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Any advice on regulating periods? Acupuncture/reflexology experiences particularly.

(11 Posts)
Minnie74 Wed 11-Dec-13 22:47:31

Hi everyone
My partner and I are struggling to conceive dc2. I'm 39 and since having ds 2 years ago my previously very regular cycle has been erratic to say the least! Anywhere between 30 and 21 days but in the last three months I have had two 14 day cycles. I am worried about early menopause, though I have had some bloods done which only showed calcium deficiency. We have been ttc for 6 months.
It took us 2 years to conceive ds (I also had an mc before that) and I really can't afford it to take that long at my age. My gp suggested the pill for 3 months but I haven't taken that since I was early 20's due to high blood pressure and family history of dvt. I don't want it to cock up my periods for good either (if that's possible).
Does anyone have any experience of using acupuncture/reflexology to regulate periods?
Thanks in advance xx

thesaurusgirl Thu 12-Dec-13 07:45:42

I can't help on the conception front (occasionally lurk on here as I'm contemplating donor treatment), but I have PCOS and seeing an acupuncturist literally changed my life. I go to the Life Centre in Notting Hill, £65 per half hour session. Within a couple of months my cycles became a clockwork 28 days and have stayed regular. Bleeds are also <TMI alert> completely without clots, over in a couple of days, and painless.

Not even a placebo effect, as I am not at all into "wu" and hate needles and don't find the sessions at all relaxing. If anything the very opposite!

Tried acupuncture in desperation after years of doctors (including the ones in my own bloody family) failing to do very much other than mask some symptoms with the pill.

But some notes of caution: firstly, not all acupuncturists are the same. The one I recommend was the third or fourth I tried over a period of two years. Best to find someone by word of mouth. If you're a sceptic, you'll need to have a few sessions in spite of yourself as it's not instantaneous improvement. Also, the cost does mount up. For the first three months I was there once a week, and I've had one treatment a month since. Finally, disappointing that my skin, also affected by PCOS, somehow never responded to treatment, though it did on the pill.

Good luck!

SarahFx Thu 12-Dec-13 10:57:03

Reflexology really helped regulate my cycles. You need a fertility specialist though. Metformin also helped if that's an option?

erilou38 Thu 12-Dec-13 12:50:39

I'm 38 and have been TTC for almost 18 months. I too have been having irregular periods for 2 years now after always having regular 28 day cycles. They range from anywhere between 20 and 42 days. Occasionally i get the odd 28 day cycle thrown in. I have been told i am likely borderline menopausal as my day 3 FSH level was elevated which indicates menopause. Have you had your day 3 cycle blood test to measure your FSH ? It has to be taken on day 3 of your period. I haven't used acupuncture or anything similar but i am actually thinking about it. I'm under an NHS infertilty clinic. The consultant has prescribed me Clomid to start at the begining of my next cycle. My last FSH was within the normal range (apparently it can flucuate quite a bit in early menopause) so he's going to try me with the Clomid. I would strongly advise you to go back to your doctor and ask for the FSH test and also ask about being refered to an infertility clinic asap. As you say, now you are late 30s you just haven't got the luxury of time xx

Minnie74 Thu 12-Dec-13 23:59:57

Thanks all for the replies.
erilou38 I'm worried about early menopause too. I was told its hereditary and my mum was mid 50's but I'm wondering if actually there's no link. I've looked up symptoms and don't have any of the other things apart from really random periods. I will go back to my gp and ask for the day 3 test. He was very dismissive of peri menopause (as was a friend who's a gp). I'm a bit scared to find out though to tell the truth.
thesaurusgirl your experience of acu sounds really positive. I've found a fertility acupuncturist who sounds good and have made an initial appointment. I am a bit sceptical though am getting a bit desperate. I'm a little worried about the cost as I'm only part time and so is my dh (childcare) so we've not a lot of spare cash but it is a bit cheaper here in the north!
SarahFx I love reflexology so am really tempted but haven't read as many success stories with it. I may give it a go if the acu doesn't work though. Going to google metaformin now. Thanks

