April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately two years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face.
Week 12: Acupuncture
Last week, I promised to let you know how taking my days “a little bit at a time” went, and for the most part, I was able to do just that. Dealing with scheduling and attending various appointments is definitely tricky and is always a balancing act. The way to move forward is to simply focus on the task, or tasks, at hand….and to constantly remind myself that when I have my baby, it will not matter how many appointments I had to fit in, how many doctors’ exams I had to endure (and you know what I am talking about!), or how many blood samples I had to provide. Being a mother will be such a blessing, that I will know it was all worth it!
A number of you have asked about acupuncture and are interested in an overview of this treatment. I have included the technicalities of acupuncture as well as my own perspective.
Acupuncture: The Technicalities
The purpose of acupuncture is to balance the body’s flow of energy, which acupuncturists refer to as Qi, and is pronounced Chi. To do this, a variety of fine (oftentimes no thicker than a strand of hair) needles are inserted into a series of points on the meridians of the body. Acupuncture is used to treat many health-related issues, including infertility because it may increase the flow of blood to the uterus, which can help thicken the uterine lining. Additionally, acupuncture can assist in regulating the body’s hormones and often creates a sense of well-being and relaxation for patients. It is important to remember, however, that acupuncture requires commitment. Although some women see results within one to two months, the benefits of acupuncture may not be as immediate for each person.
Keeping in mind that each woman’s journey to fertility is unique, selecting an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility is essential. Just as you would see a cardiologist to treat a heart condition, you should see a fertility acupuncturist to assist you in regulating your cycle and achieving a pregnancy.
Acupuncture: A Patient’s Perspective
I have been seeing my acupuncturist since the Spring of 2008 and have seen amazing results! Although I am not pregnant yet, I am ovulating when I should, which was not the case before I began seeing my acupuncturist, Heather. In fact, I was put on medication to stall ovulation because I was ovulating so early in my cycle. Once I decided to stop Western treatment and focus on acupuncture and herbal formulas, I immediately began ovulating mid-month.
Additionally, I have had my healthiest year yet! In the past, I used to become so sick that one round of antibiotics would not fully clear an infection for me, but that has not been an issue lately. My MS has also been under control. Besides improving my physical health, acupuncture has greatly reduced my anxiety, too.
What I like most about acupuncture though is that Heather spends at least 10 minutes chatting with me before each treatment. She asks the technical questions so she can adjust my treatment as necessary and she also encourages me to discuss what is happening emotionally. Her ability to listen has helped me in so many ways, both medically and emotionally.
I recently explained to my primary care doctor (after not seeing her for more than a year!) that acupuncture seems to have made me healthier. Her response was, “We don’t know how acupuncture works, but it works and when we understand physics as much as we understand biology, then we will know.” In fact, there are many Western doctors who credit acupuncture as a treatment option for a number of ailments. Therefore, if you are considering acupuncture as a fertility treatment, find one who specializes in fertility and commit to what s/he recommends. I may not be pregnant yet, but I know that the changes happening in my body are helping establish my fertility.
Next week’s topic: Maya Abdominal Massage (MAM)
April all Year
Below are links to April’s past articles in case you missed any of them: