Infertility: My First Acupuncture Visit.

I’ve been thinking about doing acupuncture for a long time now. Months, maybe even years. Wanting to do it, but putting it off.  I would say 99% of putting it off was because of cost, and 1% because I would convince myself I don’t need it cause this month will be “the month” I get pregnant.

I finally got my BFP after my first FET, unfortunately the happiness of pregnancy was cut short and I miscarried at 8 weeks (the embryo stopped developing at 6 weeks).

So I’m getting myself back into the saddle and getting ready for FET #2 in the next month or so. I started seeing a therapist, and an acupuncturist. I already see a chiropractor bi-weekly and I think I may start seeing a physical (occupational) therapist to deal with my chronic neck and shoulder pain.

I have a high deductible insurance plan and now that I’ve paid over $10,000 my medical care will be covered at 100% for the next couple months. Sadly January it’ll go back to no coverage so I want to get everything in as much as possible!!

My 30th Birthday is right around the corner… wouldn’t it be nice to finally be PREGNANT by 30??

It’s time to pull out all the stops. So I’m devising myself a plan to enhance my body’s receptivity for this precious embryo, the little embryo that could.

First I called my insurance company and asked if acupuncture was a covered benefit. To my surprise they said YES! But only if you have a referral from a doctor for pain management. Well I didn’t really want to have acupuncture because of pain… but I do see a chiropractor for chronic pain. I asked if a chiropractor is considered a “doctor”, again to my surprise they said that a chiropractor would be an acceptable referer. I called my chiropractor office and they said that they could write me a referral no problem and I can pick it up on saturday at my appointment. I was relieved and excited.

On my insurance website they had only a couple acupuncturists listed as in-network providers. I called the one closest that was female. Maybe a man could treat infertility with acupuncture just as well, but I prefer female practitioners when dealing with reproductive care. The website was even directed as female centered care which made me more comfortable that I will be seeing someone who has experience with fertility treatment, not just pain management treatments.

The office was only 20 minutes away from my house, which is great when you live out “in the middle of no-where”. She set me up with a saturday morning appointment (YAY for convenience!)

I arrived, the office was small but nice, comfortable, with a “holistic” feel, essential oils, books on health and wellness ect. I filled out some paperwork and she took me back into the treatment room.

She was thorough and went over my history and was attentive to menstrual cycle and diet/hydration, sleep habits, ect.

She described how acupuncture works and how she will put most of the needles into the hands/wrist and feet/ankles. She showed me what the needles looked like, that she uses a guiding tube and then inserts the needle into the tube. She described what sensations people experience and that a large range of sensations are normal and will change at different visits may feel different. She said that there should not be pain besides some at the initial insertion, but should fade quickly. If pain or uncomfortable feeling continues she can adjust or remove the needle as needed.

She had me take of my shoes and socks and then lay on the table, face up fully clothed.(IDK why I thought I was going to be naked for this??). There was a heating pad on the bed and a pillow for neck and knees. It was very comfortable. She began by wiping my wrists, ankles, feet and ears with an alcohol wipe. After that she got out the needles and began inserting.

I felt some slight pinches, also some tingling, some slight muscle spasm like feelings, some slight throbbing. Over all not painful but slightly uncomfortable at times. Some times you get the “hurts so good” feeling.

She put one in my scalp and in the middle of my forehead in between my eyebrows. The ones in the ear probably hurt the most on insertion but didn’t feel anything after that.

She offered to put a space blanket over me to keep my feet warm while I relaxed with the needles inserted.

She left the room and said she would come back in 10 minutes to check that everything still felt fine. After she left I got a strong itch on my hairline.. I tried to ignore it but I couldn’t. I slowly and gently moved my hand to give it a little scratch. I shouldn’t have done that.. My arm throbbed for quite some time after that. I convinced myself that it was fine and eventually relaxed. She came in a the 10 minutes and everything was still fine. I laid there for another 20 minutes after that. I practiced some deep breathing and just laid there. I wasn’t able to fall asleep but I would guess that many people do.

She came back in and removed the blanket then took all the needles out, she did one more check around to ensure all the needles were out.

My arms and legs felt very heavy and a bit tingley. Our plan is to have weekly acupuncture, and on the day of transfer to have 2 sessions, 1 prior and 1 after as close as possible to the actual transfer. Then continue weekly sessions to support implantation and early pregnancy.

I felt relaxed afterwards, not overly energetic but alert and awake, calm.

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