erilou38 Fri 13-Dec-13 10:14:37

Minnie, it is possible that you may have some ovarian cysts as these can cause irregular periods because they throw your hormones out of whack. I had a scan at my infertilty back in the summer and was found to have 2 or 3 cysts. The consultant thinks my irregular periods are more to do with the cysts than early menopause, even though my doctor thinks borderline menopause! I do think i'm meno though as i am having quite a few meno symptoms, such as hot flushes at night, vaginal dryness sometimes as well as irregular periods which are shorter and lighter than they were before. I think my mum was early to mid 40s when she went through menopause, which i suppose is quite young. It'smore reassuring that your mother went through meno later although a woman doesn't always follow the same pattern as her mum. I think that as you have no meno symptoms then it's more likely your irregular cycles might be caused by cysts.

erilou38 Fri 13-Dec-13 10:23:37

PS. I suspected i had started menopause when i was age 34/35 and went to the doctors several times about it but they just said, "Youre'e way too young for menopause". One of them actually laughed at me! Many doctors will tell you that you are too young. I hasseled my doctors for 2 years, until eventually last year i was taken seriously by a lady doctor. She arranged for me to have the day 3 FSH, which came back menopausal levels. Don't be fobbed off!! Hopefully it's not an early meno in your case but if it is and it's still in the early stages there are treatments which can help you to conceive. I'm just hoping the Clomid works for me. Good luck xx

Minnie74 Fri 13-Dec-13 20:50:39

Thanks erilou38 I didn't realise ovarian cysts might also be a possibility in there. Doctors can be so stuck in one way of thinking can't they? Really good luck with the Clomid. A friend had that and def believes it helped her get her cycles sorted. It's so much of a weight on your shoulders once you make the decision to try for a family. If it doesn't work it can become all consuming I guess. It certainly felt like that last time for me. And age just adds to the pressure too I felt. Keeping my fingers crossed for you xx

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 17-Dec-13 09:35:30

Minnie

In your case I would try and see a fertility consultant privately or through the NHS (they can do basic tests even though you have a child) to get a diagnosis (you need this first and foremost).

GP has been neither of use or ornament here, you should be referred now.

The only way to get this sorted is to find the root cause of the irregularity of periods (which are often caused by hormonal imbalances). Acupuncture and reflexology may well relax you (and you think you are being proactive) but neither will really do anything to either find or importantly deal with the underlying cause.

Was any fertility treatment sought initially, it does not appear so. You should have actually been referred onto the specialists after 1 year of ttc without success.

elvista Tue 17-Dec-13 19:34:09

I used acupuncture to regulate my periods. I had years of problems - a year without them, several years of really heavy periods, pain after the mirena and heavy periods again and really long cycles and then tried for 8 months to get pregnant. Went to acupuncture whilst trying to get the doc to take our fertility problems seriously and test for the problem as despite me being the wrong side of 35 he wouldn't refer for tests. Eventually went privately to fertility clinic and our reason for infertility was nothing to do with my irregular cycle.

However, the acupuncture and dietary advice that went with it did regulate my cycle from 66 days to 28! It did take a year but I did feel healthier and could 'see' my cycle stabilise. It was suggested I try a low GI diet which undoubtedly helped as it stabilised sugars. My acupuncturist was very reasonable pricewise and offered packages, shorter visits and was very honest about when treatment was needed. I would definitely recommend it but do try to get your doc to do some tests.

Minnie74 Tue 18-Feb-14 21:16:39

Thanks elvista and attilathemeerkat sorry for late reply.
I have had 7 sessions of acupuncture and my last two cycles have been 26 days so maybe it's working. One cycle I got a peak on my cbfm too.
I have had all the fertility tests done that my doc referred me for and according to them all were ok except for estrodial (?) being on the low side of normal. Annoyingly my progesterone test was done in the one cycle in the last 8 months that I ovulated on the cbfm and I haven't since. The fsh and lh were from my most recent cycle when I didn't ovulate. No idea what's going on!

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