Monday, August 2, 2010

Acupunture and Infertility

For Q&A #3
Amber asked: how has your experience with acupuncture gone? I have my first appt. Friday. Could you give me a little insight into what they actually do and where? Also if you don't mind how much do you pay per session?

I absolutely love doing acupuncture. One of my friends who is a 2xmother after successful clomid + IUI turned me on to it. For her it was the only thing that made her ovulate as clomid alone was ineffective. I started doing acupuncture with our second IUI. If it wasn’t for the sessions I would have never pushed for the lap to remove my endometriosis. It gave me amazing pain relief for my cycles and I realized that I had been miserable for years. After my lap I felt like I had a new body. She also pushed me to get my thyroid checked out because research has shown that TSH over 2.5 reduces fertility. Now my RE’s office has an official TSH policy for all of their patients because of her.

Typically for IUI you lie on your back and they put needles into points in your calves, stomach and wrist. My Acupuncturist will also ask about stress, headache or sleeplessness and do extra points in my forehead and ears if needed. Inserting the needles hurts less than getting a finger prick for a blood test. If you have a good person you should hardly feel it at all. The ears do hurt a bit more but it's really not bad at all. There are usually 1-2 sessions pre-ovulation and one post ovulation. I pay $75 for a 45 minute session but I think the first session I ever did was $90 minutes because she did a whole health assessment before doing points.

Because acupuncture for IVF is twice a week for a month she lowers her rate to $60. My first IVF cycle I didn’t include acupuncture and I will never make that mistake again. It was a mandatory naptime twice a week during IVF and kept me so calm and rested compared to the first time. The points are totally different. You lie on your stomach and get needles in the back of your calves, hips and wrists. The calves and hips then have a low current run through them which is supposed to increase blood flow to the pelvic area. The sessions stop right before retrieval. And then the day of transfer she does a session pre and post transfer on the same day. These treatments are done in your stomach to prepare the lining for the impending embryo. They say it is like planting a seed; the first session is to create the hole for the embryo and the second is to cover up the embryo. There are very well documented studies that show 10 treatments of low current acupuncture and pre/post transfer acupuncture have a significant positive affect on IVF pregnancy rates. We’ll definitely be doing acupuncture again for IVF #4.

I love my acupuncturist because all she does is fertility related and she mixes Eastern treatments with Western medical. She’s always up to date on the latest fertility studies AND I think she has excellent needle technique as it’s not uncomfortable in the least.

*As before if you have any other questions for me just leave them in the comments and I will do a post about them.


Andrea said...

I did one session of acupuncture, but was not sure if it was going to be beneficial. However, I have just begun my first cycle of Clomid and am entertaining the tought if this cycle doesn't work out :) My RE has a LAT they recommend. Thanks for the vote of confidence.


kdactyl said...

I totally second all the input on accupuncture. I started it a couple months before my first IVF (after a miscarriage and 3 failed medicated IUI's). My first IVF resulted in a chemical pregnancy..but my 2nd got me my son (at 40 years old with my own eggs). I then continued the accupuncture for the entire pregnancy (1x per week in 1st tri and 1x per month until delivery). My accupuncturist also only does fertility and has been for the last 20 years. I recently did an FET using donated embryos (at 43 years old) and it also worked the 1st time. I began going to the accupuncturist 6 weeks before the transfer and continue now that I am pregnant. I am in Northern CA and my Accupuncture fees are the same $75 per session.
My RE believes so much in this that he has made my accupuncturist an adjunct staff member and he actually allows him to come to the office on transfer days and perform the accupuncture on the patients just before and just after transfer. It was so great this time that I didn't have to get up...go to the accupuncturist and then to the RE and then back to the accupuncturist. They have shown amazing results utilizing this protocol. I would recommend it to anyone.

Mrs. Hammer said...

Thanks Karaleen for your additional information. How wonderful that your RE is now so supportive! Andrea - acupunture is so worth it but either way I hope you get your BFP soon!

Hope said...

Thanks for stopping by. That information was very helpful. Not sure why the Dr couldn't have said more of that. I was confused because they always said my lining was good in previous cycles (8 or higher) so it didn't make sense to me. She did give me a little more info at this morning's appointment.

I did some accupunture last fall and I forgot how much I enjoyed it. Your post reminded me, I may make an appointment for this cycle.

Amber said...

Just wanted to let you know I recieved the book yesterday. I love how the past readers have signed the inside. Thanks again

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

Stopping by to say hello. I hope youre doing well and getting closer to that BFP with each passing day..!