Female fertility

It is estimated by the HFEA that one in seven couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving.

Causes of infertility include tubal damage, low sperm count/ quality and ovulatory disorders. However, the cause of infertility remains unexplained in 30% of couples. the cause of infertility remains unexplained. The difficulty surrounding fertility issues for couples can lead to stress, which may further hinder conception.

Acupuncture is widely used by couples seeking help with fertility.

How acupuncture can help:

Research has indicated how acupuncture may benefit fertility:

Regulates fertility hormones. Factors such as stress can cause hormonal imbalances that can negatively impact fertility. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to affect hormone levels by promoting the release of chemicals/ hormones in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries

Increases blood flow to the reproductive organs. Stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes constriction of ovarian arteries. Acupuncture inhibits this sympathetic activity, thus improving blood flow to the ovaries, enhancing the environment in which ovarian follicles develop

Acupuncture can also increase blood flow to the uterus, improving the thickness of the endometrial lining and increasing the chances of embryo implantation

Counteracts the effects of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). PCOS is one of the most widespread causes of female infertility. 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 and regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS.

For more information about how acupuncture works in controlled trials please visit

Female fertility & IVF

A recent high-level review of studies into Acupuncture treatment alongside IVF/ICSI demonstrate that Acupuncture has positive impact on the birth rate of sub fertile women undergoing IVF/ICSI.

Key Points

A recent high-level review found acupuncture to significantly improve birth rate

A summary of 11 reviews up to 2017 found acupuncture to significantly improve clinical pregnancy rates

Acupuncture was also recommended as a suitable treatment to help reduce stress and anxiety levels

A recent overview of systematic reviews from 2009 up to 2017, found that acupuncture given at the time of egg collection/embryo transfer improved clinical pregnancy rates.

Acupuncture improves emotional wellbeing during IVF
Assisted reproduction treatment can be stressful and studies indicate that acupuncture treatment can reduce stress and/or anxiety while increasing women’s ability to cope with the IVF process.

A comprehensive acupuncture treatment management strategy may be required leading up to an IVF/ICSI cycle (pre-treatment), and then during ovarian stimulation, in order to influence follicular development. Additionally, treatment around embryo transfer, and shortly afterwards during the two-week wait prior to a pregnancy test, may influence implantation as well as relieving stress/ anxiety.

For more information about how acupuncture works in controlled trials please visit
www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org or view the female fertility fact sheet at www.acupuncture.org.uk.


Contact Natalie to arrange a consultation or book an appointment.