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  • Increasing IVF (in-vitro fertilization) success rates: 65% more likely to have a successful embryo transfer for women who underwent acupuncture. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis. Eric Manheimer et al. BMJ, 7 Feb. 2008.

  • Increased blood flow to the uterus. Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture. Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Andersson SA, Wikland M., Hum Reprod 11(6):1314-7, 1996.

  • Normalizing dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupuncture normalizes dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Chen BY., Acupunct Electrother Res 22:97–108, 1997.

  • Improve ovulation. Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of ovulation. Mo X. et al. J Tradit Chin Med, 13(2): 115-9, 1993.

  • Achieved a comparable pregnancy rate to those of various hormonal treatments. Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Gerhard I, Postneek F., Gynecology & Endocrinology, 6 (3):171-81, Sep 1992.

  • Increasing IVF success rates. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy. Paulus, et al., Fertility and Sterility, Vol.77, No.4, April 2002.

  • Improve sperm quality. Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Siterman S. et al., Arch Androl Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61, 1997.

  • Inducing ovulation for women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Effects of electro-acupuncture on anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Stener-Victorin E, Waldenstrom U, Tagnfors U, Lundeberg T, Lindstedt G, Janson PO,. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 79(3):180-8, 2000.

  • Electroacupuncture analgesia during oocyte aspiration showed a significantly higher implantation rate, pregnancy rate and take-home baby rates. A prospective randomized study of electro-acupuncture versus alfentanil as anaesthesia during oocyte aspiration in in-vitro fertilization. Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Nilsson L, Wikland M, Janson PO., Hum Reprod 14(10): 2480-4, 1999.

  • Effective in ovulation induction and also in the remission of OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome)induced by HMG (human menopausal gonadotropin). Substitution of Acupuncture for HCG in Ovulation Induction. Cai XF., Journal of Traditional Oriental Medicine 17(2):119-21, 1997.

Simple things you can do to boost your fertility

  • Sleep well, eat well and relax.

  • Reduce stress. Prolonged stress creates infertility, taking steps to restore fertility may add to your stress if you expect instant results. It’s hard to avoid daily stress but we can learn to respond differently when it presents itself. Try breathing exercises and meditation.

  • Adopt a balanced diet and eat at regular times. You may want to use supplements too, but don’t go overboard. Balance is the key.

  • Adopt a regular sleep pattern. You need 7.5 - 9 hours sleep per day to achieve the best fertility results. Poor quality sleep disrupts your body’s balance; sleep is extremely important for fertility.

Dr Caroline Smith’s research at University of Adelaide has shown that fertility rates can be doubled with the use of acupuncture during embryo transfer.  Importantly, this research has shown that the benefit is not affected by age, meaning all age groups showed the increase in IVF success rates from the acupuncture therapy.


Acupuncture for IVF review (24 trials, total 5,807 participants) conclusion:

  1. Acupuncture improves clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) and live birth rate (LBR) among women undergoing IVF.

  2. More positive effects from acupuncture in IVF can be expected if more individualized acupuncture plans are used.

  3. Appropriate acupuncture times: around the time of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) or oocyte aspiration (OA) or through the time of COH to the time of OA.

  4. Enough treatment courses: at least four sessions.


Source: Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Zheng CH et. al. 2012.

The evidence for effectiveness fertility acupuncture research


The Role of Acupuncture Research

— A Personal View

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