Trying to Get Pregnant
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Acupuncture

I thought about asking this in the WTO, but I didn't want to clog up the thread and I tried searching for it, but couldn't find any other threads on this.

Anyway, I've seen a few of you ladies mention using acupuncture to help with fertility, so I thought I would look into it for next month if I don't get KU this time. I did a little bit of research and it left me with some questions for you all.

1. If anyone has any good resources/studies on how/why this works (or doesn't), I would love some links to them! (not really a question, I know..)
2. Do you have to be working with an RE or are some of you doing this before getting to that point? (I'm wondering if I'm considering this too early..)
3. Do you need to have something specific that should be worked on (short LP, already diagnosed with IF, history of anovulatory cycles, etc.) or can you just go for a general fertility boost?
4. When in your cycle do you typically go and how often?

I would also appreciate any other information anyone has and I'll probably come up with more questions to ask. Thanks!
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Re: Acupuncture

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    @createillumination  Thank you very much! I'm glad to see it's something I can try before I have to do any testing. I have a hold on the book Making Babies at my library, so hopefully I'll be able to read it soon and get some more information :)
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    edited January 2016
    Hi! Acupuncture believer here. I used acupuncture and herbs to conceive my second son. ( DS 1 took 4 yrs to conceive ).

    I went once a week for acupuncture and I also tool herbs rx'ed by my acupuncturist. My husband took herbs as well. It was actually my acupuncturist who made me start charting / temping and I took my charts to all of my appointments.

    I suggest you print ALL your charts and take them in. Your charts will give insight to your diagnosis. Your diagnosis will not be anything from a western medical perspective. For example I was told last time that I had "Liver Qi stagnation".

    This time I was diagnosed with a "cold uterus".

    ANYWAY, she did acupuncture to support whatever phase of my cycle I was currently in.

    Currently I'm not doing acupuncture but, I am taking herbs that she rx'ed. We email back and forth. Right now I'm to finish the herbal formula she has me on and then I check back in with her and she might have me do another round or switch the formula.

    I've also done acupuncture and herbs for lactation and breast milk supply and grief.

    Eta I encourage you to take herbs if they offer or rx them. Acupuncture is GREAT but, I have also seen more difference with herbs. And by herbs I'm not talking vitex off the interwebz.
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    @iceandsnowflakes29
    Which herbs would you recommend?

    Me: 28  DH: 28
    TTC #1 since Nov. 2015
    Dx: Both tubes blocked, PCOS, DOR, RPL
    IVF Cycle #1 Dec. 2016 - 11R·11M·5F - Transferred 2 - BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    IVF Cycle #2 March 2017 - 5R·4M·3F - Transferred 1 -  BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    Instagram: KateDoesIVF

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    @PennStateCait I can't recommend you anything. I'm not a licensed acupuncturist. If you're interested in herbs I recommend booking an appointment with an acupuncturist in your area. They will ask you questions about your cycle, history, etc. They will check your tongue and pulse.

    Let's say for instance that you, me, and bcooke all went and saw the same acupuncturist. We would all three probably walk out with a different diagnosis and a different set of herbs.
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    @iceandsnowflakes29 Ohhh gotcha! Cool, I'm researching some in my area now :) Thank you!

    Me: 28  DH: 28
    TTC #1 since Nov. 2015
    Dx: Both tubes blocked, PCOS, DOR, RPL
    IVF Cycle #1 Dec. 2016 - 11R·11M·5F - Transferred 2 - BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    IVF Cycle #2 March 2017 - 5R·4M·3F - Transferred 1 -  BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    Instagram: KateDoesIVF

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    @PennStateCait there are some basic things that mine has me doing that are just daily stuff.

    For instance no cold or raw food (so no salads, smoothies, ice cream, etc. )

    No cold drinks.

    I have to keep warm. I even use a heating pad before O and on my feet after O.

    But again, my diagnosis is a cold uterus. If they tell you that you have too much heat, it could be a different story. I'm not sure.
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    @iceandsnowflakes29 I've heard that terminology used here before- cold uterus- is that diagnosed at a doctor or an acupuncturist?

