Acupuncture and Fertility/Infertility: How it Actually Works

Let’s dive deep into acupuncture for fertility and how it actually works when used to treat infertility and supplement IVF.

As we grow more technologically advanced, one would think that fertility issues would dissipate or at the very least, lessen. Such is not the case; in fact, more people are having issues conceiving.

People are spending thousands of dollars on in vitro fertilization (IVF), freezing their eggs and more – with little to no result. This can get both expensive and frustrating. It’s taxing on both your wallet and psyche.

Sometimes instead of looking that far ahead, all you have to do is glance back. For centuries acupuncture and eastern medicine has helped women get pregnant. Even if you are using IVF or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), we can help!

How does acupuncture help with conceiving a baby?

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are wonderful at balancing the cycle and hormones, which helps optimize your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby – truly!

Acupuncture has been proven to have a powerful effect on the reproductive system, alone or in conjunction with western medicine. Acupuncture can help regulate the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis (HPOA) which is known as the system that controls female reproduction.

Understanding acupuncture and fertility

Can acupuncture help with fertility?

Acupuncture is incredibly effective at addressing a wide array of women’s health and fertility issues related to the HPOA. It has been shown to:

  • Improve success rates of IVF
  • Decrease uterine contractility
  • Decrease chances of miscarriage
  • Regulate the menstrual cycle
  • Improve egg quality
  • Improve uterine lining
  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
  • Regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis
  • Reduce stress linked to fertility problems
  • Improve sperm count and motility
  • Increase testicular blood flow

What this all means

Acupuncture assists the body in regulating the hormones that need to be balanced in order to produce an increased number of follicles, better quality eggs, and a normal LH surge to release a mature egg. It increases the blood flow to the uterus and increases the thickness of the uterine lining to improve implantation rates.

Acupuncture also relaxes the nervous system and decreases stress levels to dramatically improve chances of pregnancy. If annovulation exists due to immune issues, acupuncture can regulate the immune system and help restore hormonal balance and ovulation.

What causes infertility?

There are a combination of issues that can lead to infertility and they can come from both the female or the male side. According to the Mayo Clinic, for pregnancy to occur, every step of the human reproduction process has to happen correctly. The steps in this process are:

  • One of the two ovaries releases a mature egg.
  • The egg is picked up by the fallopian tube.
  • Sperm swim up the cervix, through the uterus and into the fallopian tube to reach the egg for fertilization.
  • The fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus.
  • The fertilized egg implants and grows in the uterus.
  • In women, a number of factors can disrupt this process at any step. Female infertility is caused by one or more of the factors below:
    • Ovulation disorders, meaning you ovulate infrequently or not at all, account for infertility in about 1 in 4 infertile couples. Problems with the regulation of reproductive hormones by the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland, or problems in the ovary, can cause ovulation disorders.
      • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS causes a hormone imbalance, which affects ovulation. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and obesity, abnormal hair growth on the face or body, and acne. It’s the most common cause of female infertility.
      • Hypothalamic dysfunction. Two hormones produced by the pituitary gland are responsible for stimulating ovulation each month — follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Excess physical or emotional stress, a very high or very low body weight, or a recent substantial weight gain or loss can disrupt production of these hormones and affect ovulation. Irregular or absent periods are the most common signs.
      • Premature ovarian failure. Also called primary ovarian insufficiency, this disorder is usually caused by an autoimmune response or by premature loss of eggs from your ovary (possibly from genetics or chemotherapy). The ovary no longer produces eggs, and it lowers estrogen production in women under the age of 40.
      • Too much prolactin. The pituitary gland may cause excess production of prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), which reduces estrogen production and may cause infertility. Usually related to a pituitary gland problem, this can also be caused by medications you’re taking for another disease.
    • Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes keep sperm from getting to the egg or block the passage of the fertilized egg into the uterus. Causes of fallopian tube damage or blockage can include:
      • Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes due to chlamydia, gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted infections
      • Previous surgery in the abdomen or pelvis, including surgery for ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg implants and develops in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus
      • Pelvic tuberculosis, a major cause of tubal infertility worldwide, although uncommon in the United States
    • Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally grows in the uterus implants and grows in other locations. This extra tissue growth — and the surgical removal of it — can cause scarring, which may block fallopian tubes and keep an egg and sperm from uniting.
      • Endometriosis can also affect the lining of the uterus, disrupting implantation of the fertilized egg. The condition also seems to affect fertility in less-direct ways, such as damage to the sperm or egg.
    • Several uterine or cervical causes can impact fertility by interfering with implantation or increasing the likelihood of a miscarriage:
      • Benign polyps or tumors (fibroids or myomas) are common in the uterus. Some can block fallopian tubes or interfere with implantation, affecting fertility. However, many women who have fibroids or polyps do become pregnant.
      • Endometriosis scarring or inflammation within the uterus can disrupt implantation.
      • Uterine abnormalities present from birth, such as an abnormally shaped uterus, can cause problems becoming or remaining pregnant.
      • Cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the cervix, can be caused by an inherited malformation or damage to the cervix.
      • Sometimes the cervix can’t produce the best type of mucus to allow the sperm to travel through the cervix into the uterus.

