Clinical Research

A growing body of literature supports the use of acupuncture for fertility enhancement and the treatment of women's health disorders, whether alone or in conjunction with Western medicine. Read our research summary here —


Patient Testimonials

“My pregnancies were awesome.”

I had two amazing experiences with treatment at TCRA, one with each of my babies. I didn't have fertility issues, but miscarriage was a concern for me as many women I love have experienced the pain of losing a pregnancy. I decided to go through TCRA's "Healthy Pregnancy" program. I felt so consistently nurtured and cared for by every person I encountered, from the moment I walked through the front door, to the bliss of relaxing during my treatments. My pregnancies were awesome - no sickness or excessive fatigue, and both of my births were amazingly fast (less than four hours) - which I attribute in part to the skilled hands at TCRA. I'm so grateful for this practice and their loving support!

— Cheryl S., Austin

“I am forever grateful.”

I suffered for 20 years with debilitating PMS symptoms; severe pain with menses, neck and back pain, headaches, insomnia, irritability and anxiety, all related to an imbalance in my hormones. Doctors' recommendations never helped so, I turned to TCRA for Acupuncture as a last resort. Being an RN and trained in traditional Western medicine, I was skeptical as to how or if Acupuncture could actually help. Well, it DID! After only a few treatments, I was able to sleep without sleeping pills, my headaches and pain in my neck were gone, I took no more pain medications during my periods and my irritability and anxiety had decreased significantly. Thank you TCRA for helping me, I am forever grateful!

— Wendy R., San Antonio


"Extremely caring and empathetic"

"Kirsten is a wealth of information and is always professional yet extremely caring and empathetic. Any problem you bring to her, she is dogged is trying to find the best solution individualized to your needs."

— Brenagh T., Austin


“Amazing — professional and caring.”

I love, love, love the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture. Kirsten and the team there are amazing — professional and caring. After trying to get pregnant for a year and a half I went to see the folks at TCRA and I was pregnant at age 39 without any other fertility assistance. I now have a beautiful, healthy baby boy. I also had an infection that was treated with 6 different antibiotics and nothing helped, I was even referred to an Infectious Disease specialist. Kirsten treated me and the infection was gone within two weeks. I would recommend TCRA to anyone wanting to get pregnant, they are the best!

— Dianne D., Austin

“What TCRA does, they do it to LAST.”

I have already left one review regarding my amazing experience at TCRA. I was infertile for 4 years (PCOS and allegedly low sperm count) and became pregnant 3 months into my acupuncture services. What I never expected was I am now pregnant again without acupuncture, without drugs, without even trying!!! An "OOPS A BABY!!!" I never thought that could happen to me! What TCRA does, they do it to LAST! If you want to proceed in your battle against infertility in a natural and holistic way I would greatly encourage you to seek the help of TCRA.

— Sarah P., San Antonio


“The joy is indescribable.”

Today, I have two beautiful healthy twin boys. But when I first visited the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture in the fall of 2004, I had been going through years of fertility problems and too many devastating miscarriages. I'd already started seeing a fertility specialist and my doctors were doing all they could to help us start our family. However, I thought Oriental medicine could help support my Western medicine treatments. I'd tried another Austin acupuncture clinic previously, but was searching for an acupuncture practitioner who could offer more open communication and support for my problems. Fortunately I found TCRA, and Kirsten fit the bill perfectly.

They were extremely thorough and detailed in assessing my past health issues, which was so important when dealing with such a personal medical history as mine. I ended up having about 10 weeks of acupuncture and herbal therapy that was done to coordinate with my doctor's treatments. In addition to that, and perhaps just as important, Kirsten also gave me a better understanding of how my diet affected my body and how I could also adjust my nutrition to improve and balance my overall health. She was so informative and supportive regarding women's health, I wished that I had found her sooner.

Ultimately, our sons were born summer of 2005, and the joy our new family brings myself and my husband is indescribable. For any woman struggling to have a baby... it can be an unbelievably rough journey. I feel my acupuncture helped support me on my journey, and perhaps even helped bring my boys into this world.

