Ian Prytherch trained at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in both Five Element and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Specializing in Fertility, IVF, and Obstetrics Ian provides the best support possible for couples undergoing IVF and Fertility treatment.
Ian has researched the role of acupuncture in the treatment of endometriosis associated with infertility as well as the treatment of Male Factor Infertility using Chinese Medicine. He has written articles for Child of Wimbledon, South West Families, and The Chinese Journal.

How does Acupuncture work?

Daily stresses, lifestyle choices and injury upset our natural balance and lead to physical and emotional symptoms.  By identifying the root cause of the symptoms I use very fine, painless needles to activate specific energy points on the body to help bring both body and mind back to health.  MRI scans show that acupuncture triggers the body’s healing process by calming the central nervous system, regulating hormones and releasing endorphins.

What can Acupuncture treat?

Common complaints successfully and regularly treated include;

  • Infertility and IVF support
  • Stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue
  • Digestive disorders – IBS, bloating, constipation
  • Menstrual and menopausal disorders – PMT, Endometriosis, PCOS
  • Pregnancy discomforts, morning sickness and labour induction
  • Headaches Migraines Asthma

The benefits of Acupuncture

Treatment is aimed at the root of your condition as well as your main symptoms. This approach helps resolve your main problem but also enhance your feeling of general wellbeing. You may notice other niggling problems resolve.  You are likely to sleep better and feel less stressed.

In general most report a heightened sense of wellbeing and energy.

Acupuncture in Early Pregnancy

Acupuncture is a safe and effective option to nurture and support early pregnancy by providing relief for many common discomforts without drugs and their harmful side effects.

Acupuncture can treat morning sickness

Many women experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, are likely caused by hormone changes in the body. If you find that you are nauseous most of the day, or if you cannot stop vomiting, you need to seek medical advice.

Most women are reluctant to use conventional medications to reduce their symptoms; so acupuncture offers an appealing alternative for alleviating nausea and vomiting. Smith et al. in 2002 published that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for women who experience nausea and dry retching in early pregnancy.

My recommendation

For optimum results, I recommend weekly acupuncture treatments until 12 weeks of gestation.  In addition, i believe that maintaining a healthy diet, better lifestyle, and positive emotions can directly nourish and support the fetus.  Women should eat nutrient-rich and easily digestible, cooked food in small portions more often during the day, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid spicy, fried and greasy foods.

Enjoy this special time in your life!  Staying healthy and supporting a full-term pregnancy is something women have done for centuries.

Acupuncture treats all of you and when you are treated this way you feel better at both deep and surface levels.


The way we experience our emotional and mental life is just is as much related to our physical body as whether we have a bad back. Just see how your  feelings change when you are ill or tired

Acupuncture treatment brings you back into a better balance and is intended to encourage the body’s natural tendency to operate at optimum health. Good Acupuncture treatment balances you and one of the results of this is that people start reporting that they ‘feel more themselves’, ‘can see I am ‘more at peace’, ‘can hear that I am more content’ etc. This is the real meaning of well-being and what is amazing, and surprising to many, about Acupuncture is that it can help you feel this way.

In my experience, everyone has different kinds of demands that life brings to them, Acupuncture for many people is an important part of what helps them live life rather than survive it.


You’ve tried everything you can to solve your insomnia:

  • You’ve ‘counted sheep’
  • You’ve consumed countless mugs of hot milk
  • You’ve found that the countless Sleep Apps don’t do it either.

Nothing has worked. Your last resort appears to be a diet of sleeping pills, with all their potential side effects. These include headaches, stomach pains, uncontrollable shaking, diarrhoea, constipation, dizziness… the list is almost endless. And let’s not forget that sleeping pills are also addictive. Not an attractive proposition.

Many people have discovered that acupuncture has helped them in their struggle with sleep deprivation.
Acupuncture helps you gain a better night’s sleep because it:

  • Stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles;
  • Increases production of γ-amino butyric acid, which improves quality of sleep;
  • Reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, thus promoting relaxation; and
  • Regulates various neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline. This helps to balance mood and promotes relaxation.
  • “The point about Ian and his treatments is that I feel completely supported both physically and emotionally through the IVF roller coaster. This is our second time at IVF and so far, with Ian’s help, the experience this time has been very positive. I really believe that he was the secret of our success.”



When we have difficulty starting a family, it is one of the most emotional challenges in the world. Coming to terms with the fact that others around you (friends /family) are happily announcing their pregnancies and the sudden realization that things aren’t going quite to plan for you can be overwhelming.

