Tag: ob-gyn
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Acu-Pros vs. Acu-Cons

People often ask me how being treated with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine differs from being treated in an OB or RE’s office… I usually respond by muttering something snarky about the amount of needle pokes, but truthfully, there are a lot of differences!

I’ve been thinking about and adding to this list for a while now, and I hope it helps someone who is just getting started on their infertility journey and is wondering what path to take, or someone who has been on their path for some time now, and feels that they need a change of direction.

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Acupuncture/TCM vs. Western Medicine:  The Good

Little to NO blood work with TCM vs. Lab blood draws 3-5 times per Western cycle

Acu appointments are as relaxing as lying on a warm massage table with soft music playing while taking a little nap vs. Stressful and sometimes humiliating “get in the stirrups for Dr. Dildocam” RE appointments

TCM practitioners practice open, honest communication vs. Doctors and nurses who sometimes hold your lab results hostage until you blow a gasket over the phone

No nasty drug reactions with TCM or acupuncture vs. Western meds that can cause hot flashes, nausea, headaches, and other even nastier side-effects like OHSS

Naturally guide your body to better all-around health vs. Forcing your body into submission with synthetic hormones

Less risk of multiple births vs. Some Western meds and treatments where multiple birth outcomes are commonplace, risking the health of mom and babies

Acu and TCM influence you to clean up your diet vs. Western meds which make you emotional, irrational, and generally like a narcoleptic T-Rex, eating everything terrible in its path.  And then napping.

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Acupuncture/TCM vs. Western Medicine:  The Bad

Acupuncture and TCM are often not covered by insurance policies, forcing out of pocket costs vs. Infertility treatments with an RE, which are sometimes covered up to a certain point

Acu and TCM require patience, and seeing results can take 3 to 6 months with treatment vs. Western meds and in-office monitoring, which offer immediate gratification (and delicious lab results to obsess over!)

Acu appointments may happen as much as once or twice per week for the treatment period vs. RE monitoring which typically lumps the bulk of the appointments into the beginning of the cycle

Acupuncture and herbs can only do so much for someone with a severe case of whatever-is-causing-your-infertility vs. Western medicine’s ability to diagnose and treat – sometimes surgically correct – issues which Eastern medicine just can’t combat effectively

I’m not gonna lie:  herbs taste gross when brewed as a tea, but some come in capsule form vs. Western meds which mostly come in pill form… Or as injections and suppositories, which are also not fun…

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Acupuncture/TCM vs. Western Medicine:  Your Choice

I realize that I threw a lot at you there, but it really comes down to this:

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been around for thousands of years.  They are tried and proven effective for many, many situations and different types of people – especially for fertility.

While TCM can’t be expected to treat everything under the sun, the success rates for fertility, while hard to pinpoint due to erratic research information, are there.  There are no (or very few) side-effects, you’re healthier and less stressed while you’re committed to the program, which helps to enrich your life in general, not just in the baby-makin’ department.

Western medicine is nothing short of a modern miracle with its ability to combine egg and sperm in a petri dish, and create life outside of the womb.  There’s no substitute for what doctors and nurses can do in labs, but Western medicine also isn’t your only option.  Your Ob-Gyn may not know what to do with you beyond a few cycles of Clomid, but that’s no reason not to educate yourself on the choices you have for your body and reproductive future.

If you have Unexplained Infertility, PCOS, or Endometriosis (and other fun diagnoses!) and are tired of feeling hormonal, defeated, and anxious, then Acu and TCM may be worth looking into.

If you’re struggling with a severe diagnosis, a physical abnormality like fibroids or a tubal issue, or are just not capable of giving three to six months to this process, then stick with that RE.

Actually, no.

Stay with your RE, but find out if they will allow you to solicit the help of an experienced and fertility-specializing Acu/TCM practitioner during your Western treatments.

I truly believe that everyone can benefit from at least some aspect of this process, whether it’s the dietary and lifestyle changes, the herbs and supplements, or the acupuncture-induced zen relaxation.

