Research on Acupuncture for Fertility

During the annual convention of the Acupuncture Association of Missouri, Dianne Cridennda, L.Ac. and Paul Magarelli, M.D. presented their research on the use of acupuncture with IVF.  Dr. Magarelli, a reproductive endocrinologist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, designed a study to look at the effectiveness of acupuncture on infertility. The study looked at over 800 women and spanned several years.
It was fascinating to hear their story of planning and designing a much larger and more sophisticated research project than is often done in the field of acupuncture.  For citations on the publication of their research in scientific journals, go to Dianne’s website:


One of their findings was that the optimal number of acupuncture treatments for women pursuing IVF.


Their research indicates a total of eleven treatments optimized IVF: twice a week for five weeks, then once 12-24 hours before retrieval and again one hour after embryo transfer.  In cases where five weeks of treatment prior to retrieval was not possible, completing all nine treatments prior to retrieval is still optimal.


The combination of acupuncture with IVF in this study resulted in significantly higher “take-home” babies than with IVF alone as well as fewer multiple birth pregnancies.  Their data showed improved cortisol and prolactin levels in the women who received acupuncture over those who used IVF alone.  IVF medications tend to have negative effects on both cortisol and prolactin which appears to have been improved by the use of acupuncture.


This study also suggests that those who are most helped by the addition of acupuncture to IVF include women over 38 as well as those with PCOS.