What is infertility

Infertility is where the reproductive system is not working at optimum levels and is defined as not be able to conceive after twelve months of trying.

It is more common than we assume too. There are a million recorded cases of infertility each year. Some are first time attempts to conceive and have been unable to (primary infertility), and some are where a person has been pregnant before but is struggling to conceive again (secondary fertility).

Causes of infertility

There are several reasons why people are finding it difficult to conceive and I think it’s a good idea to break them down here.

In women, the causes can be:

  • Abnormalities in the uterus
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Ovulation irregularities
  • Conditions such as Polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis
  • Overexposure to certain chemicals
  • Some medication

In men, the causes can be:

  • Low sperm count
  • Overexposure to certain chemicals
  • Medication
  • Smoking
  • Sexual issues such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction

Having exhausted all these possibilities, sometimes the cause is frustratingly unexplained. If you are still trying for a baby, you may start to think about IVF (in vitro fertilisation).

How IVF works

IVF is a medical procedure that takes sperm and eggs and fertilizes them in a laboratory. For men, your sperm is collected and the healthiest and most active are selected. For women, the process is a little more complicated. You will be given medication to suppress your periods so medication to boost your egg supply can be more effective.  You will be given regular injections of hormones to support this process. Your eggs are then collected and fertilised before being transferred to your womb.

Support advice from your consultant

Typical advice for self-care during IVF is rest, gentle exercise and a balanced diet as free from chemicals as possible. Diet also affects sperm health, so it’s important for men too. Supplements might also be recommended.

How can acupuncture support your IVF programme?

Acupuncture can form an important part of your fertility treatment. It has become very common for many people alongside IVF. Treatment at my clinic will ensure your body is in the best possible condition for good fertility health.

Acupuncture helps by encouraging good blood flow to your reproductive organs and helps you to relax as you go through the IVF treatments. As well as acupuncture, we offer advice on relaxation techniques and yoga exercise to help you to feel more relaxed during your IVF cycle.

Research has shown that acupuncture before and after embryo transfer significantly improves pregnancy success, with a success rate improvement of 65%. We would recommend that you start your acupuncture treatment a few months before your IVF cycle to work on any minor health issues that can help to support a successful and healthy pregnancy.

And of course, our clinic is in a perfect location to support your IVF treatment, being only ten minutes away from Bourn Hall IVF Clinic and twenty minutes away from Cambridge IVF.

We are members of the British Acupuncture Council and you can find out more about the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment on their information page (

Acupuncture on Embryo Transfer Day  – Nicky’s story

I was approaching 39 and my GP referred me to a consultant to check things out who found nothing wrong. It was suggested that, due to my age, the best possible chance of getting pregnant was IVF treatment. I had to travel to Bourn Hall clinic from Jersey for the final stage of the treatment and had researched the effects of acupuncture pre and post embryo transfer. I came across Jane who is just 10 minutes from Bourn Hall.

She was so lovely and empathetic. She made me feel totally confident in her ability to help and she treated me before and after the embryo implantation.

Then came the best news of all: my positive test result, followed by an early scan to confirm the heartbeat. I couldn’t wait to tell Jane and she knew before any of my close friends and family!

Acupuncture to support IVF – Lizzie’s story

My husband and I knew we needed IVF to conceive again. We had been through the works in the US when trying for our firstborn and we knew the reality of our situation.

Acupuncture paved the way for my body and mind to accept what was necessary with IVF and feel like I was doing something very positive in the light of so much of the unknown. And it worked!

When it came time to try for number 2 here in the UK, I was adamant about including acupuncture as a main ingredient for our success. Jane’s proximity to Bourne Hall was ideal for the procedures and treatments we wanted to coordinate.

Jane was incredibly accommodating. We were called to the clinic very quickly one morning to have the egg transfer, two days earlier than planned. Jane stopped everything to meet with us that day so we could have acupuncture after the procedure.

Jane is fun we bonded immediately and I loved talking with her. We found out we were pregnant after one cycle of IVF and treatment from Cambourne Acupuncture. And then we found out it was twins!

The babies are due in 2 weeks and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We truly believe our success – our double success – is due to Jane’s work in helping my body prepare for IVF, the result of modern medicine and traditional medicine working successfully side by side.

Thank you Jane. You have given us so much! We are so, so grateful!  

If you would like to explore the possibility of receiving support from our clinic as you go through your IVF treatment, then please do get in touch by calling for an initial consultation, to arrange how the clinic can help.