Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Stick it, Swallow it, Loose it

Now that I'm switching to a homeopathic mindset, I am curious what all you other bloggers know. What I mean is, I would like to know what you have tried, what has been helpful, what the Dr.s have told you, what you've read, etc.
I'll start.
* I was taking Fertility Blend for about 6 months. When I was 'interviewing' who would eventually become my new Dr., he told me he does not recommend it because it can throw your hormones out of whack. His thought was that the herbs in the FB are meant to raise your levels, which can help regulate your period and increase fertility, however, when taken all the time, your hormones may overcompensate or undercompensate.
* I have been taking prenatal pills for years. If anything, it helps my hair and nails grow! I have heard pros and cons about taking an additional folic acid. Can you take too much?
* I have read (and of course heard from a friend who successfully got pg) that acupuncture has been shown to increase fertility. I also heard it was good while doing IVF because it helps you relax. I've always wanted to try it, but it appears to be quite expensive and we were already sinking all our $ into the IVF.
* I have also read weight plays a part in IF. If you are more then 30 pounds overweight, it could contribute to IF. So I am dieting as of yesterday, and hoping to get back into some kinda shape other then round. On the other hand, I find I have some issues with the guidelines of what is a 'normal' weight. I am a curvy girl, with a big ol' butt and matching ta-tas, but I do not consider myself obese. The guideline states that I am obese. Hmmmmm. My obese ass can still get up a mountain in Sedona, and I still get looks at bars, and I can still shop for clothes at any store. ????

So here's where I ask for feedback. I would like to know what you all have heard or tried. I figure from this point on, I really have nothing to loose and may get some interesting suggestions...........


serenity said...

The things I can answer for you:

- I too have heard that acupuncture increases fertility. I did acupuncture with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner - complete with herbs - for about 3 months. I did not get pregnant, but it did relax me.

I also did a session of acupuncture before and after our most recent transfer. I did not get pregnant.

That said, a good book to read on this is by Randine Lewis - called "the Infertility Cure." I liked the book a lot.

- The weight thing -I have read in Ali Domar's book "Conquering Infertility" that being overweight and/or obese can hurt your fertility. But so can being underweight. And plenty of fat and skinny people get pregnant all the time. So I take that one with a grain of salt.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm going to add you to my links list if you don't mind.

And good luck!!!

wzgirl said...

Hey Steph! I had a bit of experience with Trad. Chinese Medicine. I LOVED it & would recommend it to anyone. If you do try it, though, you'll prob. need to make a committment of some sort. Like, try it & only it (e.g. no extra doses of Robitussin) for 6 months or whatever. I saw 3 different acupuncturists & ended up with one that I thought was affordable & that I that being said, you may have to look a bit. First lady I saw was very "Hollywood" & IMO, scamming people a bit. All of this being said, I never got pg. I did notice some significant changes in my cycles, CM & AF - but no PG.

so, not sure how much weight you want to put in my .02cents.

There ya go anyway. XOXO

Bea said...

First - got your message and yes, I did note that you two were talking about dropping IVF but still trying. And I would love to see a miracle happen for you.

It's a little different for us as ART is our only chance at pregnancy, IVF/ICSI our only chance using our own gametes. Giving up ART *is* giving up hope on that front for us.

Now - you wanted assvice? I've used acupuncture (four transfers, three chem pregs, zero live births). I would do it again - it helps with stress, if nothing else.

Naturopathy is controversial. Our original GP was all for, our FS doesn't think it does anything, so doesn't care much whether you take it or not. I know other doctors are against it. Not much help there, am I?

I don't think anyone's discovered a limit to folic acid. I'm a big fan of moderation, though, and I wouldn't eat the whole bottle at once, if it was me. It's common enough to prescribe doses of 5mg/day (for high-risk women) and no adverse effects have yet been found, as far as I know - but I'm not a doctor. Plus! it apparently aids the treatment of depression! Does it actually increase your fertility, though, or does it just reduce your risk of congenital defects?

Weight - I think being within the right weight range will help your chances, although I concur that the effect must be subtle. However, don't be fooled into targeting your "cosmetic" weight rather than your "healthy" weight. Curvy is fine, curvy is fertile. How do you tell the difference between curvy and obese? Maybe a nutritionist? Fitness expert? Discuss with GP? Survey of men in bars?

