The Mommyish Definitive Guide To Infertility: All The Unconventional Ways To Try And Get Knocked Up

acupunture womanWhen you are faced with infertility, there is little you wouldn’t give in order to get pregnant. Modern science can offer medicines and advanced procedures, but there are less conventional techniques some people swear by when trying to conceive. Sure, our resident Science Mom might shake her head at these methods, but when something simple and cheap might do the trick and nothing else has worked, what have you got to lose?

What is acupuncture and how can it be used to treat infertility?

Just the facts

 WedMD describes acupuncture as putting very thin needles into the skin at certain points on the body in order to influence the energy flow, in this care the energy of the reproductive system. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles. The needles are sterile and the process is not painful. Ambiance music and aromatherapy may also be part of an acupuncture session.

The real deal

Mommyish’s own Maria Guido has written about her experiences using unconventional methods to treat infertility:

Now, I’m sure most people don’t respond to acupuncture the way I did that day but to say that I had an out-of-body experience would be an understatement. Apparently, these types of reactions can happen if you get a good release the first time you have acupuncture done. I’ve never felt that kind of energy flowing through my body it was almost like an electrical current. The pain in my foot was gone immediately. I was floored by that. I booked my next appointment.

I came back two weeks later, at which point she put her fingers on my wrist and swore she felt a ”pregnancy pulse.” I was thinking, ”shut up lady.” I had the second treatment. It wasn’t as mind blowing as the first, but I had decided I was going to see her twice a month for a while, so I booked my next appointment. About a week and a half later I took a pregnancy test. It was positive.

I also experimented with acupuncture before seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. While I didn’t get pregnant, I did have the only non-medically induced period I’ve had in close to a decade. And I do feel that the acupuncture helped me cope with some of the emotional impact of my infertility. Plus, it was covered by my insurance, so no harm done.

How can a menstrual cup be used to help infertility?

Just the facts

Traditionally an environmentally-friendly alternative to pads and tampons, the menstrual cup is designed for use during your period, to collect the shed uterine lining. Though not specifically FDA approved for this use, some women use it as a conception aid to keep sperm inside them longer, either by inserting the cup right after intercourse or having their partner ejaculate directly into the cup and then inserting it when they believe they are ovulating.

The real deal

The idea of playing around with body fluids may tickle your gag reflex, but for what it’s worth- my best friend had been trying to get pregnant for almost a year with no luck when she decided to give the menstrual cup method a whirl. She got pregnant that month. Sure, it could be a complete and utter coincidence, and it would seem they didn’t have any serious underlying fertility issues so they may have gotten pregnant without it, but if you ask her I’m sure she would say it was twenty bucks well spent.

What’s a fertility diet?

Just the facts

Doctors say maintaining or obtaining a healthy weight can increase your odds of getting pregnant. But beyond the number on the scale, proponents of a fertility diet advocate eating lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, seafood that contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids- like salmon or tuna, and lean protein sources like beans or chicken. Fertility diets usually suggest avoiding unpasteurized dairy products and refined carbohydrates as well. In addition to the foods you eat, those who follow a fertility diet generally limit caffeine and alcohol.

The real deal

I doubt that eating a magic combination of foods can get you pregnant any more than using a particular sexual position can ensure the gender of your baby, but taking care of yourself and being healthy never hurt anyone. Plus, if you do get pregnant while on a fertility diet you’ll be on the right path to a healthy pregnancy and that’s all to the good.

What are fertility supplements?

Just the facts

These pills contain herbal blends that are supposed to help you get pregnant. While some studies indicate these pills may be effective, it is important to know that many of the these supplements contain herbs that can be dangerous if you are in fact pregnant. Also, because such supplements are considered propriety blends and are not regulated by the FDA, there is no regulation to ensure that each individual capsule contains the same amount of each herb.

The real deal

Personally, I’m not comfortable taking a pill that hasn’t been prescribed to me by a doctor, but to each his own. If you do chose to take such a supplement, please be sure to inform your doctors as it can be easy to forget about supplements when filling out the “current medications” part of medical forms and such supplements can have contraindications with other medicines.

(image: Ollyy/




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