After six months of no joy and after a brilliant skiing holiday at the end of March I decided to start a course of acupuncture with a fertility specialist. I also had problems sleeping so it dealt with that too. Accupuncture is one form of Chinese medicine and my advice would be to work with someone who is registered with the RCHM – Register of Chinese Medicine that way you don’t have to worry about their use of chinese herbs as they will be regulated by the RCHM who demand high standards for admission on its members. It’s worth asking around for recommendations from people you trust when choosing someone to visit if possible.
Accupuncture is costly however it is a wonderful period of time spent on yourself where you can practice visualisation which I’d read about in Emma Cannon’s book ‘The Baby Making Bible’ which I strongly recommend. Emma writes in a very relatable and unpatronising way and helps you process a lot of information, and gives you so much to think about yourself, your lifestyle, your relationship and your future family. Emma practices chinese medicine and advocates its use when trying to conceive do many other fertility experts including Zita West who I will discuss later.
I think it’s really worthwhile spending time to read up n all that could affect you when trying to conceive, especially if you are over 35 like me. It might seem overwhelming, but its and worth investing your time in reading recommended books –so do have a look at my resources page
More reading helped me understand the importance of monitoring my BBT (Basel Body Temperature) and the next addition to my routine was to buy a digital thermometer and take my temperature as soon as I woke up which is a way of determining when you are ovulating I was having to wake up 4am for my job, so my alarm would ring, I’d take my temperature then go and pee on a stick and log all the stats in an app on my phone. Glow, MyFertilityFriend, OvuView are all great ways of making notes and handy reminders to keep tabs on yourself or you can use a paper chart, there’s plenty online.
I had an initial consultation with the acupuncturist, presenting all the information I’d gathered and I had to fill in lots of questions about myself and my relationship – which you need to get used to if you need to do more investigation. I waited a month to start, partly due to cash flow, partly due to being skeptical and I wanted to see if I was pregnant beforehand.
So May came and I started weekly treatment and during my ovulation period bi weekly . My therapist had established the energy around my kidneys wasn’t great, and I had suffered in the past from urinary tract infections so it made sense. He gave me a course of chinese herbs to take. We saw each other regularly and he used various methods along with the acupuncture needles such as massage, heat lamps, cupping ( think of the round marks you might have seen celebs photographed with on their backs). The idea of cupping is to mobilize blood flow – and if you choose to read Emma Cannon’s book you will learn about blood stagnation and how you can remedy it both with your diet, treatments and exercises.
Whilst on your journey to conceive you are counting every day, every month!
Whilst this is all well and good – what then started to happen was inevitably there would be times where I’d say to my other half, we had to make sure we had sex during the ‘specific times’. All the books and websites tell you NOT to do this and to just have sex every few days throughout the month. But the reality is when you are busy and working different hours, it’s not always possible, so there is at times extra emphasis on the specific days.
You begin to realise how stories of people who say ‘it just happened’ are the lucky ones. People who got pregnant ‘first time’ are those you envy and the more you learn about the short window when you can get pregnant, you can’t help but be a bit skeptical about people who claim they had no idea they could have fallen pregnant.
Although this somewhat contradicts what I said earlier about my lack of knowledge about my cycle. I’m ashamed to say that I do think we are guilty us ladies of being in the dark about out bodies.
I know that if I have a daughter I’ll be sure to tell her about her body, more so than I understood so she is much more capable of making informed decisions
I stopped having accupunture after about 3 months, and chose to focus on more tests with my Doctor, but I returned to the treatment and believe it is highly beneficial especially if you find you do need to have fertility treatment such as IVF.
Accupunture is a great way to relax and it is brilliant for visualisation pre and post egg collection and can help with inflamation after egg collection and implantation after your transfer.
Keep reading for more on alternative therapies
Ta ta for now