    Me: 28  DH: 28
    TTC #1 since Nov. 2015
    Dx: Both tubes blocked, PCOS, DOR, RPL
    IVF Cycle #1 Dec. 2016 - 11R·11M·5F - Transferred 2 - BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    IVF Cycle #2 March 2017 - 5R·4M·3F - Transferred 1 -  BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    Instagram: KateDoesIVF

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    @iceandsnowflakes29 haha ok! Thanks for answering my plethora of questions! 


    Me: 28  DH: 28
    TTC #1 since Nov. 2015
    Dx: Both tubes blocked, PCOS, DOR, RPL
    IVF Cycle #1 Dec. 2016 - 11R·11M·5F - Transferred 2 - BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    IVF Cycle #2 March 2017 - 5R·4M·3F - Transferred 1 -  BFP - Miscarriage - 0 Embryos Left
    Instagram: KateDoesIVF

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    @iceandsnowflakes29 I've heard that terminology used here before- cold uterus- is that diagnosed at a doctor or an acupuncturist?
    That sounds like Chinese Medicine stuff to me.  Warm v. Cool is basically Yin Yang, masculine feminine... etc.
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    @PennStateCait you're always welcome to PM me.
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    I'm wondering if anyone knows this: the theory behind acupuncture is very mystical/spiritual - does it come from one of the Eastern religions or is it not related to religion at all?
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    edited January 2016
    I was under the impression that the theory behind acupuncture is it's supposed to disrupt/change the flow of energy. I haven't heard of it being associated with religion at all, but maybe I'm mistaken.

    ETA: I haven't (yet) gone to acupuncture for fertility. I went for an inner ear issue that caused vertigo, and it was the only thing that helped (after going to an ear specialist and being on antibiotics, steroids, anti-vertigo drugs, etc etc etc).
      

         TTC #1 --- BFP #1 5/15, loss at 5 weeks --- BFP #2 12/15, loss at 4+3 --- RE testing 3/16 normal, still trying for our rainbow    

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    @bcooke314If you are super super interested in the theory behind acupuncture try the book "The Web That Has No Weaver : Understanding Chinese Medicine."

    Acupuncture was not based on religion, but thousands of years ago the doctors correlated what they saw in nature to what happens inside the human body. For example the way water moves through a stream, correlating to the way blood moves through a blood vessel. If a big rock comes and blocks the stream where does the water then move (around the rock right?) If  something inside the artery is blocked because of heart disease how does the blood inside the vessel now flow (it will not flow as strongly or smoothly as it did before, does it try to move around the blockage like the stream?) These are super basic examples of how acupuncture came to be.

    Acupuncture is largely a medicine of empirical evidence. For example they found (chinese doctors thousands of years ago) that if a person has a sore throat and you prick the lateral side of the nail of the index finger until a spot of blood appears, it will decrease/disappear the sore throat. The acupuncture channels were very rudimentary at first and became more complex over time as more evidence was collected. The needles used thousands of years ago were thick and bulky (and painful) and over time have become thinner than a single piece of hair. 

    Some styles of acupuncture are more mystical/spiritual than others, but it is for the most part a medicine based on thousands of years of evidence and experience passed down from teacher to student or father to son (in a sometimes very secretive fashion.) 
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    @createillumination  Thanks again :)  Another book to put on my hold list at the library!
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    LiterallyAmyLiterallyAmy member
    edited January 2016
    @bcooke314 I happen to be fortunate because my husband's uncle is an acupuncturist and he accepts my insurance. After months of trouble TTC, I started seeing him twice a week (beginning of December). At that time I had recently finished taking Provera to jump start my period. A week later I was told that I had already ovulated, which I'm sure isn't actually correct because I didn't get my period until last week. HOWEVER, when my period finally arrived, the blood was a healthy bright red and it lasted for 5 days. In previous months, the color of the blood was more brown and I barely bled for 3 days. I've also noticed a positive change in my overall mood and anxiety levels. I feel more stable and less Iike a psycopath (stress has been an issue recently)! I can't say this is solely due to the acupuncture because I have also been working on my diet and throwing in some fertility yoga for good measure, but it seems to be helping things along! We'll see how this next cycle goes... :smile:

    *Edited for clarity.
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    I haven't actually gone to acupuncture, but I was considering it earlier this month. I may still go. I talked to one of the leading fertility acupuncturists in my area and he was extremely knowledgeable! Over the phone, he asked a lot about my cycle history. Once I gave him the details, he said he could absolutely treat me for general cycle issues, but it would be very helpful for him to know the cause of my irregular cycles. That pushed me to go ahead and seek help past what my GYN could offer, so she referred me to a specialist. Saw a specialist last week and she diagnosed me with Pcos. Her practice offers acupuncture to support the Western efforts. I may try it out.

