Acupuncture and Female Infertility: A Holistic Approach to Enhancing Fertility

Dec 21, 2023
Acupuncture and Female Infertility: A Holistic Approach to Enhancing Fertility
Posted By Mike Berkley, L.Ac.

Acupuncture and Female Infertility: A Holistic Approach to Enhancing Fertility

Female infertility can be a complex and emotionally challenging journey for many couples. For those who have explored conventional medical treatments and still haven't achieved their desired results, complementary therapies like acupuncture offer a promising avenue to enhance fertility. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intriguing world of acupuncture and female infertility, shedding light on how this ancient practice can provide hope and solutions to those striving to become parents.

Understanding Female Infertility

Before we embark on the remarkable journey of acupuncture as a solution for female infertility, it's crucial to comprehend the underlying factors that contribute to this condition. Female infertility can stem from a multitude of causes, ranging from hormonal imbalances and structural abnormalities to lifestyle factors and age-related issues such as poor egg quality.

Hormonal Imbalances: Hormones play a pivotal role in a woman's reproductive system. Irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and other hormonal imbalances can hinder ovulation and reduce the chances of conception.

Structural Abnormalities: Conditions such as endometriosis (endometriosis can be present without causing structural issues), uterine fibroids, and blocked fallopian tubes can obstruct the normal functioning of the female reproductive system. In the case of endometriosis, the tubes can be open and functioning, but infertility can persist as a result of inflammatory proteins that make their way into the uterus itself. This creates an environment in which an embryo cannot thrive. While it’s true that some women with endometriosis can and do conceive, most do not.

Lifestyle Factors: Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and high stress levels, can adversely affect fertility.

Age-Related Decline: As women age, their fertility naturally decreases, with a significant decline observed after the age of 35.

Addressing female infertility necessitates a comprehensive approach, and acupuncture has emerged as a holistic therapy that complements conventional medical treatments.

The Role of Acupuncture in Enhancing Fertility

Acupuncture is an integral component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that dates back thousands of years. When it comes to treating fertility issues, acupuncture offers several key benefits.

Regulating Hormones: Acupuncture can help restore hormonal balance in the body, which is crucial for regular menstrual cycles and ovulation.

Enhancing Blood Flow: Improved blood circulation to the reproductive organs can create a more conducive environment for conception, as well as improved egg quality.

Reducing Stress: High stress levels can negatively impact fertility. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

The Research on Acupuncture and Female Infertility

Scientific research into the efficacy of acupuncture in treating female infertility has yielded promising results. Numerous studies have explored the impact of acupuncture on various aspects of fertility, and the findings are encouraging.

Improved Pregnancy Rates: Some studies show that acupuncture can increase pregnancy rates for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) [1][2].

Enhanced Ovulation: Acupuncture has been associated with improved ovulation in women with irregular menstrual cycles [3].

Reduced Stress Levels: Lower stress levels can contribute to a more favorable environment for conception, and acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety [4].

Better Blood Flow: Improved blood circulation to the uterus and ovaries can promote better egg quality and uterine lining [5].

Incorporating Acupuncture into Your Fertility Journey

If you're considering acupuncture as part of your fertility treatment plan, it's essential to collaborate with a qualified and experienced acupuncturist who specializes in reproductive health. They can develop a personalized treatment strategy based on your specific needs and medical history.

Acupuncture sessions are scheduled regularly two times weekly, until pregnancy is achieved. At The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, we continue to treat once pregnancy is confirmed for thirteen weeks. This is because 90% of miscarriages occur within twelve weeks. If we can get our pregnant patients to thirteen weeks, there is a high probability that miscarriage will not ensue.


Female infertility is a challenging and emotionally charged issue for many individuals and couples. While conventional medical treatments offer solutions, acupuncture presents a holistic and complementary approach to enhancing fertility. It can address hormonal imbalances, improve blood flow, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being, potentially increasing the chances of conception and reducing the potential for miscarriage.

Acupuncture is not a standalone solution, just like IVF is not, and its effectiveness may vary from person to person again, like IVF.  However, the growing body of research and positive experiences of many individuals suggest that acupuncture can be a valuable addition to your fertility journey.

In this quest for greater fertility, it's essential to maintain an open dialogue with your healthcare providers and explore various options that resonate with your values and preferences. Acupuncture, as part of a comprehensive approach, may provide the extra support you need on your path to parenthood.


Andersen, D., Lossl, K., Nyboe Andersen, A., Furbringer, J., Bach, H., Simonsen, J., ... & Ingerslev, H. J. (2010). Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial. Fertility and Sterility, 94(4), 1159-1163.

Zhang, R., Feng, X. J., Guan, Q., Cui, W., Zhao, H., Hu, S., ... & Zheng, W. (2019). Effect of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization: An updated systematic review and data mining. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 42, 164-171.

Stener-Victorin, E., Waldenstrom, U., Andersson, S. A., Wikland, M., & Nilsson, L. (1996). A prospective randomized study of electro-acupuncture versus alfentanil as anaesthesia during oocyte aspiration in in-vitro fertilization. Human Reproduction, 11(6), 1314-1318.

Manheimer, E., Zhang, G., Udoff, L., Haramati, A., Langenberg, P., Berman, B. M., & Bouter, L. M. (2011). Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilization: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 336(7643), 545-549.

So, E. W., Ng, E. H., Wong, Y. Y., Lau, E. Y., Yeung, W. S., & Ho, P. C. (2009). A randomized double blind comparison of real and placebo acupuncture in IVF treatment. Human Reproduction, 24(2), 341-348.