Tuesday, 24 January 2017


When you are struggling to conceive you start to try every single crazy thing that could help you get pregnant – green tea to increase your fertile cervical mucus, red raspberry leaf tea for increase your uterine lining – pomegranate juice, more vitamins, more supplements, eating special food, avoiding certain things, changing your personal care items, changing your cleaning supplies and food storage containers – pretty much, you name it, someone struggling to conceive has tried it. One thing that comes up frequently is acupuncture for infertility. If you look it up on Google you will find testimonials from people that claim that they got pregnant shortly after starting acupuncture, so I decided to look in to it.

First, I was very practical and looked up how much an acupuncture session would cost and if this would be covered by either mine or my husband’s insurance. Acupuncture sessions vary in cost from $60-$150+, so it’s not cheap. My insurance will cover $500 of acupuncture, at 80% per visit and my husband’s will cover 20 sessions at 80%, so it won’t cost me too much to try acupuncture.

I then started researching if it’s actually going to improve my chances of getting pregnant with IVF. I’m not a fan of needles so the idea of paying someone to stick needles into me when it isn’t medically necessary wasn’t appealing.

There were a lot of papers on PubMed discussing acupuncture and IVF. I decided to just focus on review articles because I’m very busy being a post-doc and didn’t have time to go through each study individually. I was actually surprised by the research that I found. While the results are inconsistent, the overall conclusion is that acupuncture has no positive or negative impact on IVF success rates up to acupuncture in combination with Traditional Chinese Medicine having a 2-fold or more increase in IVF success rates. Based on this alone, I was sold. If we’re already paying $10,000+ for IVF, we might as well take advantage of our insurance coverage and pay about $15/week to try to increase the odds of success.

I found an acupuncture clinic that specializes in infertility and has hours and a location that are convenient for me and booked an appointment. I’ve had 2 sessions so far and I’m really not sure what to think. I do not enjoy getting the needles stuck in me, and I have a hard time believing that it’s actually going to help get me pregnant, but I have had minimal bleeding during my luteal phase this cycle, so it seems like acupuncture is doing something. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

New Year / Finally have an appointment

Another year has passed and still no baby or pregnancy. While I am not hopeful that we will have a baby or be pregnant by the end of this year, I do hope we will be able to close this chapter and be able to move on as child-free not by choice.

We finally have an appointment with the new fertility doctor. Back in August the clinic estimated that we’d have an appointment in March or April. Our appointment is February 28. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to start IVF right away, but it has been over a year since the testing has been done so I’m sure we will need to repeat at least some of the tests before we are able to start. I hope we will be able to get the testing done within one cycle so it isn’t too long of a delay before starting IVF. I don’t want to wait any longer. We have spent long enough waiting for a baby and putting things on hold and living life differently that it is time to actually do something. That being said, I’m really not looking forward to IVF. It’s so many needles, and so much money, and no guarantee that after spending $15,000 that we will actually have embryos, let alone a take-home baby. If the IVF fails I don’t know if we’ll have the money or the emotional ability to try again. The very very sucky thing is that if the IVF fails we may not even be able to continue to try naturally because I can’t keep dealing with this almost constant bleeding and birth control is the only thing that stops the bleeding.