Based on some promising research results for DOR patients, I decided to try acupuncture for my fresh IVF cycle attempt in 2012.
I went through two acupuncturists for that cycle. My first acupuncturist was a young woman who I found through a Yelp deal, and was in the side of a shady strip mall in my small town. Her philosophy for IVF support was to balance my body as a whole and the fertility aspects would fall into place naturally. Sounded reasonable on paper, I guess. This turned out with me holding onto vials of bizarre substances while she smacked my back with a plastic stick, and then of course poked me with acupuncture needles. She would "read my body" by having me hold my arm over my head and then having me drop it. And from that, my body would tell her what I needed. Sometimes my body would apparently tell her I needed to avoid dairy for 24 hours. Sometimes I needed to only eat free range chicken. Sometimes I had a magnesium deficiency, all manifested through the dropping of an arm. I went with the flow with her for a while because I had no reference point since she was my first ever acupuncturist. I was left to assume that this was normal treatment in preparation for IVF. The final signal that she was not a the right acupuncturist for me was when she announced to me that she had learned she was pregnant herself, and she wasn't sure if she was going to keep her baby because it was likely from a one night stand. I ran as fast as I could. Clearly she didn't understand infertility, or tact.
I quickly did my research for another acupuncturist and ended up with one who specialized in women's issues and seemed to understand infertility and IVF very well. But the one thing that bothered me was that this new acupuncturist would make chastising comments about how she wished I had come to her sooner before getting to the IVF stage because she could have fixed my DOR.
That's quite a monumental claim, lady. Insert giant eye-roll.
I really didn't like the idea of her making claims like this and giving me mental conflict and questioning my choices. And especially since we were already knee-deep into an IVF cycle. Was she implying that she wanted us to turn back? And furthermore, that IVF cycle turned out to be a disaster. I followed the advice of my RE and my acupuncturist to the letter and my ovaries failed to respond whatsoever to the maximum amount of stims on an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink protocol. Acupuncture definitely didn't help me that cycle, but who knows if I was even help-able, really. The whole entire process left me skeptical of acupuncture in general.
Due to my skepticism, I didn't do acupuncture for my DEmbryo FET in February 2013 based on my less-than-stellar experiences the first time. And without acupuncture, I got pregnant. But sadly, miscarried. You know the story. But my RE surprised me at the consult following my miscarriage and insisted that I do acupuncture this time. I balked a little, but she told me it was important that I do. I trust my RE immensely. So reluctantly, I agreed.
I emailed a few different acupuncture clinics near my work because that's where these appointments would likely need to happen. In my emails I explained I needed FET support acupuncture, trying to weed out the weirdos like the first acupuncturist I got. Surprisingly, most claimed they knew what to do in very few words, but that wasn't enough for me. Until one woman responded indicating that I'd come in once a week leading up to the transfer, twice on the actual day of transfer, and twice waiting for my beta results. Finally! Someone who knew what she was talking about! And not only that, said she loves giving discounts to her fertility clients, she got awesome yelp reviews, is within walking distance of my work, and was extremely flexible on scheduling the day of transfer appointments.
I had my first appointment with her yesterday, and this time did feel different! She was very caring, very motherly, very sweet. She was not judgmental of the fact I hadn't come to her sooner. She seemed normal and I didn't feel was trying to sell me magic potion or make me believe in hocus-pocus. She asked curious questions about our embryo adoption, and our situation. She seemed delighted that we were following this path. It thrilled me to be able to share our story with her. I love talking about embryo adoption, and whenever an opportunity presents itself to be an advocate for it, I am.
The session itself was extremely relaxing, and for the first time ever I did feel something different. I can't explain it but my mind just drifted away. She warned me about a needle she was going to poke on the arch of my foot (ouch) and praised me for being such a tough cookie when it was inserted. But she said I will feel relief from the hot flashes from that particular acupuncture point. Who knows it it actually worked or not, but I did not have any hot flashes last night after my appointment.
I had a bit of a headache that started about an hour after leaving, but that could just be the Lupron taking hold.
Whether this helps or not, I may never know. But I just want to know I did everything I could for success. I can't leave behind any "what if I had done _______?" No regrets. I can tell you that I am doing everything and then some! Full steam ahead!