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Acupuncture for infertility

(25 Posts)
Granadilla Thu 10-Nov-16 10:09:02

Hi - I'm considering giving acupuncture a go. I'm not sure I believe in it, but at this point I am prepared to have an open mind.

Any recommendations in London? I've googled, but there seems a lot of choices with a massive price range. Can there be that much difference between each practitioner? It seems if you put fertility in front of the treatment you can double the price....is that right?

icy121 Thu 10-Nov-16 19:38:01

I am anti-acupuncture im afraid. Found it an incredible waste of money, stressful and ultimately there is no evidence it works. If it did, there would be systematic studies. People ALWAYS say "I dont know if it made the difference but I feel nice and relaxed after". On that basis I'd use the £ on something you KNOW will relax you - so go get a lovely massage or a facial instead. Or spend it on a Pilates reformer class or barrecore or something that will do you good. Please don't give your hard earned cash to charlatans!

Blueroses99 Thu 10-Nov-16 20:05:41

I had regular acupuncture before my successful IVF cycle so I'm a believer. Would it have been successful without acupuncture? I'll never know. There is plenty of evidence that it helps fertility (but I'm not scientifically inclined and haven't looked into the detail of the studies).

I believe acupuncture is good for blood flow but I wouldn't use it for relaxation (as Icy says there are plenty of other ways to relax). Try www.acupuncture-fertility.org to find a therapist. I'm in SW London and pay £45 a session.

Goodthingscome2those Thu 10-Nov-16 20:11:26

I've just had my second acupuncture session after a failed IVF cycle so hoping this may help, I'm in SE London and pay £50 apparently she is trained by/in Zita West if that means anything? I'm not finding it relaxing at all but if it helps get a BFP with next cycle which I'm starting in the next couple of weeks I'm happy!

GlummyMummy Sun 13-Nov-16 19:51:54

I'm also giving acupuncture a go after two failed IVFs this year (doing FET in Dec/Jan.) Figured it was worth a try as I've had issues with lining. If anything, hopefully it will be relaxing and give me an hours peace away from my toddler!

Can't help with London recommendations, OP, but hope it works for you :-)

Granadilla Mon 14-Nov-16 14:15:47

Thanks everyone. If I'm completely honest with myself I don't believe in acupuncture either, but I am trying my hardest to be positive as western medicine is not helping.

I've spoken to a couple of practitioners but not found one I'm comfortable with (one guy said I don't have it as bad as some of his clients who have had 9 mcs..). Any recommendations would be welcome. I'm in SE London or central London.

eurochick Mon 14-Nov-16 14:29:21

I used Emma Campbell and she was lovely. She often did a bit of shiatsu in the sessions as well to help with back pain and tension. She works in Covent Garden and Telegraph Hill. I'm not sure that it helped with fertility (IVF got us there in the end) but my cycles were the most regular they had ever been when I was seeing her and she is a great listener.

Busy77 Mon 14-Nov-16 14:44:21

One of the best is dr gang Zhu - has 2 clinics a week in South Kensington and Notting hill - the life centre. He has an amazing reputation. I went 5 or. 6 times and then conceived after a year of nothing working. Maybe coincidence but I got the right result!!

drsholmes Tue 15-Nov-16 06:53:41

I didn't believe in acupuncture but I wanted to try everything so I did it once a week for 3 months and it was awful.
The needles were t bad and the laying down for 20mins was ok but she kept giving me false hope, told me not to have ovulation (for 2wks!) and then started me in herbs and it was all too much....

LostInTheTriangle Fri 18-Nov-16 07:53:49

Sarah Pritchard at Blackheath Complementary Health Centre, by Blackheath Standard. £50 per session (1 hour or just over, you're not rushed). She's excellent and got me through my IVF treatment in 2013. I've since moved away, unfortunately. Sarah really is an excellent practitioner. Good luck, I wish you well for your cycle.

mugginsalert Fri 18-Nov-16 15:18:26

Sorry not in London so can't give specific reference but just to note that acupuncturists have very different training levels. Some people have full 3 year degrees that go through the whole basis of Chinese medicine, for example, and others practice acupuncture as one of a number of therapies and might only have completed a short course (a few weeks or even less). This latter group can usually only conduct a very specific, unflexible set of treatments - they get taught by rote what points to use for specific problems. A specialist, fully trained acupuncturist will spend a good deal of time understanding your history and will vary the points depending on your current cycle stage etc. I spent time seeing a poorly trained acupuncturist and got no benefit. Then I changed to another better trained one who sorted out my cycles within weeks, he supported my first round of ivf and it was successful.

