The Other Side

While we are taking a break from treatment, I’ve gone back to acupuncture. I really enjoy it, although I wasn’t sure it was really doing much for our fertility since I’d been going for over a year and, well, you know where we are now. So I stopped going after our 4th IUI. I wasn’t doing acupuncture during our IVF or FET cycles. I don’t know if it would have made a difference, but now that we know I can *get* pregnant, I just can’t *stay* pregnant, I’m wondering if there might be some additional benefit. It’s relaxing, and really helpful for maintaining my mental health (added benefit–I don’t get headaches anymore!).

It’s curious to me how different eastern and western medicine are in their approaches to fertility (and most of medicine I suppose). With western medicine we do tests, and more tests. We are looking for abnormalities in hormones, sperm count, anatomy. Once we find the abnormality, we treat it. If you can’t find the problem (eg unexplained infertility), you take control of the whole reproductive process and let the body do as little as possible, hoping to bypass any undiagnosable problems. With eastern medicine, it’s much more about the overall function of the body and your cycles. There are no tests, just questions about temperature, digestion, tongue examinations and menstrual flow. The diagnoses have to do with energy flow, blood, kidney ying and yang, liver qi. And treatment involves restoring balance.

At this point in our IF journey, western medicine has failed. We may ultimately be successful, but I’m wondering if our “unexplained” problem may be something that can be helped with eastern medicine. The scientist in me struggles to accept that the most invasive procedures and strongest medications can’t fix our problems, but sticking needles in my legs and hands and taking some herbs will. It’s a simple intervention though, and surprisingly enough, covered by insurance, so we’ll give it a shot. Who knows, maybe this will be the trick?

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One Response to The Other Side

  1. Cristy says:

    One of the main limiting factors of Western medicine has been this focus on treating the symptom(s) rather than the patient. That’s beginning to change, as there’s a lot more focus now on mental health and it’s connection to physical health, but I think there’s still a lot we don’t understand. I haven’t been to acupuncture, but I have been meditating and the difference it makes when I’m practicing regularly. At this point, if all of this craziness can be explained because of elevation in stress hormones or blocked chakras, I’m willing to do what’s necessary to correct it.

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