I was told to relax, to try not to stress, to take up yoga, enjoy a massage and to embrace the power of the crystals. Argh!!!

Annabel tells us how something finally clicked….

It took me almost 5 years to fall pregnant. Along the way I received so much “helpful” ( not so helpful) advice from people (none of whom were doctors) on ways to get pregnant

I was told to relax, to try not to stress, to take up yoga, enjoy a massage and to embrace the power of the crystals. I used to stare blankly as they spoke whilst wishing I could actually say out loud “yeah sure, how stupid of me! There I was trying IUI and IVF neither of which have worked. I should have instead held on tightly to a crystal in order to break through this infertility!”. I used to get soooo angry with this crazy advice. Alternative therapies were never going to get me pregnant!!

But then something changed after 3 rounds of treatment….instead of fighting the advice, I started to embrace it

I think I got to the point where I was so desperate to get pregnant I wanted to try everything. I  spoke to my doctor and asked if he thought it might actually help work in the lead up to my next round of  fertility treatment. So I gave it a go. I took up yoga and acupuncture just before I started my final (and successful) round of ICSI. (Crystals were just a little bit far out for me!)

I don’t for one minute think the yoga and acupuncture would have worked on their own to get me pregnant, however, I started my final round of treatment with a much calmer state of mind. The hour of yoga a week left me feeling like I was nurturing my body, and my acupuncturist became my counsellor! I used to walk into her room, which smelt incredible. She would have warm towels ready, to lay over me as the needles did their work. I would download my fears and concerns onto her and leave feeling rejuvenated. 

As you head deeper into 2021, can I just say, please look after yourself

I am not one of those annoying people who are going to tell you that all you need to do is relax, but I am saying do what you can to nurture your body and use alternative therapies as a way to do so. 

Hart Fertility in South Africa is a huge believer in the power of alternative therapies, so I dropped them a line and asked us to tell us more.

Hello team HART! Can I start by asking if it is safe to use alternative therapies during fertility treatment, or should it just be for the build up to treatment, to get you ready mentally and physically?

Yes, alternative therapies are safe and can be a gamechanger for many undergoing fertility treatment, both male and female. It is always advised that you chat to your fertility specialist to obtain their advice and also to inform them which therapies you are undertaking. Similar to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, alternative therapies are most effective when you are consistent and committed to their practice, starting with the lead up to your fertility treatment, through your treatment and afterwards. The alternative therapist also needs to be aware of where you are in your journey as their treatments and instructions may vary to best support your body.

What sort of alternative therapies do you suggest your patients take up?

We would advise seeking treatment from the following therapists who have a special interest or further training in fertility:

Acupuncturist

Dietician

Chiropractor

Yoga instructor

Sophrologist

Is it true that acupuncture can actually improve the lining of your endometrium by increasing the blood flow?

Yes, this correct – but we would prefer our acupuncturist to provide further details on how this actually works, as this is their speciality. We had also recently joined forces with Mike Berkley – Acupuncture Expert at the Berkley Centre in New York. He may also be able to explain this in more detail.

Is there one therapy of the others that you would say works better alongside fertility treatment than the others?

No, they each have their special place in the sun

Are there any alternative therapies that are a no no?

Eastern herbal medicine is frowned upon by most fertility specialists. As we are unsure of how this may interact with the fertility drug protocols.

 Thank you team Hart!

If you would like to know more about alternative therapies, head over to our wellbeing section

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