More complicated measurements than just weight and height are needed, anyway. Bust-waist-hip and fat pinch measurements ring a bell from somewhere. I think Opra did some kind of expensive imaging procedure at one point, which assessed the internal fat around her organs amongst other things, but that seems OTT.

And yes, I have been this assvicey to everyone lately. I'm trying to apologise as I go along for sounding like a big know-it-all and warn people that I actually don't. (Know it all.)

Carol said...

Hi - new here. But thought I'd offer my 2 cents. Not that I know anything about all this.

I have done acupuncture for the last couple years - with all but one of my 5 cycles. I am currently still trying to get pregnant. So that could lead you to some conclusion about whether the acu worked. But I did find it very relaxing during a very stressful time, and that's got to be worth something. I'm still debating about whether I will continue. It is expensive.

I'm with you on the weight thing - I would also probably be classified as 'obese', but I'm not that heavy. I don't look 'fat', I just am probably 30lbs over my ideal weight.

So anyway - good luck with what you decide!

Hoping For A Baby said...

I have some issues with the weight guidelines too. I was told by my old RE to gain weight because according to the guidelines, I was underweight. The thing is, I'm naturally small and was very healthy at my previous weight. But she told me to put on "fertility weight" and like a good little patient, I did. Well, 20 lbs later, I'm still infertile but now I'm also fat. I brought this up with my new RE and he said that the weight guidelines are very general and don't take into account that women of a variety of sizes can be healthy. He looked at all my blood work. Everything looks fine now but everything also looked fine even when I supposedly didn't have enough fertility weight. He even told me I could lose the 20 lbs if I wanted.

So now, I am completely confused about the whole weight thing. I think it's more important to focus on general health and physical fitness... and anyone who can climb up a mountain in Sedona can't be doing that bad!

chloe said...

Here's my two cents, since you asked. =)

I saw an acupuncturist for 4-6 months on a regular basis, but did not get pregnant. I think acupuncture can help but it depends on what the cause of your infertility is and (just like with anything) who your acupuncturist is. Do they specialize in infertlity? Do they mix their own herbs? I would definately 'interview' a practitioner or get a referral before deciding on someone.

I also saw a homeopath for a few months. She didn't help me get pregnant but she definately helped me calm down and stop stressing. On the other hand, I have a patient who swears that the homeopath was the one who got her pregnant.

Both the acupuncturist and homeopath helped with my menstrual cycle in terms of...warning TMI...quality of blood. I used to get brown spotting before seeing any bright red blood. The brown spotting is considered old blood and not a good thing. Now, when my period starts it's bright red which is a sign of a healthy uterus. (My problem is my eggs, not my uetrus.)

Hope this helps.

Barely Sane said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog!

As for answers....

-you can't O.D. on folic acid. Your body will simply flush what it doesn't need (or so I've been told)
-I tried acupuncture for 3 of my cycles and it didn't help. It did however make me feel much more relaxed which is a big bonus.
-I think the idea on the weight thing is that each person's body will reach a point where your hormones get all wacked out with extra poundage. I found mine - an extra 10lbs from my current weight made my prolactin levels rise. Who knew!!!
-I've never tried FB but I know you should not take it with any fert meds. I was also under the impression it should only be taken until O, but again, I've never actually read the darn bottle so I'm probably not the best person to answer that one.

I say try it all. Worst case scenario, none of it works. At least you know you tried.

sube said...

I did accupuncture during my IUIs, but not during my IVFs. I found it relaxing, but other than that I'm not sure it did much for me. The accupuncturist would get all excited and ask me if I felt certain sensations when she put in the needles, but I never did. It got a bit discouraging after a while, the not feeling what I thought I was supposed to be feeling. But maybe I'm just a freak. :)

Some insurance plans cover accupuncture (typically a certain number of visits per year). I'm sure you've already checked into that, but just in case ...

My Reality said...

I have been doing acupuncture for the past month or so, and if anything, it has helped relax me.

As for loosing weight - it is the story of my life. So, I really don't know what to tell you there.

If you figure something out, please let me know, because I have just as many questions as you do!

Starfish said...