As you can see, there are a lot of steps in order to get pregnant and for some couples, it can be incredibly difficult when one or more of the aforementioned issues pop up. Although frustrating, sometimes Western medicine finds it completely inexplicable.

Acupuncture combined with fertility treatments shows significant results!

Like we said earlier, acupuncture can increase fertility by reducing stress, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing the endocrine system, according to several studies and medical research. The end goal is to not just get pregnant, but to also stay pregnant. Our services help with both. With life’s stressors and women getting pregnant later and later, there are more and more issues with fertility. This is where acupuncture comes in!

Let’s see some numbers

How Effective is Acupuncture for Fertility?

When used in conjunction with western fertility treatments, acupuncture increases conception rates by 26%.

A recent study from Tel Aviv University reports: “When combining IUI with TCM treatments, 65.5 percent of the test group were able to conceive, compared with 39.4 percent of the control group, who received no herbal or acupuncture therapy.”

There are 4.5 million couples experiencing fertility worldwide each year. Acupuncture may be just what the doctor ordered – especially for those experiencing infertility in “geriatric pregnancies” – AKA pregnancies over 35 years of age.

Due to the broad recognition of acupuncture among established health professionals as the leading treatment for common ailments, healthcare organizations across the world are actively seeking trained acupuncturists with backgrounds in biomedicine and holistic healing. We are happy to be a part of the holistic elite!


Get in touch

We are happy to say, Wellnest Acupuncture + Holistic Medicine in Denver, Colorado has a high success rate with fertility patients. If you are trying to get pregnant or are interested in acupuncture and fertility and are interested in acupuncture in Denver, schedule an appointment with us here.

We will work with you on your nutrition, lifestyle, and discuss herbs and supplements that are safe to take during the different stages of pregnancy.

During your first visit, we will take about an hour and a half to discuss your medical history, lab results, lifestyle, diet, menstrual cycle details and dive into your first fertility acupuncture treatment.

All follow-up visits are approximately one hour. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you on your pregnancy journey!

Looking for a Denver acupuncture clinic to help you with all of your general health, mental health, chronic pain, fertility, gynecological, facial acupuncture, or digestive needs?

Contact Wellnest Acupuncture + Holistic Medicine at 720.618.0770 or book an appointment online.

Acupuncture for Migraine and Headache Relief

Acupuncture for Migraine and Headache Relief

While some headaches are just mild annoyances, a bad episode can make you want to curl up and hide for days. And while headaches are common, they’re not normal. This frustrating pain is your body’s way of letting you know that you’re off-balance, and need to regain your equilibrium.

read more
Can Acupuncture Help with Hypothyroidism?

Can Acupuncture Help with Hypothyroidism?

Our bodies are all a bit like Goldilocks, especially when it comes to thyroid hormone levels. Too much, and the system goes into overdrive. Too little, and the body can’t keep up with its normal daily functions. But when the levels are just right, we’re ready to take on the world.

read more
Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Acupuncture for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Living with IBS often means living with one eye always on the nearest bathroom sign. Aside from the typical abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating, the sudden and urgent changes in your bowel movements leave you feeling anxious and unable to live in the moment.

read more