Something I have yet to mention through my previous blogs is that I started seeing an acupuncturist very early on in the process. Prior to my first IUI, at least 2 months before actually.
The thing I love most about acupuncture is that for 1 hour, you get to lie in a dark room, with the blood flowing through your veins, in a totally relaxed frame of mind.
For me, the first couple times I got it, I found it so hard to just relax and switch my brain off. The whole time, I had the 'what if' questions racing through my head.
What if I am never able to get pregnant? What if I DO get pregnant? What if I miscarry? What if I'm really not going to be able to do this on my own.
You get my point. On top of the fertility stress, I was also under a lot of stress from other factors in my life. My job for one. I'm so busy all the time & in a high pressure job. Another huge stress is that my family is in Australia, and I am not. With no easy way of getting home at all thanks to Covid, but mostly because Australia has been turned into a bubble, not letting people in or out. If you are one of the lucky few to actually get a seat on a plane and get bumped... you are now broke, because the airlines are gouging air tickets, plus I'd have to pay $3,000 to be locked away in a hotel room without a key for 2 weeks mandatory quarantine enforced by the Aussie government. The thought of not having my mum by my side if I have to give birth alone terrifies me.
So yeah... stress. But after a couple sessions, I learned that this is the time to zone out, leave the world behind. To use what very little meditation lessons I've had (and never practiced) and let an ancient Chinese medicine do it's thing.
Now when I get treatment, it takes me about 10 minutes once the needles are in and I am left alone in the dark to get rid of my thoughts, but after that, the next 40 minutes I can only explain it as the feeling of a deep heavy state of mind, you are almost asleep but not quite, sometimes maybe, but for me I am semi conscious. By the end, I feel stuck to the table, a sense of release. The ultimate relaxation.
Does it hurt?
My answer would be NO. But everyone has their own pain threshold. The needle itself is tiny. The only way to explain it is a tiny little pinching sensation at times, but it only lasts for a split second. Some you really don't feel at all. For me the only ones that make me twinge a little, is the needles in the feet, not going to lie when I say I dread them going in, but it is only short lived! I have some pretty sensitive places. But the areas that 'hurt' more than others are really dependent on each person and areas that are in relation to problem areas in your own body.
One thing I do notice when it comes to acupuncture, is that it feels different throughout your cycle. Certain times of the month, my body can be a little more sensitive. It is really amazing how you really start to learn how your body reacts at different times of the month! If acupuncture has taught me anything, it has taught me how to listen to my body.
What is the point?
Acupuncture is a treatment that goes back thousands of years! it helps restore the flow and balance of the body's vital energy, therefore boosting its natural healing capacity. During fertility treatment is is important to have good blood flow to the uterus and ovaries to provide the nutrients it needs.
Most common benefits (thanks google!):
Improves blood and lymphatic flow
Provides energy to the body
Helps eliminate toxins
Boosts hormone production and regulation
Increases endorphin production, decreasing stress and anxiety
Helps relax the body and mind
How much does it cost?
Unfortunately this treatment is NOT covered by my health insurance. Some of them do, but mine certainly does not. Treatment ranges anywhere from $80-150 a session depending on where you go. But definitely ask your insurance company. Do some research on therapists and most importantly, make sure they specialize in fertility.
To wrap up, I strongly strongly suggest acupuncture as part of your journey. Even if it just gives you an hour to relax away from the world!
Shout out to my Acupuncturist Belinda, you have really helped me in this journey, both mentally and physically! You rock!