Acupuncturists have known for quite some time, that acupuncture can increase rates of conception, whether you’re just thinking about trying, actively trying, or using assisted reproductive therapies. Now that studies on the subject are becoming more common and frequent, we are able to see confirmation of what we have known for years.

A study, completed in China, was published in January this year. The objective was to observe the effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on ovarian function and pregnancy results of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in patients with decline in ovarian reserve (DOR). This meant that a protocol of acupuncture, based on different phases of the menstrual cycle, was given to half of the study’s 63 participants, in the time leading up to their embryo transfers. The other half were treated with the same IVF/ICSI (sperm injection) technology but no acupuncture.

To expand on the concept of “cycle-based acupuncture therapy”, this means that during the four phases of the menstrual cycle (each with their own hormonal and physiological intricacies) acupuncture points are chosen based on the physiological and hormonal objectives and needs of that phase in the cycle. The women in the acupuncture group of this study were seen twice per week for treatment. From there, the acupuncture point selection was based on the time in her menstrual cycle and the stage of the IVF process she was currently in.

There were several comparisons made between the two groups of women

  • ovarian reserve function
  • basic follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), Estradiol (E2) and Antral follicle count (AFC)
  • Number of retrieved oocytes (eggs)
  • Rate of successful fertilization
  • Number of high quality embryo

The Outcomes of IVF embryo transfers were also compared

  • Cycle cancellation rate
  • Implantation rate
  • Clinical pregnancy rate

The results showed that E2, AFC, the number of retrieved oocytes, the number of high quality embryo and the success of fertilization were all increased in the group who received acupuncture. Also, the implantation rate and clinical pregnancy rate were increased and the cycle cancellation rate was reduced.

The conclusion was that “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” can effectively improve the ovarian reserve function in decreased ovarian reserve patients, leading to an improved clinical pregnancy rate of IVF-ET.

Source: Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2016 Jan;36(1):25-8.
[Effects of “menstrual cycle-based acupuncture therapy” on IVF-ET in patients with decline in ovarian reserve].
Zhou L, Xia Y, Ma X, Tang L, Lu J, Tang Q, Wang Y


It could also be said that if a woman has decreased ovarian reserve and/or poor egg quality, she could increase her chances of conception with acupuncture treatments, without the need for IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies. In other words, she may be able to conceive naturally using acupuncture.

For more information on acupuncture for fertility or to book your complimentary 30 minute consultation, please fill out the form here.

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Michelle Kapler
Michelle Kapler
When I’m not working, you can find me knitting socks, writing for my blog, eating oysters that my husband has lovingly shucked, creating and co-creating meals for loved ones or hanging out with my Herbal Medicine Textbooks and and a very specifically pulled espresso.
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  • Ana Rojas

    Hi. I’m 45 i have 4 lovely sons is a boys but i wanth to try the last pregnancy after i has L4 Spain surgery approximately next year and the pilll i take know i don’t have period so, i don’t know jow is my period now if is good or not and hoe is my ovulation to have the chance get pregnancy,wath i can do let me know .
    Thank you
    Ana Rojas

    • Michelle Kapler

      HI Ana,

      Wow! It sounds like you have been through a lot!
      There is a lot you can do with acupuncture and herbs to help restore your period and balance your hormones. If you would like to chat, I offer a free 30 minute consultation. Please fill out the form here –

      All the best,

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