Fertility FAQs



What does Fertility Acupuncture do?

It aims to diagnose, rebalance and improve your health in order for you to achieve a strong, healthy pregnancy.

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) improve your fertility?

TCM is powerful and performs a myriad of functions. It regulates your hormones to increase follicular count. It increases blood flow to the uterus to thicken the endometrium and increase the likelihood of implantation. Acupuncture is excellent to reduce the side effects of IVF drugs such as feeling very hot and sweaty, dry, red rashes and moodiness. It is very effective at reducing inflammation, boosting immunity and detoxing the body. Acupuncture brings qi (energy) and blood to your uterus and ovaries, to improve their function and better nourish your eggs and lining. Following pregnancy, it decreases the chances of miscarriage by keeping the mother relaxed, balancing circulation and maintaining progesterone levels. Above all, it is fantastic to keep you calm and relaxed, so your body can do what it needs to.

How will I get more fertile?

Depending on where you are in your fertility journey Ilana can support you with the guidance of fertility apps, books, diet, therapy and mindset to help you become pregnant. You will find with this treatment that particular signs and symptoms will abate with time such as PMT, period pain, swollen breasts, dark and clotty menstrual blood becoming more fresh and red, less headaches, better energy, increased libido, more regular cycles and ovulation. Many women notice an increase in fertile mucus which is paramount for successful conception. 

How often do I require treatment?

Ideally once weekly. Treatment just before ovulation is ideal. Chinese Herbs are important for fertility, many women are physically burnt out and running low on reserves for many reasons such as living in a busy, polluted city such as Sydney, getting older, and a history of working long hours with little rest. Ilana supports her patients when they are requiring assistance with IVF or other Reproductive Medicines. She can also refer and recommend Fertility Specialists appropriate to where you are having challenges.  Acupuncture is excellent in conjunction with IVF, especially after egg retrieval and around embryo transfer. 

What do I bring to my first treatment?

Please bring any medical reports you would like me to look at, such as ultrasounds, blood tests and surgical reports. I like to look at day 3 FSH tests, day 21 progesterone tests, general bloods, Vitamin D, Iron and  Liver function. We take HICAPS, so please also bring your private health fund card. If you are pregnant, bring your yellow card.

 Do you only treat fertility? What about other conditions?

Ilana is experienced in treating many other conditions apart from fertility such as pregnancy wellbeing, musculoskeletal, immunity, pain, digestion, Mens’, Womens’ and childrens’ health. Please contact Ilana if you would like to find out more.

I have already started my IVF Cycle, is it too late to start?

No, you can start Acupuncture support at any time. The best time to start your treatment is 3 months before you commence your cycle.

It is my first attempt at IVF, can I still have Acupuncture?

Absolutely. Acupuncture can reduce the signs and symptoms, along with increase follicular and egg count, reduce bloating and pain and increase the chance of implantation occurring.

My husband has poor sperm, would acupuncture improve his sperm?

Yes, many studies have shown this. Ideally he would start 3 to 4 months before the IVF cycle or trying to conceive.

How many treatments will I need?

There are many variables, depending on your previous history and health condition. If you have a history of infertility, I suggest weekly for 3 months prior to your IVF Cycle. Each individual varies,  please ask if you are unsure.

Are there any other treatments I may consider?

Yes, based on individual needs I may suggest supplements, Chinese herbs, lifestyle, exercise and dietary changes.

Do I need to eat well?

Yes, think of your baby being a beautiful seed. If you plant it in nutritious soil, and it has all the right conditions to grow, and has come from healthy parents, it will grow well and you are giving it the best chance in life.

I need to lose some weight, what is your opinion on this for Fertility?

I prefer my patients who want to lose weight to focus on being healthy by drinking water and herbal tea, enjoying fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, exercise regularly and to be good to themselves. They seem to fall pregnant more easily when they do this and continue to stay healthy throughout, and not gain weight! Start your treatment three months prior to conceiving.

Can you help reduce high FSH levels?

Yes, for women who have high FSH, I can help you rebalance your hormone levels.

Why do I take Chinese herbs?

Herbs nourish your body, eggs and sperm, and most people want to get pregnant sooner than later. I recommend you take herbs to increase your fertility naturally and sooner.

What do the herbs taste like?

Interestingly, sometimes okay, sometimes not so palatable! Most patients say that after a few times you become accustomed to the taste, some of them even like it because you can feel the benefit from the herbs!.

Herbs: the bitter the better

I am pregnant! How often should I have acupuncture?

Congratulations, that is wonderful news! The frequency of treatment is dependent on your history and presentation. For women who have a history of miscarriage, weekly acupuncture is recommended with herbal support. Women who have had previously healthy pregnancies may only need acupuncture fortnightly for wellbeing, sickness prevention and relaxation.Reasons for which to continue your acupuncture include:

• Acupuncture can reduce the risk of miscarriage

• Acupuncture can abate morning sickness, without taking drugs

• Acupuncture can help with general health complaints in pregnancy such as back & pelvis pain, fatigue, swelling to stress…

• In the last trimester, acupuncture prepares you for a natural labour, can turn breech babies and induce overdue babies


@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe 2017