San Francisco Acupuncture for Hormonal Imbalance, Menstrual Problems, Infertility/IVF

Kristen Sparrow, MD; San Francisco Medical Acupuncturist

Hormonal Imbalances

Whether the condition is PCOS, or menopausal hot flashes, Traditional Chinese Medicine has answers for modern women.  The ancient Chinese took these problems very seriously.  There can be a number of issues according to Chinese Medicine which acupuncture can treat.  Hot flashes are an imbalance of Yin and Yang that occurs with the natural dwindling of kidney energy with age, acupuncture can help this problem.  The insomnia that results from the same imbalance has been studied and shown to be helped with acupuncture.

Premenstrual distress and menstrual cramps can often be treated with acupuncture.  These often are considered a result of stagnation of liver energy sometimes due to low liver blood.

Acupuncture for Infertility and IVFFailure to conceive can be agonizing for couples.

But facing the onslaught of testing, probing, medications, shots, timing, charting…  It’s no wonder that the couple is stressed and emotionally drained. Given the expense and hardship of fertility treatments, you owe it to yourself and your partner to optimize your reproductive health and emotional health with acupuncture. You can do acupuncture in conjunction with IVF treatments, or as a stand alone series.

I use modern acupuncture techniques in my clinic to optimize fertility

Acupuncture helps balance the body and ease the mind, which helps to conceive

Usually I use a combination of herbs and acupuncture treatment for the best possible outcomes, first by regulating the cycle and calming the stress, and then by nourishing the uterus and the body in general.  For information about my studies on the stress response and acupuncture, please click here, and see the study below.

If you have already begun IVF treatments, you can initiate acupuncture treatment as soon as convenient. This will ensure the significant emotional and financial investment you’ve made in your IVF therapy has the best possible outcome.

Evidence for the Stress Response and Acupuncture Treatments for Infertility

According to a recent review article (1) the researchers found the following “Conclusions: Acupuncture seems to have beneficial effects on live birth rate when performed on the day of ET, and to be useful also in PCOS as well as in male idiopathic infertility, with very low incidence of side effects”  Interestingly, they also attributed the improvement to a decrease in the stress response “Experimental studies suggest that acupuncture effects are mediated by changes in activity of the autonomic nervous system and stimulation of neuropeptides/neurotransmitters which may be involved in the pathogenesis of infertility.

Stress response and treatment for PCOS with acupuncture

In an article entitled “The Physiological Basis of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(2)” they make the following conclusions:

“The syndrome is associated with peripheral and central factors that influence sympathetic nerve activity. Thus, the sympathetic nervous system may be an important factor in the development and maintenance of PCOS. Many women with PCOS require prolonged treatment. Current pharmacological approaches are effective but have adverse effects. Therefore, nonpharmacological treatment strategies need to be evaluated. Clearly, acupuncture can affect PCOS via modulation of endogenous regulatory systems, including the sympathetic nervous system, the endocrine and the neuroendocrine system.”

What you need to know about Dr. Sparrow before making an appointment…

  • Dr. Sparrow has been practicing acupuncture for 16 years and is Board Certified in Anesthesiology and Pediatrics.
  • She has studied acupuncture and stress for years. She published a study on the stress response and its correlation with acupuncture’s effectiveness in the Journal of Medical Acupuncture.
  • There are many benefits to acupuncture treatment, improved sleep, improved immunity, better mood, less illness which make the cost of $275 ($225 for seniors) for four visits a very good value.
  • She has a keen interest in her patients, prevention, health matters and the research behind acupuncture’s effectiveness. You can follow her blog here.
  • Please call (415) 775-0117 to set an appointment for a personal consultation.


1. Acupuncture in clinical and experimental reproductive medicine: a review.  J Endocrinol Invest. 2011 Feb 4.

[Epub ahead of print]  Franconi G, Manni L, Aloe L, Mazzilli F, Giambalvo Dal Ben G, Lenzi A, Fabbri A.   2.Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Apr 12. Raja-Khan N, Stener-Victorin E, Wu X, Legro R.