Acupuncture, yes or no?

Hi there ladies, this is my first post on here as I'm very new to all this but already the support from the community has made me feel much better about my situation and comfortable about reaching out and asking for help.

So I'm 35, my husband is 46 and we have been TTC for two years now with no luck. All tests have shown there is nothing wrong so it's just unexplained infertility. We are due to start our first round of IVF next month (which I'm quite terrified of as I haven't felt like I've had a lot of support from the hospital) but was wondering if any of you have tried acupuncture? I've been having regular sessions for two months now and I'm torn between feeling like I'm doing something good for my body and then feeling like it could just be a waste of time and money. I've just left a session and I have a few pains and cramps in my stomach which makes me feel like it must be doing something, but I'm just not sure what! Anyway any experience or advice on this will be very much appreciated. Thank you. Xx

19 Replies

  • Myself I didn't really feel any benefit from acupuncture and actually found the whole needle thing quite stressful so gave up after my first failed IVF. I didnt bother for my later FET and got a BFP which I think was partly because I was just more chilled out.

    I think it is very individual though. If you enjoy it & feel like it may be helping (even if you just feel like you are doing everything you can) then go for it. Otherwise don't feel bad about walking away from it either. It isn't for everyone!!

  • Thanks Katrina, I think I am having a bit of a debate with myself wondering if it is helping at all, and it's silly but I kind of think if I can get comfortable with the acupuncture needles, I may be more confident when it's time for me to start injecting myself. I've also read acupuncture can help when you have actually started IVF but it would be nice to hear if anyone has actually experienced this on here!

    Think I'll stick it out for a little longer but am not completely convinced!

  • I am massively needle phobic and hated the acupunture needles, then, shock shock, I was absolutely fine with injecting myself!! I had no issue with it at all after the first time, actually came to almost enjoy it.

    Still hate acupuncture though ;o)

  • Lol maybe it's a control thing. When doing your own injections you are in control but just lying there waiting to see where they are going to stick the next one is not nice!! Ok so now we are talking about injections, am I best to pinch the skin? We had our coordination appointment at the hospital and the nurse did a demonstration but she didn't say anything about pinching. I just don't want to do anything wrong! 😁

  • DEFINITELY pinch!! You can go leg or stomach but my clinic prefer people to go for the thigh. We were told to pinch a good old chunk until the surface felt hard then do it in there. It really doesn't hurt that way. Hold the pinch until the drug is all in there, and don't try to push it in too fast. It does sting a little afterwards, but nothing major xx

  • Ok I'll certainly pinch!! Thank you for the help and tips 😊

  • Hi Daisy-Mae. I've been trying to make a decision about acupuncture too. I was doing it for nearly a year before our fresh cycle. We got a BFP but it ended in miscarriage. I now don't know whether to go back again in prep for the FET. It's hard when you have invested so much time (and money) in to it already. Acupuncture was a big step forward for me because I'm scared of needles so I guess it did get me a bit more used to them. But acupuncture sometimes was quite painful so maybe I won't go back. It's difficult because I'll always think "what if" if I do it and if I don't! I think Katrina is right, if you enjoy it then keep doing it. For me I didn't really enjoy it but I felt like I was doing something that might help so that made me feel better and a little bit more in control x

  • Hi Jen, thanks so much for your reply and it sounds like you and I feel the same way! When you're in our situation I think you will try anything to help. Today's session was quite painful but other times I don't feel a thing and it's quite relaxing! The body is such a complicated thing 😣When are you having your FET? Did you make any other changes when preparing for IVF like cutting out sugar/caffeine etc? Sorry I'm sounding so clueless but guidance from ladies who have been through this is all I have and I want to make sure I'm giving myself the best possible chance. Thanks Xx

  • The body is definitely very complicated! Think we've found that out the hard way. No idea when I'll be having FET. Recently had a laparoscopy where they found endometriosis and also had to clip my tube so I have to wait 3 cycles before I can request treatment. But even then the clinic can refuse me 3 times if they are busy. So frustrating 😡. Do not apologise for asking questions! I'm very new to this forum and I really wish I'd found it when I was first starting the IVF journey. I was so clueless and the clinic weren't very helpful. I cut out caffeine and tried to eat more healthily. Will you be doing the injections yourself or getting someone else to do them? x

