Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maybe the Needles Will Help

I just had my first acupuncture session yesterday. It's really kind of random that I'm even trying acupuncture. I get regular emails from a site called Groupon that offer me amazing discounts on all kinds of things in the area where I live. My husband makes sure I don't take too many of the offers. But one came through a couple of weeks ago for an acupuncture treatment and initial consultation for only $29--regularly $120. I've always wanted to try acupuncture, and now I actually have a really good reason. So of course I went for it.

I should preface this by saying that as frustrated as I have been about not being able to see an RE, a very small part of me is thankful that I'm not undergoing the craziness of regular ultrasounds, injections, or whatever else an RE might put me on. In fact, I have been rather disillusioned with modern medicine overall through this experience of infertility. I long to trust that my doctor knows everything. But really? She only has a tiny bit more of a clue than I do after reading scientific papers. And with hypothalamic amenorrhea, it seems that many doctors have less of a clue than I do. And I'm very turned off by the piecemeal, fragmented approach of modern medicine. They treat whatever small complaint you have as a separate issue, usually by throwing some drug at you. You know what? I don't want a drug. I want to know what is causing the problem.

On the other hand, I've always been skeptical about so-called alternative medicine. Probably because my husband is an extremely skeptical scientist. Also, being brought up in American schools, we're bred not to believe in anything that science doesn't understand. But you know what? I believe 100% in God, and science doesn't understand him at all. Not that medicine and religion are on any sort of level playing field, but could it be that science doesn't understand everything about medicine yet? Gasp.

So, as my ramblings are probably evidencing, I was quite excited about my acupuncture consultation and treatment. I have no idea how all those tiny needles up and down my spine could possibly help me get pregnant. But my acupuncturist assured me that her treatments could get me back on a regular cycle in 3-6 months! I didn't think a regular cycle was even possible for me. And with no weird chemicals? She also informed me that my pulse was a little weak, whatever that means, and that she would want to see it get a bit stronger before my body tried to support a baby. I think she was implying that we should stop even trying before I get 3 months of treatments under my belt. Well, that's not going to happen. There's no way DH is going to be donning any kind of rubber apparatus in bed any time soon. And yes, next time I ovulate, we will BMS it up. If I get pregnant and my pulse isn't quite as strong as she would like...well, I'll just have to do some jumping jacks to get it stronger.

Beyond the more natural and holistic perspective, the cost of acupuncture is also very attractive. If we started going to an RE, we would probably rack up anywhere between $2000 and $20,000 in costs within the first month. Regular acupuncture with this particular woman would probably cost about $700 in six months, and that's including any special herbs she might recommend. Awesome.

I think my hubby would still like to at least wait this cycle out before starting anything new. That makes sense to me. It is my first try with clomid, so chances are somewhat favorable. However, I'm on day 20 today with no ovulation yet. Sigh. My body is just so stinkin' slow.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ceejay... just popping in via stirrup queens.. I found this topic really interesting as I have often wondered about the effectiveness of acupuncture..also naturopath consultation. I share your feelings about being close to a RE / I live in a regional area and am onto IVF at the moment and its very invasive... so I get the mixed feelings about it. I may pop back in and check out how the acupuncture goes..

Heather said...

It's always made a lot of sense to me that no one branch of medicine has all the answers. I hope this newest path brings a lot of healing and success your way!