Friday, February 8, 2013

Tiny Needles?

Ok, folks, so I want to poll the experts here: What's everyone's take on acupuncture?

The reason I'm asking is, I have two friends who are going through their own different and separate stories of fertility issues and both are going to the same acupuncturist who specializes in fertility. My first friend was referred to the acupuncturist via her RE, a big name doctor in Beverly Hills, as part of her treatment pre- and during IVF. My second friend hasn't actually started trying to get pregnant yet, but was recently diagnosed with pretty severe endometriosis and wants to get things figured out since they want to get pregnant soonish. Both have marvelous things to say about this woman and her treatments (regulating cycles, disappearing cysts, extremely warm and caring, etc, etc) and so I got interested.

Now I know I have no reason to think that I have any problems that are keeping me from getting pregnant other than mathematical probability, but I am having semi-irregular cycles coming off birth control and as far as I know, you don't need to have anything wrong to benefit from a little eastern medicine. Plus, I think it would be nice to have someone who could just look at my overall health and balance.

So my question is, is there a downfall? It's covered (mostly) by my insurance, the office is near my house, and so what do I have to lose besides an hour of my time?

I should say that I'm a little bit of a contradiction here in my views on acupuncture. In general, having been trained from a very science-focused, research-based perspective, I tend to be skeptical of non-mainstream medical treatments. But somehow acupuncture doesn't fall into that category for me? It has been researched more than other non-traditional arts (i.e., muscle testing?) and doctors tend to refer their clients as a component of treatment (or maybe they just do that here in LA?). Also, my mother had amazing success with an acupuncturist when she was in her mid-20s and diagnosed with thyroid issues. The doctor wanted her to have her thyroid removed or else take some pretty serious medications that she didn't want to take. With the help of acupuncture, the issue resolved itself and she's never had thyroid problems since. My aunt and both grandmothers all have had to be medicated for it, so I'd say my mom got the better end of the deal. (By the way, I've been tested twice and so far have had no irregular thyroid levels). Long story short, I guess I want to believe in acupuncture and that there are older medicinal approaches than just what Western medicine says is "research-based."

So anyhow, what do you think? I'm curious. And sitting here today at CD24 with still no confirmed ovulation (I did break down and buy my very first OPK and got a + yesterday, so at least something is happening), it might be worth it if she could get my schedules more regular just to avoid further freak outs about scheduling :)


  1. I say, go for it! It won't hurt your chances and I've heard amazing things about it. YAY For a positive OPK! (I used to be a cheerleader, can you tell lol? :)

  2. I got a referral for acupuncture, but never ended up going. One session of acupuncture is included in my IVF package and you can choose when you want it during your cycle. I think it will be cool to try while I am in Cancun, but I can't be bothered to make an appointment before I go. A lot of the research about acupuncture I've read shows the biggest results when it is done right around the time of the transfer. But I say what have you got to lose?

  3. Yeah go for it. I am about to contact a Chinese doctor, specialist in fertility, recommended by my ex-supervisor from the lab at work (who's Taiwanese). I also come from a very "hard-science" background, but I do believe acupunctre, Eastern medicine in general has a solid basis. When my sister was 11 years she got Herpes zoster (that's the disease you get when the chicken-pox virus hits you the 2nd time). Unfortunately, it attacked her ear, and given that the virus that causes it travels through nerves and attacks the myelin, half her face was paralyzed, even after the infection was gone. She went to all kinds of doctors, but to make a long story short, it was acupuncture that resolved the issue and she got back the mobility of her face. This is to say not everything is known / has a cure in our Western science medicine, and giving it a try won't hurt. Good luck.

  4. I've never tried it, but I know several people who have seen results from it! You might as well try it, I don't think you have anything to lose.

  5. I agree! You don't have anything to lose by going. =)

  6. I never used acupuncture for getting pregnant but had it a lot when I was pregnant.

    My mum is a Physiotherapist and she is a qualified acupuncturist. So she pops round and sticks needles in me! ha. That sounds awful.

    She has recently started putting them in my forehead for migraine relief and an amazing, unexpected effect is my frown line is disappearing! Hooray.

    I can't recommend acupuncture enough. It's fantastic.

  7. Thanks for all of your input :) I think I will go...just have to find a time to fit it into my hectic schedule (god, that sounds so un-zen-eastern-medicine of me). Maybe I'll call and make an appt next month.


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