My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

Archive for the ‘Acupuncture’ Category

First (and Last) Local Acu Session

Posted by auntiem10 on December 7, 2010

At lunch today, I went to a local acupuncturist for my initial consult and first session. By the end, I had decided it’s not for me. I know I could try to find another local acupuncturist, but ultimately my experience was bad enough that I’m kind of turned off by the whole thing.

Yesterday I filled out nine pages of paperwork, detailing my diet, activity level, bowel movements, health history, etc. I was honest about my current diet, but honestly I’ve been more focused lately on enjoying life than I have been about undertaking a clean diet, knowing that with the start of BCPs on Friday, the junk food will be thrown out and more fruits and veggies will be eaten in our household.

So I was pretty surprised when the acupuncturist began chastising me for my poor eating habits. I figured she would realize that due to my break in treatment, I haven’t needed to follow a strict diet. Yes, I partake in desserts sometimes (not every day). Yes, I drink caffeine (but I don’t guzzle it all day long). I’ve just been trying to get through the DL treatment and have been taking it easy on myself. It’s not like I’m out drinking a fifth of whiskey and snorting an eight ball or something! I have always considered my BCP start date as the beginning of the final stretch, the time during which I will return to a cleaner, caffeine-free diet. I don’t think enjoying food over the past few months makes me a bad person!

And when we began discussing my medical history, oh my goodness was she doom and gloom. She told me that I have low kidney function (not sure how she came to that conclusion?), that my endometriosis represents a larger clotting problem, that I need to see an immunologist ASAP. She said that I should have started acu three months ago because there is so much work to be done. She said that she pretty much guarantees that our FET will fail if I don’t agree to three-times-per-week sessions. I told her we’ve already spent more than $25,000 and at this point our budget just barely allows acu once or twice per week. I told her that I’ve taken tons of time off work (at a company that has had numerous layoffs this year) and can’t bend my work day 3/5 of the week so that I can receive acupuncture. She claimed I’m just not making this a priority. I got upset and told her that since she is feeling so pessimistic, I would just leave since apparently acupuncture won’t be beneficial at this point. No surprise, she quickly changed her tune and insisted that acu would be beneficial, but that she cannot guarantee my success (as if I even asked her to). But she insisted that it would help with blood flow and that “if” my body responded quickly, there was hope. And then she regaled me with stories of all the barren women that she “fixed.”

By the time she started the actual treatment, I was sweating. I couldn’t relax because she had completely taken away my zen feeling about our CCS normal 5AA “perfect” blast. My heart raced as I tried to relax and listen to the music flowing over the speakers. When she pulled out the last needle, I knew that she had spoiled it for me. And the final kicker came at the end, when she told me she would pray for me, because that’s all we can do (all while she was weirdly rubbing my back like my mom used to do when I was sick as a kid).

So needless to say, I’m not going back. I’m glad I went, because I will still add acupuncture before and after our transfer at CCRM for relaxation, and I like that I will know what to expect. But personally, it’s not for me, and I don’t even have a desire to seek out a different practice. Bummer.

Here were my diagnoses (in Eastern medicine terms):

Kidney Jing (Life Essence) Deficiency
Qi Deficiency
Dampness (Have to laugh about this since I told her about my hot flashes, and also because I plainly told her she was stressing me out)
Blood Stagnation

These are foods/preparation methods I need to avoid:

Processed food
Wine, alcohol, and soda
White starches (bread, noodles, etc.)
Cooking with butter and cheese

This is what I should be eating:

Two fruits daily
Two vegetables daily
Two proteins daily
100% grain bread
High protein (helps with egg production)
High antioxidant juice (wheatgrass, pomegranate, acai, green tea extract, etc.)
Brown rice, brown noodles, millet
Walnuts, cashews

I do agree with her food recommendations to a certain extent, but I think that’s all the advice I’ll be taking from her! I know acupuncture is beneficial for many people and that I may have an entirely different experience elsewhere, but I’m choosing to skip it and follow my instincts. Back to Westernized medicine it is. : )


Posted in Acupuncture | 7 Comments »

The Perfect Getaway

Posted by auntiem10 on December 1, 2010

Happy December! We are back from an awesome six-day vacation in New York. Originally I had planned to type my weekly Depot Lupron update on my iPod Touch, but my WordPress app was not cooperating. Our little getaway was the perfect distraction from our FET countdown.

