The Berkley Center

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine practice, has been gaining attention in reproductive health for its potential to improve oocyte quality and pregnancy rates. One mechanism through which acupuncture is believed to exert its beneficial effects is promoting angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. Enhanced blood supply to the ovarian follicles can improve oocyte quality and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

How Acupuncture Enhances Angiogenesis

Angiogenesis is crucial for providing the necessary nutrients and oxygen to developing follicles. Research indicates that acupuncture may stimulate angiogenesis through several pathways:

Increase in VEGF Levels: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of angiogenesis. Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase the expression of VEGF, thereby promoting the formation of new blood vessels in the ovaries (Xu et al., 2018).

Enhanced Blood Flow: Acupuncture has been found to improve blood flow in the pelvic region. This increased circulation ensures that the ovarian follicles receive an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen, which are critical for their development (Stener-Victorin et al., 2010).

Modulation of Hormonal Balance: Acupuncture may help balance reproductive hormones, supporting angiogenesis. Estrogen and progesterone are vital in regulating VEGF and other angiogenic factors (Lim et al., 2016).

angiogenesis impact factor

Impact on Oocyte Quality and Pregnancy Rates

By promoting angiogenesis and improving blood supply to the follicles, acupuncture can significantly enhance oocyte quality, a critical factor in successful fertilization and embryonic development. Improved oocyte quality can lead to higher pregnancy rates in several ways:

Enhanced Follicular Environment: A better blood supply ensures that follicles are in an optimal environment for growth and maturation. This can lead to the development of healthier oocytes with higher fertilization potential (Manheimer et al., 2008).

Reduction of Oxidative Stress: Adequate blood flow helps reduce oxidative stress within the ovarian environment. Lower oxidative stress levels are associated with better oocyte health and improved chances of successful embryo implantation (Qin et al., 2017).

Increased Endometrial Receptivity: Acupuncture benefits the ovaries and enhances endometrial receptivity, creating a more favorable environment for embryo implantation. This dual effect further boosts the likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy (Smith et al., 2014).



Acupuncture’s potential to improve angiogenesis, thereby enhancing blood supply to the ovarian follicles, presents a promising avenue for improving oocyte quality and pregnancy rates. By increasing VEGF levels, enhancing blood flow, and balancing reproductive hormones, acupuncture can create an optimal environment for follicular development and embryo implantation. This traditional practice, when integrated with modern fertility treatments, may offer a complementary approach to enhancing reproductive outcomes.


  • Mike Berkley

    Mike Berkley, LAc, FABORM, is a licensed and board-certified acupuncturist and a board-certified herbalist. He is a fertility specialist at The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness in the Midtown East neighborhood of Manhattan, New York.

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