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 Fertility Acupuncture & IVF

Common reasons women seek acupuncture support include:

  • Have been trying to conceive for a while without success

  • Been diagnosed with unexplained infertility

  • Considering support in your IVF journey

  • Anovulation (not ovulating)

  • Concerned about absent or irregular periods

  • Fibroids, PID, Polyps, uterine or cervical abnormalities

  • Hormonal imbalances, high FHS or low AMH

  • Miscarried early in the pregnancy – elevated cortisol level (the stress hormone)

  • Diagnosed with Endometriosis, PCOS, adhesions

  • Stressed out and sleep deprived

  • Emotional traumas and anxiety

  • Thinking of starting a family and want to prepare your body in the best way possible

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Acupuncture support for fertility 

Supporting fertility, as well as enhancing the ability to conceive, also encompasses creating an environment conducive to a safe and comfortable pregnancy in preparation for the birth of a healthy baby.

Regardless of circumstances, whether attempting to conceive naturally or undergoing IVF, fertility acupuncture can enhance reproductive wellbeing and increase the likelihood of a successful conception. 

How does Acupuncture help Fertility?

Acupuncture boosts blood flow to reproductive organs (Ho 2009, Anderson 2007) and improves the thickness of the endometrial lining, increasing the chances of successful implantation (Liu 2008) and a healthy pregnancy.

Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer in IVF potentially boost pregnancy rates by promoting relaxing uterine muscles and reducing stress. Additionally, It can help alleviate side effects like bloating, nausea, headaches, and mood swings associated with IVF medications.

Help increase fertilisation by Improving egg quality and production (Jin 2009) and improving oocyte quality (Chen 2009)

Regulates menstrual cycle and also help to counteract the effects of PCOS (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2009, Zhang 2009) and Endometriosis with a specific aim to induce ovulation and regulate AMH level.

By reducing sympathetic nerve activity and balancing hormone levels, acupuncture has been shown to reduce the number of ovarian cysts, stimulate ovulation, enhance blastocyst implantation.

By help releasing endorphins, calms the nervous system which can improve sleep, digestion, immunity, provide pain relief and enhancing overall wellbeing during your fertility journey.

Regulating fertility hormones by help promote the release of beta-endorphin in the brain, which regulates gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (Jin 2009), and oestrogen and progesterone levels (Anderson 2007) and it can enhance fertility treatment readiness (Huang 2009).

Reduces the chance of miscarriage and stress (Anderson 2007) by help normalising cortisol and prolactin levels on IVF medication days (Magarelli 2008).

Acupuncture for IVF timeline

Assisting couples with reproductive challenges, I focus on both physical and emotional wellbeing and understand the variety of conditions that can affect health and the chances of becoming pregnant.

I encourage transparent communication with your medical team, and work alongside them with personalised treatment plans. I utilise diverse modalities and a range of skills to address fertility concerns from various perspectives, to enhance the likelihood of success.

Stage 1 – Preparation before the IVF cycle

Before any treatment there will have been investigations, including blood tests and an ultrasound scan during which the follicle count is taken. All test results, including AMH levels will be viewed. 

The objective in this phase is to regulate the menstrual cycle, promote regular ovulation, and optimise hormone levels. I assess each cycle stage to enhance egg quality and create an ideal environment for implantation. Prioritising emotional balance, I investigate infertility causes and address body disharmonies. We'll also explore nutrition, lifestyle, and diet adjustments to increase the chances of a successful live birth.

Stage 3 – Ovarian Stimulation Phase

Ovarian stimulation involves taking hormones to help your ovaries produce a sufficient number of mature and good quality eggs, whilst avoiding over stimulating the ovaries which can cause other complications such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).

Acupuncture treatments continue once you start your IVF injections. The aim to improve your ovaries response to the IVF stimulation as well as positively influencing endometrial development, helping it thicken and have an optimal blood supply.

Usually, we meet twice in this phase however, if there are concerns like a thin lining, blood-clotting issues, or heavy clotted flow, I might suggest an extra visit.

