Beverly McGovern

Beverly McGovern
564 Howth Road
Dublin 5
01 851 0285
086 8035711
Email Beverly

Joanne McGovern

Joanne McGovern
564 Howth Road
Dublin 5
& Navan
Co Meath
086 836 2705
Email Joanne  

Lorraine McGovern

Lorraine McGovern
Affiliated to Zita West
564 Howth Road
Dublin 5
01 832 8256
086 8046269
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Difficulty conceiving

Difficulty conceiving ???








Current statistics state that one in five couples over the age of 30 have difficulty conceiving after one year of trying. Many of these couples are turning to acupuncture and Oriental medicine for a safe, effective and natural solution to have a healthy baby. Oriental medicine has a long history when it comes to enhancing fertility for both men and women. In fact, evidence that acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used to aid fertility can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3AD.

Fertility treatments were first recorded by Zhang Zhong Jing, a famous physician from the Han Dynasty, in his discussion of diseases in women in theJin Gui Yao Lue or Essentials of the Golden Cabinet.

How Acupuncture Can Enhance Fertility

According to the principles of Oriental medicine, a person’s health is determined by the quality of Qi, the vital life energy, and blood circulating through the body. When Qi and blood are circulating properly, the body is properly nourished and functioning optimally which, in turn, enhances fertility.

Researchers have confirmed its benefit in the following areas:

  • Regulate menstrual cycle.
  • Improve sperm count and motility.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety associated with infertility.
  • Normalize hormone and endocrine systems.
  • Improve blood flow in the uterus.
  • Decrease chance of miscarriage.
  • Increase the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Fertility treatments vary from person to person, but are usually scheduled for at least three consecutive cycles (twelve weeks). Treatments can include acupuncture, customized herbal therapy, stress reduction and dietary counseling. Treatments work alone but are an excellent addition to any Western intervention.

Please call an acupuncturist near you for more information of to schedule a consultation.  The best place to find a qualified and licensed acupuncture practitioner is on

Acupuncture Increases IVF Success by 65%

Women undergoing IVF were 65 percent more likely to become pregnant when they combined the procedure with acupuncture, a recent study has shown.

The remarkable success rate occurred across seven acupuncture trials involving 1,366 women in a systematic review and meta-analysis published in a February, 2008 issue of the British Medical Journal.

Acupuncture was delivered either just before or just after embryo transfer – a step in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) whereby one or several embryos are placed into the uterus.

The research was carried out by scientists from the University of Maryland in the United States and the VU University of Amsterdam in Holland.

It is thought that acupuncture stimulates the neurotransmitters that trigger the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, which controls the menstrual cycle and a woman’s ovulation.

Acupuncture is also thought to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and boost the production of endogenous opioids, inducing the body to relax.

Acupuncture Improves Sperm Quality

A study published in the July 2005 issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture helped infertile men by apparently helping improve sperm quality in their semen.

In the research project, 28 men received acupuncture in addition to traditional infertility treatments, while another 12 men received only the traditional treatments. All of the men were diagnosed with infertility of unknown origin.

Acupuncture was associated with fewer structural defects in the sperm of men who received it, although it had no effect on other abnormalities, such as sperm immaturity or premature death.

Previous studies have shown a link between acupuncture and improved sperm production and motility.

Foods for Fertility

“Your body is like a garden… As in all gardens, the seed we hope to plant in our bodies grows best when we cultivate the ground and plant and nurture the seed in harmony with the laws of nature. You wouldn’t put a tender plant in clay soil without first tilling and amending the earth – at least not if you wanted to give that plant its best start. You wouldn’t plant in the dead of winter, or in the dry season without water, or in a sunless place. Likewise, if we tend our bodies, minds, and spirits with an awareness of the laws of nature, we improve our chances of welcoming the gifts of Quan Yin, the fertility goddess.” Angela Wu, L.Ac., author ofFertility Wisdom.

Black Beans

According to Oriental medicine, the energy of the Kidney system is important for reproduction and fertility enhancement often starts with the Kidneys. A good example of a food that nourishes the Kidneys and promotes fertility is black beans.

Health Benefits of Black Beans

From an Eastern perspective, black beans are warming in nature. They are thought to tonify the Kidney Qi and nourish Yin and Blood.

From a Western perspective, black beans are an excellent source of protein, folate, iron and fiber and are rich in antioxidants.

