Sunday, 29 May 2011

Bittersweet cycle three

When cycle two (on meds) produced an egg but no pregnancy my doctor decided that we should fly solo for a while.  Obviously the meds are working to give me ovulation, we're just not catching the egg at the right time.  So, to reduce the increased risk that scanning can bring, we are playing with this cycle all by ourselves!  No appointments, no ultrasounds, no blood tests...just drugs, do-it-yourself OPK's and lots and LOTS of sex!

I'd heard so many great things about the effects of acupuncture and fertility.  My doctor even recommended seeing a fertility acupuncture specialist, so I did!  Her name is Michelle and she's bubbly, friendly and 100% convinced that my body is going to produce children.  Great first session really!  She also told me something I already knew, time is on my side.

So I've only ever used acupuncture for a back injury and during those sessions the needles were inserted around my neck and shoulders, so I had NO idea what to think about where the needles would be put for infertility.  Whatever I was thinking, I was wrong!  Just a few around my ankles, some herbal burning sticks around my belly button and then rolling over for six needles around my back.  And I didn't feel a thing!  I've learned that my body is typically "cool" and therefore acupuncture should create heat by boosting my circulation.  I'll have a session a week for this entire cycle, and the needle placement will change depending on where I am in the cycle to accommodate LH surges, ovulation and conception.

Michelle also recommended a twice daily herbal supplement "tea" on top of my regular Elevit multivitamin.  This "tea" contains Chasteberry and Red Raspberry Leaf.  And here's what I can tell you about them:
  • Chasteberry (Vitex) is recognized for stimulating the hormones involved in ovulation and restoring female hormonal balance. It may normalize pituitary function and the balance of progesterone and estrogen levels. Vitex is used as an herbal treatment for infertility and is especially helpful for women with irregular cycles, anovulation, or a short luteal phase (a short 2nd half of the menstrual cycle).
  • Red Raspberry Leaf is regarded for its ability to tone the uterus and muscles of the pelvic region. Very popular - and used as a traditional fertility enhancer for a long time - Red Raspberry is a powerful fertility herb.

Sounds pretty good, right?  One problem...
it smells great, but tastes awful!  The stuff tastes like a sip of sweet tea followed by a oyster sauce chaser!  It makes me gag every time, and it looks like I'm drinking muddy water.

Nevertheless, my smart brain is yelling at my taste buds to shut up and take it, because as we enter month nine of trying to conceive something I'm doing HAS to pay off soon! 


  1. Add a dash of honey to sweeten it up. Still gross, but you don't need to do the head toss thing afterwards. KB

  2. Oh I tried that! Didn't really help all that much. Did you use something similar?

  3. Herbs are fantastic things. But I agree. The taste is simply awful. Is it okay to dilute your tea? I wonder if you poured it into a fruit juice or something if it would go down easier? I used a tincture of three herbs and just a couple of droppers full would make almost everything gag-worthy. I found a couple of juices masked the taste a little better than others. Good luck to you!