  • Oh Jen I really sympathise as the waiting around is the hardest thing, so frustrating and you just feel so helpless. Fingers crossed time passes quickly and you can get a date to work towards. I was feeling quite lost if I'm honest with all of this and even after our coordination appointment felt like I was stumbling around in the dark. I have read all the information but until you start going through it, or start talking to those who have, it just doesn't seem to make much sense. The nurse I was allocated seemed so abrupt and harsh too and when I asked her a question she didn't have an answer. I felt so upset but since reading posts on here I realise I'm certainly not alone. My husband works crazy shifts but if he is around he may do the injections for me but if not I'll be doing them. How did you deal with the self injecting part of the process? Xx

  • You're definitely not alone. That's what I've learnt from this site. The whole process can feel very lonely so it's good to know we can come on here, ask questions and speak to people who truly understand. That's really bad about the nurse you've been allocated. I found it very hit and miss with the nurses at my clinic. Some were lovely and some seemed like they couldn't care less. But if you have any questions there will be someone on here who can help. I went Google mad and it just confused me more! I was really lucky because my mum did all my injections but from reading other people's post most people have said self injecting is much easier than they thought. I'd definitely built it up in my head to be a lot worse than it was. I was so scared but it was absolutely fine. Once you've got the first one over and done with you will be great. I think it's just the unknown that scares us. My advice is pinch the skin, concentrate on your breathing and inject on the long out breath. That's what I did anyway. Your stronger than you think and you'll be great. Wishing you lots and lots of luck xx

  • Thank you so much. I'm feeling stronger already just from your kind words and support. I think we can be our own worst enemy and our thoughts are much worse than the reality! I'm sure I will be back on here asking more questions as the time gets closer but thank you again for taking the time to answer and set my mind at ease. Wishing you loads of luck on your journey. Xx

  • Hi Daisy-Mae, for what it's worth my opinion is that accupuncture works for some but maybe not everyone. I have unexplained infertility too. I used acupuncture for my 3rd round of IUI then for my 1st (successful) IVF cycle and my most recent IVF cycle (nearing the end of my 2ww!!!). I did loads of research as I wanted to be sure before allocating some of our budget towards it. My research into acupuncture for fertility was all positive....and as my Chinese Medical Practitioner (who does my acupuncture) advises " there's 7000 years of history to acupuncture." She specialises in fertility treatment and is a wonderful 2nd opinion to the nurses at my clinic. I almost have more faith in my Practitioner as her holistic advice is practical and logical whereas the clinic just give advice without putting it into context. I knew at the outset I'd need a min of 3 months of treatment before there'd be any benefit and after 8 years of unexplained infertility I decided to jump in. Loads of good luck with your journey and what ever you decide, it needs to feel right for you. It is a tricky one but for me I think it's worth it. Xx

  • Thank you so much and all the very best to you too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and wishing you success for your cycle. The practitioner I have doing my acupuncture has a good success rate but he has limited English so my questions often just get a nod in response!! Thank you so much for your time, for the first time I feel like I have others to talk to about all this which is great and stopping me from going a bit crazy!

  • I had acupuncture for two cycles and fell pregnant for the first time in 4 years! So yes I feel it works for me. Sadly that pregnancy ended in miscarriage but my acupuncturist has helped me to get my body and mind back into balance, and hopefully I'll fall pregnant again. Your relationship with your acupuncturist is really important - they have to really know you to treat you, mine is almost like a counsellor! So please confide your concerns with them, it will help your treatment.

  • Thanks Newmrsb, it's really great to hear of other people's experiences and know I'm not alone in all of this. Wishing you lots of luck xxx

  • Hi! Daisy-Mae, I am having my FET next week and my doctor recommend acupuncture. I want to do everything possible to give me the best chance so am giving it a go. Am only doing it because i believe it may help me; i would say go with your guts feeling. My doctor also recommend it, so why not, i said, ' had my first treatment today' it was not bad. I could still feel a sort of pulling in my lower stomach. I don't know if that how it works but am hoping it will. I am giving it my best shot.

  • Hi hop36, I have had that sensation before with the acupuncture and I'm sure it means something is happening! It may have a lot to do with positive thoughts and believing you are helping your body but I'm happy to think we are helping ourselves in this way. It's good to hear your doctor recommended it and I wish you every success with your treatments. Xx

  • Definitely! I am trying everything so at least if it does not work, I can say i give it my best in my circumstances. That the most anyone can do. Thank you! I wish you success in yours too.

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