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Luke McPherson Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture for fertility, IVF support, and pain relief... naturally

Acupuncture for IVF support and fertility blog

TCM, Acupuncture, and IVF: patient approach to achieve best outcomes.


Dr Luke McPherson (TCM)

This blog explains the best approach for IVF patients when combining Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with IVF. TCM is an individualised approach that can help balance your cycle, prepare your body for the rigorous IVF process, and help you address any underlying health issues.

Savvy patients often ask a very direct question: “does acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) increase the chances of getting pregnant with in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)?” The short-answer to this is: “Yes”. The question that should be asked though is: “What TCM treatment should I receive and whom shall I receive it from to enhance my chances of getting pregnant through IVF”. This is the question that I, Dr McPherson (TCM) will focus on, as this is the question that will help you make an informed choice on the best treatment for you that will provide the greatest chance of conceiving.

I am an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist, and clinical researcher; I have extensive experience in dealing with Women’s health and fertility, both clinically and academically. A big part of my role in fertility is supporting patients through IVF. This is an important and enjoyable aspect of my practice and I achieve very good results. Acupuncture and IVF couple well; the benefits of using acupuncture during IVF is so well accepted that often the biomedical fertility specialist will advise their patient to undertake acupuncture during IVF. Research into the benefits of acupuncture during IVF is very strong, but it doesn’t necessarily promote best practice; I, Dr Luke McPherson can help advise how you the IVF patient can get the most from your acupuncture treatments.

The most common treatment plan for patients undergoing IVF

IVF can be a lengthy and expensive process; it can be emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. Enhancing the success rate of IVF will reduce the number of IVF cycles that you will have to attempt; this will translate to reduced stress, reduced hormone enhancing drugs, and ultimately reduced cost. If you only have IVF you will certainly have a greater chance of conceiving than if you did not have IVF; but if you are treated by a TCM Doctor whilst having IVF than your chance of conceiving can be greatly improved. How you use TCM alongside IVF will also influence your chances.

The most common use of TCM by patients undergoing IVF is a standardised acupuncture before embryo transfer and acupuncture immediately after embryo transfer. A 2015 study published in the journal of Reproductive Biomedicine found that using acupuncture before and after transfer increases birth rate by 50.8%1. This result is very significant, and one that is very positive for the benefits of acupuncture; however, this is not best treatment! This is a standardised treatment with a ‘one size fits all’ approach, since women are all different, this generic treatment will not work on all.

Acupuncture and TCM can achieve better results than this by tailoring treatment programs to individual patients; this is in line with both research and what I have experienced this in clinic.​

How to get the most out of IVF: Use TCM and acupuncture as it is meant to be used

Choosing a TCM Dr is very important, you need a professional who understands the biomedical process of IVF, a professional who is up to date with best treatment by reading the latest research, and someone who understands TCM and how it can work in conjunction with the biomedical IVF process.

IVF is so much more than just implanting an embryo into a uterus. Before this stage, you will be taking an array of drugs that will enhance your hormones, if you have any issues with your menstrual cycle than you will also need to address this as well. This is when you should be seeing a TCM Dr such as Luke McPherson; we will develop a treatment that can help balance your cycle, prepare your body for the rigorous IVF process, and address any underlying health issues that can affect your IVF success. It is important to take the time to follow the treatment plan your TCM Dr sets out; your body and its hormonal cycle is very complex, it takes time to bring your body back to balance so you can achieve the optimum results.

If you choose the right TCM Dr, follow the treatment plan they design, then your chances are greatly improved. If you do this than according to a 2015 study published in the journal of Reproductive Biomedicine found that using TCM in the manner described above increases birth rate by 61.3%. 61.3% is an amazing result and it mirrors what I see in my practice1.

IVF patients who undertake a TCM treatment plan will achieve better results (61.3%), compared to those who have acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer alone (50.8%).

To discuss your fertility issues, and how TCM can help you than please make an appointment to see Dr Luke McPherson (TCM) at his clinic in North Sydney

Call to make a booking on 

0414 287 083

1: Rubin, L.E., Opsahl, M.S., Weimer, K.E., Mist, S.D., & Caughley, A.B. (2015) Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in-vitro fertilisation outcomes. Journal of Reproductive Medicine. (30) p602-612

Can you assist my partner with fertility?

Acupuncture to improve male fertility

I, Dr Luke McPherson (TCM) am often asked: "Should I bring my partner in to see you? He has some issues with his sperm quality". The answer is yes! Male infertility factors such as low sperm count, poor sperm morphology (shape of the sperm), and poor motility (the ability of the sperm to swim), can greatly impact your chances in conceiving and you are right in wanting them addressed!

Can acupuncture help with male infertility?

Using acupuncture to help your partners fertility issues can have a dramatic outcome; a recent study showed that acupuncture can increase the structure of sperm in males with infertility, providing a drastic improvement in quality1. I, Dr Luke McPherson (TCM) am scientific in my approach, and I read all new research around fertility to ensure that you, my patient will receive the most cutting edge treatment available. It is important to me that you are given the best chances of conceiving.

Another study examined the effect of acupuncture on sperm quality in assisted reproductive technology; this study showed that acupuncture improved the sperms morphology and motility, and improved fertilisation rates of egg by 66.2%. This is exciting as this study highlights that acupuncture can improve sperm quality and increase your chance of conceiving.  

I will take an individual approach to your problem and provide a treatment plan that will encompass your health issues taking a multi-dimensional approach. Depending on the nature of the infertility, I will use a combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, supplements, and provide advice on diet, to increase your chances of conceiving. 

To discuss your fertility issues, and how TCM can help you than please make an appointment to see Dr Luke McPherson (TCM) at his clinic in North Sydney


*Check out another blog I authored on this subject on the acupuncture blog page

1. Pei,J., Stroller, E., Noss, U., Abt, M., Piomboni, P., Baccetti, B., & Sterzik, K. (2005) Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Journal of fertility and sterility. Vol 84 (1) p14a1-147.

2. Mingmin, Z., Ganging, H., Fuer, L., Paulus< W.E, & Sterzik, K. (2002) Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. Journal of Huazhong university of Science and Technology. Vol 22 (3) P: 221-228