RM, age 44 had been running through the fertility journey ringer by the time she came to me at Acubalance for acupuncture. She already had three unsuccessful medicated (Clomid) IUI cycles before she and her husband then...
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching (sorry, not sorry – I love the fall!), it is almost automatic that I find myself frequently taking mental note of the things in my life that I am grateful for. Of course, the big things come to mind easily – love, relationships, career, nature – but then as I continue to make my mental list, I am reminded of lazy Sunday mornings, sipping coffee, reading books, cozy
Don’t you wish people would be more grateful? Don’t you just hate it when they expect everything, but fail to notice who’s behind the scenes making it all happen (especially when that person is you)? Don’t you wish someone would just say thank you? There’s a lot of research out there about gratitude, after all, and its many benefits. But for all it’s health benefits, it’s not “good for you” when someone else is grateful: it’s good for you when you are grateful, yet another example of “better to given than to receive”. And there’s some research to back it up.
I often find myself surfing that fine line between optimism and pessimism with patients. Somewhere on the spectrum of hope, deep investment in outcome, fear, control, letting go, surrender and acceptance. We are told that stress has a negative impact on fertility, yet anyone who has ever been through it themselves, or is close to anyone who has struggled to become a parent, knows that stress is a prominent part of the landscape on this road. It’s unavoidable.
Women will often lose hope when diagnosed with low ovarian reserve. It's often diagnosed with an AMH (Anti Mulerian Hormone) blood test, antral follicle count (AFC) or poor response to an IVF cycle. At this point many women will be encouraged to use donor eggs as they will have over a 60% chance of success.
Most people believe that working hard, following through, organizing, and planning lead to success. We see evidence of this everywhere from our professional lives to personal endeavors. This idea is part of a “grit narrative” that we tell ourselves. Push through; work hard; persevere! So why does it seem like this doesn’t apply to fertility? You track ovulation, get focussed, change your diet, check cervical fluid, do blood work on days 3 and 21, attend endless appointments, get sperm analysis, yet somehow never get closer to your goal.