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Accupuncture, reflexology, IVF. Have you tried these?

(7 Posts)
Fluffycloudland77 Thu 20-Oct-11 20:11:38

I have been ref to clinic for NHS IVF with donor sperm due to DH chemo treatment.

Am I mad to be considering the following;

Nutritional therapy (found a local one who is university qualified)
Zita west Cds to relax me.
Accupuncture
Reflexology (used to work with one)

Of course I'm on the manuka honey and freeze dried royal jelly (thank you amazon) but what do you IVF experts think?

The clinic my pct sends you to only does one cycle and doesnt have great results but I wonder if it is because it is a fairly deppressed area with high rates of smoking and obesity (apparently we are the fattest town in the uk) so I wonder if the people they are treating are just not into the whole healthy eating, not smoking, not passing out every friday night from wkd lifestyle and therefore they have poor candidates, not poor procedures.

I know someone who has just had her cycle fail but she smoked through it despite having smoking cessation treatment before they would consider her for treatment.

Please be kind I know I am clutching at straws.

FlipFantasia Thu 20-Oct-11 21:42:48

I had IVF/ICSI due to my husband's low sperm count, and got pregnant first time and there are tips you can try to improve egg quality - I had a handful of brazil nuts each day, drank whole milk, took pregnacare & an omega 3 capsule (not pregnacare plus though as much cheaper to buy the pregnacare and then a separate own brand omega capsule! a regular multivit as long as you're taking the recommended amount of folic acid should be fine too), ate a healthy-ish diet higher in protein than I would normally eat, cut out caffeine (and decaff), dranks shed loads of water, cut back on alcohol (though didn't cut it out entirely) and obviously gave up smoking.

TBH I had been doing some of these things for months eg gave up smoking, was taking folic acid (we were ttc for ages before going for IVF once the low sperm issue was identified). But things like the brazil nuts and whole milk were things I think I picked up from research (check out fertility friends - loads of women share their stories there - or the assisted conception thread on here is also great). But I was at my heaviest when we got lucky with IVF (BMI about 26) so wasn't entirely virtuous! The whole process did result in a leeeetle bit of comfort eating too...

The relaxation CD is a great idea - I remember reading abstracts of studies about stress/release of adrenalin and the impact on IVF success so listened to a relaxation CD designed for IVF every night. From memory, it's also a bad idea to suddenly start a major new diet/exercise regime as suddenly losing weight/crash dieting/running miles when you're not used to it can also stress your body via things like adrenalin (fight or flight and all that). Anyway, I used it as an excuse to not take up jogging!

On the nutritional therapy front, I'd be wary of major changes. I'm only basing this on reading a Marilyn Glenville book and friends visiting the Zita West nutritional therapist person and honestly, if you followed all the advice you'd be miserable/mad from the stress of it all (as you can probably tell, I found the Glenville book quite useless and v infuriating!). It's also often more relevant where you're trying to get pregnant naturally as there's not a huge amount of point in optimising naturally fertility for IVF, as it's an entirely unnatural process and will put you through a fake menopause before sending your ovaries into stimulation overdrive...so I preferred a regular mainly healthy diet with some tweaks.

Anyway, I also had acupuncture - I had tried it several times when TTC naturally and liked it and there are studies that show having acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer can increase success so I found a practitioner experienced in assisted conception and had it several times during treatment (again, it's great for relaxation!) and pre- & post-embryo transfer.

Sorry for the ramble! I really hope it goes well for you and you get that magic BFP!

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 21-Oct-11 17:13:27

Thank you flip.

The nurtrition thing is more to check I'm not lacking in anything as I have a milk allergy, I only have one cup of tea a day after reading zita west but it looks like that has to go! chammomile here I come.

I'm watching a zita west cd on ebay too.

Sleeplesssister Fri 21-Oct-11 21:46:09

Acupuncture worked for me...

CareBear1 Sat 22-Oct-11 21:37:41

An interesting book that explains how and why these things are supposed to help prepare the body the support a pregnancy is by randine Lewis, 'the infertility cure'

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 23-Oct-11 19:41:58

Right, I've found the book on amazon and bought the zita west cd on ebay. Only saved a few quid but hey ho. Least I know the sell well!.

koolforcats Sun 23-Oct-11 22:32:48

Hi fluffy, I just wanted to let you know that I recently went through ivf (ICSI) for exactly the same reason as you (altho we used pre treatment frozen sperm not donor) so I really empathise. I wish you and DH lots of luck. I was really lucky that our first (funded) cycle worked and I'm now 16 weeks pregnant. I don't have any magic answers as I did truly believe that if it's going to work, it's going to work regardless of what you do or don't do (with the obvious exceptions of not smoking, not bungy jumping etc etc!). Having said that (!) I had weekly acupuncture when I started the drugs, I took Zita West vits, read her book and listened to her CDs. I also had a Pre and post embryo transfer acupuncture session. The thing to bear in mind, which is to your advantage is that like me, you're having ivf because of circumstances rather than fertility issues per se. This made me feel a bit more hopeful. I was a bit concerned that you don't sound 100% happy with your clinic as I think it's important to trust them. Is that the only place that your pct will allow you to go to? Might be worth investigating more fully. Having said that, the reasons you mentioned might well be a contributing factor in their success rates. Wishing you all the very best xx

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