Holistic Acupuncture couple holding little shoes

There are so many factors and decisions involved into IVF. IVF can be an emotional and hard decision, as taking this journey means choosing a path which could develop into an extended journey by having multiple failures along the way.

Choosing the right fertility acupuncture clinic can be as important as choosing the right Fertility Specialist. As acupuncture can be a beneficial therapy during all the stages of an IVF cycle, selecting the right fertility acupuncturist, you may help you increase the chances of a successful IVF cycle.

At Holistic Acupuncture, we offer an individualised IVF support plan. All the treatment protocols are evidence based. We aim at providing a unique service, by assisting the couple along every single step of the IVF cycle, mainly targeting at each couples individual needs, as couples will struggle at different areas of the IVF.



Our treatments are individually tailored and are extremely comprehensive. We work at every stage of the IVF cycle, incorporating protocols used in clinical trials shown to have improved pregnancy and live birth rate in the study group. (1)



Research shows acupuncture improves utero-ovarian blood flow. (2) (4) Since colour doppler studies shows follicular development is directly correlated to their blood supply (5), acupuncture may potentially be able to improve circulatory supply, hormone and nutrient delivery to the follicles.


According to clinical trials acupuncture has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress levels experienced by IVF patients. This improve fertility outcomes and the emotional health of infertile women through the process of IVF treatment.(6)


Acupuncture has shown to assist with hormonal regulation which may be important to follicle development and implantation. Pregnancy and live birth rate was significantly higher in comparison to women that had no acupuncture. (3) 


Using acupuncture points on the abdomen months and weeks before an embryo transfer has been shown to improve the structure of the uterine lining as well as significantly improve the implantation and pregnancy rate. (7)


Clinical trials shows that acupuncture administered on the same day of embryo transfer improves live birth rates. (8) (9)


There are several clinical trials which support the benefits of acupuncture to sperm parameters (10). It is clear that more research is needed to further evaluate Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in male infertility.

Some studies have demonstrated how acupuncture may improve male fertility in following areas:


1/  Low sperm count 

A particular study has shown a positive effect of acupuncture on sperm count. This study was conducted on men who had such low sperm counts (or no sperm) who required a testicular biopsy to extract sperm for use in an IVF cycle. After a course of 10 acupuncture treatments, enough sperm could be produced for ICSI to be performed without the need to have a testicular biopsy.(10)

3/  Poor sperm motility

Acupuncture has particularly shown to have a significant improvement on sperm motility. In two studies, men who had acupuncture twice a week over a period of
5-6 weeks have shown improved sperm motility in comparison to men who had no acupuncture. (13)(14)


2/  Poor sperm morphology

Morphology refers to the shape and structure of the sperm. If abnormal, the sperm’s ability to fertilise the egg may be impaired. A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture twice a week for 5 weeks.(11) In another study, significant improvements in motility and morphology were demonstrated in the acupuncture group compared to the group which had no acupuncture.(13)


4/  Fertilization rates 

A particular clinical trial has looked sperm behaviour in a IVF setting.  This was study involving 82 infertile men with pathological semen abnormalities and who’s sperm achieved a poor fertilization rate in at least 2 IVF/ICSI cycles. Fertilization rates after acupuncture were significantly higher than that before treatment.(12)


  1. Balk J et al, The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: A pilot study. Complement Ther Clin Practice. 2010 Aug;16(3):154-7).
  2. Ming H et al, 2009 Electroacupuncture reduces uterine artery blood flow impedance in infertile women. Taiwan, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009; 48: 148-51
  3. Magarelli, PC, D Cridennda, M Cohen. Changes in serum cortisol and prolactin associated with acupuncture during controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization–embryo transfer treatment. Fertil Steril. 2009 Dec;92(6):1870-9 Fertility and Sterility
  4.  Stener-Victorin E, et al, Reduction of blood flow impedance in the uterine arteries of infertile women with electro-acupuncture, Hum Reprod 1996; 11:1314-1317. 
  5. Balakier H, Stronell RD. Colour doppler assessment of folliculogenesis in in vitro fertilisation patients. Fertility Steril 1994; 62: 1211-6
  6. Grant LE, Cochrane S. Acupuncture for the mental and emotional health of women undergoing IVF treatment: A comprehensive review. Aust J Acupunct Chin Med. 2014;9(1): 5-12.
  7. Shuai Z, et al. Effect of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation on endometrial receptivity in women undergoing frozen-thawed embryo transfer: a single-blind prospective randomised controlled trial. Acupuncture in Medicine 2014;0:1–7. doi:10.113. Acupuncture in Medicine, BMJ
  8. Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati L, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Boulter LM. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live births among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2008;336(7643): 545-49.
  9. Cheong YC et al, Acupuncture and assisted conception. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;(4):CD006920
  10. Siterman S et al, Does Acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A Pilot Study. Androlog. 2000;32 (1)31-39
  11. Pei J et al, Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatments for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility, 2005;84(1);141-7 
  12.  Zhang M e et al, Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. Journal of Huanzhong University 2002;22(3);228-30
  13. Siterman S et al, Effects of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Androl 1997;39(2);155-61
  14. Diertele et al, A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Fertil Steril 2009;92(4) 1340-3