Incorporating acupuncture as an integrative modality is a safe,
natural and effective way to support your efforts in growing your family.
At Thomas Acupuncture & Wellness, we provide pre & post support for IVF and IUI as well as support natural conception. Our goal is to work in partnership with reproductive specialist to strengthen the system to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
We create a specialized program using a combination of acupuncture treatment, food and dietary therapy and lifestyle recommendations to support optimal success.
Fertility acupuncture treatment also offers support for male fertility, prenatal lymphatic massage and counseling for fertility.
Video credit: The Fertility Foundation, compiled by Irina Szmelski, L.Ac, that summarizes some of the benefits of acupuncture for fertility.
Pre & Post Support for IVF & IUI
Clinical studies have shown that when acupuncture treatment is used in conjunction with fertility treatments, conception rates increase by 26%. Our treatment plan is designed to support during the IVF and IUI and work in partnership with physicians to strengthen the entire system. Our plan includes acupuncture treatment, food & dietary therapy, lifestyle recommendations, and herbal medicine when appropriate. Treatment is recommended to begin 1-3 months before progressing to IUI, IVF or donor-egg transfer and encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre and post embryo transfer.
Fertility Acupuncture Benefits Include:
Enhance egg quality and ovarian reserve, helping to produce healthier eggs during IVF1
Increase blood circulation to developing follicles1
Increases blood flow to the uterus, helping the body create a healthy and thickening the uterine lining, which improves the chances of an ovum implanting on the uterine wall.1
Decrease IVF side effects3
Lower stress: high levels of stress hormones such as cortisol have been shown to have a negative effect on fertility by influencing the HPO (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian) axis2
Magerelli P et al Fertil Steril 2009 Dec:92(6): 1870-1879
Domar A Fertil Steril 2009 Mar:91(3): 723-7263
Anecdotal clinical evidence
We know that male infertility is manifested in many ways. Studies show that while 50% of the time infertility is due to female factors, 50% of the time it is due to male factors and 10% of the time the result is of a combination of both women and men.
Male infertility can be due to a number of factors, including abnormal spermatogenesis; reproductive tract anomalies or obstruction; inadequate sexual and ejaculatory functions; and impaired sperm motility (Patki 2004; Isidori 2005; Dohle 2010). In 30-40% of men, no cause for infertility is found (Dohle 2010).
Factors that alter spermatogenesis include endocrine disturbances such as low testosterone levels, exposure to medicines or environmental toxins, varicocele, increased scrotal heat, systemic diseases, smoking and alcohol, and testicular torsion and trauma (Cherry 2001; Kunzle 2003; Shefi 2006; Arap 2007).
While there are many reasons for male infertility, acupuncture can help to achieve healthy pregnancies in conjunction with fertility treatment. Acupuncture treatment is aimed at improving sperm quality such as sperm count, sperm mobility and morphology of sperm, reducing inflammation and general health prior to conception and during the assisted fertility treatments.
If you are preparing to conceive and would like to better overall sperm quality,
10 treatment given over 5-10 weeks is recommended.
Acupuncture can also be used on the day of sperm donation to ease any anxiety.
What does the research say?
A number of studies have demonstrated the benefits of acupuncture on sperm quality:
When a group of infertile men received twice weekly acupuncture for 5 weeks, there was a general improvement in the sperm’s structural integrity and a statistically significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm with no structural defects. 
Another group of infertile men was divided randomly into an acupuncture group and a control group. The acupuncture group received 10 treatments over 5 weeks and demonstrated improved motility and morphology as compared to the control group. 
A study of acupuncture on infertile men—in fact, men with such extremely low sperm counts (or no sperm) that testicular biopsy would have been required to collect sperm for ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection, sometimes used in IVF)—demonstrated the efficacy of acupuncture in boosting sperm counts. After 10 treatments, the men who initially produced no sperm were able to produce sufficient sperm to no longer require testicular biopsy. 
A before and after study looked at the change in fertilization rates for IVF/ICSI procedures involving men with semen abnormalities and at least two previous poor outcomes with IVF/ICSI. After 8 treatments of acupuncture, fertilization rates increased from 40.2% to 66.2%. 
 Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Pei J et al Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7, Fertility and Sterility
 Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Siterman S et al Arch Androl. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61, Archives of Andrology
 Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Siterman S et al Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9., Andrologia
 Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. Zhang M et al J Huazhong Univ Sci Tech Med Sci. 2002;22(3):228-30
Arap MA et al. Late hormonal levels, semen parameters and presence of antisperm antibodies in patients treated for testicular torsion. J Androl 2007; 28: 528-32.
Cherry N et al. Occupational exposure to solvents and male infertility. Occup Environ Med 2001; 58: 635-40.
Dohle GR et al. Guidelines on male infertility. European Association of Urology; 2010.
Isidori A et al. Treatment of male infertility. Contraception 2005; 72: 314-8.
Kunzle R et al. Semen quality of male smokers and nonsmokers in infertile couples. Fertil Steril 2003; 79: 287-91.
Patki P et al. Effects of spinal cord injury on semen parameters. J Spinal Cord Med 2008; 31: 27-32.
Shefi S, Turek PJ. Definition and current evaluation of subfertile men. Int Braz J Urol 2006; 32:385-97.
Pregnancy and Postpartum
The body will experience a number of changes after childbirth and acupuncture during the postpartum period is important to help to return the body to a state of balance and optimal health. Food and dietary recommendation can be helpful to build lactation and in the healing of cesarean section scars. Postpartum acupuncture treatment is recommended once a week commencing from 4-6 weeks postpartum to promote stamina and efficient recovery.
Additional postpartum conditions that acupuncture help:
Balance Emotions: Postpartum Depression, Anxiety and "Baby Blues"