In the end, fertility treatment didn’t help me as it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. Going back to acupuncture did!
Time TTC: 2 years first time, 2 years and 4 months and still trying currently
Diagnoses / Treatment: IUI/s, PCOS, Ovarian Cysts, Hormonal Issues, Miscarriage / Loss
Strategies: Ovulation Charting / Tracking, Fertility Diet, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Lifestyle Changes, Fertility Coaching
My fertility story
Aged 15 – diagnosed with PCOS due to irregular cycle since they began at age 14. Put on pill to “protect’ ovaries
Age 15-29 various pills prescribed as the body would not respond 6-12 months into each pill. Also suffered bad acne so had acne related pills, this caused depression.
Aged 29 stopped pill due to depressive episodes, with partner decide to cease and use other contraceptive methods.
Did not get cycle since this, also became engaged (Xmas day). Made an appt to see a fertility specialist in April, so was prepared after the wedding to fall pregnant.
8 months after ceasing pill still no cycle, so we became relaxed about contraception.
Recommended by close relative to see acupuncturist about hormonal issues (after she had seen one following traumatic late pregnancy loss)
2 sessions with Acupuncturist in Feb and she asked me if I could be pregnant due to a “slippery” pulse. 6 pregnancy tests later it was positive! Much shock all around! Healthy preg and natural delivery, BF 14 months
When baby #1 was 12 mo, started trying for baby #2 (got the cycle back when #1 was 9 MO. This was still irregular but was at least coming ~5-6 weeks
Husband began FIFO work (fly-in, fly-out) Doing 2 weeks on, 1 week off roster. So having an irregular cycle and husband FIFO made timing very difficult!
10 months into trying, started acupuncture. Husband was home for a cycle and we fell pregnant. Unfortunately, we had a missed miscarriage at 9 weeks, had d&C.
Absolutely devastated and mentally I was very fragile for a good number of months, isolated myself from friends. Started fertility treatment and did not tell anyone. Ovulation tracking, ovulation induction, IUI (unsuccessful). Did this for 5 months and gave up after it became too stressful and one of the nurses told me that some of the procedures were being performed when they should not have been due to quality issues. Very disheartened.
Decided to see a naturopath who put me on various supplements, this just delayed ovulation further. In meantime husband also quit his FIFO job so we could give 100% effort to try, given my irregular cycle.
After day 60 of no cycle decided to go back to my first acupuncturist to get the cycle back. 5 days after the session had a light period, 2 sessions later I got a positive test! Healthy pregnancy and ok labour BF 14 months.
Cycle returned after #2 was 8 MO. Started trying for #3. Husband back on FIFO but 1:1 roster. Cycle more reg, 36-47 days but very variable.
Went to an acupuncturist, who then relocated to a regional area which was devastating. Tried 2 others but not the same rapport.
Have had post ovulation pain, U/S show right para ovarian cyst, varicose veins and 20 plus cysts on each ovary. (This has always been the case since 15)
Had Reiki session, since that pain subsided. Also gained 4kg and cycle has become regular. (28-36days). Started fertility coaching which has extracted feelings and thoughts from me that I did not even realise were affecting me and how I felt about having another baby.
The lowest point in my journey and what helped me recover from it
My miscarriage when trying for #2. Jumping into fertility treatment to focus on trying again and also went back to work 2 days a week to give me something else to focus on. (Had not worked since having #1) In the end, fertility treatment didn’t help me as it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. Going back to acupuncture did!
Where I am right now in my journey
Currently trying (unofficially) without pressure for #3, trying for 2 years and 4 months so far. Just started seeing new acupuncturist and fertility coach.
What I learned from my fertility experience
- How strong I am as a person, being able to get through months of trying and a miscarriage is not easy but I have continued to carry on life and be positive with everything else.
- To make sure I am ok within myself before I worry about others, as I have always been someone that nurtures and cares for others and I do not always get that returned. This journey has made me realise that I need to put myself first and say no to people.
- Gratefulness to have been given 2 beautiful daughters.
- How awesome acupuncture and chinese medicine is, and to not always trust in western medicine alone
If I had to start my fertility journey again: What would I do differently
I would have started on acupuncture straight after my miscarriage rather than try the fertility treatment route. I would have increased my weight as soon as I had finished breastfeeding #1 and made more of an effort to make sure my body was nourished adequately. I was always in healthy weight range but at the lower end. Since gaining weight (whilst still in healthy weight range) cycle has become more regular.
What I would tell someone else going through infertility right now
- Try acupuncture with a proper chinese medicine practitioner. And make sure you have a good trusting connection with me. If not try another one!
- Stay positive and reach out to people and talk to other women going through this, they may have info/advice that will help your journey.
- Nourish your body correctly, don’t exercise too much.
My favourite inspiring fertility quote
We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us
Infertility isn’t a path you have to walk alone.
Your Fertility Toolbox brings you the support & emotional health tools you’ve been searching for.
Tools, Community, & Support to help you not only weather the storm of infertility but THRIVE!
Your Fertility Toolbox is a web-based app and online fertility wellness centre that helps women trying to conceive endure and overcome the challenges of infertility through community support, coaching, and MIND+BODY tools.