— Alison O., Austin

“If it hadn't been for TCRA, I wouldn't have my happy little boy today.”

Things were looking a bit bleak for my husband and I at the beginning of 2006. I had spent all of the previous year undergoing test after test and taking Clomid in an attempt to get pregnant. Nothing seemed to be working, and my OB/GYN was pushing for us to try more invasive things, like artificial insemination. Neither my husband nor I were really looking forward to that, but since I had never cycled regularly, and had been diagnosed with PCOS years before, we felt we didn't have much of a choice.

I was immediately impressed with the folks at TCRA. During my initial consultation, I was able to share more information about my menstruation/ovulation problems with Kirsten than I had with any previous doctor. Kirsten really wanted to get to source of my problems, not just treat the symptoms. I felt like I was in really good hands when I began treatment in January of 2006.

The results were quickly apparent. I went from having 4 periods per year, to regular monthly cycles. The cycles themselves were also less painful and heavy. My general fatigue improved, and Kirsten also helped with my tendencies toward anxiety and insomnia.

7 months after beginning treatment, my husband and I conceived – naturally without invasive procedures. Kirsten continued treatment through the first 12 weeks, and the last 4 weeks of my pregnancy. In 2007, I delivered a healthy baby boy, Matthew. I know if it hadn't been for all the hard work of Kirsten and all the staff at TCRA, I wouldn't have my happy little boy today!

— Shannon T., Austin

"TCRA has given us hope."

My husband and I celebrated six years of marriage this year. After the first year, we started talking about children. We both have a love for children. We saw ourselves being parents one day. We all thought it would be an easy journey, but it hasn’t been for us. After a year of trying, and no luck, we were devastated that it wasn’t happening to us. Each month was unsuccessful and we started to think something was wrong. I wanted peace and comfort because I began to hurt so much. I was suffering so much inside. I was always so sad, and at the end of the month, I would cry every time it didn’t work.

After four years of trying, we were still struggling with infertility. I wanted healing to ease the suffering. We tried the "high tech" route, medications, shots, inseminations, IVF and two surgeries, which every attempt was unsuccessful. We were tired and lost. I had unexplained infertility, which means doctors cannot find a cause for the failure to get pregnant. I was devastated and my body was showing it.

I remember in one doctor’s visit, the doctor said you might have to look for an egg donor or into adoption because he did not think I could conceive naturally, I was sitting in that chair and it felt like my whole world had come to an end. I wanted to be a mother more than anything. When you love someone so much, you want to share this miracle of life with him or her.

There were days that I felt that it wasn’t worth fighting but I had hope. I was searching for hope. One day I was on the Internet and I came across The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture. I was so impressed with the website and we made our first appointment. At our first appointment, we met with Kirsten Karchmer, I explained to her our situation and that the last two years have been exhausting. Our first appointment was the opposite. We are just looking for some hope and she gave that to us that day. I finally felt some peace in this crazy time. We had been longing for this and we knew we found a place where it was going to get better. TCRA is a business that brings so much happiness to people like us. We were excited about this new adventure and very hopeful for the future. She made us feel so important and dedicated her time to us. She assured to us that she would go to bat for us 100% to take amazing care of us and she and her team has done that and more. She put us on a plan specifically for us that involved weekly acupuncture, herbs and dietary changes. She also wanted us to begin to track my basal body temperature.

The anxiety and depression associated with fertility challenges have been decreasing tremendously. My allergies and digestion have improved under their care. My overall well-being has improved impressively. I look forward to every weekly appointment. It has been so peaceful and relaxing. Not only could I tell that I was better because I felt great but my basal body temperatures were improving as well.

We did receive a true miracle. We actually succeeded to get pregnant the natural way without any drugs or medical intervention; But with the help of TCRA. Sadly enough, we did lose the baby at 7 weeks; but I was still able to conceive. Our journey is in no way over. No matter what happened, this was our miracle baby sent from God above and with TCRA’s help. My husband and I saw the precious heart beating and know that I did have a baby in me. Even if it was only for 7 weeks, it was a miracle. What I thought would have been impossible became a reality to us.