I did acupuncture, including a treatment on the day of the transfer. Sorry, but it didn't work for me. I believe the weight thing is a huge factor, but I was not able to successfully lose enough weight to make a difference. That's all I've got.

I notice we have the same name! Let's totally confuse blogland like all those Jen/Jennies/Jennifers, kay?

NikkiNix said...

....Drum roll please....

It's a crap-shoot! I'm still convinced :( We can manipulate ourselves from here to there but we don't know the quality "Darwins survival of the fittest law" of the ovum and sperm so - hmph!

And where in this conversation is HIS weight, HIS accupuncture and HIS vitamins ??? As I said - HMPH!


steph said...

To respond to the Nixter, his weight and vitamins and acupuncture are nowhere! He's not into these types of things. Supportive of ME doing them, but not so much him!!
We are both dieting, so there's effort there.
But in all reality, my eggs are the issue. His swimmers are just fine. So I figure maybe if I can get healthier I can create better eggs, and then add in his sperm, and then cross all fingers and toes while laying in bed with my feet in the air, then wait two weeks, then get a BFP!! And did I mention the miracle part????

And for everyone else, I want to know what YOU have tried, not just replies to what I have!! New ideas people!

Anonymous said...

Hey steph, What you need to do is see a homeopathic doctor, someone who can evaluate you personally. The way homeopathy works (this is not chinese herbs, completely different) is that they have to look at the whole you. What someone else did may not work for you because you may have different energy, or whatever it is that they check. So that is my recommendation, see if you can make an appointment with a homeopath. Plus the homeopathy may be a better alternative since only a minimal amount of medication is used so you shouldn't experience side effects :). It is worth the try! I love you. Jen

Beagle said...

I have given up oon most of the alternative stuff I've tried. My philosophy on that is if it makes you fewel better and you can afford it, then go for it. In my case acupunture became a cost and time issue and therefore caused some of the stress it was supposed to help. So I indulge in a massage when I can. I also do guided meditations. They really help me. There are lots abailable but I like these, they are infertility specific:

anji online dot come

PS Thanks for your comment on my blog . . . and we scuba too!

Thalya said...

Folic acid is fine to take more of. It is a B vitamin, and so is water soluble and you will just pee out anything your body doesn't use. HOWEVER if you decide to up your dose, then take a B multivit as well as taking too much of one B vit can unbalance the rest of them.

Despite what Domar etc. say, there is actually no evidence that weight affects fertility until you get over about a BMI of 35, or under 20 which I'm assuming you are not. In both instances weight at that level tends to affect ovulation, that's what the problem is.

Susan said...

I just saw your comment on another blog and thought I would take a look at yours, I am a foster parent and trying to get pregnant... In the two years I have been looking at more natural treatments I have had two pregnancies. (and two miscarriages) I use acupuncture, it definitely helps regulate my cycles and helps improve lubrication (EWCM) I have been told by several medical and natural medicine practitioners now that you should try for about 30% body fat because estrogen is stored in fat cells and you shouldn't have too much or too little. The blood type diet book (D'Andamo) is a really good one for IF eating. Good luck to you!

Lara said...

I am a HUGE fan of accupuncture!! I did it for a few months before my completed IVF cycle (the two cycles before that were cancelled but I was doing accu then too). It can be expensive. Mine is $50 a session and the weeks leading up to ET I was doing 2 sessions a week. However, if you can find a chinese medicine/accupuncture school, those are a lot less. The one here in Tucson is only $30 a session and they are all supervised and are also quite far along with their schooling before they get to stick any needles in you. One needle in the middle of my shin took care of lower back pain for me, it was amazing! Also on the day of ET she put needles in my forehead and one of them she called her relaxation spot and I tell you, I felt totally sleepy relaxed and didn't have a care in the world while they put those embies in! I've also taken Royal Jelly, its got a lot of things in it that are supposed to help with fertility. I did notice more EWCM in the time I took it but when I ran out I forgot to buy more. I also take fish oil pills. I can't remember why but my accupuncturist suggested it. Lastly, my accupuncturist says its vital to keep your feet warm after transfer. The chi for your uterus is in your feet, so cold feet equates to cold uterus. Keep your feet warm and you've got good blood flow through the uterus. That said, I won't know til tomorrow if this IVF worked!