Couples and individuals may have very different needs depending on where they are in their fertility journey, and we are always honoured to be able to help. Whether you are interested in exploring a Chinese medicine approach to natural fertility, or you have heard about using acupuncture during IVF, we would be very happy to provide all of the insights and support that Chinese medicine can offer.
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) note that 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. They also note that a summary of previous reviews from 2009 to 2017 found acupuncture had a beneficial treatment effect on clinical pregnancy rates. Also, they note that acupuncture may be a suitable treatment option to help reduce stress and anxiety levels for women suffering with subfertility. You can read the complete BAcC article in much greater detail here.
Given the potentially longer term nature of fertility treatment, I recommend arranging a complementary consultation to discuss your needs. If you are a couple, then ideally both partners would attend this appointment.
Many menstrual disorders will cause issues with fertility, and we can therefore use acupuncture and acupressure to support issues you may have with long or short cycles, painful or heavy periods, and endometriosis or PCOS. Treatment is based around where you are in your menstrual cycle, and also on any medical tests that you may have had. Treating in this way, it is important to take into account the changes that occur throughout your cycle by tracking basal body temperature, fertile mucus and other signs of ovulation. In addition to your acupuncture sessions, it will also be important to take on board dietary and lifestyle changes that will support your goals.
Please note: It takes approximately 100 days for an egg to mature from germ to follicular release. This is therefore a good amount of time to consider when thinking how an ideal length of treatment might last.
Roughly 20% of infertility cases are related to male factor infertility, and the 10-20% of unexplained infertility cases are as likely to encompass male factor issues as anything else. Therefore, in any instance of difficulty conceiving or recurrent miscarriage it is important to consider the quality of male sperm. Here, the aim of acupuncture is to improve sperm count, vitality, morphology, and also libido. Please note that we will generally use acu-points on your abdomen, lower back and legs. Changes to lifestyle and diet will also help to improve sperm quality.
Acupuncture can support you at each stage of the IVF cycle. Our aim is to help with any stress you might be feeling, and to prepare your body for a healthy implantation. We aim to support the IVF process, and to help with any feelings of discomfort you may have. In the case of male clients, acupuncture can also support sperm quality before collection. Acupuncture is used to support you during the stressful wait for a pregnancy result, then treatment in the first weeks of pregnancy can help to reduce stress and support pregnancy.
If you are interested in the research into acupuncture’s impact on IVF reproductive outcomes, I recommend taking a look at this 2015 article from the journal Reproductive Biomedicine Online (RBMO).
(If the details of the study are too much, you can skip to the ‘Discussion’ section on page 609 which summarises their findings.)
Andrew has undertaken sustained further training in the treatment of women’s health issues with acupuncture. He is experienced in supporting infertility issues, disorders of the menstrual cycle, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and recurrent miscarriage. He is also experienced in supporting women going through IVF, and is well versed in the diagnosis and support of male infertility issues. Clients at our clinic can be sure that they are receiving the most up to date and complete treatment with regards to all aspects of women’s health.
Andrew is a practitioner of both Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture (TCM) and Five Elements (5E) acupuncture based in the City of Bristol. He qualified with an honours degree in Acupuncture from the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, and has received post-graduate diplomas in both Gynaecology, Fertility and Obstetrics, and in Tuina Massage. He also has a PhD from the University of Bristol based on his research of Chinese Buddhist meditation practices, and is qualified by the Buqi Insitute to teach Tai Chi and Qigong. Andrew is a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), the largest professional body for traditional acupuncturists in the UK.
I came across True Fortune Acupuncture while on the hunt for an acupuncturist that could support our fertility journey. We were going through IVF (with a failed transfer) and I had benefited from acupuncture for other health issues in the past so felt confident that the right person could help me. I felt like I was in good hands with Andrew – he was knowledgeable in the field of acupuncture for fertility, calm, attentive and professional. He made himself available for all the crucial dates around our IVF despite the birth of his daughter, which I really really appreciate. I do believe the acupuncture helped with minimising any pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester and helped me manage my anxiety, giving me plenty of time to pinch myself in disbelief of my pregnancy! I really can’t thank Andrew enough and would highly recommend True Fortune Acupuncture.
Andy is great! He took a 360 view of treatment and care, and I felt like I was in really good hands. He has lots of interesting resources at his fingertips and as my circumstances changed we agreed on a new direction for our sessions. I would highly recommend him.
Andrew at True Fortune was fantastic. I’d never had acupuncture before, and went as it had been recommended to me to do alongside IVF. Andrew held the space with sensitivity and expertise – always taking the time to explain what he was doing and why. His knowledge in this area was extensive and I really appreciated his calm, kind approach, tailored to my particular situation. And I’m now 37 weeks pregnant 🙂 I’d strongly recommend him to anyone considering acupuncture, and particularly for fertility/IVF issues.
My husband and I had been trying for a baby for over 6 years and had tried everything the NHS would offer us. In January 2022 I started acupuncture with Andrew.
Andrew was ALWAYS very sensitive, professional yet flexible at every appointment. I had a session every week for 4 months when we finally got our positive pregnancy test! I then continued to have a weekly appointment to help ease symptoms and more importantly help keep me relaxed in my first trimester! Then in January 2023 my beautiful baby girl was born! I cannot thank Andrew enough and have since been recommending him to everyone!
The next step is to arrange a complementary consultation so that I can answer any initial questions you might have. Then, once I have a picture of where you are in your journey, we can book you in for a full initial consultation. This will comprise a detailed investigation of your current issues, and will allow me to devise the most appropriate treatment plan for your needs.
“Caffeine consumption during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction and this association continued throughout pregnancy. Sensible advice would be to reduce caffeine intake before conception and throughout pregnancy.” – BMJ