Overcoming Infertility Naturally

Infertility Awareness Series

It’s 2012 and I’m sitting in a Reproductive Endocrinologist’s office. You know…just lounging in this comfy hospital gown, naked, in stirrups, and looking at all these photos on the wall of blossoming flowers. I think it’s supposed to subconsciously encourage me into thinking that I too will bear fruit! *eye roll*  I thought to myself, “How did I get here? How did we get here?”

Lavander flowers

Fast forward to 2015, and we now have a beautiful, healthy daughter after naturally overcoming infertility. It was a two-year journey that was a balance of conventional medicine and acupuncture to work with my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome {PCOS} and my husband’s count.

Looking back on it, it’s hard to comprehensively recall all the uncertainty and insecurity that came with the territory. Is there something wrong with me? Do I have to take fertility medication that makes you crazy? Why can’t I just GET crazy and have drunken sex since that seems to work for a lot of people?! Will I ever become a biological mother? How is this fair?

While I don’t have all the answers or a medical degree, I do have critical thinking skills and did extensive research before making any decision. My goal is to share my experience so that others battling PCOS and infertility know that there are different treatment options and this is one of them. It is NOT my goal to be heralded for the path we chose nor preach that my way is THE BEST.

overcominginfertilitynat

How did I know there was a problem?

Hindsight is 20/20. Now that I know more about PCOS, all of the symptoms were glaringly obvious. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always had irregular cycles {symptom – check}, and figured it was normal since irregularity runs in my family {genetics – check}. I gained a ton of weight {contributing factor – check} while working full-time and earning my MBA in the evenings. My energy was really lacking after eating anything {sign of insulin resistance – check}. I was going through the rounds of repetitive stress injury prevention at work for supposed heavy computer usage, but really, everything about my body was inflamed {symptom – check}. When I got off birth control, my cycles were way too unpredictable ranging from 35 days to 75 days. After several months of guessing games of when I was ovulating {if I even did}, I decided to seek help.

What was my treatment plan? Did I take fertility medicine?

I went to a Reproductive Endocrinologist {RE} and received an official diagnosis for PCOS. {So I’m not a hypochondriac like my Internist and former OB were saying!} The RE wanted me on a regimen of Clomid {to regulate ovulation} and Metformin {to regulate blood sugar}. Reading and hearing friends’ stories about the side effects scared me enough, so I researched natural treatments for PCOS. So, no, I did not take fertility medication. Here’s what I did instead…

  1. I learned. I studied up on PCOS, what causes it, what relieves it. I learned about the endocrine system and brushed up on the reproductive system. I REALLY learned about the menstrual cycle thanks to Taking Charge of Your Fertility and the queues your body gives when it’s about to ovulate.
  2. I lost weight. The RE didn’t tell me to lose weight, but when I asked him about it, he said losing “just” 10 lbs could make a world of difference. I ate like a diabetic {essentially a paleo diet} and lost 15 pounds in 2 months. I lost that weight without much exercise aside from the weekly vinyasa flow yoga classes.
  3. I went to acupuncture. I started going to The Axelrad Clinic in July 2012 where a holistic treatment plan was created for me. My cycles started a predictable pattern within 5 months without medication. By March 2013, we got pregnant, had an early miscarriage, but were hopeful since it actually happened! So I continued going and seeking acupuncture treatments.
  4. I prayed. I TRIED REALLY HARD to be patient. Going through infertility is a true test of the mind, body, and soul. It’s especially tough for a type-A who is now accustomed to today’s world of instant gratification. {You can read more about the gratitude and grace I experienced here.} Infertility was helping me transition from kid-less life to motherhood with the necessary lifestyle change.

What? Acupuncture? Isn’t that some sort of hocus pocus?

Acupuncture is completely legit and backed by the American Pregnancy Association, especially for infertility treatment.  The treatment plan created for me by The Axelrad Clinic included weekly acupuncture visits {aka the best 30 minute naps ever}, recommendations on healthy eating, edicts on water consumption and sleep, and herbal supplements. I stopped taking the herbal supplements after a while because of my sensitive stomach, but they helped my husband. Which brings me to….

vuhufpsf2013What about your husband? Did he have any health issues?

It takes two to tango! Yes, his count was low and we found that out after the RE had him “take a test.” Richard and I are both pretty social people and with our sociability comes the social drink… or two… or four. Little did we know, his alcohol consumption on a fun, fancy free summer night was detrimentally affecting his count on a very romantic fall evening {it takes sperm 90 days to be ready for their journey}. He had to completely cut out drinking for a few months and adhere to a treatment of herbal supplements from the The Axelrad Clinic.

How did I know that enough was enough?

I didn’t, really. But I did have to realize that I had done all I could humanly do and that it was time for help. There were many tears. A lot of self-pity. Thinking about my infertility was an addiction. It was September or October 2013, and I heard an amazing homily at church. Paraphrasing:

“GOD is God. I am not. I am a mere creature that is a part of HIS plan.”

That’s when I knew I truly needed to lean on my faith and that it’s not about MY plan. I had to surrender. I knew I was DONE and needed a break. If we were going to try medically assisted methods, I’d have to wait for my flex spending to replenish at the beginning of the year.  We started researching adoption options as well. As soon as I let go of control, we got pregnant with our baby girl {after we shared a bottle of red wine at a cooking class!}.

If you’re battling infertility or suspect that there may be some fertility issues, as Hannah said earlier this week, you’re not alone. I hope my fertility story provides some sort of compass for those of you who are waiting to be mommas and that this is another data point as you continue with your journey towards motherhood.

Do you want to learn more about The Axelrad Clinic and their natural approach to infertility? Get started here or contact them at one of their Houston area locations below…

The Axelrad Clinic

713.527.9555

Houston Office :: 
19 Briar Hollow Lane, Suite 240, Houston, TX 77027

Woodlands Office ::
4840 W. Panther Creek, Suite 208, The Woodlands, TX 77381

Katy Office ::
Coming soon!

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, we are dedicated to raising awareness and educating our community about the varying types of infertility and the many options available.  Our hope is that this series will open your eyes and inspire you in a really dynamic way, so please join us as real local moms open up and share their stories all throughout the week.  To read more, please click here.


 Please Note :: This entire Infertility Awareness series is graciously title sponsored by The Axelrad Clinic.  All thoughts and opinions are proudly our own, and we genuinely hope that it helps to raise awareness and provide inspiration for those moms battling infertility as well.

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5 Responses to Overcoming Infertility Naturally

  1. Elie July 18, 2016 at 3:33 am #

    Thank you for sharing! So glad it finally worked for you.
    I have a similar story to yours – it took us two years of ups and downs to finally get pregnant with my son.
    I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2012 and from that point I knew it’s going to be hard
    I got Taking Charge of your Fertility (http://www.tcoyf.com/) which I heartily recommend to everyone – it’s a wonderful book.
    I started charting my ovulation with paper and pencil, used a couple of devices to be sure we don’t miss a chance – daysy (https://www.usa.daysy.me/) and clyearblue(can’t find the link right now) and on top of that I also used an app on my phone
    What haven’t we tried and it was a big struggle for us, so all I have to say to all the future moms is: Don’t give up!

  2. HealthWise Clinic October 20, 2016 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for sharing such an useful post. You can also try Acupuncture. Regular acupuncture sessions can help facilitate blood flow to the reproductive region, regulate hormones and reduce stress, which can impact a woman’s ability to conceive.

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