Acupuncture and the Two Week Wait (2ww)

Are women’s stress levels associated with infertility? A group of researchers in U.S. decided to look into this. They measured biomarkers from specific chemicals and hormones using their saliva and performed a perceived stress questionnaire with almost 400 couples. What they found was that when these biomarkers and perceived stress scores were higher, the time to pregnancy was also increased.

The two weeks after embryo transfer can be a strenuous game for some women. The excitement can turn into anxiety which can overload the body and bring on the adverse result.

Considering the financial cost of IVF treatment, the intense longing for a baby and the all-too-stressful waiting game, many women are under much strain during the two week wait, thinking that nothing can be done in the mean time.

Acupuncture can be incorporated at this time to ease the mind and help the hopeful mother to sleep better at night. In a series of studies at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), researchers are demonstrating how acupuncture can significantly reduce the stress hormone response in an animal model of chronic stress. Dr Eshkevari, a physiologist, designed a series of studies in rats to test the effect of electronic acupuncture on levels of proteins and hormones secreted by biologic pathways involved in stress response. They found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway.

Acupuncture works by facilitating the release of pain-killing endorphins that help relieve feelings of anxiety and depression and bring balance in the body. During the two-week wait, acupuncture can be used to manage any side effects you might experience such as moodiness, abdomen swelling, fatigue, muscle tension and anxiety. Our treatment protocols are based on your symptoms and needs, we encourage dropping by once or twice during the two week period.


  1. C.D. Lynch, R. Sundaram, J.M. Maisog, A.M. Sweeney, and G.M. Buck Louis. Preconception stress increases the risk of infertility: results from a couple-based prospective cohort study—the LIFE study. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000 Feb;79(2):113-8.Hum Reprod. 2014 May; 29(5): 1067–1075.
  2. Eshkevari L, Permaul E, Mulroney SE. Acupuncture blocks cold stress-induced increases in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat. J Endocrinol. 2013 Mar 15;217(1):95-104.
Posted by Soma Clinic

Informational content on this website was created by Soma Clinic, which provides natural and hands-on support for women going through IVF cycles, as well as other related therapies for women's reproductive health.