Fertility Acupuncture – How Acupuncture Can Increase Your Chances of Conception

During acupuncture treatments, very thin needles are inserted into specific acupoints along pathways called meridians. When stimulated, these points regulate hormone levels and promote healthy body functions.


Acupuncture has been shown to help enhance the results of IVF treatment. Studies have found that patients treated with acupuncture before and after embryo transfer have higher pregnancy rates. Visit Website to learn more.

Acupuncture helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and improve hormonal balance, which is crucial in promoting fertility. It also stimulates the production of opioids – the body’s natural opiates that decrease biological stress, which may increase the chances of pregnancy.

A recent study has shown that acupuncture performed just before and after embryo transfer significantly increased the chances of a successful pregnancy in patients receiving IVF treatment. This is a promising result and more research is needed to confirm these results.

Pre-transfer acupuncture treatment is done to prepare the body for and enhance uterine receptivity for successful implantation. The acupuncturist targets acupuncture points that help to dilate the cervix and reduce inflammation for easier insertion of the embryos, while calming the nervous system and improving blood circulation to create a thicker uterine lining and promote overall reproductive health.

During this treatment, the acupuncturist will insert a series of needles into specific acupuncture points on both sides of the body. These acupuncture points are known as the “spleen-6” and the “kidney-3” acupuncture points. Spleen-6 acupuncture point is located on the inside leg and is believed to enhance fertility, support the immune system, and promote healthy ovulation. Kidney-3 is found on the lower abdomen and is a key point for regulating the menstrual cycle, promoting uterine health, reducing stress, and balancing hormones.

The acupuncturist will repeat this same process just after the embryo transfer to ensure that the uterus is fully prepared for a successful pregnancy. This treatment will include targeting the same acupuncture points to enhance uterine receptivity and calm the nervous system. It will also include a few additional acupuncture points to encourage the emergence of the follicles and a thicker uterine lining.

During this time, it is important for patients to focus on staying positive and relaxing. Acupuncture is an excellent way to do this and can be very meditative, so many patients fall asleep or deeply relax during the session. It is a great option to consider for patients going through IVF. It can be a stressful and emotional time, and acupuncture can help to relieve some of the symptoms associated with this process such as hot flashes, bloating, and anxiety.

Post-Transfer Treatment

The final stage of an IVF cycle is the embryo transfer (ET). This is a big step in the process as it is a time when your hopes are highest. However, it can also be a very stressful time. Acupuncture can help to ease the stress and anxiety surrounding this procedure. It can also help to regulate your hormones and increase blood flow to the uterus, improving uterine receptivity which is critical for successful implantation.

Studies have shown that acupuncture performed immediately prior and after ET significantly increases IVF success rates. It is believed that this is due to the effect acupuncture has on reducing the body’s stress response, as well as stimulating the release of endorphins, the brain’s natural “feel good” chemical and impacting a three-way axis between the hypothalamus and pituitary glands that can influence the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and egg production.

Our acupuncturist, Sarah Prater (under her maiden name Fredrickson), has written about this study in the Winter 2014 edition of the American Acupuncturist magazine. The study was a retrospective cohort design comparing patients who received an acupuncture treatment both before and after their IVF embryo transfer to a control group. All fresh non-donor IVF cycles that ended in a successful embryo transfer were included in the study.

The acupuncture treatment consisted of five sessions of a combination of Chinese and Japanese style on-site acupuncture. Acupuncture points were chosen to stimulate the production of endorphins and improve uterine receptivity. The acupuncture sessions were done at the acupuncture clinic before and after each ET session. Each acupuncture session was about an hour and 15 minutes long. Patients were notified of their acupuncture treatment by their IVF center’s nursing staff on the day of their scheduled ET and were asked to arrive at the acupuncture clinic with a full bladder.

The acupuncture treatments were very effective and increased implantation rates by 72% for those who received the treatment, when compared to a control group of women who did not receive acupuncture. The rate of clinical pregnancy was also higher in the acupuncture group with 57.1% of patients getting pregnant, when compared to 45.8% of the control group.

Post-IVF Treatment

Acupuncture helps balance hormones in women, preparing them for fertility treatment. This includes stimulating ovulation by increasing the production of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). It also reduces stress levels and decreases cortisol (one of the body’s main stress hormones). In addition, it has been shown to increase blood flow to the uterus which is crucial for implantation and supporting a healthy pregnancy.

A recent 2019 meta-analysis found that acupuncture given before and after IVF embryo transfer can significantly increase clinical pregnancy rates. However, large randomized controlled studies are needed to verify these findings as there are many factors that play into the success of IVF.

Before your IVF procedure, your acupuncturist will use points that are designed to open the cervix and increase uterine receptivity. In addition, he/she will use points that improve the circulation of blood to the uterus to support a thickening of the uterine lining. Lastly, the acupuncturist will address any emotional issues you may be having as this can be very stressful and affect the outcome of your IVF process.

During the IVF procedure, acupuncture is performed at various times throughout the day depending on your specific needs. Some acupuncturists prefer to do the treatment immediately after your Gonal-F injections. This helps keep the needles warm and in place for longer which can boost the effects of the medications. Typically, IVF patients receive about 30 minutes of treatment each day during their IVF cycle.

The acupuncturist will insert the needles in the pre-treatment and post-treatment points that are specifically designed for IVF. He/she will also use points on the arms and legs that will help to alleviate any discomfort that might be associated with IVF treatments. This is important because the acupuncture sessions can cause some slight soreness and pain afterward. Your acupuncturist will use very thin, sterile, single-use needles for your treatment. He/she will swab the top of each needle with alcohol before inserting it. In addition, your acupuncturist will be sure to follow any special instructions from your reproductive endocrinologist regarding medications or treatments you are taking during the course of your IVF cycle.


Acupuncture can help you feel more relaxed as you go through your fertility journey. Women who are trying to conceive tend to have very high levels of stress. Acupuncture can significantly decrease anxiety levels, and promote relaxation and mental clarity to optimize your chances of conception.

Acupuncturists are trained to assess each patient and determine the appropriate frequency of treatment. This will vary from patient to patient, but can be anywhere from weekly or bi-weekly to monthly or even less frequently depending on the unique circumstance of each individual.

If you are undergoing IVF, it is best to start your acupuncture treatments at least six weeks prior to the date of your planned embryo transfer. This will allow your body to properly prepare for implantation and give the sperm adequate time to develop into a mature, viable sperm. Acupuncture has been shown to improve both the quantity and quality of sperm.

Research has also shown that acupuncture can aid in the preparation of the endometrium for implantation. Acupuncture can increase endometrial thickness, as well as stimulate glandular development to create an environment that is conducive for successful implantation.

Acupuncture has also been shown to significantly reduce the risk of recurrent miscarriage. This is due to the balancing of hormones, as well as the reduction of stress and anxiety that can cause this condition.

Studies have also shown that acupuncture significantly increases both the BPR and CPR (clinical pregnancy rate and ongoing pregnancies) in patients who are undergoing IVF. These results were found to be significant even after accounting for factors such as age, parity, and history of uterine fibroids.

In addition to acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine can also be used to treat fertility issues. These herbs are available in a wide range of forms, including capsules, tablets, granules, and teas. Acupuncturists may recommend an herbal formula if they have identified specific imbalances within a patient. Herbal medicine can help restore balance to the reproductive system and enhance the efficacy of acupuncture. This is especially true if the imbalance is due to hormonal imbalances, such as irregular menstrual cycles or disrupted ovulation.