Julie Kelham explains how acupuncture can help at each stage of the IVF process


Trying to conceive and embarking on the path of assisted reproductive medicine can be an emotionally challenging, stressful and often isolating experience for women and/or couples. Acupuncture can help by optimising each stage of the IVF process, reducing stress levels and any possible side-effects of the medication.

Women consistently say how invaluable acupuncture has been to provide them with a space where they can regularly feel supported with the huge mix of emotions that often accompany going through an IVF cycle.

Whatever your individual circumstances, we are here to support you in whatever way we can, drawing on our expertise and specialist knowledge in the treatment of infertility with Chinese Medicine.


Suggested treatment

We recommend that you and your partner (if there are male infertility issues) have three months minimum preparatory acupuncture treatment before the start of your IVF treatment.

This enables us to optimise the situation for both of you with regards to egg and sperm quality and endometrial lining receptivity. This is the ideal scenario; however, if this is not possible for any reason then acupuncture still has a great deal to offer.

Pre-IVF treatment (minimum of 3 months treatment)

Acupuncture can help to:

  • Enhance egg quality
  • Improve sperm quality, motility and quantity
  • Enhance thickness and quality of endometrial lining
  • Optimize temperature of the uterus


Stages of IVF treatment

Each stage of the IVF treatment is associated with different diagnostic patterns in Chinese Medicine. Your treatment will be three-tiered in that the following will be taken into account:

  • your individual Chinese Medicine diagnosis (pre-IVF)
  • the patterns associated with the IVF treatment
  • the preparation for the next stage of the IVF.


We recommend you have weekly acupuncture treatment during your IVF cycle so we are able to fully address the complexities of this three-tiered approach.



Down Regulation Stage

Acupuncture can help to:

  • Harmonise the regulatory systems to reduce possible side-effects (such as excess heat)
  • Regulate and balance the emotions
  • Nourish substance and Blood
  • Promote fluids to counteract drying nature of the Down Regulation
  • Circulate the movement of Qi in the uterus


Ovarian Stimulation Stage

Acupuncture can help to:

  • Promote follicle growth
  • Regulate and balance the emotions
  • Harmonise the regulatory systems to reduce any side-effects of medication (such as a build-up of excess fluid from follicle stimulation)
  • Nourish substance and Blood


Egg Ripening

Acupuncture can help to:

  • Harmonise the regulatory systems to reduce any possible side-effects of HCG injection and post stimulation medication


Egg and Semen Collection

Acupuncture can help to:-

  • Move Qi and Blood to the Uterus to promote healing post egg retrieval
  • Invigorate sperm to improve motility and vitality pre fertilisation
  • Harmonise the regulatory systems post-medication and pre-embryo transfer


Embryo Transfer (before and after transfer)

Acupuncture can help to:-

  • Regulate and balance the emotions
  • Promote blood supply to the endometrium
  • Move Qi in the uterus to promote implantation of the embryo
  • Raise and hold Qi to ‘hold’ the embryo if implantation is successful
  • Nourish blood and Qi to support embryo development and a possible pregnancy
  • Prevent miscarriage


If you would like to discuss any of the above further or to discuss your individual situation, then myself or any of the acupuncturists in the team will be happy to have a chat on the phone with you. You can contact us on 0117 377 1186 or via email: info@almavalecentre.co.uk


“I saw Julie for a course of treatment to support IVF and I immediately liked her gentleness and respectful way with me.  Julie has a natural therapist’s gift for listening intently and putting me at complete ease.  I greatly looked forward to our sessions as she provided a dependably kind and supportive space for me while going through a testing time. Medical tests were not in my favour but my IVF was successful and I partly attribute that to Julie’s expert care.  I can’t contemplate how big my thank you to her is.”

– F.W.


“When I first came to Julie at the Alma Vale Centre, my husband and I had been trying to start a family for over 3 years. After trying naturally for two years, we had just spent the previous year having fertility treatment (IUI) which had all been unsuccessful. I started having acupuncture with Julie as I started my first round of IVF. Julie supported me throughout the procedure. The IVF was hugely successful (resulting in nine blastocysts) and I am now 4 months pregnant! I am sure Julie was instrumental in making the IVF work on the first attempt, and she is now supporting me during my pregnancy, which is going well. As you can imagine, I am very pleased I made the decision to go to Julie!”

– Rebecca,  South Glos.


For more information or to book an appointment please contact the Alma Vale Centre on 0117 377 1186 or info@almavalecentre.co.uk