I have been doing a lot of research lately about all the different types of “alternative” treatments available to help with infertility. There are literally a plethora out there and making decisions about which to choose and what to do was doing my head in.
My Dr is pretty flexible with this stuff so I have never looked too heavily into whether it is harmful before as he didn’t seem too concerned. I knew that acupuncture did have some science to support it but wasn’t really firm on the details. There were a few reasons I went off to examine things more:
1. Eric wanted me to go to a Naturopath who has had a lot of fertility success but I feel like we have already been there. This Naturopath uses her own herbs but I wasn’t fussed about that either as I felt that Chinese herbs were the more powerful option if I was choosing between the two and I was already on those.
2. I was taking 9 fucking supplements in the morning, 2 of them Chinese herbs that couldn’t be taken within half an hour of each other or anything else, including food. They were ruling my life and it was driving me crazy.
So I went off to research everything I was putting into my body and all the treatments I had been receiving. And the interesting thing is that I kept coming across this Danish study where it was indicated that herbs (and some other stuff – funnily enough reflexology) did appear to have a negative impact on pregnancy rates for those going through IVF. Interesting.
I have been a bit suspicious of herbs for awhile just watching a few other TTC blogs where others are having the same treatment as me and experiencing the same problems. I can’t say if this is it for sure but what I do believe is that they are very powerful and can easily be dispensed incorrectly. So I have now ditched the herbs that I was taking completely. One of them was a great leveler for my anxiety so I’m finding this a bit challenging but it will be worth it if I can fall pregnant.
The only two things that came out shining in the study were acupuncture (just at the time of transfer but this is down to them limiting the research to those times as opposed to it not being effective at other times – we don’t know the answers to what they don’t research) and hypnosis/meditation. Interestingly these are both things that relate to relaxation and wellbeing. Coincidence? I think not.
The important thing about these two things is that they showed no harm at all as opposed to the herbs and reflexology where pregnancy rates did seem to significantly go down.
So here is what I have decided to based on all the info I’ve found.
Herbs – I am not taking them. I won’t take them out of cycle or in cycle anymore. I feel like it is too much of a risk.
Acupuncture – I have ditched my previous acupuncturist which I feel really bad about. Now that I am seeing someone else I almost feel like I am cheating on her! It was a 20min drive each way to see her plus her sessions ALWAYS went over an hour as she is chatty and runs 2 beds at once. It was taking 2.5 hours out of my day just for one appointment. Not to mention that she had me going twice a week some weeks but once a week at minimum. It was too much. No wonder I was feeling overwhelmed.
Instead, during the week I saw a new lady who does acupuncture and kinesiology. She lives only 10 mins away, runs only 1 bed at a time and sticks to her 1 hour consult and is happy to see me fortnightly. Not even 1.5 hours out of my day and only once every two weeks! This is way better. I have never had kinesiology before and to be honest I am not sure what I think of it as seriously, it is a bit weird. Lots of bending legs and tapping heads. You wonder how anything could be going on. However I left the consult feeling a million dollars and that lasted for 24 hours.
Apparently my test showed that my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) was out and my left side adrenals were screwed. So she did some bending and tapping to adjust me and then a bit of acupuncture after that. Basically she does the kinesiology test and then targets the acupuncture to what she finds out from this. And I am now on day 5 of my stims for IVF #3 and this has definitely been the best stim run for me so far.
Interestingly she has also taken me off a bunch of my supplements. She said some are very powerful and they have done their job already. While going through stimulation I shouldn’t be on them as sometimes the body is getting too many messages and as a result kind of freezes and does nothing at all. Kind of like humans when they get too many messages when trying to make a decisions. You become paralysed by indecision. This made total sense to me. So we have pared back a little.
Supplements: I was on COQ10, Vitamin E, Cellgevity, a prenatal, arginine, inisotol, low dose aspirin. Many of them are thought to help with egg quality. My Dr is quite pro the COQ10. There is some positive research here.
I have now ditched the Cellgevity, arginine and inisotol as per my advice from the new acupuncturist above.
Food: I still don’t know what to think of this. I like the Chinese thought that food at this time should be warming. Seems to make sense to me, blood flow and all that. I bear in mind the alkalising thing but I am not rigid about it. I try to steer clear of sugar. Mainly as I believe that food can be both medicine and toxin, depending on what we eat, and while it is unlikely to solve all the problems it can certainly help heal our bodies.
Head stuff: I am doing a hypnosis every day and I am about to start doing Fertility Coaching which is basically just working with someone to get your head in the right place. We will do an initial session next week and if all goes well we will work together to prep for my transfer in April. Again, the results of the CAM study supported lots of this sort of thing and I could really use it. I need some guidance and focus.
So that’s where I am when it comes to all things CAM. I wanted to share it in case it helps others in any way. Obviously this is all just my opinion and interpretation of the study. You can feel free to have your own. 🙂
As I mentioned during this I am currently in the stims phase of IVF #3. My anxiety is rocking me a bit but otherwise things are going well enough. I am not talking about it as much this time (I have told only 2 people in my real world, I can’t stand the questions) but will check in at some point and let you guys know how it is going.