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Trying to conceive? We could help!

If you have been trying to conceive for 6 – 12 months without success you are probably starting to wonder why it’s not happening? You may have had some tests – and maybe there is an obvious reason or maybe not. There are a number of ways Chinese medicine may be able to help you.

We apply a Chinese medicine approach that addresses the whole body.

If you are doing IVF (IUI or ovulation induction) then we can make a useful contribution to your cycle with Chinese Medicine. There are many and various ways that acupuncture can support the IVF patient. Many of our patients come for treatment in the month or two preceding an IVF cycle, and some come just on the day of Embryo transfer.

Some patients come after several IVF attempts that have not been successful, either before continuing with IVF or instead, trying to conceive naturally. We see men and women (single or in couples) and apply the very best of what traditional Chinese medicine has to offer combined with research findings, which are regularly being updated.

Sometimes symptoms like abdomen pain, heavy or irregular periods, and so on can be signs of underlying conditions like endometriosis, PCOS, or fibroids that can impact fertility.

Please contact us if any of these symptoms bother you, to see what we may be able to contribute.

  • How can acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine influence infertility?

Study shows that acupuncture appears to have a neuroendocrine effect, affecting a three-way axis between the two areas of the brain involved with hormone production (the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands) and the ovaries, a constellation that ultimately affects egg production and possibly ovulation.

Secondly, by increasing production of endorphins,which is the body’s natural feel good  brain chemical,  acupuncture could help regulate the menstrual cycle.

Thirdly, acupuncture could change the blood supply to the ovaries, possibly dilate the arteries and increase blood flow, so that ultimately the ovaries could receive greater amounts of hormonal stimulation.  In 2000, a report in the journal Medical Acupuncture suggest acupuncture may directly impact the number of egg follicles available for fertilisation in women undergoing IVF.

Meanwhile, acupuncture may help when the lining of the uterus is too weak to sustain a pregnancy, which is known to increase the risk of repeated miscarriage.

For male, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have shown that they can affect hormone levels and testicular blood flow. Chinese herbal medicine, in particular, offers a significant improvement in sperm count, motility, morphology and liquefaction, it can also treat varicocele and anti-sperm antibody.


  • When should the treatment start?

It takes at least 3 months for immature eggs to mature enough to be released at ovulation, and it takes the same amount of time for sperm to be developed mature. Therefore, at least 3 months should be given to prepare for conception.

Acupuncture is famous for improving IVF success rate:  

According to The Guardian’s news pages, “acupuncture can increase the chances of getting pregnant for women undergoing fertility treatment by 65%”.  The results of some research studies into this are very promising and we remain strong supporters of its use as part of a coordinated approach.

Our acupuncturists are highly experienced in treating women during the lead-up to IVF, throughout their cycle and on the day of transfer.  Research suggests that the effect of treatment may be cumulative, which is why we offer a package of ten sessions.

*Stage One

For best result, IVF support acupuncture treatment should start about 3-4 months prior to the IVF cycle, however,  even one month could also make a difference. The acupuncture treatment at this stage aims to bring the body to the optimal pre-conception condition to maximize the chance of a success.  Normally, we would recommend a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine during this stage.

*Stage Two

This stage is from the first day of medication through to embryo transfer.  Weekly acupuncture is necessary, it would help reduce the side effects of the drugs; produce more follicles and improve egg quality; optimize the thickness of the endometrium to prepare for the transfer of embryos.   A single acupuncture treatment is recommended prior to egg collection to relieve anxiety.

*Stage Three

Before and after embryo transfer, an acupuncture treatment is recommended  to improve pregnancy rate. For best result, this is on the same day as close to your embryo transfer appointment. Choosing points that relax uterus optimizes endometrial receptivity, thus helping embryo implantation.

*Stage Four

One or two acupuncture treatments are recommended during the two-week waiting period before a pregnancy test is taken. This is primarily to support emotionally, to ease anxiety and promote relaxation.

*Once pregnant

Acupuncture is recommended weekly through the first trimester, up to week 12/13 as there is a higher risk of miscarriage in IVF induced pregnancies. The treatment aims to support implantation and help promote a healthy pregnancy.


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