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Supporting Your IVF Journey: Mindfulness, Meditation, and Acupuncture

If you’re choosing to pursue in vitro fertilization, you may have already experienced some challenges on your fertility journey. IVF can be a long and difficult process for many people. It can be unpredictable, as you can’t know whether one IVF cycle will be successful or if you’ll need to undergo multiple cycles. During this time, many people report feeling betrayed by or disconnected from their bodies and lacking control over the outcomes of treatment. Popular methods of coping with the stress that can accompany infertility treatment include acupuncture for infertility, practicing mindfulness, and meditating. Adopting any of these wellness methods to process the emotions that come up throughout your IVF treatment may help you to feel more centered and connected to yourself. 

Prioritizing self-care during IVF treatment  

The topic of self-care may have gotten overhyped and monetized, but it’s a relevant idea to consider as you begin your fertility journey. Choosing to prioritize self-care gives you the opportunity to take a holistic look at your treatment. By pursuing self-care, you can opt-in to complementary treatments that could help to support your physical and mental stability throughout IVF.  

Research shows that some of the more common forms of self-care like mindfulness, yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and acupuncture can increase your body’s ability to positively respond to IVF treatment. This may be because these practices are known to lower the physical and mental stress you might experience while undergoing in vitro fertilization. 

Infertility acupuncture and IVF 

Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine technique used to relieve pain and other symptoms you may experience while undergoing infertility treatment. During acupuncture, a provider will insert very thin needles into specific points on the body that travel along meridian lines. People use acupuncture to alleviate a variety of symptoms including arthritis, headaches, back pain, and menstrual cramps. Preliminary studies show that acupuncture for infertility improves the success of embryo transfer and pregnancy during IVF treatment.  

Benefits of acupuncture for infertility 

One study shows that when acupuncture is used to treat infertility in men and women, it can improve sperm quality and ovary function. Other than improving IVF success rates, acupuncture is known to induce a sense of calm by relieving muscle tension and decreasing stress. You may also use acupuncture alongside treatments for cancer and autoimmune disease. 


Look for a National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certified acupuncturist. They should be licensed to practice in your area. You might also look for a provider who is specially certified to treat infertility.  

Mindfulness and IVF  

Mindfulness refers to the practice of being present in the moment. In daily life, especially when coping with a challenge like infertility, it can be easy to disassociate, focus on anxious thoughts, or even obsess over the future. Developing a mindfulness practice can help you come back to your body and work through those difficult moments in a constructive way. Some common mindfulness practices include movement meditations like walking, intentional pauses throughout your day, breathing exercises like box breathing, or meditation alongside yoga.  

Benefits of practicing mindfulness 

Mindfulness is known to improve the emotional wellbeing of those undergoing infertility treatment. If you’re experiencing infertility, it’s not uncommon to feel disconnected from your body. Mindfulness can help you reconnect and recenter by helping you cope with the stress of infertility treatments like IVF. 


Apps like Headspace and Calm were developed to help people establish a mindfulness routine. Mindful is a publication with articles that talk about the benefits of mindfulness and how to develop a mindfulness practice.  

Meditation and IVF  

Meditation is a practice of clearing the mind. It often incorporates observation, sensory, and attention techniques that can increase mindfulness and reduce stress and anxiety. Though many religions talk about meditation, it is not a strictly religious practice. Meditation can be used by anyone to improve their sense of wellbeing. Some common forms of meditation include body-centered meditation, contemplation, meditation with movement, and visual-based meditation. As it is proven to reduce stress and anxiety, meditation is a self-care practice that is also known to improve fertility. 

Benefits of meditation  

Adopting meditation practice can help you re-focus and ground yourself when faced with a situation that might seem out of your control. Other than improving fertility, meditation’s benefits include balancing hormones, improving relationships, and increasing compassion. These benefits come from the sense of support you experience from regular meditation practice. 


Mindful IVF is an app meant to help you use meditation to address infertility. Insight timer is a free app that helps you improve sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. Circle+Bloom is a meditation program for fertility support. 

Other forms of self-care worth considering 

Self-care practices can include anything that you use to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Anything that helps you cope with the challenges of daily life could be considered self-care. Yoga, journaling, gratitude practice, or deep breathing exercises might be other forms of self-care worth trying out. 


Practicing yoga can be an effective way to help you deal with the physical stress that can come with fertility treatments like IVF. Certain Yoga styles are recommended for pregnancy, too, but you do want to avoid hot yoga or any forms of yoga that may feel too difficult for you to perform.  


Keeping a journal about your fertility journey can help you take a bird’s eye view of your progress. Write down your symptoms and set personal goals to help you organize yourself. Journaling can also be a great way for you to release stress or express yourself without the fear of being judged. 


The practice of expressing gratitude can help you maintain a positive outlook on life in general, and during your fertility journey in particular. Studies show that gratitude can help people going through infertility treatment maintain a sense of meaning and acceptance in life. 

Deep breathing exercises 

Deep breathing, like yoga and meditation, can help you release stress and anxiety. Breath-work increases the body’s intake of oxygen which stimulates relaxation by lowering your heart rate. Activating diaphragmatic breathing can calm the nervous system, sending signals to the rest of your body that you are in a ‘safe’ state. 

Everyone’s fertility journey looks different, but the stress and emotional upheaval are universal. Pursuing complementary treatments like acupuncture for infertility or practicing mindfulness and meditation will go a long way in helping you maintain a sense of connection and wellbeing during this challenging time in your life.