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

(Start with "Monday" if you can. It's Friday. Only fanatics do any real work on Friday.) (And don't forget to check out the new "Health Experts" feature at the top if you get a sec.)  So what were we talking about? Oh right. Chiropractics, acupuncture and yoga...  And whether or not any one of them offers a huge amount of  help on our quest to become pregnant...or even a little.

I think all three come from the same basic principle: We're screwed up. If we can only get our bodies back to their natural state:

What they were before we started shlepping six bags of groceries from the car at one time so we don't have to make two trips, carrying a twelve pound pocketbook on our shoulder because it's cute, matches our favorite pants, and holds three pairs of footwear;

Carrying gigantic laundry baskets up the stairs while bending to retrieve stray socks that tried to jump ship, or (as in my case) grew breasts three sizes too big for our bodies.

Not sitting upright at the computer, not doing exercise, (or not doing it correctly), eating the wrong foods, dating the wrong people: I'm sure all of the above have contributed to our demise.

Now we're all just a bunch of slouchy, hunchy, unbalanced, heaps.

If you've read my posts this week, you know that I'm far from objective: I'd be open to acupuncture, I love yoga and I'm fed up with chiropractors. But I like that none of them claim to get you pregnant.

They all claim that, depending on what causes your infertility: 1)They might work well in conjunction with IVF and 2) Regardless of what other treatments you are or aren't getting: They create the opportunity for your body to be repaired and restored to allow it to, in essence, be available to become pregnant.   

What I do like about both yoga and acupuncture is that their proponents always mention creating positive energy in your body and mind. This I completely buy into. When, in our infertililty treatment-filled lives do we ever get a needleful of positive energy?

In the Gonal-F vial? On the examination table with our feet reaching for the skies? When the bills arrive?    

Isn't it interesting, though, that when someone is "in the business', whatever business they happen to be in, all roads lead to them?

"Hi I'm an acupuncturist: Oh, you're infertile? You really need acupuncture. You have headaches? You really need acupuncture? You have jock itch? You really need acupuncture. You can't open the sealed plastic wrap from the turkey breast you just bought at the deli? You really need acupuncture."

"Hi I'm a chiropractor. Oh you're infertile? You really need a chiropractor. You have headaches? You really need a chiropractor. You have pink eye? You really need a chiropractor. You can't break uncooked spaghetti so it's small enough to fit into your pot? You really need a chiropractor."

It makes you wonder:  Is it a passion for what they do or what they charge?

Listen, I gotta go. I've got a bunch of juicy, red, nasty-looking bug bites on my leg. I can't wait to have the whole neighborhood pool to myself this weekend.  

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.

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.

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

(Start with "Monday" if you can. You can even watch the Monday night football pre-season game over again if you want. See my quarterback leave the field to get twelve stitches.)    So what were we talking about? Oh right. How my experience with chiropractors has been mostly a big chronic pain in my lower back. Lower. Lower. There. Now you got it.

So how about yoga? Can infertililty be cured by the downward-facing dog?Well according to many, it can help. And (as my Uncle from Brooklyn used to say) it "couldn't hoit."

What I do find impressive about the info out there is that you don't only get yoga experts touting yoga for infertility. There are also some infertility experts using it as part of their usual IVF treatments.

According to an article on

Not only can yoga do what all of us lay idiots know it can do: Relieve stress for the over-stressed (that's us). 

"Yoga can also impact the general reproductive health of women trying to conceive. Yoga tones and strengthens the muscles that support reproductive organs and improves spinal alignment, enabling better circulation and improved capacity and quality of respiration. ...For women who are taking infertility drugs, better breathing can also help the body fight off the toxic effects of those drugs.  

That was from a yoga "guru".

But  Dr. Alice Domar uses yoga as a staple in her mind/body work with IVF patients at Boston IVF.  An interesting point she makes in the same article is that some patients who do regular rigorous exercise may actually be hurting their  chances of getting pregnant. Yoga offers a gentler way to release stress for them that won't negatively impact their fertility.   

I'll admit it. I love yoga. I play along with a half hour show on TV. Even though I have a lot of problems:

1) I can't get the mirror image thing

They tell me to do the left side and I know they mean my left not their left. But then I peek at the TV and see they're actually on their right side and I get all mixed up. Sometimes I do the same one side over and over.

So if you ever see me and I look lopsided, like one side of my body is all sculpted and buffed and the other is all noodly and atrophied, you'll know why.

2) I tip over a lot

For any of you country-folk: It's not like cow tipping. Nobody has to touch me or anything. One minute I'm oh so gracefully holding a pose on one leg. The next I'm yelling "Pillow!" in hopes that someone will toss one onto the floor seconds before my crash landing.

3) Sometimes I hold my breath for the whole half hour

I'm never aware of it, of course, until the program's over and I stand-up, see stars, and slump to the floor in a broken heap.

It's nice when I'm in the middle of the living room floor and my husband steps over my lifeless body on his way to the kitchen.