Mrscrabtree Tue 22-Nov-16 09:05:45

Hi all, I wondered what your thoughts were - I've been having acupuncture for the last year and it was fine at first but over this time I've started some needles excruciatingly painful. It's not the practitioner because I've had two different ones and also they have both used the extra skinny needles for me. I really want to keep going through my IVF cycle because of the few papers that say it can increase chances (I am thinking there are benefits other than relaxation) - but can it be a good idea if it hurts? Any ideas why it's started hurting? Any views gratefully received!

icy121 Wed 30-Nov-16 07:56:09

Mrscrabtree if you've had acupuncture for a year and you're not pregnant you've effectively proved it's ineffective. If you don't even get much relaxation and actual pain then move on! Spend the £ on Pilates reformer classes or a massage and get tangible benefits/actual relaxation.

I said upthread that acupuncture is woo - it really upsets me that desperate women are being sold bloody snake oil.

EarlGreyT Wed 30-Nov-16 19:43:02

icy121. Well said, especially your first post re relaxation. I totally agree, although I was then told massage was bad because of something to do with it releasing toxins-you honestly just can't win can you?!

icy121 Wed 30-Nov-16 22:25:22

"Releases toxins" 🙄 I bet those who say that are other alternative charlatans!! Fuckers all of them.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 05-Dec-16 07:30:19

I never tried acupuncture for infertility - tho always wondered if I should have as had 4 failed ivf

But the 5th worked and I saw a lady to prevent mc

Saw her roughly weekly from 4/12w at £50 a session. I am now 23w preg-

did she help prevent mc?

I don't know

But after finally falling preg I wasn't going to risk not trying .......

Mrscrabtree Mon 05-Dec-16 10:06:58

Thanks for your thoughts Icy212, I guess you are right! I'm going to finish this IVF cycle with it and if no luck probably not bother next time x

Hopefullmummy2be Sat 17-Dec-16 05:03:16

It's really not right to brand everyone a charlatan. Like it's been said many do full Chinese medicine degrees and more. Those are anything but. I've seen a couple and I didn't get on with the first.. he trelated me for back pain but it was painful with the needles ( I have a pain related disability ) then I met Steph... I'd had a bad fall last year and had had a completely frozen shoulder, trapped nerve and I was finding it hard to hold me head up. I spent 90 minutes with her and while I only honestly felt two needles go in... and there were alot I felt every bit of energy change in my body. I had been taking 8 x 30/50p cocodamol 8 x50mg tramadol, 9 x gabapentin, 6 x methocarbamol, 3x indometacin .. slightly higher than my usual meds... and they hadn't released the nerve or managed the pain from that. I went in there in excruciating pain and walked out 90 minutes later with full movement and no pain. It lasted about 7 weeks. I am about to start seeing her for fertility in January. My partner sees her as shes helped him control his chronic ibs. Just because it sadly didn't work for you... doesn't mean it doesn't work and the tens of thousands of people who do it are all charlatans. It's like any therapist..you need to find someone who works for you and who is qualified. Some...those who haven't gone through the full training or who really take it on as a lifelong career should be avoided. And if you do want to go with someone (personal preference but I couldn't recommend it more highly). Ask to see their insurance and qualifications.... they should be good with that. In fact... NICE have revised their decision to not include Acupuncture as a potentially therapeutic medium for treating sciatica in 2009 and admits in this article that the difficulty in including it is that it's based on Eastern principles not Western so they really don't know how to deal with it.
Make sure you use this site to search for a suitably qualified and experienced practitioner in your area. Good luck!x

www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/public-pr-press-statements/5322-the-british-acupuncture-council-response-to-the-nice-guideline-on-low-back-pain-2016.html?itemId=69

Hopefullmummy2be Sat 17-Dec-16 05:06:22

Sorry for the mistakes it's 5am and I'm still not asleep... spelling and grammar gets a bit fuzzy at this time of the night!

GlummyMummy Mon 19-Dec-16 22:08:43

Just wondering, those of you who did acupuncture, how regularly did you have it before and during IVF treatment? Also, is it ok to have acupuncture while down regging?