    In talking with the acupuncturist, I did learn it was an investment! I think the initial visit was $150, then he wanted to see me weekly at $100/session. While general acupuncture is covered by my insurance, fertility acupuncture is not. But, ovulation induction by an RE is covered. So, surprisingly, I'll come out cheaper going the Western route at the moment. But I'm a fan of natural approaches, so keeping options open.

    @LiterallyAmy - what's fertility yoga? I'm intrigued!
    Me: 31; DH: 31
    NTNP: May 2015
    TTC #1: late August 2015
    PCOS Dx: January 2016, starting Femara Feb 2016
    BFP: 2/29/16 - Happy Leap Day!






    Pregnancy Ticker
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    We met the definition of infertility (TTC for a year with no luck) after our first loss. I read Making Babies and started doing the recommendations they made for my fertility type in September, and started seeing an acupuncturist in November. I got pregnant that cycle, 15 months after my first loss. Unfortunately I had a MMC but I am still going to acupuncture weekly to help regulate my cycles post loss and hopefully help me conceive again. I don't know if the eastern approach is entirely responsible for my second pregnancy, but the fact that I got pregnant the cycle I started doing acupuncture, after 14 unsuccessful months (15-16 unsuccessful cycles) is a pretty powerful coincidence. I am using my HSA to pay for it, and will continue to do so until I'm worried about the account getting too low.
    me 30; DH 35
    TTC since May 2014.
    Aug 2014 BFP, EDD April 22, 2015. Low progesterone, started suppositories. Loss at 5w6d.
    Nov 19, 2015 BFP at 13 dpo, EDD July 29, 2016. MMC discovered 12/29 (9+4). Natural miscarriage 1/16 (12+1).
    AMH results 0.42, 1.2; FSH 12.1, AFC 10, dx DOR. 
    RPL testing results normal. Nurse recommended progesterone suppositories in TWW.
    Clomid + trigger + TI cycle August 2016 - failed. Thin lining.
    Femara + trigger + TI cycle December 2016 - failed. Thin lining.
    Short LP (8 days).
    Acupuncture & Chinese herbs starting January 2017, lengthened LP to 10 days 

    Summer 2016 LFAF awards: 



    Winter 2016/2017 LFAF awards:

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    I'm not sure if someone would be able to help with my question. But thanks @Ash9614 for your experience. As I was debating weather to start looking into the acupuncture way before going to a specialist.
    My doctor has made the referral for me to see the Fertility Centre in our area and they should be calling me any day now to book the initial appointment with them. But I was curious to know if I should still go ahead with the acupuncture or not. I can definitely wait to see what this Centre finds about me in this situation.

    There's another health clinic that specializes in fertility where they have a naturopath, acupuncturist, reflexologist and a massage therapist. I was just trying to figure out if I should start with the naturopath before booking with the acupuncture or just go straight to acupuncture.
    Anybody have advice for this?
    Me:29
    DH: 25
    Married: August 2014
    TTC#1: February 2015
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    @Lilybee8614 Personally, even if I had an infertility diagnosis and had to do IUIs or IVF I would still do acupuncture. I wouldn't do herbs with fertility drugs, though.

    And FWIW I have done 2 clomid / trigger IUIs in the past and they failed. I fully believe if I had known about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine when I had my IUIS, the IUI would have worked.

    (Let me back up: It took 4 yrs and 2 failed IUIs before I conceived my son). When decided to try for number 2 I completely ditched western medicine and dove into acupuncture and herbs and I conceived 3 months after I started acupuncture. Coincidence? Maybe. But, I don't know how one go from 4 yrs to conceive 1 to 3 months.

