‘Acupuncture may help increase IVF success rates by 65%’

-The Guardian February 2008. www.guardian.co.uk

We understand IVF, and what IVF means for you physically, emotionally and financially. Our approach is to use acupuncture, diet, and lifestyle advice, to try to give you the best possible chance of getting pregnant.

What Bristol Acupuncture Practice offer

Both Deb and Al have a special interest and training in acupuncture for fertility and gynaecology, and have valuable experience in helping with stress and anxiety. We use special treatments during IVF down regulation, follicle stimulation, egg collection, the day of transfer, and around implantation. We will always take your emotions, stress levels and general health into consideration. So you can feel confident that when it comes to IVF you will be treated in the right way at the right time.

Plan Ahead

If you can, plan ahead. What happens to your health today affects how fertile you will be in 3 months time. A woman’s eggs take 90 –120 days to mature, and a man’s sperm has a similar growth cycle. It makes sense to be treated over  a 3 month period, so as to be in the best reproductive health when you have your IVF treatment.

However, if you have missed this window do not worry. In The Paulus clinical trial (see below), the women all using IVF had only 2 acupuncture sessions, at the time of transfer. This gave them a 62% increase  in pregnancy rate  compared to women that had IVF but no acupuncture.


Many couples find Assisted Reproductive Treatments  an emotional rollercoaster.  There can be seemingly endless appointments, endless waiting, and  pressure on sex life. We use acupuncture to help you de-stress. We also give support and lifestyle advice, to help it all go as smoothly as possible.

How many treatments?

We recommend you have treatment weekly for 3 to 4 weeks, then either continue weekly or move to fortnightly treatments. We will discuss with you what you want, and what you can afford in terms of money and time. For women, having acupuncture at least fortnightly means that you will be treated at 2 different phases of your menstrual cycle. This allows us the possibility of tailoring acupuncture to the different needs of your body during your cycle.

It takes two

Healthier sperm means a better chance of IVF being successful, so we always recommend men get their sperm checked, and have acupuncture if needed. See  Male Fertility

If you get pregnant

You may want to continue acupuncture treatment if you become pregnant. Research shows acupuncture helps with reducing the risk of miscarriage . (Link to research  on new pregnancy page coming soon)

In the German study (Paulus,2002)

The women were divided into 2 groups of 80, both of which recieved convetional IVF treatment. The first group recieved no acupuncture. The women in the other group were given 2 acupuncture treatments, one just before and one just after embrio transfer. The results were that 26.3% of the women who had no acupuncture became pregnant, whereas 42.5% of the women who had the 2 treatments of acupuncture combined with IVF got pregnant. This is a 62% increase in pregnancies for the acupuncture group.

Dr. Nancy Synderman, a surgeon and pediatrician, commented:

“There is no doubt, because this was a very well-done study and it was reported in a very highly regarded medical journal, that doctors will sit up and pay attention to it. This is the first time we may have had a serious marriage between an art and science that is so many, many years old, and what is really cutting-edge technology.”

German acupuncture and IVF Study, Paulus(2002)