Speaking of that countdown, it is now in single digits!!! Time is starting to move quickly now. I start BCPs in only NINE days! As my body floods with estrogen once again, the hot flashes will dissipate… I can’t wait! Also, my first acupuncture consultation is six days away.

And while we were gone, my nurse emailed the medication orders for our FET. They aren’t quite right, but here’s what it looks like minus any identifying information (click to enlarge):

I’ll probably pick up the medications this weekend. Eek, can’t believe it’s finally time!!!

We’ve made a few big decisions recently, and I’ll be writing about them soon. I’m in catch up mode today, but stay tuned!

Posted in Acupuncture, Depot Lupron, FET, Medication Order | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Scheduled: Acupuncture Consult

Posted by auntiem10 on November 11, 2010

Yesterday I scheduled my initial consultation for acupuncture. The hubby was initially pretty opposed to it, but he conceded and agreed to respect my wishes. I’ll be going once a week for five or six weeks leading up to our FET (not sure how the holidays will affect my total number of sessions).  My consultation is scheduled for Tuesday, December 7th.

The receptionist seemed to think I would benefit more from twice-weekly sessions, but I told her that I don’t think our budget allows it. With Christmas presents to buy in the near future, our upcoming trip to NY to visit my parents, and the fact that we have to pay for communicables again in January plus travel expenses and the cost of acupuncture before and after our FET, our budget is tight. We have only just begun rebuilding our savings account after paying for our IVF cycle. I asked if only one session per week would still be beneficial, and she said yes, so I’m going to try it out.

It’s funny that after all the injections I’ve administered in my belly, I’m nervous about the needles involved in acupuncture! I really hope that if nothing else, it will help relieve some of my stress leading up to the transfer. And hopefully it will help prepare my uterus to grow a baby!

Posted in Acupuncture | 10 Comments »

To Acu or Not to Acu

Posted by auntiem10 on October 27, 2010

I’ve been debating whether to go through some acupuncture while preparing for our frozen embryo transfer. I’ve never had a single acupuncture session, but I’m planning to add sessions immediately before and after our ET at CCRM. I would like to attend at least one acupuncture session locally so that I will know what to expect at CCRM in January.

At our ODWU, the doppler indicated that blood flow to my uterus was perfect. CCRM didn’t say anything to us about including acupuncture in our protocol, but I assume the REs think it’s helpful since they allow a third-party company to provide acupuncture services immediately preceding and following the embryo transfer. Therefore, I’m considering it to improve our odds for success.

I was thinking about starting acupuncture around the same time that I will start preparing for our FET (December 10th), which would mean about six weeks of acupuncture. I contacted a local well-known infertility acupuncturist for information about pricing, only to find out that she is on sabbatical through the fall and winter. I’m going to continue researching to see if there is another recommended acupuncturist in my area.

My husband’s opinion differs greatly from mine on this topic. He feels it’s a crock and a waste of money, while I feel that we should do anything possible to enhance our chances for success. I need you, my wonderful online friends, to help me decide whether acupuncture will be worth the time and extra expense.

So my questions to you are: How much money should I expect to spend per session? For how many weeks should I consider seeing an acupuncturist? Does the acupuncturist need to specialize in infertility (thanks Pie :)), or will a general acupuncturist know what to do? Do you think it helped you manage your stress leading up to the FET? How many sessions per week did you attend?

I would love to hear from you! Please comment or email me at

Posted in Acupuncture, FET | 11 Comments »