A newly published review of evidence has found acupuncture to have a significant treatment effect in improving the birth rates of sub-fertile women undergoing IVF or ICSI. This comes as no surprise to us at York Clinic where three of our acupuncturists are founding members of the Yorkshire branch of the Acupuncture Conception to Childbirth Team (ACT Yorkshire) offering specialist treatment for fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal health.

A couple’s fertility depends on many factors including constitution, age, lifestyle, diet and stress levels. Acupuncture can be used whether or not there is a diagnosed reason for infertility. Where there is no diagnosed reason, acupuncture aims to strengthen both partners’ constitutions and create a harmonious environment for conception. Acupuncture can also support all stages of assisted conception (IUI, IVF, ICSI, IMSI and FET). It eases anxiety, helps with medication side effects like nausea, and improves the chances of pregnancy.

In a case study recently shared on The British Acupuncture Council’s website, Amy Ewing shares her experience:

“I often look back and wonder how on earth I would have got through our IVF treatment without acupuncture and would our outcome have been the same? Suffering from sub-fertility all those years had made me feel lonely, broken, hurt. A failure. Acupuncture calmed, relaxed and re-energised me. “

Read the full story here

The evidence:

A 2018 systematic review and meta-analysis found acupuncture to have a significant treatment effect in improving the birth rates of sub-fertile women undergoing IVF or ICSI. 1

In the UK, the overall birth rate following assisted reproduction is only 21% to 22% (fresh and frozen transfer). The birth rate varies and decreases with age and the type of transfer. Live birth rate can be considered the most important measure of success for sub-fertile people undergoing assisted reproductive treatment.  Acupuncture has been shown to have a statistically significant treatment effect (with a 36% increase) on live birth rates, indicating that acupuncture may complement an IVF or ICSI cycle.

For more information contact one of the ACT Practitioners at York Clinic:

Alison Longridge mailto:ali.longridge@icloud.com 

Amanda Preston or

Harriet Lansdown mailto:email@yorkclinic.com

Because sometimes acupuncture treatments need to be timed carefully to complement treatments like IVF, Ali, Amanda and Harriet work together to ensure there is a practitioner here whenever she is needed.  To make an appointment please telephone 01904 709688, or email email@yorkclinic.com. You could also use the contact page on our website.


1 Zhang X, Lee MS, Smith CA, Robinson N, Zhou Y, Wu Y, Mao Y-Y, Qu F (2018). Effects of acupuncture during in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Integrative Medicine 23:14–25.