    So my personal opinion is to pursue both.
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    Ash9614 said:
    I haven't actually gone to acupuncture, but I was considering it earlier this month. I may still go. I talked to one of the leading fertility acupuncturists in my area and he was extremely knowledgeable! Over the phone, he asked a lot about my cycle history. Once I gave him the details, he said he could absolutely treat me for general cycle issues, but it would be very helpful for him to know the cause of my irregular cycles. That pushed me to go ahead and seek help past what my GYN could offer, so she referred me to a specialist. Saw a specialist last week and she diagnosed me with Pcos. Her practice offers acupuncture to support the Western efforts. I may try it out. In talking with the acupuncturist, I did learn it was an investment! I think the initial visit was $150, then he wanted to see me weekly at $100/session. While general acupuncture is covered by my insurance, fertility acupuncture is not. But, ovulation induction by an RE is covered. So, surprisingly, I'll come out cheaper going the Western route at the moment. But I'm a fan of natural approaches, so keeping options open. @LiterallyAmy - what's fertility yoga? I'm intrigued!

    Yeah, I still need to check to see if my insurance will cover it - that will definitely be a factor in if I do it/how often I can do it.
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    @AL_TwinCities  and @iceandsnowflakes29   It's great that you were both able to get pregnant so quickly after starting acupuncture - it does seem like a huge coincidence if it is one!
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    @bcooke314 If your insurance doesn't provide great coverage (mine doesn't) check and see if there's any community acupuncture around you. That's what I do and it's only $25/session.

    LFAF April Siggy: TV/Movie BFFs








    BFP #1 12/2012, DS born 8/2013
    BFP #2 7/2015, MMC and D&C 9/2015
    BFP #3 11/2015, CP
    BFP #4 1/2016, DD born 10/2016




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    edited January 2016

    @bcooke314 If your insurance doesn't provide great coverage (mine doesn't) check and see if there's any community acupuncture around you. That's what I do and it's only $25/session.

    This. Mine offers different packages to make frequent visits more affordable.

    ETA I think generally you're going to be pleased with the level of care and compassion. My acupuncturist seems way more invested in my treatment than my RE ever was. She's even called me outside of business hours to check on me. When I saw her to help boost my milk supply she let me bring my baby. She wore him in a wrap while she did my treatment. Absolutely amazing.

    I'm not saying they will all be THAT personal but, most doctors I've seen seriously lack beside manners 101. So it's refreshing to be treated like a person and not a patient.
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    @PeggyOlsonFTW   What is community acupuncture? Is is like a group acupuncture session or no?
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    @bcooke314 It is group acupuncture. The place I go to has 8 chairs and only the most people I've seen in there at one time is 3.

    LFAF April Siggy: TV/Movie BFFs








    BFP #1 12/2012, DS born 8/2013
    BFP #2 7/2015, MMC and D&C 9/2015
    BFP #3 11/2015, CP
    BFP #4 1/2016, DD born 10/2016




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    This thread is great, and it is really making me want to try acupuncture. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences!

    I'm trying to decide the best use of my money, and I'd love to hear what you guys think. (TW: Loss Mentioned). I got KU my first cycle trying in November, but I had an early MC at 5 weeks. This is our first month trying again after the loss, and I'm currently at the beginning of the TWW. I've been having a tough time emotionally, and I feel like it might be beneficial for me to do something, whether it be counseling or acupuncture.

    Initially, I leaned towards counseling, since it is cheaper and since Western science would probably label me as having absolutely nothing wrong with my ute (normal periods, I got KU easily, and MCs are just so dang common anyway...no reason to be alarmed).

    However, then I think, "If I'm spending the money on counseling, might as well do something like acupuncture that would be good for both mind and body."  Also, I tend to O really late with a short LP and for some reason, my temp stays high all the way through my period and well on into my cycle until around day 11/12. I wonder if this might be something that needs to be fixed or a sign of something that caused the MC. I realize this is not rooted in any Western science whatsoever, but it sounds like stuff that an acupuncturist might consider (and if it means me not having to go through another loss, I'd be totally on board for whatever!).

    But then, I think... it is so early to take any action whatsoever. I could get KU really soon, and then I'd probably wish I had just saved all that money for the LO. We can afford for me to do acupuncture right now, but our disposable income will be incredibly limited when we have a LO so we are trying to save as much as we can while we can!

    Anyway, I'd love to hear what you guys think. Would you do counseling, acupuncture, or just wait it out a couple of more months?

