Assisted conception is becoming more and more common and many people believe that IVF automatically results in pregnancy.  However as anyone involved in fertility will tell you, conception is not always easy and there are a number of things that can affect fertility. 

IVF is costly, so to be better prepared is not only good for your health, but also your wealth.  Research suggests that people who receive Acupuncture pre and post IVF procedures, better their chances of a successful full term pregnancy.   Acupuncture during IVF is time sensitive though, so what is the best timing for your acupuncture appointments and the reasoning behind them???


If you aren’t seeing an Acupuncturist or TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner already, the first consultation should be 2-3 months before your egg collection.  This consultation is important to go through a thorough health history and start getting the body ready for egg collection.  Each individual will need different assistance prior to IVF, and in the first consultation a number of different options can be decided upon.  (Side note; as Acupuncture has been shown to improve the chances of natural conception, this can and has resulted in pregnancy before IVF has started for couples, a great benefit of starting Acupuncture before IVF).  In this initial consultation, we can recommend herbs, supplements, dietary and exercise therapies that can all improve the outcomes.  In the months leading up to egg collection, the focus is often around improving egg and sperm quality, which is best done for a couple of months and hopefully results in pregnancy before you even begin IVF.


After the initial consultation and treatments, the next key time to have acupuncture is in the follicular phase in the lead up to egg collection.  This again will depend on the length of your cycles and when you ovulate, but for most women this should be in the window from day 6-14 of their cycle.  This treatment is to help with follicle development and improving blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.  Egg quality can be enhanced just before collection, but as mentioned above, it is best to work on this with your practitioner for a couple of months prior.  Of course during this treatment, your acupuncturist will also work on things like stress, digestive health and any symptoms that may be coming from the IVF procedures.


Most important of all are the treatments pre and post the actual transfer.  Practitioners may vary in their opinion about the exact timing, but at The Pagoda Tree we recommend having them within 48 hours either side of the Transfer.  They are quite different, as often the pre transfer treatment will involve points on the abdomen to prepare the body and uterus for the transfer, while in the post transfer treatment, we want to be predominantly lowering stress and we will also include points for better circulation to the womb and points for sleep or any other concerns you may be having.  It is very important that in the time around transfer, you keep it simple and keep the stress hormones down, hence a couple of Acupuncture appointments is a great way to start relaxing.  Since both treatments are so close together, it is possible to have the pre and post transfer treatments on the same day and at The Pagoda Tree we offer both of the treatments for the price of one.


A week after transfer is best to have the next acupuncture session, which will focus again on keeping stress down, but also on focusing nourishment to the developing baby.  After this appointment, you can discuss with your practitioner what is the best idea for the first trimester of pregnancy.  See the article from Sarah, also in our blog posts, about Acupuncture during pregnancy.  This will vary from person to person, but we will do everything we can to support you along the way.

It is worth getting as much information and assistance as you can with IVF, to save you from having to repeat the process a number of times, if at all.  There is no one thing alone that will always result in a healthy pregnancy, but there are many things that can be done to improve your chances.


Caleb is one of our talented practitioners here at The Pagoda Tree.  For more information, to arrange an appointment or find out more please call us on 03 96867454 or email  We’re here to help!