Acupuncture for IVF

Acupuncture has been used to optimize women's fertility for over 2000 years. Recent clinical studies show that using acupuncture for IVF can:

  • Optimize your chances of implantation and full-term births.
  • Reduce stress and help you relax before and during IVF.
  • Minimize symptoms associated with ART treatment.

Watch a short video on laser acupuncture for IVF treatment:

Our acupuncture treatment plans are based on evidence-based protocols and range from preconception programs to one or two treatments on the day of embryo transfer to a course of treatment that leads up to IVF transfer and continues after it. Along with traditional acupuncture, we use the most up-to-date laser and electro-acupuncture stimulation, both of which have been shown to increase overall pregnancy rates.

You and your Acubalance practitioner will discuss which plan best suits your needs. Studies suggest that acupuncture is more effective when done with increased frequency.

Below are some of our treatment options:

Acupuncture for IVF on the Day of Embryo Transfer

Acubalance Wellness Centre offers laser acupuncture before and after transfer on site at Olive Fertility Centre and in the Acubalance Clinic. Currently Acubalance is the only acupuncture clinic in Western Canada to use the laser and evidence-based acupuncture protocols that, in a recent study,were shown to improve embryo implantation rates by up to 15%.

Acubalance IVF acupuncture treatments are based on the latest research. The most recent study shows that using laser acupuncture before and after transfer as well as needle acupuncture, in specific points, significantly increases the rate of implantation and pregnancy rates.(You can find the references to this and other studies here).
Treatment: Two treatments on transfer day.

  • Before embryo transfer: Your first treatment is a laser acupuncture treatment before transfer (20-30 minutes).
  • After embryo transfer: Your second treatment is after transfer and uses both needle acupuncture and laser acupuncture (20-30 minutes).

* IVF (before and after) transfer treatments can be performed at Acubalance Vancouver and on site at Olive*

Laser Acupuncture Study May 2009

A recent large prospectus study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility demonstrated through a randomized, placebo-controlled, multiarm trial of in vitro fertilization at the Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) that laser acupuncture before and after embryo transfer improved implantation rates up to 15%.
This study, by Dr. Fratterelli and his colleagues, is the largest randomized, controlled trial evaluating acupuncture in the setting of IVF, as well as the first ever to evaluate laser acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy in IVF

1,000 women underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF) in an experiment, each one randomized to receive either laser acupuncture from a low-power laser, traditional needle acupuncture, laser sham acupuncture, relaxation therapy, or no treatment; the rate of implantation was significantly higher in the laser acupuncture group than in the other groups.

Compared with the sham group, the implantation rate in the laser acupuncture group was significantly better, odds ratio 1.26, and the clinical pregnancy rate also was higher, 55% vs. 44%.

All interventions occurred 25 minutes before the embryo transfer and then shortly after the transfer as well. Women in the relaxation group listened to soft music in a quiet setting. Those in the two acupuncture and the sham groups received treatment at five acupoints before the embryo transfer and at four acupoints after the transfer.
Dr. Fratterelli concluded "laser acupuncture performed on the day of embryo transfer was well tolerated and significantly improved implantation rates in our patient population. We feel that laser acupuncture could also be used to improve outcomes during IVF."


Acupuncture before and during the medication phase of IVF
Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture performed before and during IVF increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries. In addition, acupuncture regulates fertility hormones, which may contribute to follicle development and increased implantation. We prescribe three treatments per week for six weeks before egg retrieval plus treatment at the time of embryo transfer to optimize your results.

Preconception Treatment
Traditional Chinese medicine offers you a natural way to optimize your fertility during the critical 4-6 months before conception. Our preconception program combines diet therapy, lifestyle counselling, mind-body techniques, herbal formulas, and acupuncture, all designed to balance your hormones and boost your overall health and well-being.

The preconception program can help you enhance your fertility naturally or ensure that your body is in the best condition to conceive before you try IVF. One of our practitioners will work with you to do an in-depth evaluation of you and your partner’s condition and create a personalized treatment plan based on your individual diagnosis.