According to a 2023 report by the World Health Organization, one in six people experience fertility worldwide. That’s nearly 18% of all adults. The prevalence of infertility is rising, and a 2021 Scientific American op-ed points to some reasons why.
Infertility, which by definition can be declared after a year of frequent, unprotected sex without pregnancy, has some root causes that should be addressed with your healthcare professional. As you’re working on a fertility plan with your provider, be sure to discuss ear seeds for fertility as a complementary treatment. You can print and provide this article, which covers:
- What ear seeds are and how to apply them
- Ear seed acupressure versus ear acupuncture for fertility
- Peer-reviewed research on auriculotherapy for fertility
- Where to place ear seeds for fertility (primary and second points)
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What are ear seeds and how do you apply them?
If you’re new to the world of ear seeds for fertility or other health conditions, let us break it down for you.
Ear seeds are tiny non-invasive beads that stick to your ears with pieces of adhesive tape. You put them on specific ear points (sometimes called acupressure points or acupoints) of your ear that correspond with different systems or mechanisms of the body you want to improve or feel better.
The ear is an underrated microcosm of the body. It doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being tied to a structure of nerves that course through the body. Applying acupressure (with ear seeds) or acupuncture on particular acupoints activates and promotes therapeutic benefits throughout the body.
Applying ear seeds for fertility or other issues take a bit of practice if you’re doing it by yourself. But the more you practice, the easier it gets over time. Why is earseeding worth the time, energy and effort? Because in addition to being evidence-based, it’s an economical form of self care that’s widely accessible and available, aligning with our mission of “every ear seeded.”
When you’re ready to apply ear seeds, we have an in-depth article for ear seed application, or you can refer to this summary:
- Compile your list of desired ear points to seed — we encourage you to sign up for Auriculo 360 (free for 30 days!) for the optimal research-backed acupoints
- Gather your materials — ear seeds, mirror (or phone camera on a tripod or set against something so you can be hands-free and see yourself), tweezers, alcohol wipes
- Wash your hands — you want to limit the spread of germs to your ears
- Clean your ears with the alcohol wipes — this helps remove the oils so your ear seeds adhere better and longer
- Lift the ear seeds off the plastic strip with the tweezers — go slowly and gently to prevent the metal ball from falling off the adhesive sticker
- Place the ear seed on your desired ear point — start with some easier, more accessible points
- Press the ear seed with your fingertip — this helps “set” it in place
- Repeat steps 5-7 with the other points you wish to seed!
Ear seed acupressure versus ear acupuncture for fertility
Although auricular (meaning “of the ear”) acupuncture has been studied more than auricular acupressure with or without ear seeds, the findings are generally interchangeable between the two modalities.
Peer-reviewed research on auriculotherapy for fertility
A 1992 article on ear acupuncture and infertility concluded that acupuncture played a role in normalizing autonomic nervous system disorders. Moreover, the ear acupuncture group remained infertile at a lower rate compared to the control group. For this reason, auricular acupuncture was touted as a “valuable alternative therapy for female infertility” for women with hormone disorders.
More recently, in 2012-2013, four researchers out of the University of Michigan published “A systematic review of the evidence for complementary and alternative medicine in infertility.” After analyzing 37 articles on different types of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for their effectiveness of infertility treatment, acupuncture was called out as one of the main types of CAM therapies as being helpful in promoting improved psychology wellbeing of individuals going through infertility treatments. Furthermore, acupuncture showed some promise in the way of increased pregnancy rates, although the trend was scientifically insignificant and requires further study.
What’s better for fertility: auricular acupressure or acupuncture?
While it’s true that most studies in the past 20 years have largely focused on evaluating acupuncture rather than ear seeds for fertility, acupuncture may not be an option for everyone.
Acupuncture requires a visit to an acupuncturist for needle application, whereas ear seeds can be applied yourself at home. On the flip side, applying ear seeds yourself can be intimidating if you’re new to earseeding.
For this reason, we recommend enlisting the help of a friend or partner to help you put the ear seeds on if it’s your first time. Alternatively, we offer virtual consultations with our ear seeds consultants so you can get guided placement coaching via a video call.
Where to place ear seeds for fertility
Several different ear points are associated with promoting fertility, according to the Auriculo 360 app. From general acupoints like Shen Men and Point Zero, to more reproductive-targeted acupoints like the Sex Glands, Ovaries, Testes and Uterus, you have many choices for ear seed placement.
In addition to being the best app for acupressure points (it features a 3D ear that you can zoom, expand, move, and rotate), Auriculo 360 gives descriptions of the benefit of each acupoint. So you’ll be able to read through them and choose the 3 to 5 ear seeds for fertility acupoints.
Primary fertility ear seeds points are marked by the GREEN dots in the ear below:
- Adrenal Gland.C
- Genitals (External.)C&E
- Sex Glands
- Ovaries.E or Testes.E
- Point Zero
- Shen Men
Secondary fertility ear seeds points are marked by the WHITE dots in the ear below:
Fertility ear seeds…worth a try?
Now that you know what ear seeds are, how to apply them, the contributions of auriculotherapy toward fertility support (i.e., scientific research), and where to put ear seeds for fertility, it’s time to buy some ear seeds and get after it! For best results, be sure to follow the 4-3-1 Rule. Happy seeding!
Clark, N. A., Will, M., Moravek, M. B., & Fisseha, S. (2013). A systematic review of the evidence for complementary and alternative medicine in infertility. International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 122(3), 202–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.03.032
Gerhard, I., & Postneek, F. (1992). Auricular acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Gynecological Endocrinology, 6(3), 171–181.
Qu, F., Zhang, D., Chen, L. T., et al. (2014). Auricular Acupressure Reduces Anxiety Levels and Improves Outcomes of in Vitro Fertilization: A Prospective, Randomized and Controlled Study. Scientific Reports, 4, 5028. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep05028