family & pregnancy

You are here > > Family > Fertility > Acupuncture

When you're having IVF treatment, or trying to conceive naturally, you may have read about the benefits of acupuncture. Many people believe that acupuncture techniques can improve fertility and increase the likelihood of pregnancy.

Up until recently, a number of small tests had shown a link between acupuncture treatment and pregnancy success rates. Women who had acupuncture treatment before or during fertility treatment appeared to be more likely to fall pregnant than those who didn't.

However, in the last few years, it has become clear that there is no real connection between acupuncture and fertility. Several larger studies have shown no benefit from acupuncture treatment when trying to conceive. The evidence indicates that there is no significant effect on the rate of birth, pregnancy or miscarriage.

There is also little evidence to suggest that acupuncture can act as a placebo to improve your chances of conception. Even if you fully believe the treatment to be beneficial, it's still unlikely to have any impact on your chances of having a baby.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) currently recommends that acupuncture is considered as a treatment option for back pain only. All other types of acupuncture procedures, including fertility treatment, are not encouraged.

However, this doesn't mean that acupuncture should be avoided when trying to fall pregnant. There is no evidence to suggest that acupuncture during fertility treatment causes harm to either mother or baby.

If you really want to have acupuncture whilst undergoing IVF treatment, then by all means do so. But don't approach the treatment believing that it will work. It may help relax you, but it won't improve your chances of becoming pregnant.

Although, acupuncture doesn't improve fertility, it is beneficial in addressing particular aches and pains. Take a look at acupuncture treatment in more details.

What does egg donation with IVF actually involve?

Fertility & Pregnancy


Artificial insemination
Learn about the costs, risks and probability of success from this infertility procedure.

Treatment abroad
What you need to know about having fertility treatment overseas.

Gender selection
A guide to the legal and moral aspects of choosing the sex of your baby.

Diet & Weight Loss