One of the most challenging aspects of the infertility experience is dealing with the emotional ups and downs, the uncertainty about outcomes, and the challenge of having to make important decisions such as “how long should I try for” or when to start looking into medical treatment.

It is important to learn how to take care of ourselves, make sure we that get the support we need, and to manage our emotions so that our self-esteem and outlook on life remains as positive as possible.

With many years of experience my role is to help you through this journey and support you through its difficult times.

Ultimately through Acupuncture and some lifestyle changes and advice you will give yourself the best possible chance of conceiving either naturally or through IVF.

Do you recognize any of the following symptoms that either appeared or worsened since trying to conceive?

  • lack of energy (especially at specific times of your cycle )
  • headaches
  • irritability (snapping at people or feeling overwhelmed particularly if someone close to you announces they are pregnant)
  • insomnia
  • extreme sadness
  • inability to concentrate

Ian Prytherch Fertility


Several factors may be responsible for declining male fertility including;


  • Low Sperm Count

  • Abnormal Sperm Size and Shape

  • Reduced Motility

Sperm quality has been correlated with more than simply fertilisation rates, but with factors such as development of the fertilised egg, implantation and perhaps more importantly, the development of the embryo itself. So occurrences like miscarriages could have more to do with sperm quality than we imagined, and treatments that focus solely on the woman may indeed miss the mark. If you are considering a pre-conception programme, or if infertility is unexplained, the aim is to maximise sperm and egg quality.

I understand that for men the emotional impact can be huge and the tendency to “keep it to yourself” can often be the norm.I try to break down some of the concerns or fears you may have and very quickly together we will work out a plan that helps to give you the best possible chance of improving your sperm parameters and give you the sense that you are doing something about it.

I use points in the abdomen and leg which help to increase blood flow through the small blood vessels of the testes, improving delivery of nutrients to developing sperm and promoting optimal sperm vitality.

I use other points to reduce stress – a big factor in sub fertility issues.
There is a clear link to male fertility with both nutritional and lifestyle issues. Part of my comprehensive approach includes making suitable dietary recommendations in order to support and maximise our impact upon poor sperm parameters. Often a sensible, planned and individual approach, plus some persistence, helps to address many of the factors linked to reproduction.

It takes around 90 days to create new sperm, so positive effects from acupuncture sessions as well as from nutritional and lifestyle changes are maximised after this period. Follow up testing by semen analysis is recommended as a way to demonstrate the positive changes made from healthy choices.


Southfields Clinic

Wimpole Clinic


What is acupuncture?

Traditional acupuncture is an ancient healing art, developed over several thousand years in the Far East.  It takes a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment, considering each patient as a whole, and as a unique individual.  It can be used to preserve health as well as to treat illness.  It can treat a wide range of conditions. It aims to correct imbalances and bring the body, mind and emotions back to harmony and balance, just as conventional medicine also aims to bring the body back to a state of healthy homeostasis.  Diagnosis and treatment within Chinese Medicine is a highly skilled art, which requires years of training to develop. It looks at the human body through an Eastern paradigm, where bodily processes are powered and maintained by the flow of Qi energy.  Disturbances in this flow generate illness.  Acupuncture points are sited in key locations for influencing the flow of Qi, and are used to restore a smooth flow.

How often will I need treatment?

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture regards each person as an individual with a unique pattern of symptoms, and this is what makes the treatment so effective. Predicting the number of treatments required depends on the individual and the condition, and this will be assessed during the initial consultation. Most patients start coming for treatment weekly, and see improvement within 4 treatments. As treatment progresses, the interval between treatment lengthens to fortnightly and then monthly if on-going treatment is required.

Is it safe?

As a member of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC), I am bound to observe a Code of Practice which lays down stringent procedures regarding standards of hygiene and sterilisation for needles and other equipment. All procedures have been approved by the Department of Health and provide protection against the transmission of infectious diseases. All of the needles used are disposable.

What does it feel like?

Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to those used for giving injections or for taking blood. The needles are very fine and the sensation of having acupuncture is more like a tingling or a dull ache. During treatment, many people experience a pleasant feeling of relaxation.

Wider Benefits?

People receiving acupuncture frequently report benefits well beyond their original complaint - often feeling better in themselves and more resourceful in facing the world and the challenges of work, family or relationships.

If you have any questions about acupuncture and how it can help you please contact Ian