7 Ways Acupressure And Acupuncture Improve Fertility

acupressure for fertility

Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate points around the body to activate the nervous, endocrine and neuroendocrine systems to produce chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. Acupuncture helps the body to get back into homeostasis (or balance) and heal naturally. Acupressure is like acupuncture, but without the needles. You use your thumb or finger to stimulate the points.

Research shows that acupressure and acupuncture can improve fertility in specific ways. Doctors are using acupuncture and acupressure alongside conventional medicine to treat infertility and increase IVF success rates. Here are some of the ways that acupuncture and acupressure can improve fertility.

  1. Improve Egg Quality

Tension constricts blood flow to arteries in the pelvis, which means that blood flow to the ovaries is reduced. 

Acupuncture and acupressure switch off fight or flight and improve blood flow to ovarian arteries, which improves follicle development and egg quality. Egg quality is improved because the ovaries get more blood, therefore, the follicles get more nutrients. (Stener-Victorin 2006, Lim 2010).

  1. Balance hormones

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that sends messages via the pituitary gland to the ovaries. Feedback loops between the brain and the ovaries ensure that the right amount of hormones are produced at the right time for ovulation, fertilisation and implantation. Stress, toxins and other factors can disrupt hormones and cause infertility. 

Acupuncture and acupressure release endorphins in the brain, which activate the hypothalamus to produce gonadotrophin-releasing hormones, the pituitary to secrete follicle-stimulating hormone and the ovaries to produce oestrogen and progesterone (Ng 2008, Huang 2008, Lim 2010, Stener-Victorin 2010). 

  1. Increase Womb Lining And Implantation

The womb lining needs to be at least 8mm for implantation and pregnancy. Stress, diet, toxins and hormonal imbalances can create a thin womb lining.

Acupuncture and acupressure improve blood flow to the womb, which increases the thickness of the womb lining and supports implantation (Stener-Victorin 1996, Huang 2008).

  1. Improve Male Fertility

Male factor infertility can include problems with sperm quality, sperm quantity, testosterone, obstruction or ejaculation.

Research shows that acupuncture and acupressure can help with circulation and increasing blood flow around the testes to improve sperm development. Studies show that acupuncture and acupressure can increase testosterone, improve sex drive and reduce impotence. (Pei 2005 and Dieterle 2009).

  1. Reduce PCOS Symptoms

PCOS is one of the main conditions that stop women from getting pregnant. PCOS symptoms include disputed hormones, cysts on the ovaries, no ovulation and long or irregular cycles. 

Acupuncture and acupressure can help PCOS by reducing stress hormones, balancing sex hormones, reducing cysts, stimulating ovulation and regulating the cycle (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2009, Zhang 2009).

  1. Reduce Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis is where endometrial tissue is found outside of the womb, normally in the pelvis. The endometrial cells outside of the womb are affected by changes in hormones, they bleed, create inflammation and form cysts. This creates a lot of pain, blockages and digestive issues.

Research shows that acupuncture and acupressure can significantly reduce endometriosis pain, increase cytokines and reduce inflammation (Zijlstra 2003, Wayne 2008 and Jin 2009).

  1. Improve IVF Success

The chances of having a successful birth from IVF can range from 2%-30% depending on a woman’s age and situation. In the UK it can cost between £3000-£5000 and in America, it’s around $15,000. 

Research shows that having acupuncture and acupressure before and after embryo transfer can increase pregnancy rates by 60% and reduce the number of miscarriages by 50% (Paulus 2002 and Quintero 2004).


In China randomised controlled trials have shown significantly better pregnancy rates for acupuncture than medication, however, more research is needed and higher-quality trials need to be carried out.

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Rachel Bolton BSc (Hons), Lic. Ac., Lic. Tui Na.

I empower women to see themselves as Fertility Heroes and help them to optimise their fertility, get pregnant and have healthy babies.


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Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Janson PO, Sverrisdottir YB. Low-frequency electroacupuncture and physical exercise decrease high muscle sympathetic nerve activity in polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Aug;297(2):R387-95.

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Pei J et al. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility2005; 84: 141-7.

Zijlstra FJ et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm2003 ;12: 59-69.

Wayne PM et al. Japanese-style acupuncture for endometriosis-related pelvic pain in adolescents and young women: results of a randomized sham-controlled trial. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol2008; 21(5): 247-57.

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