I don’t think I’ve met one person who has seen an Acupuncturist for fertility that has regretted their pursuit of the Eastern path, whether it worked for them directly, indirectly, or perhaps not at all.

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Is there anything that any of you might add to these lists?

What has been your experience with Acu/TCM vs. Western medicine?

Who has a success story – with either treatment option – or both! – that they can share to encourage others?

Who wants me to stop asking questions and just end this post already?  😀

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…Fine.  You win.

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

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Prep Work

June 9th, 2011.  CD8.

So, today is all about preparing for the big day with the lady who’s going to knock me up.  My first RE appointment is in a week, and I’m starting to get a little anxious.  I checked in with the office to see which of my doctors have sent over my medical records, and I’ve started to fax records requests to the ones who haven’t.

By the way, is it a job requirement for medical records office employees to be rude?  I mean seriously… I have called four offices today, and every single one of those women pretty much hates their life, or so it sounds over the phone.  I hate calling you to fax over copies of my last three pap smear results just as much as you hate faxing them, mkay?  Get over it, lady.  Jeez.

Anyway, so aside from making sure my medical records are in place, showing up on time for my appointment, and employing some advanced hair-removal techniques, is there anything else I should be doing to prepare for this three-hour tour of my privates?

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A New Hope

May 4th, 2011.  CD5.

Today is Star Wars Day.

May the Fourth be with you… Get it?  May the Fourth?

Baaaaahahahahaha…

I’m endlessly amused by wordplay and silly puns and Star Wars in general, so this whole celebration has been right up my alley.

But hey, this blog is not about how much of a nerd I am, it’s about how infertile I am!  While both of those things are rather pitiful, let’s get back to the topic at hand, shall we?

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Covert Ops

April 28th, 2011.  CD33, 8DPO.

Eight days past ovulation, and nothing exciting to report.  Honestly, this cycle has been rather boring.  Except for the fact that I waited around for a clear sign of ovulation–and then waited another week on top of that–there hasn’t really been much to get anxious about this month.

Until today, that is.

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Whatever. I’m Getting Cheese Fries.

April 21st, 2011.  CD26.

Well, my temp did rise this morning, but not by an impressive amount.  I guess my Ob-Gyn was right–I do have a weak natural ovulation.

I’ve been wondering why that is a lot lately.  I think that’s why I started reading about PCOS.  Now, I know I’ve said in the past that self-diagnosing is not the way to handle things, but it’s tough to sit patiently and wait for my appointment with the fertility clinic in June.  Maybe if we don’t call it “Google Diagnosis” and refer to it as something like “educating myself on the possibilities”, it will all sound less crazy.

Who’s in favor of less crazy?

Oooh, ooh–ME!

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What to Expect: When You’re Expecting to Expect

When I got married a little over two years ago, I never expected that I would be here–a veritable science experiment of a woman, working my little fingers to the bone trying to get pregnant, and burdening the world with my tragic woes via the internet. I also had no idea that I’d probably been

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Sitting On My Hands

Well friends, the day has finally come. …No, I’m not knocked up. And no, I haven’t decided to “just stop trying”.  After all, what sarcastic epithet would I name this blog then?

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Up In the Air

March 28th, 2011.  CD2. After spending the day yesterday with two of my best friends and their fourteen- and seven-month-old girls, I have a renewed sense of determination to have a family of my own… Despite the week-long setback Aunt Flo has thrown in my way.

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March Madness

March 27th, 2011.  CD31, 13DPO. …Madness is probably putting it lightly.  All of this waiting for answers is driving me cuh-razy!

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Girls Don’t Buy Dresses From Sweaty Hot Messes

March 3rd, 2011.  CD7. Bear with me while I make my way to the point of this post… My last Ob-Gyn was a jerkface, with a capital J.  She wouldn’t listen to my concerns about my possible fertility issues, and she refused to look at the comically large stack of BBT charts I brought with

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