MarjorieSimpson Mon 19-Dec-16 22:17:30

icy is your attitude saying 'if you haven't got pregnant in a year if acupuncture the. You have proven it's ineffective' is working for all other treatments too?

So if one has an IVF (or 3) and doesn't get pregnant, should we all stop IVF because clearly it's not working???
Or if you have sex for a year you aren't pregnant, then you should stop having sex because it's not working either?

Serioulsy, that sort of reasoning is crap (regardless of whether you think acupuncture works or not).

bananafish81 Tue 20-Dec-16 18:13:53

Do acupuncture if it makes you feel better for feeling like it's doing something proactive

Do acupuncture if you find it relaxing

I did acupuncture as a form of emotional blackmail because even though there's no evidence for it working, every other fucker on the Internet claims it helped them

And the fertility acupuncture practice I went to works with all the top fertility clinics and has one of those boards with photos of all the hundreds of babies their patients have had

I went because I thought I'd regret it if I didn't

Because I'd think 'I should have tried harder' if I didn't go

I pissed so much money up the wall on magic needles that were purely an exercise in 'just in case'

18 months and 4 IVF cycles, 3 cancelled IVF cycles and I've not seen any improvement whatsoever in the issue that is why I can't get or stay pregnant (my endometrial lining)

I've done acupuncture religiously and never seen any improvement whatsoever related to acupuncture. The ONLY time my lining has improved has been from the actual medical treatment I've had - what drug protocols and interventions we've done. Months and months and hundreds and hundreds of pounds and cancelled cycles due to thin lining and two miscarriages - no difference.

I finally let myself stop acupuncture and only now through a new combination of drugs and other interventions are we seeing some impact

I spent so much money on pointless treatments that I knew were a waste of time and money, because I didn't want to look back at a cycle and think 'what if'

I wish I'd had the confidence to not beat myself up about guilt over fertility woo

I get a lot out of the medical acupuncture (dry needling) that my physio does for me for my spinal pain. The medical literature shows there's evidence for how acupuncture needles can alleviate certain kinds of neck and back pain

There is absolutely zero reliable evidence for acupuncture and fertility, and I wish I had had the confidence to let myself spend my money and time doing something that I enjoyed (eg having a massage or a facial to relax me) instead of endless sessions of 'magic needles'

The value for me for a period of time was not in what it actually did for me (nothing) but in feeling like I was doing something proactive

I wish I'd let myself stop earlier!

knorrig Wed 21-Dec-16 10:36:16

I had acupuncture for post miscarriage care. After my first miscarriage in Aug '15 I bled for 3 weeks which wasn't too bad but then my first AF after that lasted nearly 3 months which was quite traumatic and totally draining and also meant we couldn't try again. I then conceived 6 months later but sadly had an mc again...I couldn't bear to go through the same experience again so tried acupuncture to get things back on track. It worked for me. I carried on going as I'd read it could help ovulation - I then conceived a couple of months later (we dtd straight after one of my sessions and I'm convinced that was the lucky one!) I carried on seeing her weekly until 12 weeks and will then see her monthly throughout the pregnancy.

So I therefore totally disagree with the pp who referred to acupuncturists as 'charlatans.' I'm sure there are some who aren't as trained as others but mine was Zita West qualified and new tons on fertility and conception. And yes, I also found it relaxing and a bit of a counselling session...the best thing was she believed in me and at my first session she said you will get pregnant and have a baby - that helped me so much at a time I felt very lost.

Good luck to you, I hope it works for you if you decide to try.

PurpleDaisies Wed 21-Dec-16 10:42:08

And yes, I also found it relaxing and a bit of a counselling session...the best thing was she believed in me and at my first session she said you will get pregnant and have a baby - that helped me so much at a time I felt very lost.

I'm glad you feel it helped you but this is not in any way proof that acupuncture works.

There is absolutely no scientific evidence that acupuncture works for fertility problems. You're better off spending money on actual counselling or relaxation techniques. The "I believe you will have a baby" is standard spiel. For every woman that does go on to have a baby there will be lots that don't. The ones who had acupuncture will credit that, even though they would have gone on to conceive without it.

I hate that these people prey on women who are desperate to have a child.

GlummyMummy Thu 19-Jan-17 08:35:30

Those who have had acupuncture during IVF, when did you attend around ET time and during 2WW?

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