Some good reasons why you should think about having acupuncture before and during your IVF cycle

There are several good reasons why you should think about having acupuncture before and during your IVF cycle

……..or maybe why you shouldn’t !



Spoiler alert …..

If you are young, and healthy and doing IVF only because of male factor or blocked tubes, acupuncture might not benefit you as much as it could other IVF patients.

UNLESS you are feeling a bit stressed about the whole thing, then you should definitely consider it.

Here is all the latest information about Acupuncture and IVF Read More

Chinese herbal medicine Guizhi Fuling Formula for treatment of uterine fibroids: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials

Ni-Ni Chen et al, BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14: 2.

This review examined 38 RCTs and nearly 4000 patients with fibroids. They were treated with mifepristone alone or in combination with a well known Chinese herbal formula.

The meta-analyses demonstrated that Guizhi Fuling Formula plus mifepristone was more effective than mifepristone alone in reducing the volume of fibroids, and the herbal formula significantly improved symptoms of pain when it was used alone or in combination with mifepristone. Further clinical trials are warranted to confirm these findings. Read More

Acupuncture and IVF – Advice to Patients

IVF Acupuncture research can be a little confusing, as much of the research has focused on treatment applied only at the time of embryo transfer. There has been quite a journey with IVF acupuncture research and while the initial studies looked at embryo transfer acupuncture, more recent research now suggests higher dose acupuncture prior to and during the IVF cycle may be of most benefit. Here we clarify what research suggests in terms of IVF Acupuncture to optimise psychological and physiological benefits. We have put together recommendations on the acupuncture treatments that may help optimise your IVF cycle by drawing on the most recent research findings (including a 2019 Meta-analysis, 2018 randomized controlled trials and 2016 Retrospective Cohort study).

Our research-based recommendations aim to clarify:

  1. When to start acupuncture and how many sessions may be of benefit
  2. Considerations surrounding Embryo Transfer Acupuncture and acupuncture in the wait between embryo transfer and pregnancy blood test.

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Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning

Cochrane S et al,  Evid Based Comp and Alt Med, 2016, Article ID 3587569, 11 pages

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine


Acupuncture as a modality to improve fertility in women who had been trying to conceive for a year or more without success, was assessed in this pragmatic RCT. It shows that women receiving acupuncture tend to conceive more rapidly than those in a control group who followed lifestyle advice. Read More

8 things you should know about the uterine lining, and 6 things you can do to support it


Embryo Preparing to Implant

Embryo Preparing to Implant

The implantation of an embryo in the uterus is a crucial early step in establishing a successful pregnancy.

Here we are talking about the first few steps of life ………

This is a hatching blastocyst, ready to find its implantation site and begin life in its new home for the next 9 months.

You can see how busy this little embryo has been just getting this far by clicking here!


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Acupuncture and IVF outcomes? Dose matters.

This article is a response to recently published research (Journal of American Medical Association 2018) on outcomes for IVF patients having acupuncture.

One of our practitioners (Amy Forth) discusses this study done by personnel working at Western Sydney University and various IVF clinics in Australia and New Zealand into the effectiveness of acupuncture in relation to IVF success.

The trial, which recruited 800 IVF patients in many different IVF clinics, created an international media response; most articles had titles like this one (from The Conversation).  “Acupuncture during IVF doesn’t increase chances of having a baby” which is quite misleading.

We would like to point out that the results of this study do not reflect clinical results, and contradict some of the other IVF and acupuncture studies published in recent years.

What this recent study shows us, importantly, is that DOSE matters!

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How to improve the Uterine Lining

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 3.55.49 PMSource;

The Acupuncture Pregnancy Clinic


IVF has taken us as far as it can with embryo quality now that screening of embryos with PGS is becoming routine. Yet only half of chromosomally normal embryos implant to become a viable pregnancy. Our attention must turn towards the uterus and the receptivity of its lining, the endometrium. Chinese medicine may be able to lead the way with helpful interventions to improve the quality of the lining.

A short slide presentation outlines some of our treatment strategies and our reasons for focusing on these.


Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation improves outcomes of in vitro fertilization by increasing neuropeptide Y levels: A RCT

1-s2.0-S1876382015X00023-cov150hFan Qu et al, EuJIM, 2015 Vol 7, Suppl 1, p 18

European Journal of Integrative Medicine,

Electrical stimulation of acupuncture points (TEAS) has been shown to improve success rates of frozen embryo transfer cycles in previous clinical trials, with evidence of improvement in the structure of the uterine lining. In this large RCT the levels of a certain neuropeptide (NPY) was increased in the follicles of IVF patients who received electro-stimulation (frequency alternating 2/100Hz) and in the same women, the pregnancy rate was significantly improved. Other stimulation freqencies did not alter the neuropeptide Y levels or the pregnancy rate.

Read More

The Low Cost PCOS clinic

adelaide conferenceSource: AACMA National Conference, Adelaide, May 2015


The low cost PCOS clinic at Westmead was presented at the AACMA National Conference this year as a model of a public health initiative, by Jaclyn McDonald (Westmead manager) and Jane Lyttleton (Director). This model has generated a lot of interest, and will be the platform for new research initiatives at UWS. Analysis of PCOS patients attending the clinic shows a large majority with improved menstrual cycles, and fertility.

Gynecology in Chinese Medicine

Source: PMPH.  You Jiao Ling, Jane Lyttleton 2015

People’s Medical Publishing House is China’s preeminent publisher of texts in Science and Medicine. Recently they have released a series of texts for Chinese medicine students and doctors, written by experts in the field. This text is written by Dr You, a renowned gynaecologist, in collaboration with Jane Lyttleton.

Jade Formulas Chapter 1

Source: Golden Mirror Publishing, USA
Jane Lyttleton

The chapters in this manual describe the various Jade formulas (sold in the States); the first chapter presents in detail the herbs traditionally used in clinics in China for helping women who are having difficulty conceiving. It was written for TCM doctors in North America who use Kan formulas. These formulas are prescribed to follow closely the different stages of the menstrual cycle. While it is common to use Chinese herbal treatment in China, in the West we await further trials before any claims of efficacy can be made for fertility treatment with herbal medicine.

If you are a TCM practitioner and would like to see a PDF version of this chapter or the entire manual please contact ChinaBooks.