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    @strickland8052

    I see so many women here advocate counseling and this will probably be an UO and may even get me flamed but, I do not recommend counseling unless you research the counselor long and hard. I had a horrible experience with one. Let's just say thank god I was strong enough in the head to get out when I did.

    Acupuncture will make you feel like a million bucks.

    But, even if you don't do that, you're still better off doing something else (pedicure, massage, yoga) than counseling unless you find someone you truly truly love.

    I'm sure there's good ones out there but, just be careful in your search if you go that route.
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    @iceandsnowflakes29 please be careful saying that "you're still better off doing something else than counseling". I'm sorry you had a nasty experience but that can really push some women reading that, that really truly need serious help against getting it.

    There are a lot of things that a pedicure, massage, and yoga will not help, no matter how hard they want it to.

    I know you didn't mean harm but if a woman is debating getting help and really struggling with the idea, this can really send the wrong idea. Although I definitely recommend finding the right therapist/counselor and not just one off the street.
    TTC1: May 2015
    Primary IF May 2016; Failed HSG; Scheduled Lap Sept. 2016
    BFP: August 22, 2016/EDD: April 29, 2017
    DD: May 1, 2017
    TTC2: June 2019
    CP September 2019
    Lap and repeat HSG scheduled December 2019
    BFP: November 24, 2019/EDD: August 2, 2020
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    edited January 2016
    sarah0985 said:

    @iceandsnowflakes29 please be careful saying that "you're still better off doing something else than counseling". I'm sorry you had a nasty experience but that can really push some women reading that, that really truly need serious help against getting it.

    There are a lot of things that a pedicure, massage, and yoga will not help, no matter how hard they want it to.

    I know you didn't mean harm but if a woman is debating getting help and really struggling with the idea, this can really send the wrong idea. Although I definitely recommend finding the right therapist/counselor and not just one off the street.

    My sincere apologies. I just wanted to caution people that decision should be researched very carefully. Especially if someone really does need help. I'm not against counseling (I've had good experiences with it) but, I just don't want someone to go to the first result that pops up on their Google search - ya know?

    Eta my pedicure comment was due to the fact that for the amount of OOP money I was paying the doctor I personally, realized I could easily go do other stuff and at least feel a little better not, worse.
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    No worries @iceandsnowflakes29 I genuinely meant when I said I know you didn't mean harm. :)
    TTC1: May 2015
    Primary IF May 2016; Failed HSG; Scheduled Lap Sept. 2016
    BFP: August 22, 2016/EDD: April 29, 2017
    DD: May 1, 2017
    TTC2: June 2019
    CP September 2019
    Lap and repeat HSG scheduled December 2019
    BFP: November 24, 2019/EDD: August 2, 2020
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    @strickland8052 if you do decide the counseling route is for you, I asked my primary care doc (who I liked and trusted) for a referral when I needed one. I saw a psychotherapist. Basically, I was 22, had become the de facto primary caregiver for a friend with cancer, and was turning into a basket case about it. She had an uncanny ability to phrase things in ways that made them not seem so bad. She also made me let myself cry, which I had been fighting but needed to do. I found it very, very helpful. I actually credit advice she gave me about giving myself permission to live my life with meeting my H, which happened about a week after my last session.

    I do also agree with doing a little research and finding someone who will give you the type of therapy you're looking for. Acupuncture sounds awesome too, so good luck with whatever you decide to pursue!
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    Tell us how you like it @strickland8052!

    LFAF April Siggy: TV/Movie BFFs








    BFP #1 12/2012, DS born 8/2013
    BFP #2 7/2015, MMC and D&C 9/2015
    BFP #3 11/2015, CP
    BFP #4 1/2016, DD born 10/2016




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    *****Trigger Warning Losses Mentioned*****

    @iceandsnowflakes29 I was also diagnosed with a "cold uterus" I do acupuncture weekly and take Chinese herbs daily. I had a great chart last cycle, but in this cycle my post-O temps have been pretty low and it's making me very nervous. I see my acupuncturist on Saturday, so I'm trying to hold out until then to freakout, but I'm worried about getting KU in this "colder" cycle and having a 3rd MCs. 

    Pregnancy Ticker
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