Loaded with Antioxidants

Worlds Healthiest Foods reported on research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicating that black beans are as rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins as grapes and cranberries, fruits long considered antioxidant superstars.

When researchers analyzed different types of beans, they found that, the darker the bean’s seed coat, the higher its level of antioxidant activity. Gram for gram, black beans were found to have the most antioxidant activity, followed in descending order by red, brown, yellow, and white beans.

Overall, the level of antioxidants found in black beans in this study is approximately 10 times that found in an equivalent amount of oranges, and comparable to that found in an equivalent amount of grapes or cranberries.


Research shows Acupuncture Improves The Sucess of IVF!

A study done by Paulus in Germany surveyed 160 women who had IVF treatment.  80 of the women had acupuncture before and after transfer of the embryo and 80 did not.  The group that did not have acupuncture were found to have a 26.3% success rate, while the group that had the acupuncture had a 42.5% success rate.  Success was determined by those who had a successful scan confirming pregnancy at 6 weeks pregnant.  Our Acupuncture clinic has supported this protocol and includes it in treatments to support those women undergoing IVF treatment.   If you would like to read more about this research:  PubMed

This is huge improvement in the rate of sucessful IVF treatments.  Another step in the right direction for recognising acupuncture as a useful assistant to IVF treatments.


Detox to Boost Fertility?

This is something that we support in our clinic.  It is something we cover in our initial consultation for anyone trying to conceive or hoping to start in the near future.  This article is from the Sydney Morning Herald and is by Michelle Bridges who is an author and a trainer on “The Biggest Loser”.  Our clinic would agree and employ most of the advice in this article.


Midwives Using Acupuncture

Midwives are widely using acupuncture in countries around the world with great sucess.  This article highlights just how much it is being used without getting a huge amount of press!  I found the article on PulseToday and it is from the blog of Edzard Ernst.


Miscarriage & Acupuncture

Miscarriage is defined as any pregnancy which ends spontaneously, before the fetus can survive.  It occurs in 15% to 25% of all pregnancies. This rate can be higher with A.R.T    Miscarriage usually occurs before 13 weeks. It can have a devastating effect, on all those concerned.   Today there is support for those who have suffered a miscarriage.


Some causes of miscarriage still remain a mystery.  Some of the known causes include – genetic abnormalities, immune disorders eg, systemic lupus,  hormonal eg, cushings disease,  uncontrolled  diabetes, assisted conception eg, IVF.  Chronic health problems eg, hyper or hypothyroidism.  Vitamin or mineral deficiency eg, zinc. Uterine abnormalities eg,  fibroids,  viral or bacterial infections.

Defective sperm and low sperm count. Research from the department of obstetrics and gynecology in Sweden showed, 4% of abnormal sperm in normal pregnancy, compared to 48% of abnormal sperm in miscarriage.  Sperm counts in normal pregnancy were 138.7 million per cubic centimeter, while in the case of miscarriage they were only 110.2 million per cubic centimeter.

The age of both parents can also be a factor.  A joint study was carried out from November 2010 to March 2011.  The findings showed that there is an eight fold risk of miscarriage if the father is over 40 yrs of age, and women older than 34yrs of age were two fold more likely to miscarry.

Caffeine consumption.  Over 88,000 pregnant women were involved in Danish research, on the relationship between coffee and fetal death. One cup per day increased the fetal death rate by 3%.  Seven or more cups of coffee per day increased the rate by up to 59%.

Obesity can increase the rate of miscarriage.

Smoking can severely impact on sperm quality and quantity.  Smoking in women can also increase the rate of miscarriage.

Alcohol increases chances of miscarriage.

Signs and symptoms.

The most common symptoms are cramping and vaginal bleeding.  90% of all vaginal bleeding in the first 7 to 11 weeks, will result in ongoing pregnancy.  All cramping and bleeding should be checked out.  The Doctor may order an ultrasound to assess the pregnancy and to rule out ectopic pregnancy.  A blood test measuring HCG levels may also be required.  A new test called the PVI test can predict  the chances of miscarriage, with  77% accuracy.

