In our attempts at parenthood, I have done my share of research. I managed to overcome my needle-phobia so that I could benefit from acupuncture. The meaning of this became especially clear when I was receiving after-transfer treatment last year. Even though by then I had been going to acupuncture for some time, that day, it was different. That day, I carried human life within me. That day, I was a mother! And as I lay there taking deep breaths and trying to think of my happy place while the acupuncturist inserted the various needles, I remember mentally telling my kids, “this is for you.” This cycle is the first time I am on estrogen. I was thrilled that my doctor agreed to an injection-free protocol. Instead, I wear four skin… [more]
Our first two frozen embryo transfers* took place in natural, (mostly) unmedicated cycles. We are dealing with strictly male factor infertility. All of my tests have come back normal. Therefore, we saw no reason to introduce excess hormones into my body when I could ovulate and establish a thick enough uterine lining on my own. With that in mind, I looked at various natural and alternative remedies that we could incorporate into our cycles to maximize chances of success. One of these alternatives has been acupuncture. We were lucky enough to have some 20 acupuncture sessions covered by our health insurance annually, as long as they are not billed specifically for infertility. The purpose of my visits this time around has been to regulate my periods. After our last FET, I noticed… [more]
I have come to the realization that I like to find holistic treatments to infertility. After looking back at the majority of my posts it seems to be the trend, so don't be surprised at the message of this one! My sister-in-law and I have a lot in common-- we married James brothers, we are obsessed with changing our hair (cut, color, bring it on!), we laugh at the weirdest things, and we both have infertility issues. My sister-in-law deals with PCOS and has struggled throughout her life with womanly issues. She often jokes with me about the fact that she's had as many periods in her lifetime as a normal woman has in a year. One day last fall we were… [more]
Raspberries are by far one of my favorite foods in the world! When I overheard somewhere that raspberries could be beneficial to women with infertility problems I jumped for joy. I went out to the grocery store and bought a whole flat of raspberries that night. By ten p.m. I had eaten three green baskets full of berries and I was feeling great. Then the next morning I realized that it isn't necessarily the berry, but the leaf, that is suppose to help with infertility. Before spending a lot of money dealing with infertility, naturopathic remedies seemed like a great way for us to go. The raspberry leaf supplements cost anywhere from 5 dollars to 15 dollars for 100 pills… [more]
Men get off relatively easy when it comes to infertility. The woman is advised to do all sorts of things to improve her chances of conception, but the man is often let off the hook when it comes to making lifestyle changes. Often the female partner is told to watch what she eats and drinks while the male partner (even if male factor plays a role) is rarely similarly inundated with advice revolving around not eating certain foods, drinking caffeine or alcohol, smoking, exercising or not, etc. Most couples undergoing fertility treatments do know the "rule" that the male should not ejaculate 2-3 days prior to providing a sample, but many don't know that the sperm that… [more]
I was very reluctant to stop taking my Progesterone In Oil (or PIO) shots and move on to the Crinone 8% vaginal progesterone gel. When I begged my doctor to let me stay on the shots (crazy I know) he told me that I would love the gel - that it would be so much easier, a lot less painful, and would work just the same. Crinone 8% is most commonly used by women undergoing fertility treatments to provide progesterone to change the lining of the uterus to aid in implantation and then to sustain a pregnancy. I did not begin to take Crinone until after I was done with the PIO shots and continued to take it through 12… [more]
Much has been said about the benefits of acupuncture for someone suffering through infertility. Of all the crazy, wacky things I tried to help me get pregnant -ingesting Mucinex and Robitussin, anything to do with kegels, holding my legs propped against the wall for an hour, and so much more - the one thing that I never pursued was acupuncture therapy. Knowing that I was desperate and literally willing to try pretty much anything, it is kind of surprising to me that at no time in the five plus years of trying to conceive did I even really seriously contemplate visiting an acupuncturist. I don't know if it was too new-age, alternative for my simplistic and medically conservative outlook… [more]
My predecessor, Karianne, wrote some interesting posts on the mind/body connection as it relates to fertility. That got me thinking about the mind/body connection and how big a role that the mind plays in being able to conceive.
Generally speaking, I see a big connection between the mind and the body. For example, when I was repressing my emotions from a traumatic childhood, I had a very poor immune system. Now that I have dealt with my past, my immune system has become much stronger. Sports fans have known for decades that a team can be less talented but "want the win" more, propelling the underdog to win the championship. People used to believe that it was not physically possible to run a… [more]
When I went to a Reiki appointment recently, I noticed a flyer called "Yoga for Fertility" posted on the bulletin board. I have gotten into yoga over the past few years, but I never did any yoga while I was going through fertility procedures. I find the thought of using yoga to assist with conception fascinating.
The flyer starts out talking about what yoga is and then talks about the frustrations of infertility. According to the flyer, the "meditative nature of yoga" can be helpful in healing both the body and the mind. It claims that the yoga class will help to "lengthen the spine," which gives more room to the reproductive organs. That's interesting. I never thought about giving my reproductive… [more]
I have just finished reading an article about the nutrition status of United States women in regards to folate. Folate definition from pdr health. The term folate is used in two different ways. Folate, a member of the B-vitamin family, is a collective term for a number of chemical forms which are structurally related and which have similar biological activity to folic acid. Folate is also the term which is used for the anionic form of folic acid. Folic acid or pteroylglutamic acid (PGA) is comprised of para-aminobenzoic acid linked at one end to a pteridine ring and at the other end to glutamic acid. The pteridine-para-aminobenzoic acid portion of the molecule is called the pteroyl group. Folic acid is a synthetic folate form which is used for food fortification and… [more]