Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Opinions appreciated

I'm requesting opinions about acupuncture. Out of all of the failures I've had with IUIs and IVFs, one of the best follie responses I had was when I did acupuncture during the 6 weeks prior to IVF. My last attempt at IVF was poor and we converted to IUI. So, last week I decided to give it another try but with a more convenient acupuncturist.

Although both claimed to specialize in fertility treatments, my new acupuncturist did things completely differently. First off she didn't request to see any medical records or anything related to previous cycles. She only asked a few questions about past attempts. Then I got undressed from the waist down and covered up in a very thin paper blanket and the guy she works with came in and made me do this weird exercise where I'm laying flat on my back and shift each hip up towards my shoulder and then the other all while he was pressing on my belly. Did I mention that I went on CD2 and I had cramps and was bloated all while he was pressing on my belly?! Then he left and she came in to do the needle work, she kept telling me how bloated I was?!! HELLO?! did I not just tell you that it was CD2? I don't think she understood.... of course I am bloated you stupid cow!! All the drama aside, when she had all the needles in (which were all up and down my legs and around the ovary/uterus area), I felt all kinds of tingling throughout where the needles were.

And I hate that I am laying on a table in the dark (with no pants on) with the door cracked open. I feel exposed and couldn't relax as much as I wanted to.

My old acupuncturist was completely different, she requested that I bring a copy of my medical records and reviewed them thoroughly with me. Some of the needle placement was the same in the belly/uterus/ovary area and on the feet and inner lower leg but not all the way up and down my legs. After she placed all the needles then she would hook some of the ones around my ovaries to a machine that sent electrical pulses through the needles. I would fall asleep every time I went. At the end, she would have me roll onto my stomach and use a heated glass globe place in the back ovary areas and only leave it on for a few seconds to stimulate them from behind.

Is this similar to anyone else's experience? Has anyone else ever had to do pelvic exercises while pressing on their tummy? What has been the areas of needle focus?

I have my second appointment with the new acupuncturist tomorrow after work and I'm curious to hear everyone else's experiences.


jp said...

I've never had to that at acupuncture.
I've had three different acupuncturists and my recent one, the one with the herbs I think really helped, had me just wearing my yoga clothes and rolled up the legs and exposed the belly.
I have to say, if you were not comfortable in the room the way they left you, that's a big issue.
None of my three ever had my medical records, all took my word regarding my history and my current status and meds.
Good luck with this!

BrooklynGirl said...

I've never done an exercise like that at acupuncture, but I've ever shown anyone my medical records either (just discussed the highlights).

Like JP, I think the comfort issue is a big one.

nancy said...

That sounds weird - the leaving open the door!

I wish I could help, as I haven't started acupuncture yet. I am going to with my March IVF cycle, but not yet.

I have had acupuncture before and on session #2, I bought a pack of 10 sessions (cheaper that way) but I never went back after session 3. I just got a feeling in session 3 that she wasn't as confident as I would like to see in a doctor. She hit a nerve and I jumped and she kept apologizing. Stop aplogizing like a hurt doggy! Yeah, say sorry and explain why it happened and move on. Then for the rest of the insertions, she looked too timid. Ahhh - I couldn't go back. I didn't even call for a refund. Just didn't reschedule.

I just went into way more than you asked about. Sorry! But bottom line is, I don't know.

However, I would never go where I'm not comfortable. The lack of asking for medical charts wouldn't bother me, although I think a discussion should happen. But being comfortable is key.

Let us know how the 2nd one goes!

nancy said...

hey - just to let you know - you inspired me. I just made my 11 IVF acupuncture appointments. I'm starting to go once a week at first, so I'm not to stressed about getting them all in right before. So thanks for getting me to do it!

~Carrie said...

I've been receiving acupuncture since October and never experienced anything like that with the exercises.
Prior to ovulation I would get needles around my uterus area, but I would just lower my pants and underwear to just below the pubic area.

The needle positioning for my feet/legs is more like your first acupuncturist - not all the way up the leg, just the foot and some lower leg. One needle is put higher up on my left leg. I just roll up my pants for those. I am very surprised they would leave you with the door like that.

I also get needles in my arms and ears, and post-ovulation, a needle at the top of my head.

I did not need to bring in my medical records, but my acupuncturist (who also specializes in infertility) spent a good 1.5 hours on my initial visit asking me all about my medical history, my past protocols, and just about everything to do with my body (bathroom habits, sleep habits, the color of my period, you name it!!) He said that all of that information tells him what might be out of balance in my body.

Relaxation is a key issue with acupuncture, so you need to be somewhere where you can totally feel at ease...

Egged Out said...

I've only had one accupuncture appointment. I didn't not bring in my medical records but did fill out a lenghty questionnaire and answered a bunch of questions ( similar to Carrie). I left my clothes on - just lifted my shirt a bit and rolled the top of my skirt down a bit. The needles were in my feet/ankles, lower stomach, hands, and head. I didn't go back as I didn't feel comfortable with the sales pitch and hundreds of dollars of suggested herbs after the appointment. It just turned me off. I think I will try to find another place - there is one near my home that might be more convenient as well. Why did you switch from your old accupuncturist?

Anonymous said...

I've been three times. The first time was a lengthy discussion about my history and symptoms, etc.

She told me I could undress if I wanted to or keep some of my clothes on. I go right after work and wear suits to work, so I just striped down naked and hoped up on the table. :)

She came in and said..."hmmm.. here is a gown for you" so I put that over me. But I feel completely comfortable with her.

The point of the experience I think at least in part is to relax and find some inner piece or something (actually I'm still trying to really understand it myself). Anyway, if you're not comfortable, don't go back. Its all about you.


I haven't gotten pg on acupuncture but it has improved my libido. I also had a great orgasm a few days after my session.

TABI said...

I've been with the same acupuncturist through all my IVFs and it wasn't like what you described. I didn't have to bring any medical records but she asked a lot of questions and got my history. Every session she looks at my tongue as a guide and takes my pulse. Sometimes she focuses on relaxation points on the head, but usually always does points in the abdomen area and legs as well. She's great! She even sense blood blockage way before I ever got my blood testing done that showed I had some blood clotting disorders. Anyway, if you don't feel good about this acupuncturist you should try another one out so you come away feeling better and not stressed out!

Anonymous said...

I've done acupuncture for the last 2.5 years. I've had 4 acupuncturists over that time period. Not all acupuncturists are created equal. I believe acupuncture AND Chinese herbs will help you, but this acu sounds weird. Convenience doesn't always mean the best. Get the best acu you can afford and one you feel comfortable with. The only way to really know is to try them a few times and see if you notice any results.

I have two acus now. I also chose to do Chinese herbs during this IVF cycle as the herbs have always helped me in the past. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. I don't talk about acupuncture on my blog hardly at all, but I'm a thread mistress for an acu thread over at the forum. Choose "Community" then "Message Boards". Look under "Trying to Conceive", "TTC Buddies" and the "East Meets West" buddy group.