Infertility Alternatives to Last Week's Infertility Alternatives (Thursday)

 (Start with "Monday" if you can. A short trip back in time. It'll be like running into someone from high school whom you barely knew, didn' t really like, and never said more than two words to... but without the awkwardness.) Also...Be sure to check out the new "Health Experts" feature above. (Geez, I do ask a lot don't I?) So what were we talking about? Oh right. Yoga. I actually have a friend who's a yoga instructor. Apparently a big white elephant in the yoga studio is that it's common for women to emit certain bodily noises during various yoga poses. It must be like teaching at a kazoo convention.

Alright, alright. I'll get to today's point: What, if anything, can acupuncture do for infertility? Well, the scoop is this:

According to an article on from 2005: 

"In general, studies seem to indicate that doing acupuncture about 30 minutes before and after in vitro fertilization can increase the chance that the embryo will be implanted successfully and reduce the chance of miscarriage.

There are also indications that the effectiveness of the IVF drugs and procedure may improve if acupuncture is done about once a week in the month or two leading up to the start of IVF and then continued regularly — once or twice a week — during the whole cycle."

Reuters Health reported about a study done just last month:

The gyst is this: (I'm quite the journalist aren't I?)  Recent research done at Northwestern divided a group of women. Some  were given real acupuncture treatments before and after their IVF treatments.

The rest of the group just had needles arbitrarily stuck into them wherever. Maybe they spelled out "sucker" in their shoulder blades.

Anyway, 45% of the ones with the real acupuncture got pregnant. But a whopping 53% of the shoulder blade suckers got pregnant. The researchers took this away from the study:

1) Glass half empty theory: Acupuncture doesn't do diddly for infertility.

2) Glass half full theory: Maybe there are places you can stick needles that are outside the standard acupuncture pressure points, that even ancient Chinese acupuncturists may not be aware of,  that can help with infertility.

So, maybe it will help. Possibly by increasing circulation around the reproductive organs... Nobody in anything I've read seemed to think it could do any harm ... unless of course you're afraid of needles and you'll just get more anxious. 

I'm not afraid of needles. I know a few women who have done IVF who are terrified of them. How in the world do they do it? It's like being afraid to bungee jump and having someone push you off the cliff at the same time every night for two years.

I'm just afraid that I'll get a quack acupuncturist, or worse: The world's one and only acupuncturist smart ass.

He'll carefully place a needle in my ear and my leg will fly over my head. Or one in my knee and my head will spin around like Linda Blair's. I'll be like an out- of- control garage door.  

Or maybe he'll somehow use a needle to implant a subliminal message just for his amusement. Like I'll leave his office or lair or whatever it's called feeling relaxed and in harmony, and two days later I'll be walking in the park and decide to sit down and eat dirt.

Or maybe he'll forget and leave a needle in and I'll be picking up radio Guam signals through my neck.     

When I was a kid, my parents used to say I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. I always thought it was an insult. Now I realize they were just keeping accurate shot records.

Listen, I gotta go.  I taped "So You Think You Can Dance?" days ago and still, miraculously, haven't heard who won. How much longer can I look at the internet with one eye open and walk through the streets humming with my hands over my ears? 

I'll talk with ya tomorrow.