Monday, May 11, 2009

Alternative stuff

I know of this woman in my church who was TTC for two years. Apparently, she didn't ovulate and hadn't in a really long time. She went to some sort of homeopathic doctor, and, through her diet, began ovulating again. And then she conceived and gave birth to a baby girl in January.

I know of this other woman who went through menopause, and it was horrible. I don't know what it's like to go through menopause, but I guess it can be bad. Like, she lost all of her hair TWICE bad. She went to this same homeopathic doctor, starting eating differently, and got her hair back. And now has appropriate hormone levels.

Those stories are pretty neat, huh? But overall, I just like to listen to them as stories. I mean, really, everyone has stories of things that have worked for, acupuncture, IVF, chiropractors, herbs, vitamins....and one thing doesn't work for everyone, you know?

So I've always thought I would just stick to what I now. Homeopathic stuff, acupuncture, and whatever else are just strange to me. I know how to go to the doctor and take medicine. And I don't want to do something just because I heard this story about somebody it worked for.

But I am starting to waver. I have known about these two women for quite awhile now and have never given it a second thought. I mean, really, is it necessary to take out all the good things I like to eat? I am not overweight and I generally have a healthy diet. But I like coffee and sweets and meat on occasion.

But now, I have this fibroid and I read some things that say fibroids feed off of estrogen. I asked Dr. Ob/gyn if she thought I could alter my diet to prevent fibroids and she said no, you just get them. But I think I am just admitting to myself that I feel off hormonally. I have no proof of this, and maybe I'm wrong, but ever since I was on bcp I don't feel right. My bbs can ache at random times in my cycle, or the whole cycle for that matter. Of course, there's the spotting, but that could be just the fibroid. Low libido, but is that just psychological?

So now I'm considering finding out who this homeopathic doctor is. It would be all out of pocket, but I heard that it's about $400 for the initial appointment and testing and then it can be pretty minimal from there. Another friend (daughter of the menopause woman) went to this doctor, did the testing, and was told her hormone levels were fine. So maybe they will tell me that, too.

What do you think? Am I going crazy looking for things to help me get pregnant? I just want to be as healthy and ready as possible...and, I confess, I hope if my hormone levels get 'corrected' then maybe my FSH will stay below 10. My 8.7 reading still freaks me out if I think about it too much. (Thank you for all of your reassurances on that freak out post, I know I can't know how quickly it could go up...). But I don't know if any of it has to do with FSH, lol.

One random thing is that I have become worried about too much estrogen because of what I read about the fibroid. But, I'm supposed to wear an estrogen patch for a month after my fibroid surgery to help heal!!! So then I think I can't do any hormone altering diets since I will be taking a hormone. I'm rambling here....


Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,

I think that many of us on our TTC journey have considered natural remedies. For some people they lead to a successful pregnancy, and for others they lead to just more money down the drain.
I think that you have to do what is right for you. I spent a lot of time and money seeing a naturopath and taking a lot of vitamins and herbs. They didn't help me get pregnant, but I don't regret trying. It is another thing I ruled out.
The only thing I would caution is checking with your Doctor prior to starting any herbal remedies. My RE is very anti-remedies because they can impact on hormones, and produce confusing results that the RE has to make sense of.

Let us know what you decide to do.


Melissa said...

I second Caroline on the thoughts that a lot of us have ttc about what other options there are to helping us get pregnant. i've thought about accupuncture and knowing that it's covered through insurance was another benefit but i never went any further.

i avoided those needles only to be moving on to injectibles :)

But honestly, do what you need to to bring yourself some peace of mind. I'm the same way about ruling things out, well this is okay, check, what else might be the problem...

Anonymous said...

Let me put it this way--as I told my endocrinologist when she suggested the MRI that I had and the possibility of adding bromocriptine because it "might help" I told her what I will tell you---If you told me that 3% of the population stood naked on the sidewalk and bayed the moon to get pregnant I would do it. Of course that means 97% didn't, but 3% did.

THus, if you can afford the additional cost WITHOUT detriment to your financial state then what will it hurt? Just remember to mention ANY scripts to your homeopath and ANY vitamins OR herbs to your physician.

Good luck!

Amanda said...

That sounds a little expensive to me for only the initial consult.

You might give your RE a shot for a few months and see how things go before investing in alternatives. Who knows, you might be the next Mrs. Duggar after your surgery and with an IUI to help out the boys. This would also give you more time to research alternatives. The personal testimonials you have for that homeopath are pretty impressive.

You said you stick to what you know, and that is the exact reason I started doing acupuncture--I know NOTHING about it. I feel like I know too much about reproductive endocrinology and it's so easily googled, but as to acupuncture, I just have to trust him and let him do his thing. I have no idea if he's doing a good job or not and I can't question him about it like a reg. dr. And since I'm kinda a control freak that was a good move for me. Just something to think about.