During the process of the miscarriage, TCRA was right beside us, making sure we were on our way to healing. I would recommend TCRA to anyone who has experienced a fertility challenge. TCRA has given us hope!

UPDATE: Julie and her husband conceived again just months after her miscarriage and successfully carried a healthy baby girl to term! They were back in our office a few months later that they were pregnant again —100% naturally. What an amazing family they are; those kiddos have two of the most loving, dedicated parents you will ever meet!

— Julie R., Laredo

“I wouldn't be where I am without TCRA.”

TCRA has turned a cynical, desperate woman into a woman who now has hope that one day she will be a mommy. Through TCRA I have seen amazing physical and emotional changes in my body. I feel better than I have in at least ten years! But most of all, I am SO CLOSE to realizing my dream of becoming a mother and I honestly think I wouldn't be where I am at without acupuncture and the wonderful people at TCRA.

— Amanda H., Austin

“They have all been wonderful.”

I am probably their most long-term patient - been going for almost 2 years. But with their support, I conceived twin boys in January- finally!! They have been great support through my difficult pregnancy so far, and though the staff has undergone great changes, they have all been wonderful. I look forward to each appointment!

— Laura B.., Austin


“I left feeling full of excitement and hope.”

My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for two full years when I decided to look into acupuncture for fertility. That's when I found the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture. It was such a different experience than I had while visiting with doctors. Rather than listening to me, the doctors I met with would jump to suggest clomid or other medications and procedures before trying to even diagnose me (or my husband). Because of this, when I first met with TCRA, I was very skeptical and extremely hopeless. But I left that first appointment feeling full of excitement and hope for the first time in a long time! I knew I had found the right place.

Before trying to get pregnant, I had been on birth control pills for 11 years in order to regulate my menstrual cycle. I had never had a regular cycle prior to starting birth control. After stopping birth control, my cycles were still very irregular and long, and I wasn't sure if or when I was ovulating.

I decided to try at least three months of acupuncture and herbs. In addition, they gave me specific advice on how to holistically heal my body and put it back into balance. After about a month, I had never felt better. I was less stressed, getting better nutrition, my digestion and allergies had improved, and I could just tell that this was really working.

Two and a half months later, I found out I was pregnant! I am now nine months pregnant and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my baby any day now! I continued to see them for acupuncture through my 1st trimester and did not experience morning sickness. My pregnancy could not have been better or gone more smoothly. I have not had any complications and believe that my improved health prior to pregnancy allowed my baby and me to stay healthy these past nine months.

Had I not met them when I did, I would have soon gone down the path of seeking help from a reproductive endocrinologist because I had given up on my body's ability to get pregnant. I thank God for helping me find them and decide not to give up on body. I am so grateful that I was able to avoid medications and costly fertility procedures. Thank you TCRA!!

— Alison P., Dallas

"Our little miracle and a dream come true."

When I first came to the Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture last August, I had experienced nearly three years of infertility followed by a difficult in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle resulting in a devastating miscarriage. Once we decided to try IVF again, I wanted to do things differently to ensure that we would have a better outcome – so I began seeing Kirsten for acupuncture.

I started going twice a week about three months before my second IVF cycle. I loved the treatments and greatly looked forward to each and every visit. The acupuncture totally relaxed me and helped reduce much of the stress and anxiety associated with IVF. In addition, they gave me really helpful tips on diet, exercise and stress-relief that I followed religiously in order to maximize my chances of becoming pregnant. When it was time for my egg retrieval and embryo transfer in late November, I felt that my body and spirit were in the best possible shape for conception – largely due to my time spent at TCRA. My transfer was done on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I will always be very grateful to Kirsten for so graciously making herself available to us on that day (especially at the early hour of 6 a.m.!) when she could have been enjoying her holiday with family and friends.

