Just A Little Pinprick

Originally posted on April 16, 2002. Oh, what hopeful enthusiasm I had back then for all kinds of treatments to help with my infertility. I think posts like this help show how I turned into the bitter old crone we all know and love today. It’s honestly funny to me today to read this and see how hesitant I was about fertility treatments. And now here I am considering using another woman’s egg for IVF.

Just got back from my acupuncturist!

My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for what seems like forever. It will be two years in August. When we started, I thought I would have a 1-year-old by now.

One of the great ironies of my life is that I spent so much energy worrying about unwanted pregnancies when I was younger, and now that I want a baby the body just isn’t cooperating.

We’ve gone through preliminary testing with established Western medicine: semen analysis, an HSG to rule out blocked tubes or malformed uterus. Three cycles of Clomid – a mild fertility drug – which was ridiculous, but my GYN insisted I try it before being referred to a specialist. Everything checked out, and of course the Clomid didn’t work. Clomid is for women who don’t ovulate on their own. I don’t fit that bill.

So, now that we’re through the Clomid, I’m supposed to go back to my GYN for the referral to a reproductive endocrinologist, but I haven’t. Infertility treatments are seriously invasive, so I wanted to try some alternative therapies before moving on to that. Enter acupuncture.

I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist twice a week for the last 4 weeks. He says my hormones are out of whack, and the work he’s doing is supposed to bring them back into balance. In another week or two, my treatment should be complete.

With something like this, it’s kind of hard to tell if it’s working until I get pregnant. There are some ways to measure, though. My acupuncturist uses a probe thingy to check my ear points every two weeks. The first time, the machine went crazy when he reached the hormone ear points on both ears. My initial readings were 60 in one ear and 58 in the other. They dropped to 37 and 39 the second time, and to 30 and 27 last week. Under 25 is normal.

Oddly, I ovulated on day 14 of my current cycle, which is when “normal” women ovulate. Usually, my body isn’t ready to release that egg until day 16, 17, or 18.

I have no idea if this is working, but, if nothing else, I’m enjoying the sessions. The 20 minutes I spend lying there with the needles in – 1 in each calf, 1 in each wrist, 3 in the abdomen, and 3 in each ear – is the only time I ever have to just “be.” It’s the closest I’ve ever come to being in a meditative state.

Okay, enough rambling for now. Here’s an article about acupuncture, in case you want to read more.