Acupuncture, stress and fertility


Understanding Women’s views towards the use of Acupuncture while undergoing IVF treatment.

Smith C and De Lacey S, 2008 In press
FSA conference 2008

This qualitative study found that most women who had acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF treatment reported increased well being, reduced anxiety and an increase in capacity to cope with the stresses of IVF and infertility treatments.

Aim: There is interest in the use of acupuncture as an adjunct to fertility treatment. this study aimed to examine women’s attitudes and beliefs in relation to the use of acupuncture for enhancing fertility or as an adjunct to ART.

Results: Participants all expressed confidence in the ability of acupuncture to contibute to their reproductive decision in a positive way.  They described acupuncture as an adjunct to pregnancy attempts that was positive since it gave them a sense of control and a strategy for improving their chances. Women were unable to locate acupuncture as a causative factor in a resulting pregnancy however all women described acupuncture as instrumental in an increased sense of well being, self confidence, emotional balance and reduced anxiety. All experienced increased resilience.

Conclusion; Acupuncture is an effective and low intensity procedure for increasing women’s resilience in the repetitive and stress inducing time of pregnancy attempts, with or without medical treatment. The instrumental role of the acupuncture therapist in increasing resilience is a finding that has not emerged in previous studies and has implications for patient management.