A said...

Ha! I love Betty's comment "If you told me that 3% of the population stood naked on the sidewalk and bayed the moon to get pregnant I would do it. " My DH and I were having a discussion about ttc last night, and her comment sums up our conclusions! Ha!

I know 2 girls who have done accu., and it has not been the magical pregnancy cure for them, but they did say it was very relaxing. It is something I might consider in the new few months, as I know there is an accu. practitioner in the town where my RE is located!

Infertility is Hard said...

I think it's natural to look at other ways to get pregnant.

I dabbled in acupuncture and herbs, but never stuck with it long enough to reep the benefits. I think you need to do whatever is best for you. It sounds like you're already very healtyh, so at least you have that going for you. :-D

Robin said...

Hi Hillary, I've been reading for a while but never commented. Like you, I heard story after story about a holistic approach to infertility but didn't want to give up the things I loved. But after a failed IVF, I knew I would do anything possible to keep our next embryos alive. I've approached my lifestyle change as giving the cleanest body possible to God. He's the one in charge of whether or not we get pregnant; not the drugs, the acupuncture, herbs or the diet.

There is a great deal of information out there about estrogen dominance and the dangers of sugar. Do some research, bring it to the Lord in prayer and then follow His guidance. I was still reluctant until my mother told me a cancer patient wouldn't question a new therapy or approach so neither should I.

I agree with the other comments; make sure you discuss any herbal medicines or supplements with your RE. Mine is not a fan either but after 2 months of acupuncture, supplements and an organic diet, I feel amazing physically. I'm a huge believer now! Huge!!!

Good luck and I'll be praying for you!

Anonymous said...

i think that you should do what feels good, what feels right to you. ultimately you want to feel comfortable with your decisions.

...having said that, i would also run the alternative stuff by your doc. the thing is that some of the natural/alternative treatments can actually counter what the doc is doing. just better to let them know about it and advise you as needed :)

Kelli said...

Hey Hillary,
I tried acupuncture for about a year, and I did get pregnant at one point, but it ended in m/c at 9 wks. I don't think acupuncture was the reason I got pregnant, that was in God's hands, but it may have helped?!?
My insurance didn't cover it so we spend a LOT of money on bi-weekly treatments. If money wasn't an issue I would have continued...

I Believe in Miracles said...

Some people really believe in them, others don't. My aunt is using the homeopathic method to lower her cholesterol, I tried it for acne. My aunt is apparently doing ok, it never worked for me.

If you have the extra $, don't regret it and just go ahead and try... but beware that your RE might not agree. They were big proponents of acupuncture, not of herbal stuff.


Amber said...

Im another one who has thought some of these are weird but then if you hear success stories depending on the cost it maybe worth a shot. I think when you have been TTC you do start looking for other remedies when things dont work out.

Jendeis said...

I think that everyone else has made great points; just wanted to add my experience as well. When we were still considering IVF and I needed to lose weight to do it (my clinic won't do IVF on BMIs higher than 40), I tried losing weight on my own, then Weight Watchers and finally, started seeing a nutritionist who believed in traditional foods. How did I lose the most weight? Switching to whole milk. Sounds insane, but this real food thing actually does have good thinking behind it. My nutritionist also had me stop or greatly reduce eating anything with soy in order to reduce the amount of estrogen I was putting in my body (since a lot was being released anyway due to weight loss (estrogen is stored in fat)).

I started regular acupuncture sessions at the same time and I find them to be immensely peaceful, stress-reducing and this sounds silly, but I think acupuncture helps me to pray better, because it allows me to focus on G-D.

My opinion is that if you have the wherewithal to do so, you should look into it.

Rebekah said...

Do what feels right to you and take it one day at a time! Thinking about you and praying for you!

I nominated you for an "award" on my blog. :)

MAK-now said...

Hi there,
Everyone else has made great points about how you should do what feels right for you, within your budget. I wanted to address the fibroid issue. I had fibroids (check my blog for details) & I can tell you that getting pg can & will make them worse. There is no known cause or cure, other than removal, but there is a definite link between a fibroid's growth & hormones. Limiting soy which has estrogen in it & elevating your hormone levels with bcp's can cause your fibroids to grow. Being pregnant at the same time you have fibroids can also make them grow. My SIL had a fibroid while she was pg with my niece & it was like she was carrying twins. You can't have them removed while pg so it's a good idea to talk to your doc about what type of fibroids you have so you'll know whether or not to have them removed before TTC.


MAK-now said...

Hey Hillary,

To answer your question, it didn't take long to recover from the hysteroscopy. As a matter of fact, I did it over the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend & was back in work that Monday. I don't know how your cycles have been but my 1st cycle after the op was thankfully short & sweet & VERY light. {choir sings: Hallelujah}

Feel free to ask any other questions you have. I feel like a fibroid expert!


p.s. I added you to my Daily Fix!!