How Acupuncture and TCM can help

1  Relaxes and reduces stress

2  Improves blood flow to the ovaries and the uterus

3  Regulates the hormones.

4  Improves function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs

5  Improves quality and quantity of sperm

6  Improves thickness of the uterine wall

7  Reduces uterine contraction (miscarriage)

8  Reinforces Qi to hold fetus in place (miscarriage)

9  Improves absorption of nutrients

10  Decreases the chances of miscarriage


On your first visit a detailed assessment is carried out.  This includes, Chinese tongue, pulse and facial diagnosis, past and current medical history, nutrition diet and lifestyle assessment.

A personalised diet and lifestyle plan will then be worked out for you.

It is important to get yourself, and your partner as fit and healthy as possible before conception. Regular aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, adequate water intake  and proper sleep are essential for health and well being.

Why do foods matter?

To maintain a healthy weight.

Zinc deficiency impacts on healthy sperm production in men.  In women it can cause problems with maintaining the pregnancy .

For good progesterone levels Magnesium and Vitamin B6 need to be in good supply in the diet.

Vitamin C – Vital for the absorption of iron, and healthy lining of the uterus.

Oily fish which is rich in omega 3 and 6, vital for the development of the babies eyes and brain.

Iron rich foods eg red meat are important, to help make extra blood needed by you and baby.

There are also foods which should be avoided during pregnancy eg,

Raw or cured meat and fish as they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses.

Some fish eg marlin and swordfish contain high levels of mercury.  This can harm the development of the babies nervous system.

Unpasteurised dairy products, such as  soft and mould ripened cheeses, like brie and Stilton, can contain the bacteria listeria.

Acupuncture treatments will also be advised.  Acupuncture may be advised for both partners prior to conception.  In cases of poor sperm quality and quantity ( depending on your diagnosis ) 3 months acupuncture treatment is advised. For women who have suffered miscarriage / are having ART eg  IVF, ( depending on your diagnosis ) we reccommend acupuncture treatment for 3 cycles.  After conception the emphasis for acupuncture treatments is on miscarriage prevention, and a healthy pregnancy.

Written by Joanne Mc Govern. – Dip. Ac., Lic. Ac., Dip. Chinese Herbs, Dip. Nutritional Advisor.




If you are TTC or have a Fertility Issue…..

….Then you must watch this clip!  It is from EMD Serono and is from their “Birds & Bees” fertility issues awareness campaign.  A must watch!


Acupuncture & Acupressure for Labour Pain Relief.

A review of studies was carried out.  Data from 13 trials was considered.  9 were based on acupuncture treatment and 4 on acupressure.  The conclusions included the following:

  • Acupuncture patients experienced less intense pain
  • There was increased satisfaction with pain relief from acupuncture
  • Reduced use of pharmacological analgesia where acupuncture was used
  • Fewer instrumental deliveries from acupuncture were found compared with standard care
  • Pain was reduced in the acupressure group compared to the placebo group

So all of this is very promising.  It was concluded that more research into acupuncture for Labour pain relief was indicated.  The full results can be viewed on PubMed here…




Acupuncture may help with Infertility

Evidence is now sugesting that acupuncture can help with certain types of infertility.  This is an interesting article by Hilary Easmom highlighting this.  Acupuncture is increasingly becoming thought of as main stream treatment of fertility issues.  Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with Chinese Herbs.  This article highlights the potential for acupuncture and chinese herbs in the treatment of recurrent miscarriage, high FSH levels, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.  It can also help improve conditions such as endometriosis.


Fertility And Acupuncture

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can increase the chances of becoming pregnant.  It can be useful for individuals or couples who hope for a natural conception or for those who are undergoing Assisted Reproduction Technology (ie; IVF, IUI, etc.,).  Recent research has shown that having acupuncture treatment in conjunction with ART increases women’s chances of becoming pregnant.  It is important to realise acupuncture can be of benefit to males to enhance fertility as it can help improve the quality and motility of the sperm. For best results acupuncture should begin at least 3 months prior to ART procedure.

How Acupuncture and TCM can enhance fertility.

  • Regulates the menstrual cycle
  • Regulates hormones by reducing stress
  • Improves the thickness of the uterine wall lining
  • Reduces uterine contractions after the embryo transfer
  • Improves blood flow to the ovaries and uterus
  • Improves ovarian function – encourages the production of follicles and enhances their quality
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Reduces the chance of miscarriage
  • Improves sperm parameters ( takes at least 3 months)
  • Improves quality of oocytes (takes at least 3 months)

Acupuncture and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

For the best results acupuncture should begin at least 3 months prior to ART procedure.   Generally treatments are given once a week.  For optimal results a treatment is given 12-48 hours before and after embryo transfer.

