Open Question about Acupuncture

(BTW, a huge thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. It was a gnarly one, and you all provided such incredible support. So incredible that I haven’t stopped thinking about some of your comments for days, and will be posting on some of that shortly. In the meantime, I have a question for the class.)

Acupuncture.

I’ve never done this before. Given my new found aversion to medical procedures, I’m interested in exploring complementary alternatives. Of course, I’m interested in specifics around infertility, but also just general experience with this form of treatment.

So any ladies (or gentlemen, though I recognize this is likely a lower percentage of my audience)… What’s the good, bad, or ugly on acupuncture?

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16 comments

  1. H · September 25, 2014

    I cannot state enough how much I love acupuncture and this is after I had a so-so experience with acupuncture through my chiropractor. I will highly encourage to you to find an acupuncturist who is experienced with infertility. Get a recommendation from your doctor or someone locally who has been through IF. If you can’t go that route, I think there are some online searches that should lead you in the right direction.

    My acupuncturist is great as she will deal with other issues in my life as well as IF in her treatment. It hasn’t gotten me pregnant yet, but it helps so much in my day-to-day life. I have a very stressful job and she’s done a lot to help me handle all the stress and craziness. The first round of herbs she put me on virtually eliminated my PMS problems, cramps included. The only thing we’re still dealing with is my pre-CD1 headaches. I’ve also been on herbs that have been great for my allergies and a cold.

    Full disclosure: This is the only IF treatment I am pursuing currently. Even if I decide that I am completely done with all IF treatments, I will continue to do acupuncture for stress and other illnesses as they crop up.

    • thecommonostrich · September 28, 2014

      Awesome. I’m thinking about doing it in addition to, in part because there are a host of other thing that have cropped up, thanks to IF. Mostly stress, but also some lower back pain (which I think it related to PMS or stress. Who knows?)

      Thanks for all the details!

  2. TryTryAgain · September 25, 2014

    I had acupuncture after my second miscarriage and I was really open to the experience, but I didn’t find it as relaxing as I’d hoped. I did fall pregnant after a couple of months, (sadly we lost that one too) but I was also on clomid at the time, so can’t be sure which helped more!

    I do know people who highly recommend it though, I think it’s definitely worth giving it a try to see if it works for you. I’m now having reflexology which I love and find if really relaxing and it’s helped to regulate my cycle again which is brill!

    Hope you find what works for you xx

    • thecommonostrich · September 28, 2014

      That’s how I want to go into this. Open to it, but also with a healthy dose of realism. I don’t think that THIS will get me pregnant. But I do want to explore some other alternatives that are perhaps a little less “medical-y.”

      Thanks for the scoop!

  3. C.L. · September 25, 2014

    I did a post about it a while back. Here’s my experience: http://stoptellingmetorelax.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/my-experience-with-acupuncture-and-ttc/

  4. AndiePants · September 25, 2014

    I have always been a huge fan of acupuncture. After smoking for 10 years and trying lots of things to quit (patches, gum, etc) I got acupuncture with “seeds” (small balls taped to points in my ears that I could squeeze) was what finally worked. Since then, I’m a believer! I also found it helpful during my IUIS and finally during my FET. It relaxed me and I think helped with implantation.

  5. bionicbrooklynite · September 26, 2014

    I loved it. Wish I could still go. I went to a community based acupuncture place — worth googling that phrase for your area. Much cheaper, because you are in a room with several other people, which frankly, I found comforting. I loved my practioner. I went when I had already decided to do ivf, and I was explicit about not wanting to be talked out of that. The person I saw was all about working with allopathic medicine, not instead of it, which was great for me. I also told her I didn’t want to do dietary stuff (for Reasons), so she didn’t suggest anything, though I know she does for people who want that. I thought it was terrific for my anxiety and later for unpleasant pregnancy symptoms.

    • thecommonostrich · September 29, 2014

      I’m definitely interested in trying it for stress and anxiety. And for some weird back pain that’s cropped up.

      My insurance actually covers some of this (but not therapeutic massage? Go figure…) I’ll take a look at some community places and see which one is the winner.

      Thanks for the suggestions, doll!

  6. labmonkeyftw · September 26, 2014

    From a scientific perspective, there have been some large clinical trials that have shown an increase in pregnancies from IVF with acupuncture for IF in tandem with the IVF. So there is evidence it does help with pregnancy outcomes.
    I would recommend not taking any of the herbal accompaniments that are often offered by acupuncturists, only because you will have a delicately balanced regimen of western drugs you are taking that are specifically directing your hormones, and the less-precise and more general effects of the herbal supplements will complicate that balance. I’m not saying herbals are bad: if you aren’t taking other drugs, than some herbals can be great – they just have to be the right ones for the condition you have (e.g., vitex = great for short LPs, disaster for PCOS).

    • thecommonostrich · September 29, 2014

      In my heart of hearts, I was hoping you’d weigh in! Ah, my little scientific buddy… Thanks for the very good point about herbals. I was thinking of trying those as well, but you bring up an EXCELLENT point about how those might interplay with the meds I will be on for IVF.

      Thanks!

      • labmonkeyftw · September 29, 2014

        I’d say check with your Dr. before taking anything herbal.. and chances are very good she will tell you not to risk it interfering. Acupuncture though, that has been shown to help! I’m looking for something in my city too, but have been being a bit lazy about it with IVF pushed to the new year.

  7. lucy50 · September 27, 2014

    For me personally, it was great. Calming and relaxing and lovely. I ended up stopping due to cost of that + IF treatment, but if I had the money, I would have kept up.

  8. Elizabeth · October 2, 2014

    I’m a definite fan of acupuncture. I have been on Clomid 5 times. The time I did acupuncture I had the most follicles 4 mature instead of my usual 2. I’m moving on to IVF now and will definitely be doing it. Good luck!

    • thecommonostrich · October 2, 2014

      Good to know! I’m hoping to go to IVF this cycle or the next, and plan on talking about it with my RE about it at our next visit. You know… seems like a good idea to tell my doctor what I’m up to. 😉

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