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At Chadderton Acupuncture, we have many happy couples who progressed from not be able to conceive to either natural conception or IVF, and then to healthy pregnancy and child birth. We also have a number of clients who were considering an IVF cycle; however the acupuncture treatments helped them conceive naturally without the assistance of artificial fertilisation.

It has been reported that fertility issues affected one in six couples in the UK, and the number of couples seeking medical help to have a family has risen dramatically over the past 30 years [1]. A cause of subfertility is not identified in 30% of couples. In a further 27% of couples, the cause is attributed to ovulatory disorders; in 14% of couples to tubal damage. A low sperm count or quality is thought to contribute to infertility in 19% of couples. The presence of disorders in both the man and the woman has been reported to occur in about 39% of cases [2].

Women today are delaying having children for many reasons – establishing their career, waiting to be able to afford the right house, finding the right partner – and this is having a big impact on fertility levels. Fertility gradually declines in the 30s, particularly after the age of 35. For every 100 fertile 30-year-old women trying to get pregnant in 1 cycle, 20 will be successful and the other 80 will have to try again. By the age of 40, a woman’s chance is less than 5% per cycle, so fewer than 5 out of every 100 women are expected to be successful each month [3].
Men are also having children later, although this doesn’t have such a big impact as for women. The big story in men is the dramatic decrease in sperm quality. Up to a fifth of young men today have a low sperm count , and the number of sperm in each millilitre of semen has halved between World War Two and 1992, while abnormal sperm is on the rise. It is clear why this is happening, although some studies suggest that a combination of different chemicals found in everyday packaging and toiletries, may be having an impact [4].
Infertility can be due to problems in the man in 40% of cases, the woman in 40% of cases, a combination of both partners or in some cases, no identified reason in 20% of cases [5].

Acupuncture treatment of patients with fertility issues has gained popularity over the past decade. In China, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is well integrated into Orthodox medicine, and acupuncture is often administered in hospitals. In the West, integrative approaches are extremely underused, and acupuncture is often the only easily accessible and reliable evidence-based therapy on what patients can increase their chances of conception [6].

The underlying principle of acupuncture is that the body's major organs use energy pathways (meridians) to communicate and that malaise occurs whenever communication breaks down. Acupuncture can enhance your chance of conception through balancing Yin and Yang and the vital energy Qi flow through the body meridians. When the reproductive health is a concern, acupuncture:
increases blood flow to the ovaries and uterus;
potentially increasing egg quality and quantity;
reduces stress, anxiety and depression;
balances hormones, including gonadotrophin secretion [7].

Eric W. Manheimer (PhD, an internationally recognized researcher in the field of systematic reviews and complementary medicine) published a review of the effect of acupuncture on IVF treatment in the British Medical Journal in 2008. The report was based on seven studies and found that acupuncture could increase the success of pregnancy by 65% [8]. It is an incredible figure when compared with many other available and researched therapies.

It takes over 6 months for the follicles to develop from the dormant stage to the ovulation. It takes 3 months for a new sperm to mature.
During the preparation stage, regular acupuncture treatments may improve the follicular development by increasing the blood flow to the ovaries and improve hormone balance, especially in the 6 months prior to ovulation/egg retrieval. Acupuncture helps at every stage of the IVF treatment process, yet it is best to start your therapy earlier.
In addition, acupuncture can help relieve some of the side effects of the medications taken while undergoing IVF, beneficial during pregnancy for morning sickness and breech presentation, and can help to induce labour naturally.
Finally, acupuncture treatment can help reduce the severity of pre-existing conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis, or male factor infertility.

This is also the perfect time to discuss with the acupuncturist your lifestyle changes that can greatly influence the success rate of the IVF treatment.


1. ‘Infertility is a rising problem’ by Dr R. Leonard, Daily Mail, September 2015.
2. Fertility: Assessment and Treatment for People with Fertility Problems Fertility. NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 11, National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (UK). London (UK): RCOG Press; 2004 Feb.
3. Age and fertility: A guide for patients. American Society of Reproductive Medicine, 2012.
4. Carlsen E., Giwercman A., Keilding N., et al. Evidence for decreasing quality of semen during past 50 years, BMJ, 1992, 305: 609-613.
5. Kumar N., Singh A.K., Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: A review of literature. Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, 2015 Oct-Dec; 8(4), pp. 191–196).
6. Szmelskij I., Aquilina L., Acupuncture for IVF and Assisted Reproduction, Elsevier, London, 2015, p.17).
7. Physiological function of acupuncture, Cochrane review, 2007.
8. Manheimer E., Zhang G., Udoff L., et al., Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis, BMJ. 2008 Mar 8; 336(7643): 545–549).

Ella has undertaken postgraduate training in acupuncture for male and female fertility with the famous acupuncturist Jani White
Ella developed a comprehensive “fertility” protocol, where together with acupuncture she includes counselling in nutrition for both partners helping couples become healthier, more balanced, and more fertile. At Chadderton Acupuncture, we offer
Fertility Health Screening that is worth while considering.

Chadderton Acupuncture 2008-2021 |

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