Two Years and Counting

More on acupuncture
March 20, 2008, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As is usually the case in the couple of weeks after the iui, there’s not much to report. I have a few symptoms, but they’re most likely stemming from the HCG shot, as I’ve already felt the cramps that signal the impending period.

Upon the recommendation of a few people here, I’ve been reading through The Fertility Cure by Randine Lewis. It’s been really interesting so far. I can’t say I’m totally on board with all of it, but the philosophy behind Eastern medicine (she refers to it as TCM—traditional Chinese medicine) is making sense to me. Instead of putting a synthetic substance into your body that mimics whatever hormone you’re lacking, be it progesterone, estrogen, FSH, etc, it seeks to bring the body back into balance so that the body produces the hormone itself naturally. It’s like looking for the source of a headache and fixing whatever is out of whack rather than just treating the symptoms with Tylenol.

In the past few years, I’ve noticed a desire to go with more natural routes, whereas before, I wouldn’t really think about alternatives. I cook pretty healthfully, and I try to cut out artificial ingredients when I can. I’ve switched to cane sugar instead of refined white sugar, and I use Smar.t Balance peanut butter that’s full of Omega-3 and no trans fatty acids instead of good ol’ Jiffy that’s delish but has all the hydrogenated stuff. I buy Kashi crackers and cookies when I can (mostly when they’re on sale) because I feel like they use natural and whole-wheat ingredients, I try to snack on fruit and cheeses and things rather than processed foods, and I buy Egg.lands Best eggs, because they’re fortified with Omega-3, and the chickens are vegetarian fed, which for some reason makes me think they’re happier chickens. I haven’t switched to all organic foods because it’s just too expensive to buy all organic, but if a product I need to buy has an organic version on sale, I’ll grab it.

All that to say, after reading about how what we put into our bodies has such a big effect on how we feel, and after trying to make better food choices, I’m now finding myself wanting to be more natural in other areas as well, which may be why I’m looking more favorably towards TCM these days. Again, it’s not just the acupuncture itself, but it’s the philosophy of “fixing” the body naturally. I’ve already sworn off birth control for good because I don’t like the idea of putting something so artificial into my body again (that, and it caused wild hormonal fluctuations in my body once I got off of it), and I’d also like to continue down the path of not using any meds to get pregnant. If I’m not pregnant now, we’ll most likely do another unmedicated iui next cycle. After that, however, I’m not sure what our plan will be. I don’t know if Dr. H. will want me to try a medicated cycle or two. I’ve decided that if it comes to that, I’ll want to take a few months off and try TCM first, instead of the meds. I think regardless of whether she suggests Clomid for me, I’ll want to try acupuncture after our next iui. Or, I suppose I could even try it in conjunction with our next iui.

Most of what I’ve read in The Infertility Cure talks about acupuncture (and the related diet moderation and herbs) helping with specific diagnoses like a luteal phase defect, abnormal periods, thin uterine lining, anovulation, etc. I haven’t been diagnosed with any of these things, which is why we’re in the “unexplained” category. However, she does mention that you can have an imbalance in one of those areas that’s slight enough to not show up on medical tests or in blood work, but it’s there and can be throwing the body’s natural processes out of balance. These can be corrected through TCM. There are checklists you can go through to see what your particular imbalance might be. There were two areas that I definitely fit into (kidney yang deficiency and spleen qu deficiency, if you want to know), and to think that TCM could possibly correct some of the specific things I experience makes me willing to try it. Even if it doesn’t help me get pregnant, if it were to “fix” some of the other things, like being cold a lot of the time, having cold hands and feet, waking up at night to go to the bathroom, worrying/overthinking, I think it’d be worth it.

(And for the record, I know that worrying or over thinking is a woman’s job sometimes, especially when dealing with IF issues.)

2 Comments so far
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Glad you are enjoying that book and are able to glean what info may be useful to you.

Comment by soapchick

good luck with the acupunture; I hope it goes well for you!

Comment by T.

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