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Acupuncture For Fertility

Acupuncture is a form of physical medicine that originated in China over 4000 years ago. It uses very thin, sterile needles, inserted into specific points on the body, to manipulate and balance the flow of energy through the body. When we are in balance, our bodies function optimally: our organs function well, our sleep is restful, we are resistant to disease, we recover easily from injury, and our reproductive capacity is functional. For a variety of reasons this balance can become disturbed. Imbalance gives rise to symptoms, including infertility. Acupuncture aims to correct any imbalance, eliminating any and all symptoms that the imbalance caused. Acupuncture for fertility can boost your fertility and increase your chances of success when you are trying to conceive.

How can acupuncture help with fertility?
Acupuncture can help with all stages in the fertility journey from conception to delivery.

Acupuncture can:

  • Regulate the menses and increase the blood flow to the uterus
  • Improve sperm count
  • Relieve stress
  • Regulate the hormones
  • Increase ovarian response function
  • Reduce the side effects of hormone treatments
  • Increase and strengthen the immune system
  • Improve the success rate of IVF
  • Decrease the chances of miscarriage and increase the rate of live birth

Acupuncture for Fertility
Clinical data has shown that acupuncture can improve fertility in the following ways (1):

  • Acupuncture appears to increase uterine and ovarian blood flow, potentially improving the endometrial environment
  • Acupuncture treatment pre/post IVF embryo transfer increases pregnancy success rates
  • Acupuncture has been shown to improve the endocrine and metabolic disturbances in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

While the exact mechanism is not completely understood, it is hypothesized that acupuncture improves fertility through the following mechanisms (2):

  • By increasing blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
  • By affecting neuro-endocrine factors such as endorphins
  • By affecting cytokine/immune system activity (reducing inflammation)
  • By relieving stress, anxiety and depression

Acupuncture has also been shown to improve sperm quality and quantity. (3)

A recent meta-analyses (systematic reviews of collected clinical research outcomes) concluded that acupuncture prior to and after IVF embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization. (4) Ongoing results of another meta-analyses, conducted by Reproductive Endocrinology specialist Dr. Paul Magarelli suggest an “astonishing” 15% increase in pregnancies and 23% increase in take-home babies in IVF patients treated with acupuncture. (5)


  1. Sterner-Victorin et al. 2006 Acupunct Med Dec;24(4):157-63.
  2. Anderson et al. 2007 Altern Ther Health Med. May-Jun;13(3):38-48.
  3. Pei et al. Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7.
  4. Manheimer et al. BMJ 2008 Mar 8;336(7643):545-9. Epub 2008 Feb 7.
  5. Accessed 9/1/2008 (

Holistic Treatment During Pregnancy
A new research model is emerging that suggests a mother’s wellbeing during pregnancy, including nutritional status and psychosocial stress, may have far-reaching effects on the mental and physical status of her offspring. Maternal prenatal cortisol (stress hormone) crosses the placenta and elevated prenatal cortisol levels are associated with miscarriage, delayed fetal growth and maturity, low birth weight, attention and temperament problems in infancy and chronic illness in adulthood. (1) Practices proven to lower cortisol levels (prenatal yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation and visualization) are recommended to help women cope with the stresses of a modern pregnancy and improve health outcomes in their babies.


Massage for Fertility

  1. Field T et al. Int J Neurosci. 2008 Aug 1:1181-1205.