STAGE 5 – Acupuncture at Embryo Transfer (ET)

I coordinate appointments with clients close to transfer times, prioritizing timely treatments for maximum effectiveness within specific periods before and after the designated time.

In this phase, my aim is to enhance blood circulation to the endometrium, promoting increased receptivity while minimising uterine contractions or spasms associated with the transfer procedure.

Additionally, I focus on regulating the stress hormones (cortisol levels), which can influence implantation and contribute to emotional support, making it easier for you to experience a sense of calm during ET.

Once Pregnancy is confirmed!

While some mothers may experience a comfortable pregnancy without requiring additional assistance, others may face significant challenges and need extra interventions to ensure a safe and smooth progression throughout pregnancy.

For those in need of support, acupuncture is recommended up to week 12 to minimize the risk of miscarriage, while addressing the impacts of stress and anxiety. Additionally, it is commonly used to alleviate early pregnancy conditions such as morning sickness, heartburn, fatigue, spotting, or vaginal bleeding.

If you have pre-existing conditions such as hypothyroidism or diabetes and seek guidance on managing them during pregnancy, please refer to this link.

Stage 2 –Down-regulation of the ovaries 

During the down-regulation stage the doctors prescribe medication for 2 to 4 weeks to inhibit the ovaries from releasing any eggs for a short time. This process may potentially lead to a delayed or missed period.

My goal is to clear the old lining of the womb, promote a fresh, healthy lining with optimal blood flow for successful embryo implantation. I'll also address uncomfortable side effects of medication like hot flushes, irritability, anxiety, disturbed sleep, excessive thirst, and sweating.

If you are on the short protocol (and are not taking down-regulation medication), the principle of treatment is same – to achieve the fullest clearing of the old lining to allow for the growth of the new.

Stage 4 – Egg Retrieval / Collection Phase

Most important time to help with the final maturation of the eggs!


Acupuncture treatment between egg collection and embryo transfer can be very useful, as it calms the mind during the anxious waiting period before transfer and if you are suffering from mild to moderate OHSS (ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome) can be very useful to counteract some of the unpleasant symptoms you might be experiencing. Please note that any symptoms of OHSS should always be reported immediately to your clinic and monitored closely or you may go to A&E.

STAGE 6 – Two Week Wait (before the pregnancy test)

During this phase, treatment sessions can enhance the implantation of the embryo into the uterus wall and help improve pregnancy rates. The 2-week wait often induces anxiety, and acupuncture proves beneficial in alleviating stress and calming nerves and design to support the maintenance of pregnancy.

After undergoing embryo transfer, I recommend having at least two acupuncture sessions prior to conducting your pregnancy test, particularly if you have experienced recurrent miscarriage.

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The frequency of Acupuncture for Fertility & IVF

IVF Acupuncture is recommended for follicular development and stress reduction to increase pregnancy rates. For optimal results start at least 2-3 months before the IVF treatment begins.

For hormonal and fertility support, expect a minimum of 3 months of weekly, followed by fortnightly, treatments. Shared care between Acupuncture practitioner and IVF specialists is encouraged to ensure coordination of medications and supplements.

Preconception care enhances sperm and egg quality, reproductive hormone health, and gestational outcomes. To make necessary diet and lifestyle changes for overall health optimisation, plan for a 3-6 months preparation period before actively trying to conceive,

How I support you on your fertility journey

The first consultation is a detailed assessment of concerns, symptoms, general health, diet, any medications being taken, and other factors that may influence fertility. Using this information along with any investigation results you may provide, we will discuss the likely causes of your problems and plan a treatment programme for us to work on together. 

This appointment will be 90- 95 minutes. The first session includes acupuncture, and any necessary extras such as cupping, moxibustion (heat therapy), essential oils, etc. I may suggest adding other modalities as appropriate, including Reiki, Craniosacral therapy, Biofeedback therapy and Auricular acupuncture (no extra cost).

We will also discuss lifestyle changes and dietary modifications to further support your health.

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