It's especially nice when he steps over me when the show's still on and I'm doing "upward facing dog"... and he's wearing shorts.

Listen, I gotta go. I'm on my way to work and, unfortunately, it's time to get into "Employee's Pose". My least favorite position.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

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

(Start with Monday if you can. And please do check out the brand spanking new fab "Health Experts" feature at the top. Not there. To the right. Where are you looking? I said to the right. You have absolutely no control over your cursor do you?)  So what were we talking about? Oh right. Opening our minds to alternative professionals and treatments to unhinge this infertility monkey from our backs... speaking of backs...have you been to your friendly neighborhood chiropractor lately? I have. And I'm not welcome back.

I'll be honest. I'm not a fan of chiropractors. I always think they're up to no good. And the bad thing is:

If you don't trust them, they'll feel it in your spine. The next thing you know they'll give you a twist and you'll be seeing stars and the mole in the small of your back at the same time.

One chiropractor that I went to had a table that made a crashing noise every time he adjusted me. He's telling me to breathe and I'm thinking "Oh, crap, that was probably my hip hitting the floor."

Then I went to one who had a sign outside above the door frame for all passersby to see: "ENTER HERE AND GET WELL".

You couldn't detect the fine print that followed from the street. I believe the full sign actually read: "ENTER HERE AND GET WELL until your insurance runs out. Then don't let the door hit you in the ass." 

So then I had to find another chiropractor to fix my subluxation as a result of being hit in the ass by a swinging door.  

This one walked like you would expect a chiropractor to walk: Perfectly erect. Like she'd inserted a five feet two inch number two pencil in her backside every morning while brushing her teeth. 

Dr. Pencil Puppet is the head lunch lady at the chiropractic cafeteria where everything is a la carte. 

When you start going for treatments, they tell you that each visit includes heat treatment, a vibrating massage something or other, and an adjustment.   Then you get the statement from your insurance carrier:

Heat treatment: $45

Massage  something or other: $62

Adjustment: $65 

The ten extra minutes you were left alone in the dark on the massage thing because the technician forgot about you: Meditation Fee: $23

Video ads for themselves on every wall in the waiting room:

Entertainment Fee: $15

Greeting by receptionist: Concierge Fee: $20

Apples in the bowl on the counter: Fruit Fee: $3

And miraculously, although not surprisingly, my insurance company notified me that I had maxed out my visits that very same day that Dr. Pencil Puppet declared me to be cured.

I must note that I did have one wonderful chiropractor along the way who with his wife, oddly enough, were dealing with major fertility issues.

From everything I've read, chiropractors cannot fix your infertility, per se. However, if there's any chance your infertility may be related to anything fallopian tube-related, they may be able to adjust you so that the nerves that send the messages from the brain to the ovaries and tubes are put back in order.    

In that case, you're not being zapped into getting pregnant. Your body is being realigned to get back on track. Doesn't sound bad.

Still, why couldn't one chiropractor ever be honest with me?

"Lori, you idiot, you don't need a chiropractor. You need a breast reduction! That's why you have neck and back problems! Have you no mirrors in your house, woman?! They're huge! For crying out loud: Take your stinkin' chiropractor co-pays and go pay somebody to nip and tuck your tatas!"   

Listen I gotta go. I've got to go the mall. Macy's Lady's Intimate Apparel department is having a huge back-to-school sale on underwire tata covers.

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow

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

Okay, so last week we discussed possible alternatives to your basic, standard, mainstream, IUI- IVF path to combat infertility.   Massage therapies, herbal therapies, and sperm boosters that all but guarantee to squeeze, cleanse, and macho the infertility right out you.

They may be alternatives and truly have something of value to us to sell. Or they may be scam artists with nothing going for them but a shiny website.

The alternatives we'll be discussing this week are bonafide professionals. They're people with real schooling and real licenses. So you may see them as legitimate alternatives to the usual roads those fighting infertility take. Or you may see them as scam artists with a shiny shingle to go along with their shiny websites.

Some of the areas I'll be mocking, (that wasn't very journalistic was it?) I meant to say some of the areas I'll be exploring are: 

A) Chiropractics: Solve my fertility issues? I'm not sure. I just have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be marking my calendar: Two big events coincidentally happened on the same day:

1) In the morning, my insurance company informed the chiropractor that they were pulling the plug on anymore visits. 

2) In the afternoon, my chiropractor informed me that whatever was blocking me getting pregnant has been fixed.

 B) Acupuncture: Could it help my fertility issues? I've done IUI and In Vitro. What's another dozen or so needles in my body? For Halloween I'm going to just dress normally and go as a voodoo doll.   

C) Yoga: Could it help my fertility issues? I don't know. Yoga's come along way. When I was in college, the only girls who did yoga, spent the rest of their time not shaving, eating granola and sleeping naked on the floor.

They're probably all somewhere running software companies now.

Listen I gotta go. I'd better call my chiropractor and tell him that I didn't mean him, before he threatens to put my neck back where he found it. 

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.