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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Inconceivable: Guide to Fertility Acupuncture

Posted February 6, 2018 9:09 p.m. EST
Updated July 12, 2018 2:15 p.m. EDT

Kathy Hanrahan with her family

I have some good friends who tried acupuncture to help increase their chances of getting pregnant. They really feel like it worked and actually kept doing it through the first trimester.

With three failed IUIs and two miscarriages behind us, I figured it would be worth it to try anything! So, I talked to my reproductive specialist and she recommended a local practitioner who specializes in fertility acupuncture. I had my first appointment last week - before my fourth IUI.

Depending on where you are during your fertility treatment cycle, pins are placed different places to try to increase blood flow to the uterus and encourage implantation of the embryo.

Before I went, I was a little skeptical about it working. I was a little scared about pins being stuck in my body, but I have had enough blood tests and shots lately, so what is another needle, right?

After filling out a ton of forms detailing everything from my menstrual cycles to my diet, I met with my practitioner. He explained that needles are placed at specific pressure points. I shouldn't feel any pain or anything from the needles. He wanted to put a few extra pins in to treat my sinus issues and restless leg syndrome. I was fine with that. What is another few pins?

So, I laid down and the first in went into my lower left leg. I immediately flinched and it hurt! The rest of the needles went in just fine. I had at least two in each leg,  a few in each foot, several in each arm and hand, one in my forehead and one on each side of my nose. The ones around my nose were to help with my sinus issues, while some of the ones in my legs were to help with my restless leg syndrome. I just felt a little pressure with each pin put in, but not pain.

For the next hour or so, I laid on the table with a bell at my side (to ring my practitioner if I needed him), the lights turned down and a heat lamp on my feet to warm them up. At first, I had no idea what to do with my hands. I was afraid I'd knock the pins out. I alternated between having them at my sides and then on my stomach. I finally got into a comfortable position and almost fell asleep. My practitioner checked on me halfway through the treatment.

I didn't try to look at my hands or feet because I just couldn't look at the pins! I could see the ones around my nose a little and I felt a little weird.

During the treatment, I noticed that my legs weren't bothering me. Usually, I can't lie down for more than 20 minutes before my restless legs start making me uncomfortable. I end up having to move them every few seconds. So, I can say that the pins were doing at least some good.

Following the treatment, I was advised to drink lots of water. I also booked another appointment for the following week to help with possible implantation.

That night I noticed my sinuses had opened. I was able to breathe so much better at night. Guess those pins in my face worked too.

I'll definitely try it again and consider more treatments if the IUI worked. I was really interested to see the variety of treatment plans they have specifically for fertility, including suggested supplements.

Have you tried acupuncture?

Kathy is a mom of one and Out & About editor for WRAL.com. She writes for Go Ask Mom about her experience with secondary infertility.