Acupuncture for IVF: Enhancing Your Path to Parenthood in Encinitas


At Be+Well in Encinitas, we understand the profound desire to start a family and the challenges that can accompany the journey to parenthood. Whether you’re just beginning to explore fertility options or you’re in the midst of assisted reproductive treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), our team of compassionate practitioners is here to provide comprehensive support every step of the way. 

Combining the ancient wisdom of acupuncture with modern reproductive medicine, we offer a holistic approach to fertility care that is tailored to your individual needs. If you’re looking for fertility acupuncture treatment in Encinitas and the greater San Diego area our practice is here to provide you with evidence-based support.

Fertility Acupuncture: A Proven Ally for IVF Success

For many couples, the journey to parenthood involves exploring assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Research suggests that acupuncture, when used in conjunction with IVF, can significantly increase the chances of success. Studies have shown that acupuncture can decrease miscarriage rates by 65% when performed alongside IVF treatment. Additionally, fertility acupuncture has been found to be beneficial in cases of threatened miscarriage, thanks to its positive effects on serum cortisol and prolactin levels.

Regulating the Immune System: A Key to Conception

The immune system plays a crucial role in fertility, and an overactive immune response can hinder conception and increase the risk of pregnancy loss. Fertility acupuncture can help regulate the immune system, improving the chances of a successful pregnancy. By addressing immune system imbalances, acupuncture creates a more supportive environment for conception and implantation.

Stress Reduction: Creating the Ideal Conditions for Conception

The journey through fertility treatments can be incredibly stressful, taking a toll on both the body and mind. Acupuncture offers a natural way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, the body releases endorphins, natural chemicals that promote feelings of well-being and relaxation. Acupuncture may stimulate the production of opioids -the natural opiates of the brain, which may decrease biological stress.This can be especially beneficial during the emotional ups and downs of an IVF cycle, helping to support both mental and physical health.

Fertility acupuncture aims to restore balance and harmony to the body by stimulating specific acupuncture points along the meridians. By doing so, acupuncture can:

  • Regulate the menstrual cycle: Acupuncture has been shown to regulate hormonal levels and promote regular ovulation, which is essential for conception.
  • Enhance ovarian function: By increasing blood flow to the ovaries and promoting the development of healthy follicles, acupuncture can improve ovarian function and egg quality.
  • Support embryo implantation: Acupuncture may enhance the receptivity of the uterine lining, making it more conducive to embryo implantation and early pregnancy.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety: The emotional toll of infertility and fertility treatments can be significant. Acupuncture offers a natural way to reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can have a positive impact on fertility outcomes.
  • Decrease inflammation: Chronic inflammation has been linked to infertility and pregnancy complications. Acupuncture has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the reproductive system, improving overall fertility.

Timing Is Key: When to Schedule Your Acupuncture Sessions

To maximize the benefits of fertility acupuncture, it’s recommended to begin treatment at least three months before starting IVF. This allows time for the body to respond to acupuncture and optimize fertility. Additionally, research suggests that acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer can significantly increase the chances of pregnancy. Treatment during this critical window supports follicular development, thickens the endometrial lining, and promotes implantation.

Understanding the Dosage: How Much Acupuncture Is Needed for Success

Just like any medication, the dosage of acupuncture matters, especially during an IVF cycle. Research indicates that the frequency and timing of acupuncture sessions can impact treatment outcomes. For example, a systematic review and meta-analysis found that multiple acupuncture treatments around the time of embryo transfer increased the clinical pregnancy rates. However, treatments performed the day after transfer showed no additional benefit.

Based on current research and clinical experience, we recommend the following approach to acupuncture during an IVF cycle:

Preconception Care:

Plan for 2-3 months of weekly acupuncture sessions before beginning both stimulated and non-stimulated IVF cycles. Focus on preparing the body through Chinese dietary therapy, lifestyle changes, and supplementation.

Acupuncture Throughout Your IVF Cycle:

  • Receive weekly acupuncture sessions from day one of your IVF cycle to support follicular development and endometrial lining thickening.
  • Schedule treatments 48-72 hours post egg retrieval to reduce pain and bloating.
  • Have acupuncture sessions pre and post egg transfer, ideally within 24 hours of the transfer, to optimize outcomes.
  • During the two-week wait, continue with weekly acupuncture sessions to support implantation and promote relaxation.

Research Supporting Acupuncture for IVF

Numerous studies have investigated the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for IVF, with promising results. A meta-analysis published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture performed on the day of embryo transfer significantly increased the clinical pregnancy rate compared to IVF alone. A large systematic review of past studies found that acupuncture + IVF increased the odds of clinical pregnancy by 65% compared with just IVF alone.

Furthermore, a study conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University found that women who underwent acupuncture alongside IVF had a significantly higher implantation rate and clinical pregnancy rate compared to those who did not receive acupuncture.

Practical Tips for Incorporating Acupuncture into Your IVF Journey

If you’re considering adding acupuncture to your IVF treatment plan, here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

  • Start early: It’s recommended to begin acupuncture treatments at least three months before starting IVF to allow time for the body to respond to treatment and optimize fertility.
  • Find a qualified practitioner: Look for a licensed acupuncturist with experience in fertility and reproductive health. They can work alongside your reproductive endocrinologist to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to acupuncture. Aim to schedule regular treatments leading up to and during your IVF cycle to maximize the benefits.
  • Communicate with your fertility team: Keep your fertility doctor informed about your decision to incorporate acupuncture into your treatment plan. They can provide guidance and ensure that acupuncture complements your medical care.
  • Practice self-care: In addition to acupuncture, prioritize self-care practices such as meditation, yoga, and healthy nutrition to support your overall well-being during the IVF process.

At Be+Well in Encinitas, we specialize in helping women and families navigate fertility and pregnancy. Our compassionate team of practitioners works alongside reproductive endocrinologists to provide comprehensive support at every stage of your fertility journey. If you’re interested in learning more about how acupuncture can enhance your IVF experience and increase your chances of success, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with our team. 

Together, we’ll create a holistic treatment plan designed to optimize your fertility and support your path to parenthood.


  1. The effects of acupuncture on pregnancy outcomes of in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis –
  2. Effectiveness of acupuncture on pregnancy success rates for women undergoing in vitro fertilization: A randomized controlled trial –
  3. Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: systematic review and meta-analysis –
  4. Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy –
  5. Impact of Whole Systems Traditional Chinese Medicine on In Vitro Fertilization Outcomes –
  6. The relationship between perceived stress, acupuncture, and pregnancy rates among IVF patients: a pilot study –