. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61
Archives of Andrology
- Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy
- Acupuncture: Impact on Pregnancy Outcomes in IVF Patients
- Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility
The contents of this website are for information only and are not intended to be a substitute for taking medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner such as your GP especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medication. This website is designed to be an information resource for those who are deciding whether or not acupuncture treatment is suitable for them. You will find links to relevant research articles wherever conditions are highlighted. The fact-sheet page contains the latest information and research available from the British Acupuncture Council. Information is continually updated so do check back regularly.