Acupuncture and Natural Conception

If you are attempting to become pregnant through natural means, acupuncture can benefit you by balancing the flow of Qi (energy) and blood in the body.  When Qi and blood are not flowing smoothly clots, blocked tubes, premenstrual pain and endometriosis can occur.

Stress is a big factor in infertility and acupuncture can help the body relax while stress management techniques can also be of benefit.  The clinic offers stress management therapists and sessions are done in 45minute sessions.

Diet & Lifestyle

Diet and nutrition are of the utmost importance to both male and females for optimal results in fertility.  Dietary advice is given by qualified nutritional advisors throughout the course of treatment, as required and a qualified stress management therapist can help with breathing and relaxation techniques.

What Symptoms Acupuncture can treat in relation to Infertility

  • Endometriosis
  • Blocked Tubes
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle
  • Premenstrual Cramps, pain and clots
  • Headaches
  • Miscarriage
  • Lack of ovulation
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Low Sperm Count
  • Poor Motility Rates

Acupuncture During Pregnancy

Once pregnancy occurs, medication is usually prohibited therefore acupuncture is the ideal tool to help with morning sickness, coughs, colds, headaches, back pain, constipation, tiredness and the many afflictions the human body has to deal with daily.  It can also be used to induce labour and to turn breach babies if necessary.

Increased Success of IVF when done in conjunction with Acupuncture

A recent study done by Paulus in Germany surveyed 160 women who had IVF treatment.  80 of the women had acupuncture before and after transfer of the embryo and 80 did not.  The group that did not have acupuncture were found to have a 26.3% success rate, while the group that had the acupuncture had a 42.5% success rate.  Success was determined by those who had a successful scan confirming pregnancy at 6 weeks pregnant.  This clinic includes this protocol for those women undergoing IVF treatment.   If you would like to read more about this: PubMed

Acupuncture can increase odds of clinical pregnancy by 65% among women undergoing IVF

A team of researchers based at Univerfsity of Maryland have reviewed and analysed a large number of clinical trials involving the use of acupuncture for fertility on 1366 women. The review concluded that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation.   If you would like to read more about this:  BMJ Feb 2008

Acupuncture promoting ovulation

We have selected a few research articles that show the success of acupuncture in relation to treating lack of ovualtion:

Clinical observation on acupuncture for treatment of infertility of ovulatory disturbance.  If you would like to read more:


Acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: current experimental and clinical evidence.  If you would like to read more:


Advances of modern studies of acupuncture and moxibustion for treatment of ovulation disorders.  If you would like to read more:


Acupuncture can reduce miscarriages

Acupuncture During IVF linked to lower ectopic and miscarriage rate.  The retrospective study included 131 women who were undergoing standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). All of these women were considered good prognosis candidates for IVF/ICSI and were given the choice of having acupuncture.   48 had acupuncture and 83 did not.  In the group that had acupuncture the miscarriage rate was nearly halved.  14% miscarriages in non acupuncture group versus 8% miscarriage in acupuncture group.  Ectopic pregnancies were 9% in non acupuncture group versus 0% in acupuncture group.  Live birth rate for non acupuncture group was 16% versus 21% in acupuncture group.If you would like to read more:

Caffeine Intake linked to Miscarriage Rates

A new study has found that pregnant women who consumed more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, equivalent to about two cups of coffee, had twice the risk of miscarriage as the women who consumed no caffeine at all. The findings are published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  If you would like to read more:

Acupuncture can help male infertility

A study of 40 men with idiopathic oligospermia, asthenospermia, or teratozoospermia has shown a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, after acupuncture.  If you would like to read more:


Another study of 19 men with semen abnormalities showed that acupuncture and moxa techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in infertile patients with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause.  If you would like to read more:


Another study of 22 patients was done to gague the influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology.  It showed the The fertilization rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were obviously higher than that before treatment (40.2%, P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in sperm concentration and general sperm motility between before and after acupuncture. The embryo quality after acupuncture was improved, but the difference between them was not significant (P > 0.05). Acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilization rates in assisted reproductive technology.  If you would like to read more:


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