We were ecstatic to find out that the cycle was successful and we were pregnant, and one of my first phone calls to share the news was to Kirsten. Those early days of the pregnancy were difficult as we wanted to get past the point when we had miscarried before, so I continued acupuncture throughout my first trimester. We made it through those initial uncertain weeks, after which I proceeded to have a very easy, healthy and enjoyable pregnancy.

Our daughter Madeline was born on August 11, 2006. She is our little miracle and a dream come true. I believe that she would not be with us today if I had not had acupuncture in association with this IVF cycle and early pregnancy – I believe that it made all the difference in the world from the first cycle. I am ever-appreciative of  Kirsten and her team for their kindness and care, and I will, without a doubt, consult with them again when we think about trying for a second child.

— Alyssa D., Austin

“I am forever grateful.”

I came to see Kirsten Karchmer at The Texas Center for Reproductive Acupuncture after almost three years of unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant. I had previously taken birth control for ten years in order to regulate my menstrual cycle. When I stopped the pill, I stopped having a regular period and had no idea when or if I was ovulating.

After three months of acupuncture and herbs, my menstrual cycle was more regular than it had ever been in my life. I believe acupuncture treatments and tea were only two components of my healing. Kirsten checked in with me every session and asked questions about my overall health and well-being. She coached me on issues such as nutrition, self-care, and stress management. She offered me much needed validation when I felt frustrated or emotional. I had never had such a nurturing and holistic experience with a health care provider in all my life. Consequently, my allergies, digestion, and stress level all improved under her care.

I am excited to say that I am now five months pregnant with my first baby, without the help of any invasive procedures or medications! Although the pregnancy did not happen immediately, I do not believe it could or would have happened without the work that Kirsten and I did together to regulate my cycle and improve my overall health. What I had begun to believe was impossible, suddenly became a reality. Thank you Kirsten and TCRA!

UPDATE: It occurred to me that you might want some more info about Aidan since I wrote the testimonial four months before he arrived! He was born on March 7, 2005, completely natural birth. He was recently given an A+ by his pediatrician at his six month check up, and he is in the 97th percentile for height, 75th for weight, and 97th for head circumference. He is a big, healthy, breastfed boy! (Can you tell that I am proud? smile)

— Kirsten B., Austin

"This is our answer."

My husband and I had tried to become pregnant for about four years. During that time, I went through two surgeries to remove uterine fibroids, numerous medications, and two failed IUIs. During the summer of 2009, I discovered the work of Randine Lewis (author of The Infertility Cure) and attended one of her fertility retreats. That was my first introduction to acupuncture. Upon returning home to Fort Worth, I found an acupuncturist in the area and began treatments. I believe it did a lot for my stress level, but I wasn't seeing improvements in my fertility, and I started the downward spiral again of anxiety and depression associated with fertility challenges. The hope I had found on the retreat was vanishing quickly. I took a break from acupuncture, and my husband and I revisited the idea of IVF. We thought and thought and finally decided to go forward with it. I still believed in acupuncture and wanted to find someone more specialized. I found TCRA from a google search and and after reading their success rates, I was honestly trying to figure out how I could get to Austin once a week.

When I first met our practitioner, I was taken in by her calm, caring manner. She listened intently to my history in a way I hadn't experienced except on the retreat. I left that first consult with something I had been losing...hope. I cried in the car and called my husband and said, "this is our answer". I signed up for 12 weeks of treatment with the plan of doing IVF after the first cycle. Well... I got pregnant during that first cycle doing acupuncture, herbs, and following the dietary changes TCRA recommended! We were all shocked — me, my husband, and our doctor! I will never forget the shocked but happy look on our doctor's face when I went in for the first appt of our "spontaneous" (as he said) pregnancy!

I simply cannot say enough good things about TCRA! I recommend them to everyone I meet who tells me they are experiencing a fertility challenge. I am now 30 weeks pregnant and looking forward to returning closer to my due date for "easy labor" sessions. I honestly don't believe we would be waiting for this little miracle to come without the treatments I received through TCRA.

— Jeanne L., Fort Worth